By: Simon Ushie.
Management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital has pledged its support to fighting Vaccine hesitancy among health care workers as Cross River State Government prepares to kick start state wide vaccination of Frontline workers across the the 18 Local Governments Areas.
The Chief Medical Director of UCTH, Professor Ikpeme Ikpeme made the declaration in his office during a courtesy visit by the Cross River State Covid-19 response team led by the Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency to seek wide acceptability of Covid-19 Vaccines by Health workers in the institution and beyond.
Professor Ikpeme who assured the team of his support to reach a wide range of health workers, commended the state Government for taking holistic approaches in redeeming confidence in the hearts of the people especially through the Covid-19 management as he disclosed that, prior to now, there were high level of expectations from health workers on the administration of the Covid-19 Vaccines.
Speaking earlier, the head of the team and Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong regretted continuous castigation of the Astrazeneca vaccines by health workers who rely soley on messages from social media as against seeking facts from health regulatory bodies.
She however thanked the management and staff of the UCTH for the their role in raising awareness on the dangers of the Covid-19 pandemic, stating that , it was such collaboration that helped the state record low infectious and mortality rate
She assured the Institution and the public of the safety of vaccine , noting that, the state Government has trained all vaccine handlers on the administration, storage and handling of the vaccine to ensure that the potent nature of the vaccine is guaranteed to avoid complications.
In his response, the National surveillance officer of the World Health Organization, Dr Terna Nomhwange described UCTH as a strategic player in building the confidence of Nigerians towards accepting the vaccines, hence the need for the citation of a vaccination site within the institution.
He however briefed the CMD of some myths and misconceptions being spread by some influential members of the public which has resulted into vaccines apathy even among the learned and elite class.
Also speaking, was the Special Adviser to the Governor on health who thanked the management for their support to the state Government and reiterated the State Government’s commitment to continue collaborating with UCTH to improve health services to Cross Rivererians.
The state government says, it is ready to dispatch vaccines across the 18 Local Government Areas if the state from Friday , 19th March 2020 as they call on all Frontline workers including , medical Personnel, police, military and paramilitary outfits, pressmen and women to register electronically or walk into any primary , secondary or tertiary health facility to get themselves registered for accountability purpose.
The Advocacy visit which comprised of a team from the Government also had , state social mobilization officer , Mrs Nsa Ekpenyong and representative from the world health Organization.