Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja
In its bid to address the continued refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services in Nigeria, the World Health Organisation (WHO) National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) and other partners have planned to mobilize required resources to systematically roll out community engagement f,ramework in 28 states including the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.
Identifying vaccine hesitancy as one of the major challenges facing the immunization programme in Nigeria, the health experts disclosed that the roll out plan will commence with the recording and registration of children under the aged 0-12 months in the community.
According to the WHO, the experts through the community engagement framework developed by the NPHCDA will work with traditional leaders in communities to sensitize people on the importance of vaccinating their children.
This according to the newsletter published on its website will be followed by reconciliation to ensure that traditional leaders visit a health facility or outreach session site to compare his line list with the child immunization register for identification of children not immunized.
The final step or ‘Defaulter Tracking’ the letter further revealed will identify children that did not attend immunization session, and refer them to the community health facility or outreach centre for immunization.
“WHO is also supporting the implementation of the Community Engagement Framework in 9 states namely: Jigawa, Gombe, Sokoto, Borno, Yobe, Kaduna, Kano, Bayelsa and Bauchi,” states Dr Fiona Braka, Officer in Charge (OIC), ai, WHO Nigeria.
‘’From 2017 to 2019, a total of 3.2 million children have received routine vaccines across 9 states Nigeria through the partnership with community leaders’’.
Daily Times recalls that the NPHCDA Executive Director,Dr Faisal Shuaib had in early 2018 debunked social media rumours alluded that the Nigerian Government had stopped free immunizations.
He has described the rumours as false and misleading assuring members of the public and parents in particular that “Nigeria has adequate vaccines for immunization against vaccine preventable diseases emphasizing that immunization of all antigens remain free of charge to all parents and members of the public”.