By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Deputy Director, Kaduna State Primary Health Care Agency (PCHA), Mallam Hamza Ikara has affirmed that Kaduna State is one of the worst States across the Northern part of the country in routine immunization programme .
Mallam Ikara who stated this during an interactive forum with media practitioners and other donor partners at its quarterly review meeting in Kaduna, North-West, Nigeria on Thursday attributed inadequate awareness campaigns, mistrust, fear, Lack of knowledge, service delivery and other related issues as major factor that contributed to the failure of the routine immunization programme in the state.
He informed that the vaccination coverage across the State after external body investigated, showed that Kaduna only recorded 30% of children 12-13 months vaccinated instead of 80% set target, which he described as worrisome.
“To be sincere with you, Kaduna is one of the worst states in the Northwest in routine immunization because 51 percent of targeted populations are not aware of what we are doing in routine immunization.
“Inadequate awareness campaigns contributed to 51percent mistrust and fear put at 22 percent and service delivery related issues stand at 16 percent as major reasons that led to the failure of the programme in the state.
“Instead of 80 percent set target, only about 30 percent of children 12-23 months were able to receive measles vaccine which he described as worrisome.
“Due to what we have been able to achieve in Polio across the country, we are moving from Polio immunization to routine immunization” he stressed.
The Deputy Director explained that this showed that more than 50 percent of the targeted children were unable to receive the vaccine within the period under review which is not good enough for Nigerian children as they are exposed to measles one of the six leading child killer diseases.
To address the issue, Mallam Ikara opined that the Agency said will embark on massive campaign starting with the traditional and religious leaders to help mobilize their subjects for the immunization, saying this is important because the Agency noticed that people listen to them.
He expressed worry over the security situation in the state especially, kidnapping which is preventing service providers from penetrating into remote communities to render the service.
“We have trained over 17,000 workers, 4,000 village heads among others and the trained people are now ready to do the needful but the people that will avail these children for the immunization have to be on the same page, hence the engagement of all stakeholders including the media to reach out with them”.
“Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Haliburton have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Kaduna state government to support provision of the vaccine within four years.
“In the first year, the partners would contribute 75 percent counterpart funding while the state government will contribute 35 percent.
“In the second year, Kaduna state will contribute 75% while the partners will contribute 35% while in third years, the partners will contribute 50% and Kaduna State will also contribute 50% and in the fourth year, Kaduna State would bear the whole financial responsibility.