The National Emergency Routine Immunization Coordination Centre (NERICC), Abuja, has appealed to Kogi State Government to actively support routine immunisation activities in the state.
A Routine Immunisation Officer at the Centre, Dr Daniel Ali, made the call while speaking to Blueprint after an advocacy meeting with the Chief of Staff (COS) to Kogi Government, Mr Edward Onoja, in Lokoja.
According to him, the centre was established two years ago when the Executive Director of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), declared a state of emergency on routine immunisation due to its poor performance in some states of the federation, including Kogi.
“We have been able to identify 18 states that have poor performance of routine immunisation, and we are trying to see how we can support them to really come up interms of performance, and Kogi is one of those states.
”This is our second meeting with the Chief of Staff to present the issues that need to be looked into and address so that Kogi can be among the performing state in immunisation.
”The issue of funding is critical to carry out all the activities involved in routine immunization, particularly to take the services to remote communities without health facilities.
”We want the state to also create more awareness among caregivers through the traditional institutions, and to take front seat in the leadership role,” Ali said.
He commended the Chief of Staff for the warm reception and for a robust and successful meeting, saying they requested that the COS should become the Immunization Ambassador in Kogi, to encourage people to do everything to have their children vaccinated.
In his response, Onoja assured the team of government’s support and total commitment to get Kogi children immunised against killer diseases.
The chief of staff also promised to encourage the local government Administrators to be actively involved in the routine immunization services – in terms of moral, manpower and financial support.
He said the issue of inadequate manpower and welfare of health workers raised by the team would be addressed by the government.
Ealier, Dr Abubakar Yakubu, Executive Director, Kogi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (KSPHCDA), said the essence of the meeting was to appeal to stakeholders to get involved in state’s immunization activities.
According to him: ”We have also selected some stakeholders in the state that we will talk to, so that their roles in the routine immunization can be moved beyond what is expected of them.