The Kano State Government has sacked twelve polio vaccination workers for compromising the immunization process by finger marking some eligible children without administering the polio vaccine.
The Primary Health care co-coordinator, Comrade Nura Haruna of Tarauni Local Government, where the fresh polio virus was discovered, stated that in the course of routine monitoring of the engaged ad-hoc staff for the exercise, it was discovered that some of them were compromising the immunization process by finger marking some legible children without administering the polio vaccine in their mouths based on the mutual agreement they had with some parents, who had reservation against the exercise.
According to him, considering the utmost priority being accorded to the exercise by the State Government, it did not hesitate to relief the affected 12 workers of their duties.
“We have been sacking many ad-hoc workers found wanting of compromising the immunization process and we will not stop doing that until we sanitise the process and eventual certification of Nigeria polio free. In fact, we just sacked four teams comprising of three members each among the ad-hoc staff when we investigated and found them wanting”
He however urged the parents to prioritize personal hygiene and environmental sanitation as well as ensuring constant release of their legible children for immunization when due so as to prevent any attempt by the Wide Polio Virus to resurface in the state.
The Coordinator also lamented the rampant cases of non-compliance to polio and routine immunization in the area especially at Darmanawa, Hotoro and Danwanu wards, saying that the elite in the area hardly release their eligible children for immunization in spite of its importance.
“There are so many elite in Darmanawa, Hotoro and Danwanu wards out of ten wards at the LGA, surprisingly some of them are medical doctors, police and Immigration officers, but they are preventing our workers from accessing their households. Sometimes our workers do spend an hour in a particular house without seeing anyone attending to them; we need the intervention of relevant authorities to compel them to take the polio immunization very seriously.
”Whether you are elite or not, we need your household to be vaccinated because if we vaccinate nine out of 10 houses, the remaining one will still put the entire community at polio risk,” Haruna explained further.
He said though some husbands still restrain their wives from presenting their children for immunization, some of the wives who understand the importance of the Polio Immunization do release their children while the husbands were not around without applying finger mark on the children to avoid husband’s suspicion.
He said the fresh case of Circulating Polio Virus (CPV) was discovered inside a sewage situated at Darmanawa Ward in Tarauni Local Government Area of Kano State within the metropolis, three years after the last Wide Polio Virus (WPV) was recorded in the State.
According to medical experts, the Circulating Polio Virus is mostly linked with poor environmental sanitation, though it cannot cripple a child but its continued existence poses a threat of crippling Wide Polio Virus (WPV).
Haruna explained that the virus was suspected to have emanated from Zaria Local Government in Kaduna State where two cases of CPV were earlier discovered this year.