• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Immunisation: Traditional leaders, religious bodies tasked to sensitise people

Immunisation

The Kwara Government has appealed to traditional leaders and religious bodies across the 16 local government areas of the state to support the government efforts on immunisation to their subjects and adherents.

Nusirat Elelu, executive secretary of the Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency stated this recently at a Stakeholders Meeting on Routine Immunization and PHC in Kwara.

She says that Nigeria’s National Programme on immunization has achieved some significant improvement in service delivery coverage in the last few years with huge investments by Governments and Development Partners.

Elelu, however, lamented that the ongoing pandemic has led to declined turnout and high dropout rates, leaving these children with inadequate protection from vaccine preventable diseases.

“There is the need to increase awareness and sensitization of caregivers on the threat posed to child survival by Vaccine Preventable Diseases.

“These can only be achieved by an influential and respected group of people in the society. No other group can adequately undertake this task than our respected and highly revered traditional and religious institutions,” she said.

According to Elelu, the support of the traditional leaders, in the past years has moved the state forward from the previous unacceptable position it occupied in Routine Immunization Performance and other PHC interventions.

The medical practitioner reiterated that the KWSPHCDA will continue to collaborate with partners to strengthen routine immunization.

Elelu was optimistic that the outcome of the meeting will renew commitment to promote child survival strategies in different communities and religious assemblies.

Also speaking at the meeting, Michael Oguntoye, director of Primary HealthCare Development Agency noted that the state government is fully committed to the routine immunisation program.

Oguntoye emphasized that the support of traditional leaders and faith based organization is needed to ensure people across the 16 local government areas of the state immunise their wards and children.

Also, he observes that routine immunisation is the entry point into PHC, adding that the immunisation performance chart in Nigeria has indicated millions of child deaths had been prevented.

“Despite total commitment by government and donor agencies, there are still hindrances and poor outcomes from routine immunisation data,” he said.

Similarly, Ahmad Tsoho Health Specialist of the United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF), emphasized that there is a lot of work to be done as regards routine immunisation to reach all the eligible children across the state.

“Immunisation is the most effective public health intervention. One out of every four children have no access vaccination,” he said.

Tsoho stated that UNICEF would continue to partner the state government and all other stakeholders to ensure that every child is protected from child killer diseases.

He commended the state government commitment towards routine immunisation, saying that in 2016, Kwara performance chart on immunisation was 49 percent but has improved to 54 percent in 2018.