The Akwa Ibom state Government has appealed to stakeholders in the health sector to intensify efforts toward increased immunisation coverage to control the spread of preventable child killer diseases in the state.
Dr. Godfrey Akro, Director of Public Health Services in the state, made the appeal during a social mobilisation meeting held in Uyo, the state capital.
He said the appeal became necessary in view of the forthcoming 2019 National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDs) scheduled to hold from July 13 to 16.
He said that immunisation was important and strategic for children’s growth and sustainable development.
Akro, who was represented at the meeting by the State Immunisation Officer, Dr. Ime Udo, said the exercise would involve house-to-house vaccination of children.
He lauded the contributions of partners to the collective efforts to check killer diseases among children and expected women.
He expressed displeasure that the state ranked high in the health indicators in many child diseases, including the infant, maternal and new born babies, as well as HIV/AIDS.
“Since prevention is better than cure, there is need for stakeholders to take ownership of the programme for the elimination of early childhood diseases. Unlike other years, the programme as approved by the Federal Ministry of Health will only be one round exercise,” Akro said.
He called on communities, households, churches, mosques and institutions to get prepared to receive the immunisation personnel during the campaign.
In a remark, the state Health Educator, Mrs Margeret Etim, urged every family to take advantage of the one-round exercise this year to get their children immunised against child killer diseases.
Etim disabused the minds of parents on wrong perception about childhood diseases, saying that the lack of immunisation would make children susceptible to diseases and malfunctioning system.
She said that the United Nations Children’s Fund ranked the state as one of the best in terms of Social Mobilisation on NIPDs in Nigeria and hoped that the tempo should be sustained.
She said, “For effective mobilisation, the message about immunisation should be carried to churches, mosques, town hall meeting by care givers, religious leaders traditional rulers, town criers and neighbours.”
Mrs Ann Umoh, State Coordinator, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said for the programme to be successful, all stakeholders have a responsibility to dessiminate the information to the communities in the state.