Nigerian Government Decries Low Implementation Of Routine Immunization

By Amos Tauna
Kaduna (Nigeria)–The Federal Ministry of Health has observed with dismay the low coverage  of routine immunization in some states of the country.
Kaduna State Deputy Director in the State Primary Health Care Development  Agency, Hamza Ikara announced the Federal government position during an interactive session with newsmen on the activities of the agency in Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria.
He  however attributed the failure of the programme in the state to inadequate awareness campaigns which contributed 51percent, mistrust and fear accounted for 22 percent and service delivery related issues which stood at 16 percent.
According to him, instead of 80 per cent set target, only 30 per cent of children 12-23 months were able to receive measles vaccine which he described as worrisome.
What this means according to him,  was that more than 50 percent of the targeted children were unable to receive the vaccine within the period under review, adding that the report was not good for Nigerian children as they are exposed to measles being one of the six leading child killer diseases.
He said, “To be sincere with you, Kaduna is one of the worst states in the Northwest in routine immunization because 51 percent of targeted population are not aware of what we are doing in routine immunization.
“Due to what we have been able to achieve in Polio across the country, we are moving from Polio immunization to routine immunization. Lack of knowledge, time or other family issues, mistrust or fear are major contributory factors being  identified. We have a big gap in these areas which we must collectively address as a national call.”
On what the agency was doing to address the identified lapses, he said, “We are embarking on massive campaign starting with the traditional and religious leaders so that they can help mobilise their subjects for the immunization. This is important because we noticed that people listen to them.
“In addition, we have trained over 17,000 workers, 4,000 village heads among others. What this means is that, our trained people are now ready to do the needful. But then, people that will avail these children for the immunization have to be on the same page, hence the engagement of all stakeholders including the media to reach out with them.”
He expressed worry over the security situation in the state especially kidnapping which is preventing service providers from penetrating into remote communities to render the service.
He frowned at private facilities who are charging N500 for the series of the immunization in the state vowing to stop them in 2018, “We gave them free training, vaccine and syringe. They should support us to render this service for free in the interest of our children and better future base on the MoU we had with them,” he explained.
Before now, Bill Gates and Dangote Foundation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kaduna state government to support provision of the vaccine within four years, he said.
Posted by on 15/12/2017. Filed under Health, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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