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Immunisation: Bodinga LGC targets 66,873 under-5 children in Sokoto

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Malam Shu’aibu Sifawa, the Director, Primary Healthcare (PHC), Bodinga Local Government Area, says the council is targeting 66,873 under-5 years children in the ongoing immunisation in Sokoto State.
Sifawa told newsmen on Monday in Sokoto that the exercise was going on smoothly across 10 out of the 23 local government areas of the state.
He said all challenges ranging from non-compliance, security situation and political factors had been addressed.
“We have been able to immunised 43,625 children within the two days of the exercise, which will last for four days.
“Presently, we have received 73,560 doses of the vaccine to cover our target of 66,873 children in which more doses will be provided if we exhaust the amount,” he assured.
The Chairman of the council, Alhaji Abdullahi Danchadi, who was excited with the exercise, said the council would ensure that no child was missed or left out of the immunisation.
“All our council officials, traditional rulers and religious leaders are fully engaged to remain in the field to ensure all challenges in the exercise are addressed.
“Moreover, the immunisation is going on successfully as no challenge cases was reported across all the villages in the local government area,” he said.
The chairman appealed to the people not to politicise health related issues and allow their children to be immunised in order for government to succeed in its desire to ensuring healthier generation.
The Nigeria News Agency recalls that Malami Abubakar, a Health Educator at the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, during a UNICEF organised meeting with newsmen on Sept. 5, said children between nine and 59 months were targeted during the exercise.
Abubakar said that the state government had concluded all arrangements to vaccinate no fewer than 467,703 children in 10 out of its 23 local government areas.
He further disclosed that the last exercise suffered a minor setback in some local governments due to insecurity, religious and political factors.
The 10 local governments to be covered by the immunisation includes Sokoto South, Sokoto North, Kware, Wurno, Goronyo, Rabah, Bodinga, Dange/Shuni, Gwadabawa and Wamakko.
BMN/MAM/MST
Edited by Modupe Adeloye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Kwara Govt tasks officials on appropriate use of immunisation equipment

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The Kwara Government on Tuesday called for judicious use of equipment, including vehicles, donated to support immunisation and Primary Health Care (PHC) services in the state.

Dr Raji Abdulrazaq, the state Commissioner for Health, gave the task while inaugurating the State Emergency Routine Immunisation Centre (SERIC) on Tuesday in Ilorin.

Abdulrazaq said the donated vehicles and equipment would strengthen the PHCs in the state.

The commissioner noted that the state was committed to ensuring that its PHCs were ranked as the best in Nigeria.

He enjoined stakeholders at the PHCs in the state not to relent, but should continue to write proposals that would highlight the requirements to strengthen such healthcare facilities.

Abdulrazaq noted that the equipment and vehicles would facilitate wide coverage of immunisation of children throughout the state.

Dr Michael Oguntoye, Director, State Primary Health Care Development Agency, said the state government and development partners were worried because of the problems in spite of the national routine immunisation.

Oguntoye spoke on the sidelines of the inauguration of the equipment.

According to him, the last multiple indicator cluster sampling in 2016 and 2017, shows that there is very poor performance in routine immunisation in the country.

He said the Federal Government, for the first time, accepted the report of the Multiple Indicator Sampling and declared a state of emergency on public health immunisation to protect the population of immunised children.

Oguntoye, who is also the Programme Manager for SERIC, said the data showed that about 4.3 million Nigerian children were left unimmunised, despite availability of vaccines in Nigeria.

“As such, the state of public health emergency was declared on routine immunisation in the country, which brought about the establishment of the Emergency Response Centres on Immunisation.

“The objectives of establishing them is to ensure the responsiveness in the resolution of routine immunisation gaps in the country and to strengthen coordination for routine immunisation,” he said.

Oguntoye noted that the SERIC in Kwara, would among other objectives, identify bottlenecks and barriers to routine immunisation design and implement strategies to address the barriers, to increase coverage.

According to him, all eligible unimmunised children will be identified through tailored specific approach, while ensuring the availability of vaccines to local government health facilities.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some of the donated items included two Hilux vehicles, laptops, computers, projectors, public address systems and photocopiers.


Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Immunisation ongoing in Kwara inspite of COVID-19-Official

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The Kwara Government on Monday, advised residents  to take their children for immunisation against child killer diseases, saying routine immunisation was still ongoing inspite of COVID-19.

Dr Michael Oguntoye,  the Director, Primary Health Care System in the state Ministry of Health, gave the advice in Ilorin during a sensitisation meeting on measles campaign.

“All health facilities are open during this period of COVID- 19 and routine immunisation services will be rendered.

“Immunisation is a core health device that should be prioritised for the prevention of communicable disease and safeguarded for continuity during the COVID- 19 pandemic and other pandemics for that matter where feasible, ” he said.

According to him, immunisation delivery strategies may need to be adapted and should be conducted under safe conditions without undue harm to health workers, caregivers and the community.

Oguntoye observed that there was risk of disruption to routine immunisation and other primary Healthcare activities due to the  COVID- 19-related burden on the health system.

He added that there was decreased demand for vaccination because of social distancing requirements or community reluctance to visit health facilities for fear of the disease.

Oguntoye warned that disruption of immunisation services, even for brief periods, would result in increased numbers of susceptible individuals and raise the likelihood of outbreaks prone vaccine preventable disease (VPD) such as measles.

He noted that such outbreaks due to low vaccine uptake might  result in increased rate of illnesses and deaths,  especially among young infants and other vulnerable groups.

“As a result, the Kwara government in conjunction with UNICEF is creating awareness among the population that immunisation and other Primary Health Care (PHC) services are still available in our centres and other health care facilities,” he said.

Oguntoye said the health facilities in the state were already positioned to provide immunisation and other PHC services to clients in environments that were  safe for both the health workers and clients.

Also speaking at the meeting, Dr Marion Adekeye, the State Nutrition Officer, Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency,  explained that Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) were those that could  be prevented by immunisation.

She listed some of these child killer diseases to include Tuberculosis, Poliomyelitis, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Haemophilus and Influenza among others.

Adekeye blamed those who got afflicted or died from the diseases on the inaction of parents to ensure they were  immunised.

According to the expert , refusing immunisation destroys lives as this might result in incidence of abandoned children or disability.

Dr Dupe Shittu, the Social Mobilisation Officer for Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said health facilities in the state were in optimal condition.

(
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Mufutau Ojo (NAN)
)

 

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COVID-19: Anambra records low turnout for routine immunisation- Agency

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The Anambra Primarily Healthcare Development Agency on Saturday decried the low turnout of routine immunisation meant to protect children against diseases due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, Executive Secretary of the agency, expressed her displeasure at a Media Orientation on Measles Immunisation Awareness organised by the agency, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in Awka.

Ezenyimulu said that if mothers and caregivers were not vaccinating their children, it might make children susceptible to diseases or cause outbreaks of vaccine preventable disease.

According to her, the COVID-19 pandemic should never be an excuse for not having children immunised.

“Unfortunately, we are experiencing COVID-19 pandemic, and also the rumored controversial COVID-19 vaccine. This is discouraging caregivers from vaccinating their children.

”I want to inform you that no vaccine has been developed for Coronavirus in the entire world.

“Immunisation is an essential healthcare service and COVID-19 does not stop it.

On the national dashboard, we saw a decline in the number of vaccinated children in the state due to misinformation and fear.

“I’m appealing to mothers and caregivers that even, in the face of the pandemic, ensure you take your children for their routine immunisation, because children need it to stay healthy.

“This COVID-19 may stay with us for a long time and you don’t want to wait till it’s over before you immunise your child,” she said.

Also, Dr Nnamdi Uliagbafusi, Director, Disease Control and Immunisation at the agency, said immunisation was key to improving health and welfare of children.

Uliagbafusi said vaccine protect children from diseases and death caused by measles, diphtheria, hepatitis B, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, yellow fever, pneumonia and meningitis.

“The immunisation services are free at our healthcare centres, the vaccines are safe and effective and is to be administered to children, irrespective of their previous immunisation status,“ he said.

In her presentation, the state Immunisation Officer, Mrs Nkechi Onwuvunka, who spoke on various aspects of vaccine preventable diseases, pleaded with caregivers to ensure that their children take the second dose of the measles vaccine.

Onwuvunka explained that children were formerly immunised against measles at nine months, but it was discovered that only about 85 per cent of children immunised were protected.

“We used to give the first dose of measles vaccine at nine months but studies have shown that a boost is necessary for total prevention.

“The second dose given at 15 months is to boost immunity.

“It was realised that only 85 per cent of children developed immunity with only one dose, so, a second dose was introduced in 2019 to take care of the remaining 15 per cent”, she said.

In his remarks, Dr Diden Gbofeyin, UNICEF Consultant in Anambra, urged the media to help spread the word about the importance of immunisation across the nooks and crannies of the state.

Gbofeyin also urged community leaders and parents to embrace and increase the uptake on immunisation to protect children from the deadly diseases.

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Immunisation week: Access to vaccination vital for SDGs – WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) Office in Abuja, Nigeria, says expanding access to immunisation is vital for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and universal health coverage.

The UN health agency said this in its official twitter account @WHONigeria to commemorate the World Immunisation week.

World Immunisation Week aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease and it is celebrated in the last week of April.

The body restated that immunisation saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognised as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.

The theme of 2020 campaign is: ‘Protected Together: Vaccines Work’.

“Expanding access to immunisation is vital for achieving the SDGs, poverty reduction and universal health coverage.

“WHO joins the world to commemorate the World Immunisation Week 2020.

“Remember vaccines work as we appreciate midwives, nurses as well as other immunisation workers,’’ the agency said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

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Africa Vaccination Week 2020 begins as COVID-19 threatens immunisation gains – WHO

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The 2020 Africa Vaccination Week has started amidst fears the COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant disruption to vaccination efforts and to the surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases on the continent.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa disclosed this in a statement in Brazzaville, Congo on Friday.

The WHO said prior disease outbreaks and humanitarian emergencies had underscored the importance of maintaining essential health services such as immunisation.

“Even brief interruptions of vaccination activities make outbreaks more likely to occur, putting children and other vulnerable groups more at risk of life-threatening diseases.

“Africa has been experiencing a resurgence of measles.

“Measles preventive mass vaccination campaigns in Chad, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Sudan have been suspended because of COVID-19, leaving around 21 million children who would have been vaccinated, unprotected,” the statement read in part.

It quoted Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO, Regional Director for Africa as saying, “While the complexity and breadth of the Covid-19 response is unprecedented, we must continue to protect African children against vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Let us not be blind-sided by COVID-19 and let down our guard against measles and other childhood threats.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that WHO has developed new guidelines on immunisation in the context of COVID-19 that stress the need for a dynamic approach.

The global body recommended that countries temporarily pause preventive mass vaccination campaigns.

It also urged them to prioritise the continuation of routine immunisation of children as an essential service delivery as well as adult vaccinations such as influenza for groups most at risk.

Saying that the conduct of mass vaccination campaigns will require a careful risk-benefit analysis on a case-by-case basis, the body explains that countries under total lockdown might not be able to fully implement routine health services at all sites.

“So, they may opt to preemptively scale up routine services before the announcement of total lockdown, or to ramp up once the lockdown ends.

“If immunisation services must be suspended, urgent catch-up vaccinations should be rescheduled as soon as possible, prioritising those most at risk,” said WHO.

The 2020 Africa Vaccination Week has the theme, “Vaccines Work for All.”

The campaign will focus on how vaccines – and the people who develop, deliver and receive them – are heroes by working to protect the health of everyone, everywhere.

The initiative aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against diseases.

As part of the 2020 campaign, WHO and partners aim to: Demonstrate the value of vaccines for the health of children and communities even in the context of Covid-19.

The statement also read in part: “Demonstrate that routine immunisation is the foundation for strong, resilient health systems and universal health coverage.

“Highlight the need to build on immunisation progress while addressing gaps, including through increased investment in vaccines and immunisation.

“Moreover, as we promote Africa Vaccination Week this year, WHO honours nurses and midwives for their crucial role as early vaccine champions for new parents and parents-to-be, as we celebrate 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.’’

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Halting immunisation coverage will trigger resurgence of diseases – WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that terminating immunisation services during COVID-19 pandemic, risks triggering resurgence of diseases that can be prevented with safe and effective vaccines.

WHO gave the warning in a statement on Thursday ahead of the World Immunisation Week scheduled for April 24-30.

World Immunisation Week is a global public health campaign to raise awareness and increase rates of immunisation against vaccine-preventable diseases around the world.

WHO maintained that when immunisation services were disrupted, even for brief periods during emergencies, the risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks, such as measles and polio, increase.

“Last year’s deadly measles outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which took more than 6000 lives in a country already facing its largest Ebola outbreak, highlights the importance of maintaining essential health services, such as immunization in times of emergency.

“Further disease outbreaks will also overwhelm health systems already battling the impacts of COVID-19,” it said.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said that disease outbreaks must not remain a threat when there are safe and effective vaccines to protect.

“While the world strives to develop a new vaccine for COVID-19 at record speed, we must not risk losing the fight to protect everyone, everywhere against vaccine-preventable diseases.

“These diseases will come roaring back if we do not vaccinate.”

WHO said it is working with partners all over the world to accelerate research and development of a safe and effective vaccine and ensure equitable access for the billions of people who will need it.

“But even with an expedited process, development of a vaccine for COVID-19 will take time.

“Precautionary measures are essential now to help keep us safe from disease, including diseases for which vaccines already protect children and adults,” it said.

The health agency, however, said that too many people were still excluded from the benefits of vaccines.

It said that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world had made immense progress in ensuring that children were vaccinated.

“In 2018, 86 per cent of children under the age of five globally were vaccinated with three doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) and one dose of the measles vaccine, up from 72 per cent in 2000 and 20 percent in 1980.

“The number of children paralysed by polio has been reduced by 99.9 per cent worldwide.

“Yet, global vaccination coverage is still far from the 95 per cent coverage needed to fully protect communities against outbreaks of this vaccine-preventable disease.” WHO said.

It noted that in 2018, nearly 20 million children worldwide, more than 1 in 10, missed out on lifesaving vaccines, such as measles, diphtheria and tetanus.

“Roughly, 13 million of the children have never received any vaccines, putting them and their communities at risk of disease and death.

“The majority of these children live in countries with already fragile health systems, further limiting their access to essential health services when they fall sick,” it said.

It added that Measles continues to remain an ever-present threat, especially if vaccination rates drop.

WHO said that current projections indicate that as many as 800, 000 people may have been infected with the disease in 2019.

“In 2020, there are increasing concerns about another resurgence, especially if vaccination rates fall due to delay or suspension of scheduled immunisation activities as a result of COVID-19,” WHO said.

The statement noted that outbreaks of polio, diphtheria and yellow fever were also of high concern, especially in the countries least able to respond quickly and decisively to address an emerging outbreak.

It noted that this was seen in previous emergencies such as the polio outbreak in Syria in 2013.

WHO advises that as the response to COVID-19 continues, countries must act now to protect immunisation services, in order to further minimise disease outbreaks and loss of life.

“This includes, facilitating urgent catch up programmes in places where services have been disrupted, ensuring strong supply chains, disease surveillance and trained health workers.

“Caregivers should also make sure they continue to vaccinate their children in line with national policies.” it said.

It added that new WHO guidelines on immunisation and COVID-19 recommend that governments temporarily pause preventive immunisation campaigns where there is no active outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.

But it, however urged countries to prioritise the continuation of routine immunization of children in essential service delivery, as well as adult vaccinations such as influenza for groups most at risk.

WHO stressed that if immunisation services must be suspended, urgent catch-up vaccinations should be rescheduled as soon as possible and those most at risk given priority.

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Edited By: Edith Bolokor (NAN)

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Immunisation: NPHCDA, development partners to conduct three-phased week long intervention

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The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and its development partners will conduct a three-phased week-long intervention tagged: “Integrated Medical Outreach Programme (I-MOP)”.

The Executive Secretary of the agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, told Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday  in Abuja that the I-MOP was aimed at strengthening immunisation and Primary Health Care (PHC) services in underserved communities.

Shuaib said that the I-MOP was to be carried out in the months of March, April and June in 409 selected local governemt areas and 109 senatorial districts of the federation.

He said “there will be a national launch of the I-MOP on March 16, 2020, by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with support from the National Assembly, Federal Ministry of Health and development partners.”

According to him, the I-MOP seeks to reduce the outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, yellow fever, meningitis among children 0 – 23 months of age through fixed posts, temporary fixed posts, mobile posts and medical outreaches.

Shuaib added that the programme was also to provide basic medical services, such as general consultation, treatment of minor ailments, minor surgeries via the outreach.

He noted that the medical outreaches would be conducted in one local government area in each senatorial district at no cost to the communities.

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
(NAN)

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Immunisation: Gov. Buni lauds Dangote, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations

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Gov. MaiMala Buni of Yobe, on Tuesday commended the Dangote, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations for viable interventions to enhance healthcare service delivery in the state.

Buni made the commendation at the 2019 End-of-Year Review Meeting on the Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Strengthening Routine Immunization in Damaturu.

He said the state achieved steady progress in healthcare service delivery through the support of the Dangote, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations.

Buni also acknowledge the support of other partners working with the State Primary Healthcare Management Board and the state Ministry of Health.

The governor noted that with relative improvement in security in the state within the year under review, more areas were covered and provided with integrated healthcare services.

“Significant numbers of our women, children and new born have been reached with life saving vaccines and commodities which is significant in helping to reduce maternal, child morbidity and mortality in the State,” he said.

Buni noted that the state government with the support of the Foundations and developmental partners also made progress in the area of Human Resource for Health.

He said: “We have made a 100 per cent increment of nursing students’ allowances, recruited 37 midwives who graduated from the Dr Shehu Sule College of Nursing and Midwifery.

“We engaged the services of 207 nurses at our Health Management Board and State University Teaching Hospital, and increased the admission quota for community midwives from 40 to 160.

“The state is also constructing an additional 200-bed capacity hostel for students at the Dr Shehu Sule College of Nursing and Midwifery, among others”.

Buni reiterated commitment to work with the two Foundations and other development partners to enhance healthcare service delivery in the state.

“We will also scale up our efforts toward achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and all health related sustainable development goals”.

Edited By: Rabiu Sani Ali

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Immunisation officers applaud Ugwuanyi for prompt, regular payment of stipend

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Immunisation officers in Enugu State, on Tuesday, applauded Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the prompt and full payment of their stipend for routine immunisation in the state.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the state through its Primary Healthcare Centre Development Agency (PHCDA) had successfully concluded three state-wide immunisation and health campaigns since January.

Mr Thomas Agbo, Local Immunisation Officer in-charge of Enugu North Local Government Area, told NAN in Enugu that Ugwuanyi’s commitment in the payment of the stipend was a huge incentive for immunisation officers and field workers.

Agbo said that the governor and Dr George Ugwu, the Executive Secretary of the state PHCDA, had added fresh impetus and zeal in the way immunisation was being carried out in the state presently.

“The stipend given to the field immunisation officers has been a great motivation for them to carry out the immunisation willingly and religiously,’’ he said.

Mrs Caroline Egbo, Ward Focal Person for Immunisation in Afia Nine Ward in Enugu North LGA, said that the timely logistic-stipend payment had ensured commitment on the part of the immunisation field workers in  the ward.

Egbo said that because of the stipend, the burden of supervision had reduced since the ward immunisation field workers were motivated to carry out instructions and go the extra-mile during each exercise.

“I wish to thank the state government and our amiable governor for using the prompt payment of the stipend to cushion the stress of field immunisation officers who work under harsh conditions,” she said.

Mr Jude Nweze, Ward Focal Person for Immunisation in Okpuje-Okutu Ward in Nsukka LGA, said that immunisation field workers and their supervisors were happy over the prompt and regular payment of their stipend.

“This prompt and timely payment by the state government makes the work easy and field officers carry out their work with zeal and happy faces, which further attract children to them,’’ Nweze said.

Also, the state PHCDA boss said that prompt payment of their stipend had helped the state to achieve “more than 100 per cent coverage’’ in the last National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDs) immunisation against polio last week.

Ugwu said that the NIPDs lasted for four days and an extra mop-up day and that immunisation officers and field workers were highly motivated to carry out the work to the end and ensure that they met and surpassed their target.

According to him, the governor’s commitment to the success of the exercise could be appreciated with his appointment of a high-powered state committee, headed by the deputy governor, and timely payment of  immunisation stipends.

“Ugwuanyi has been supportive to all the programmes of the state PHCDA and had given due attention to immunisation meant to check childhood diseases, like polio.

“I must also thank the Governor’s Wife, Monica, for taking the pain to come to launch the campaign at Igbo-eze South LGA, which gave the exercise the needed boost for a resounding success.

Ugwu also commended Dr Chijioke Asogwa, the Transitional Committee Chairman of the council, for his contribution to the huge success of the programme.

(
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Sam Oditah)

 

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