By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The Deputy Director, Primary Health Care Department, Kaduna State Health Care Development Agency, Mr. Hamza Ikara has said the agency has put measures in place to arrest the recent drop recorded in the implementation of the Routine Immunization program in the state.
Ikara who disclosed this during a meeting with Journalists in Kaduna on Friday, said the
71 per cent increased recorded in December, 2018, has now dropped to about 60 per cent, a situation which the Agency said was unacceptable.
According to him, in order to arrest the recorded decline; a traditional system has been put in place which include, reactivation of committees at Ward and Community levels with active participation of their leaders to ensure strict adherence with Routine Immunization, environmental sanitation, proper use of treated mosquito nets, nutrition among others.
He said that the State Government and the Agency are working round the clock to ensure that the expected 85 per cent target given by the Federal Government to all states is met, hence, the state Government has already directed the Agency to do all it could through the state team immunization coordinating centres to improve immunization service.
“What we have done is involvement of the traditional system whereby we have different discussions with chiefdoms, district heads, and village and ward heads.
“That is why we have already reactivated Ward and Facilities health Committees so that it could assist the government in ensuring that all our committee members have full knowledge of the happenings in the primary health care centres in the state,” he said.
The Deputy Director also said another issue of concern is the caregivers, as most of them do not actually know the benefits of immunization; “They may start the routine and will not finish it, and we want at least three contact visits by each child before he/she clocks one year which is very important.”
Ikara was however optimistic about the 255 renovated health care facilities in the state, which he disclosed all will be in full operation by the third quarter of 2019.
On personnel, he said that a personnel head count had just been concluded by the Agency, pointing out that very soon the approved employment of different cadres of health workers by the State Government will commence.
He thanked the media for always being there for the Agency even at a short notice, saying meeting of such with the media should be quarterly in order to collectively review the activities of the Agency with a view to achieving the desired results. To this end, a four member committee would be set up to actualize the concept.
In her remarks, the State Facilitator C4D, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, Zainab Abubakar, commended the media for the support given to the Agency so far, and called for sustenance.