BusinessDay

COVID: Ugwuanyi wants vaccination intensified in S/East

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has urged South-East governors and health authorities to intensify daily vaccination against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ugwuanyi, who was represented by his deputy, Cecilia Ezeilo, made the advocacy while declaring open the South-East zone primary health care and COVID-19 vaccination review meeting, in Enugu, on Wednesday.

The governor admitted that the recent statistics of daily and total aggregate COVID-19 vaccinated figures from the zone remained low compared with other zones in the country.

“We are assuring the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), after this review meeting, that we are going to work harder as a zone to up-scale our efforts.

“We will adopt the appeal of Chukwuka Utazi, on the need for our people to renew their vigour for COVID-19 mass vaccination intake in the South-East,” he said.

According to him, I will want various executive secretaries of South-East states’ Primary Health Care Development Agency to further get close to rural areas, interact with town unions, traditional rulers and other leaders to see how best to up-scale COVID-19 vaccinations.

Earlier, Utazi, who is the Senate committee chairman for primary health care, said the meeting was important to the South-East in order to resolve issues of hesitancy, low awareness and outright rejection of the ongoing COVID-19 mass vaccination.

Utazi urged residents of the region to have a re-think on their acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination, adding that they should jettison all forms of unfound rumours about the vaccination.

Read also: How Nigeria failed to lead vaccine production in Africa

“We must have a re-think and speed up the COVID-19 vaccination rate; our people are highly educated and knowledgeable on global issues, especially the positive benefits of the COVID-19 mass vaccination.

“We are business people in the zone and we need to be healthy to do our businesses well, which brings us to the need to ensure that COVID-19 pandemic is dealt with in the zone.

“The states in the South-East should wake up and we should take our rightful place in this national exercise and be among the most ranked states in COVID-19 administration,” Utazi, who is also the senator representing Enugu North senatorial zone, said.

The executive director of NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, urged the South-East governments and health authorities to do more in terms of awareness and enlightenment to debunk all known or emerging unfounded information against COVID-19 vaccination.

Shuaib noted that the zone should do more and better, given the high literacy level within the zone.

In this review meeting, we must put heads together, find out as well as resolve why the COVID-19 mass vaccination is not moving with the expected rate and speed in the zone, he said.

“Nationally, we must use the same zeal and ingenuity that led us to eradicate polio and to ensure that every single person in the country gets vaccinated and all citizens get protected.

“For the South-East, we must adopt practices that will work in the zone and ensure that rejection and hesitancy are totally eliminated for the exercise to be embraced by all,” he said. NAN

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