Recent reports from the United States Center for Disease Control (USCDC) has revealed that Nigeria has the largest number of unimmunised children globally.
Dr. Bolu Omotayo, Director Immunisation, USCDC hinted this today at the 3rd Quarter meeting of Northern Traditional Leaders Committee (NTLC) on Primary Health Care Delivery held in Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that the set back was due to the belief that vaccines were a tool by the western world to depopulate Africa.
Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) however, expressed confidence in the agency’s ability to move Nigeria out of its current position, he said;
“We are in control of the situation, there has been an unprecedented increase in routine immunisation coverage (from 33% in 2016 to 71% in 2021).
“Globally, there has never been such increase in routine immunisation coverage as seen in Nigeria”, he noted.
The NPHCDA boss explained that traditional leaders were very instrumental in convincing mothers to take their children for routine immunisation hence the reason his agency was collaborating with them.
“With the different disease outbreaks that we are currently contending with, it is imperative that our approach becomes more integrated.
“This is because they are all interwoven. Amidst COVID-19, we have Cholera, CVDPV2 which is as a result of suboptimal routine immunization in some parts of the country.
“As we conduct outbreak response campaigns, we need to find a way to integrate our responses for efficient utilization of available resources and to enhance confidence in our people.
“Integration will also enhance our determination to continue to safeguard our wild polio virus free status. Consequently, Your Highnesses, mobilization, sensitization, advocacy and role modelling efforts should target multiple interventions simultaneously.
“It is in the spirit of integration that we have adopted what we call the PSI (primary health care services integration) or ‘the whole of family approach’ for this second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination.
“It entails checking the blood pressure and assessing the diabetes risk status of clients 40 years and above and screening children 0 to 12 months for malnutrition and routine immunisation status”, said Dr. Shuaib.
Alhaji Samaila Mohammed Mera,
Emir of Argungu and Chairman of the committee said the committee planned to lead by example, he said;
“What we intend to do as a committee is to lead by example. I have received 2 shots of the covid-19 vaccine from the onset and believe every member of the committee has taken.
“We have also advised and guided our counsellors, district heads to take it.
These are leaders of our communities and people have trust in them, being the first to take it, we believe will ginger other followers to take it.
“We are also bringing on board all religious and traditional leaders who can influence people to also speak on the subject”, he said.