The vital role of media in crisis management was the highlight of the town hall meeting held by Lagos State ministry of Health and its partners ( World Health Organisation, UNICEF, Rotary International, NAPHDC, Dangote foundation) amongst others with the aim of kicking out Polio and sustaining it.
Currently three countries in the world are yet to get certified by World Health Organisation as free polio nation with Nigeria still remaining the only country in Africa with Afghanistan and Pakistan hence the need for the partnership with media to further drive the message home to their constituencies.
In her welcome address by the permanent secretary of Lagos ministry Dr Titilayo Goncalves noted that the passion of the State governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu towards the health of every child especially towards making sure that no child suffers disability or die as a result of vaccine preventable diseases hence the need for the town hall meeting in furtherance of the noble goal towards certifying Lagos State a free polio state during the second phase of 2019 polio vaccination campaign which 100% is the set target as efforts will be geared in maintaining and sustaining it.
She enjoined all health correspondents to join the campaign noting that without the media it will be quite onerous achieving the set target of the exercise owing to the pivotal roles the media play all over the world, hence the urgent need for the town hall meeting to highlight the expected roles before, during and even after the exercise. She urged the media to help in partnering with the state ministry of health and its partners in sensitising the public through their various mediums and to also serve as supervisors and feedback mechanism during the 4 days exercise that will commence on the 15th of June and closes on the 18th of June 2019. The aim is to make sure that no child within the age of 1-5years is left out.
She also used the opportunity to call in Lagosians to contribute to the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme (LSHS) a mandatory package that has every member of family, including children at heart with a payment of N40,000.00 premium for family of six.
The Permanent Secretary of Primary Health Care Board Dr Tayo Lawal in his key note address urge the correspondents to make sure they do not use frightening captions that will cause panic and withdrawal of the populace from participating in the forth coming exercise while reiterating that it is very worrisome that Nigeria is still the only country in Africa yet to be certified polio free. He further said that though the country is now thirty two months without a wild polio virus despite the recent identification of it in few areas in the state which is the reason for the exercise.
He further noted enumerated the efforts of the state government through the ministry of health and health care board and that of its partners including the World Health Organisation , UNICEF, Rotary International, Dangote Foundation, National Primary Health Care Development Agency amongst others in making sure that polio is kicked of Nigeria through the donations, manpower and other resources.
The World Health Organisation representative Fiona Branka in her goodwill message noted that though the Poliomyelitis virus were observed in few Lagos canals in Makoko, Itire and Marakana is different strain of the polio outbreak hence the urgent need to have it interrupted as quickly as possible there is therefore the need to get the media involved to disseminate the information on the second phase of the 2019 vaccination exercise.