Moses Oyediran, Enugu
Enugu State Government has expressed concern over prevailing decline in immunization coverage in most local government areas of state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Fintan Ekochin disclosed this on Tuesday in Enugu during the opening ceremony of the 2017 Physician’s Week organized by the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
Ekochin said that Enugu was among the 19 states in the country with very worrisome immunization feedback.
He said that the situation was so pathetic that 10 out of the 17 local government areas of the state were found wanting.
He said that of the 10 affected councils, immunization coverage in two were at zero level naming the affected areas as Igboeze South and Aninri Local Government Areas, adding that women in the areas had refused to present their children for immunization.
The commissioner said that the people needed the right information that would enable them participate in health programmes that were beneficial to them.
He, however, said that the state government would take the necessary measures to check the noticeable lapses as well as collaborate with experts to improve immunization outcomes.
“Enugu State has the infrastructure and manpower resources to improve primary health care,” he said.
Ekochin said that the state government would soon enroll the services of specialists to render their services in primary health institutions.
In a remark, the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Anthony Ugochukwu, said it was sad that some diseases which were hitherto preventable had resurfaced.
Ugochukwu said that the situation could be attributed to non-participation of prospective beneficiaries in the immunization exercises.
He said that health practitioners needed to do more “as immunization is at the core of our profession.”
He said that the exercise was very important, adding that all stakeholders needed to find better means to make it penetrate the rural people that do not understand what immunization was.
Ugochukwu said that the government needed to make immunization attracted and something that the target audience would participate in.
In an address of welcome, the Chairman of the NMA in the state, Dr. Cajetan Onyedum, said that the event was organised to raise awareness on the declining immunization update and other topical issues.
Onyedum said that the state chapter of the NMA was ready to partner with the state government to ensure that the void in immunization feedback was filled.
He said that member of the association were grateful to Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the Vice Chancellor of University of Nigeria Nsukka for their various levels of support.
Onyedum said that the association aimed to make useful exposés of some fundamental health issues through series of lectures that would be delivered during the event.