Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, on Thursday declared that vaccination of children under the age of five against poliomyelitis in the state was compulsory.
El-Rufai warned that any parents obstructing health workers from carrying out their statutory functions would be prosecuted.
He added that vaccinators would work in collaboration with the officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency at partial road blocks so that there would be no escape route for parents who would want to avoid getting their children vaccinated.
The governor said, “The government has further directed that all eligible children in transit within Kaduna State be made available for immunisation at all transit sites (motor parks, road blocks, railway stations, airports etc.) during the period of the campaign.
“The teams of vaccinators will work with the FRSC and NDLEA officials at partial roadblocks to vaccinate children below five who are in transit on highways within Kaduna State.
“The Polio Task Force believes that most parents would easily appreciate the need to vaccinate their children. However, the public interest to protect children against avoidable health threats has led to a decision to make polio vaccination compulsory.”
All these, the governor noted, were parts of efforts to keep the state polio-free, adding that all parents must support the government for the sake of all children in the state.
The governor, through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, noted that the campaign reflected the government’s determination to ensure that no child was exposed to the hazards of a disease that could be prevented, and which had been eradicated in most parts of the world.