FG solicits support of civil servants on routine immunisation
Nigeria has only 33 per cent national coverage on Routine Immunisation (RI), which is short of the 85 per cent national target by the Federal Government (FG) through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, yesterday, decried the situation and said as part of new strategies to address the current low level of national coverage of RI and poor demand for Primary Health Care (PHC) services, the NPHCDA and development partners are engaging a mass of Federal Civil Servants as part of champions to drive the current national campaign for integrated PHC services.
Shuaid in a statement signed by the Head, Public Relations Unit (PRU) of NPHCDA, Saadu Salahu, said the abysmally low national immunization coverage has become an issue of public health concern to all stakeholders and has attracted international advocacy including Bill Gates, Dangote, Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization and the leadership of World Health Organisation (WHO) and Rotary International to all levels of government and traditional institutions in the country.
Towards reverse the trend, Shuaid said a one-day sensitization workshop for the targeted civil servants was held at Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja on Monday May 14, 2018.Shuaid in a statement signed by the Head, Public Relations Unit (PRU) of NPHCDA, Saadu Salahu, said the Executive Director, NPHCDA, representatives of major development partners and Civil Societies Organizations (CSOs) made special presentations at the event.
Addressing members of the National Steering Committee for the engagement of the civil servants, Shuaib stressed the strategic place of civil servants as leading agents and drivers for the success of any government programmes and policies.Speaking at an engagement forum in Abuja, Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, said Nigeria is not doing well in Immunisation adding that only one out of four children in Nigeria receives full dose of Immunisation. He said, “When children are immunized, they are saved from infectious diseases. We stand to lose about 4.6 million children if we do not immunize. Vaccines are safe, effective and cheap”.
Adewole said government want to ensure that there is a primary health centre in every ward across the country and is working to make the existing ones work in order to reverse the Pyramid of the health system.Also speaking, Head Of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo -Ita stressed the need to collectively tackle the challenges confronting the primary health care and routine immunization in the country.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Common Service Office (CSO) Ayodele Afolanyan Olaniyi, Oyo-Ita said that strategy has been put in place to make civil servants effective, efficient, incorruptible and citizens centred. On the health workers strike, Shuai expressed concern that the ongoing strike action by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) might prevent children who are due for routine immunization from being immunized.
He observed that the engagement was to enable the civil servants get involved in championing immunization in their communities by ensuring that people they have left behind are sensitized on the need to get children immunized.“We are hoping that the people engaged today will go back to their various ministries to talk to other individuals within their workplace that it has to be replicated in their workplace, states and communities”.
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