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Re-positioning immunization for lasting results in Rivers State

 By Menidin Egbo

Health improvement headway in Africa is being widely celebrated, especially with resounding delight for effort in “kicking poliomyelitis out” from the continent. From the Government of Rivers State, as well as other several quarters, commendations for major contributors to health-progress headway have continued to be expressed as encouragement to groups and individuals making effort through increasing public health action. 

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Dr. (Mrs)Ipalibo Banigo, Rivers state Deputy Governor


 Expressing delight over the achievement of polio eradication in Africa are stakeholders of the health and related sectors who, in their different health-focused endeavours, are truly showing concerned for public health stability for the people and nations of Africa. It is against this background that the government of Rivers State of Nigeria, recently, joined continental and global stakeholders to re-iterate the delight and commendation over the significant achievement of eradicating the polio disease from the Africa continent. The gesture of expressed  delight by the Rivers State Government equally sign-posts a call for the need to re-position immunization effort to eradicate or significantly reduce the scourge of other diseases burdening the populations of the continent of African.

While expressing the good pleasure of the government of Rivers state over the achievement of eradicating the polio disease in Africa, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Banigo, Rivers state Deputy Governor, called for more concerted effort to sustain a no-polio status for the human population in the African continent. The Deputy Governor, who also made the call in relation to the significance of marking the 2020 International World Polio Day, described such event as one window that “presents a global opportunity to rally round in the fight to eradicate the disease forever.”

The International World Polio Day, according to Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Banigo, presents a prominent occasion for many people to “join with organizations around the world …to celebrate the individuals and organizations involved in the global fight against polio, and their efforts to completely eradicate the virus”. Among mostly remembered groups contributing to immunization effort for eradicating polio and other destabilizing diseases are Rotary International and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Rivers State Deputy Governor, who is also the Chairman of the Rivers State Task Force on Immunization and Primary Healthcare, emphasized the fact that the capability of the government of Rivers state through the ‘multi-ministerial’ task force to provide immunization service to citizens is mission-bound to promote care services and benefits. According to her, the state task force has passionate and determined workforce of proven men and women who can drive improvement of the immunization service system in the state.

Focusing on state-level effort to address ill-health incidence by improving the health status of citizens in Rivers State, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Banigo noted that the executive   governor of the state, Barr. Nyesome Ezebunwo Wike, has been relentless in addressing issues of the healthcare sector. The duel of the governor and his wife (Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzette Wike) both of whom the deputy governor described as “champion in the fight” against the scourge of health challenges in Rivers State, are strongly supporting the healthcare sector in the needed effort to reduce the burden of diseases on the common people.

The healthcare programme on polio eradication in the state, according to the deputy governor, is a strong asset that contributes to boost the state healthcare system. She stated that the established structure to fight the polio scourge is expansively strengthened to also capably tackle other disease burdens that pose health-risk to citizens in Rivers State. Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Banigo made her statement in reference to such commonly experienced diseases and infections as malaria, Ebola virus, measles, yellow fever, and hepatitis. The deputy governor equally stressed that the state health programme is battle-fit, and action-ready for handling necessary measures “against COVID-19 transmission and control”. 

The health sector development strides of the Rivers state government in recent times have also been quite telling. Partners and stakeholders in the health sector would match the state sector development pace with deeply true-hearted expression of delight by the government over eradication of poliomyelitis disease burden off the shores of the continent of Africa.


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