The Rotary Club International is to immunise 5, 000 children in Ilorin emirate against polio as part of its activities to mark the World Polio Eradication Day.
The Chairman of Rotary Polio Eradication Committee for Kwara, Otunba Rick Oladele, made this disclosure on Wednesday when he led members of the committee on a visit to the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari.
He told the emir that the committee was in the palace for his royal blessing for the immunisation coming up on Saturday across the emirate.
Oladele also told the emir that the committee relied on him to reach the chiefs in all the communities of the emirate for people to bring their children for immunisation against polio.
According to him, only three countries in the world; Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan are yet to be free from polio.
“Nigeria has clocked two and a half years of being polio free before a case of the virus was discovered in Gere Local Government of Borno.
Oladele said the polio reared its head back in the North East because of the crisis there, adding that the virus still exist in volatile areas like Pakistan, Afghanistan and the north east region of Nigeria.
“Polio can be prevented through immunisation of children of five years old and below,” Oladele said.
He told the emir that Rotary Club had been spending money since 1985 to produce vaccines to fight the virus among children.
“The cost of vaccinating a child is about three dollars, which translates to about N1, 080. It is desirable to see that polio is eradicated in Nigeria,” Oladele said.
He expressed his gratitude to the emir for his support for polio eradication.
In his response, Alhaji Sulu-Gambari lauded Rotary Club for its resolve to end polio in the country.
The emir assured the committee of his readiness to assist in making the immunisation a huge success.
He promised to send messages to all the chiefs and village heads in the four local governments of the emirate to mobilise parents to present their children for immunisation on Saturday.
“God will reward you for what you are doing to eradicate polio in the country,” the emir said.