By: Simon Ushie.
MENINGITIS AWARENESS: CRSPHCDA COLLABORATE WITH NOA IN RURAL COMMUNITIES.
The Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA) has partnered with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in the State to raise awareness on meningitis vaccination scheduled for 4th to 10th December, 2020.
Globally, it’s been said that over a million cases of Meningitis is recorded annually, with about Ten Thousand cases of such new infections reported in Nigeria, hence the holistic approach by the Federal Government and it’s partners to reduce the indices and prevent possible deaths .
Cross River State over the years, had adopted it’s own perculiar means of information dissemination as regards health interventions especially to those in both urban and rural areas through partnership with key stakeholders for the promotion of these messages as well as encouragement to the targeted population.
As part of efforts to raise awareness on the forthcoming routine Immunization(Meningitis) for children in Cross River State.
The State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has begun Advocacy visits to some key Stakeholders including Religious Groups, Traditional and contemporary media outlets, traditional institutions for Proper information dissertation and collaboration.
The latest was it’s visit to the state office of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), to seek support in the enlightenment of Cross Riverians and residents on the importance of administering vaccines to children which may include health benefit, economic and for wellness purposes.
Speaking, the Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong thanked the Agency(NOA) for it’s long lasting support and partnership over the years which she said had contributed to the successes recorded by the state in previous campaigns as well as health enlightenment programs.
She noted that messages in various indigenous languages has helped bridged the gap between what is been assumed and the reality on ground on certain especially as it affects women and children health which sometimes is seen as a population control strategy adopted by Government over a certain ethnic group.
“The relationship between both Agencies is one that have yeilded huge success and brought so much benefits to the state and our people,we are proud to say you contributed immensely to Nigeria’s polio free certification because you took our messages to all the local villages and meet with all opinion leaders to adopt Immunization as a way of life.Its on same note that we have come to plead for your support in the forth coming Meningitis vaccination to reach out to parents and caregivers to allow their children be be vaccinated especially as the dry season approaches .
On his part, the Communication for development UNICEF Consultant, Mr Eke Tobechi admonished the Agency to focus on the border and hard to reach Communities in the state which he said are the most volatile and assessment based areas.
He urged them to emphasize on card retention, record keeping and child mapping which are strong forces in state’s rating and evaluation by the national team for the implementation of the program and subsequent ones.
Responding to the visit, the State Director of the National Orientation Agency, Mr A.J.Ogban appreciated the team for the visit as he described the partnership between the State Primary Health Care Agency and they National Orientation Agency as interwoven as they both work together to ensure a healthier Community.
He promised his teams total support as he said directives will be given to all officers to help promote the forth coming Meningitis vaccination as well as other primary health care awareness campaign.
The 2020 Meningitis vaccination will commence in Cross River State from the 4th to the 10th of December 2020(plus two days) across all Local Government Areas with a targeted population of 800,000 children who fall between the ages of 1-5 years old .
Parents and Caregivers are advised to take their children to Government owned facilities, some designated fixed posts which will be located around schools, churches and places of public interest.