The Federation of Muslim Women’s Association In Nigeria (FOMWAN) in collaboration with the Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board has organized a day workshop on polio eradication in Nigeria.
The workshop, which was organized for women religious leaders across the 33 local government council areas in the state, was held at FOMWAN Secretariat, Akobo Ojurin, Ibadan on Thursday.
In her opening remarks, Oyo State Amirah of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association In Nigeria (FOMWAN), Alhaja (Dr.) Bushro Oloso, said that Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) is a workshop initiated by the Sultan of Sokoto Foundation for all states in the North and Coordinators in the Southern part of the country.
She noted that the message of the workshop is to encourage mothers across the state to allow their children to be immunized against polio in order to have a polio virus free society.
According to her, “the workshop is in collaboration with the Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board and it is an interfaith workshop, It is not limited to Muslims alone. Because the whole world comprises two main religions, Islam and Christianity, we have the Women wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN) with us and FOMWAN members so that the message will go to the nooks and crannies of the state.
“The central message is that all mothers and grandmothers should their children and grandchildren to be immunized so that they will stay healthy, and as a result a healthy society will become a wealthy society and we will have less money to spend on drugs and hospital treatments,” Dr. Bushro Oloso said.
Presenting her goodwill message, Oyo State Coordinator of Child Protection Network (CPN), Mrs. Oluwatoyin Ogedengbe, enjoined the participants, who she described as life builders and children’s first contact to take advantage of the workshop to create needed awareness of polio eradication initiative to their various respective places.
While commending the sponsor of the initiative, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar for sponsoring the workshop through FOMWAN, she emphasized that religious platforms will go a long way in enhancing the acceptance immunization campaign and activities towards eradicating polio in our society.
Mrs. Ogedengbe emphasized that women have critical role to play in enhancing growth, development and productivity of the country, therefore, charged women in all sectors of the economy and in the religious circles to take as a responsibility by teaching other women in their various places to ensure that children are protected from all forms of abuse or harms that are detrimental to their overall well-being.
Speaking on the importance of the workshop, the CPN Coordinator stated that the workshop would serve as a motivation to ensure that all hands are deck in immunization activities in order to prevent the importation and circulation of the wild polio viruses in our society.
“Though Nigeria was declared wild poliovirus free in 200, the circulating Variant Polio Virus2 (Cvpv2) strain transmission has not been subsidized. 168 cases were reported in 2022 alone. According to the 39th Expert Review Committee (ERC) for Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization, the Nigeria programme is said to have recorded impressive progress in the bid to stop the transmission of the circulating Variant Polio Virus. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has also declared its commitment to support Nigeria in attaining circulating Variant Polio Virus2 (Cvpv2) free status and keep the country wild polio free.
In her presentation, the representative of Who Health Organization (WHO) said that the essence of the workshop is to improve the surveillance system in the aspect of the Polio Eradication Initiative. She added that the focus is to ensure that every child of immunized age is able to be covered with oral polio vaccine.
Other health and religious organizations participating in the workshop include Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board (OYSPHCP), UNICEF, SYDANI, BAN, MUSWEM, NACOMYO and WOWICAN.