NOA, UNICEF train media on vaccination, immunization awareness
In its bid to increase awareness of vaccination among Nigerians, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Lagos State Directorate in partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) took the media through a training session, emphasising the need to improve immunisation and nutrition among pregnant, nursing mothers and their babies for a healthy society.
Speaking with The Guardian after a two-day training in Lagos, State Director, NOA, Lagos State Directorate, Dr. Waheed Ishola said, “We have realised that most of our people are becoming hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccines, thinking that COVID-19 is a done deal, but from what we see around the world, people are still contracting COVID-19 and we need to protect ourselves.
“A lot of people are no longer doing enough pharmaceutical intervention. We are no longer using our masks, people are no longer washing their hands like they used to.
We need to let them know, and we can only achieve that if media practitioners are doing stories around the COVID-19 vaccine exercise, so it will encourage our people to take the vaccine.”
On the importance of immunisation and vaccination, especially in a child’s first 1,000 days of life, Ishola noted that it determines a child’s future. “A lot of mothers do not know that they must complete the doses of immunisation for their children. A lot of our mothers do not know that nutrition plays an important role in a child’s life.”
The Social and Behaviour Change Specialist, UNICEF, Aderonke Akinola-Akinwol said that the training was necessary to equip the media with adequate knowledge so that more children can have the chance to not just survive, but develop and thrive as well.
“Our data shows that key sensitisation has not been fully absorbed among people who are supposed to access this immunisation. Hence, knowledge is not enough for behavioural change, because there are other external factors that we need to address to reach full uptake of these behaviors. That is why we continue to mobilise and sensitise the key influencers so that they can actually drive behavioural change across caregivers.”