By: Victoria Agorom
In furtherance of its efforts to ensure successful immunization campaigns in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the FCT Administration has solicited for the support of the media in reaching out to eligible and vulnerable groups in the Territory.
Accordingly, the forthcoming immunization exercise is scheduled to hold from November 3rd to 14th, 2022.
The Acting Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Board (PHCB) Dr. Yahaya Isah Vasta made this appeal during a sensitization meeting with some Journalists on Meningitis, Measles, Vitamin A Supplementation and other Primary Health Care Services held recently in Abuja.
The Executive Secretary, who was represented by the Director, Primary Health Care, Dr. Ruqayya Wammako stated that the Immunization campaign is a periodic and national intervention from the two deadly diseases; noting that the location of the FCT in the North Central Zone of the country makes it prone to the diseases.
He added that the goal is for people at the grassroots to access the laudable initiative, hence the need for media involvement; describing the media as the major link between the government and the grassroots.
His words: “Without the media, we will not be able to succeed in whatever we are doing, because the media will be able to sell the ideas to the people to make them understand the importance of this”.
He, therefore, beckoned on Journalists to do everything possible to ensure that every community in the Territory is reached; disclosing that the exercise will be all inclusive with several interventions integrated into the programme.
While speaking on the objectives of the meeting, the Executive Secretary said it was to sensitize the media on the upcoming campaign as well as their roles and responsibilities.
He stated that it was also to secure the commitment and support of the media in promoting vaccinnes acceptance among the populace.
“We invited the media because we know that the media is the key, that will be able to link us very well in the communities, because our work is mainly engaging the communities and making sure they take ownership of whatever intervention that is coming up”.
Dr. Vatsa emphasized that the media need proper orientation and understanding of their specific roles to be able to effectively sell the ideas to the people.
The State Immunization Officer, Dr. Nicholas Okoli in his presentation explained that for measles, the vaccination will be for children from 9 to 59 months, meningitis: 8 to 9 years, Vitamin A: 6 to 59 months, Covid-19 : 18 years and above while other routine Immunization will be for children 0 to 23 months based on their immunization status.
The exercise, he further disclosed will be conducted at health facilities across the six Area Councils and other designated places; adding that mobile teams will also be engaged to ensure that every child is reached no matter the location.
While stating the importance of vaccination, which he described as a cost effective health intervention, Dr. Okoli noted that a lot of diseases can be prevented through vaccination but regretted that the public is not making good use of the interventions despite the efforts of government and donors.