Rivers State ministry of health laments interference of faith-based organisations in polio fight


Ministry of health in Rivers State has explained that negative implications or the roles of faith-based organizations the certification of Nigeria as a polio-free country.

Dr Rowland Obed-Whyte, the state’s ministry Director of Disease Control said while speaking at a one-day sensitization programme for media practitioners on AFP in Port Harcourt which was organised that activities of some churches in the state are encouraging their flocks in their quest to resist being immunized against attack from some diseases.

He listed strategies adopted for Polio eradication to include routine immunization, national immunization coverage, effective surveillance and sensitization, mop up activities .

The Director of Disease Control explained that disease, environment and poverty have roles in certain disease conditions and the awareness of these facets were important. He emphasized that the effective disease surveillance, which is the theme of the programme has end strategy to build an integrated partnership system with the media, the education sector and the community.

In his opening remarks, WHO Supervisor for Port Harcourt, Dr Tamunoemi Numbere, explained that the objective of the media meeting was to strike synergy with the media for better understanding of surveillance in global phenomenon in health matters.

Numbere stated that the emphasis of the sensitization meeting was on polio eradication, adding that Nigeria had gone far in polio eradication. He said: “The anti- Polio campaign which took off in 1998 has seen Nigeria achieving near complete eradication. For almost three years, there has not been reported case of polio.”