CRSPHCDA AND NIGERIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY, ENGAGES STAKEHOLDERS ON INTEGRATED HEALTH SERVICES AND COVID-19 TO SHORE UP VACCINATION AND IMMUNISATION ACROSS THE STATE.

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By: AMAWU Cletus Albert Amawu.

The Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA) in collaboration with the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), Cross River Branch engaged relevant stakeholders on Integrated Health Services and COVID-19 at the Red Cross Office, 1, Garden Street, Calabar.

According to the Director General of the Agency, Deaconess (Mrs.) Abasioffiong Offiong, who was represented by Mrs. Nsa Ekpenyong the State Social Mobilisation Officer (SSMO) said the stakeholders engagement has become necessary owing to the fact that Cross River State ranking in both the COVID-19 and Immunization dropped drastically and which is never unconnected with the non availability of COVID-19 vaccines from November 2022 until February 2023, and mothers apathy to get their children and wards Immunized.

 

“In March 2021, Cross River was really committed to take the lead and everybody was on in creating awareness. The First COVID-19 vaccination Roll-Out Data from the Dashboard, reflected that the State took First. And this was as result of our efforts put into advocacy, sensitisation by the then Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu and the former Director General of the Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong, now the current Honourable Commissioner for Health and all of the Stakeholders.”

Mrs. Nsa, noted that with the Roll-Out of the Second Dose Vaccination of the COVID-19, Cross River has been beaten to the 17th position, which is why the Stakeholders engagement. Hence, not good for us.

“The Second Dose Vaccination Roll-Out Data shows Cross River on the 17th position and this is really bad. This decline has been attributed to the refusal of the people who took the first dose initially and are not forthcoming to get the second dose.

“Investigations shows that, the Social Media, Public places, such as Markets, and virtually everywhere are awash with negative romours that those who vaccinated were going to die within two years, they’ll become vegetables and they’ve been mark with beast No. 666.

 

They questions we should ask are; how many people that received the first dose of the COVID-19 Vaccination have died? Mrs. Kasi Eyong, the State Cold Chain Officer (SCCO), is here with us and was the first to have been vaccinated to show leading by example.

Has anyone died, after two years? The answer is No.

“Hope not lost. Currently our percentage has climbed to 50%. But we’ve been given a mandate that by the end of the first quarter of 2023, we should achieve 70%. Another positive indicator is that, the people have come to terms and reality of COVID-19 vaccination, because nobody is dying.

Gradually as our consciousness keep unfolding, Cross River State will return to her first position. Our successes is to all and not just to few individuals, and that’s why with the number of Stakeholders here present on this Engagement, it will do the magic once again as we cascade the out come to our different platforms.”

Speaking on the Integrated Health Services, she said it’s all encompassing system that respond to health needs of individuals and the populace to delivery comprehensive and good-quality services through a multidisciplinary teams that works together as a unit to achieve and improve health delivery from feedback loops.

“It’s simply integrating all health related issues in a campaign (encompassing) and not like in the past, that campaigns were targeted to just one or few objectives. Now is talk about all that concern health. All aspects of health is very very important.

“On area of routine Immunization, we’ve really fared well and sometime last year, Cross River State was (ajudged) the best in the South-South Zone. As this was made possible by our advocacy, sensitisation and evidence of healthier and stronger children whom have been immunized than those refused to have their children and wards Immunized,” she concluded.

The State Immunization Officer (SIO) Mrs. Joy Chabo, threw more light on the successes recorded by the State in the Area of Immunization and Vaccines Preventable Diseases (VPD) in the country that end her, as the best in the South-South Region. She queries as worrisome the sharp decline in Immunisation and said the Stakeholders engagement was put together to arrest the trend and was happy that all the sectors required for advocacy, sensitisation is present to take home the message.

“The importance of Routine Immunisation cannot be over emphasize. Hence, we know how key this is to healthy living as individuals and as a State. It protect against: Polio, Tetanus, Measles, Chickenpox, Rubella, COVID, Whooping Cough (Pertussis), Flu (influenza) and Hepatitis A and B.”

 

 

 

 

The State Immunisation Officer (SIO) Mrs. Joy Chabo, threw more light on the successes recorded by the State in the Area of Immunisation and Vaccines Preventable Diseases (VPD) in the country that end her, as the best in the South-South Region. She queries as worrisome the sharp decline in Immunisation and said the Stakeholders engagement was put together to arrest the trend and was happy that all the sectors required for advocacy, sensitisation is present to take home the message.
“The importance of Routine Immunisation cannot be over emphasize. Hence, we know how key this is to healthy living as individuals and as a State. It protect against: Polio, Tetanus, Measles, Chickenpox, Rubella, COVID, Whooping Cough (Pertussis), Flu (influenza) and Hepatitis A and B.
Looking at the composition of the Stakeholders, no sector has been left out.
“Let’s be reminded that States are competing, as we were the best in COVID-19 and missed out on routine Immunisation that we were supposed to also come first as well, but not for the criteria that no State can win both prizes.
As a State, Cross River has been performing very well but we just have some issues, but we can’t just seat in the office to plan and succeed.
We need come together as a family to strategise on how to succeed again.
“Routine Immunisation stopped between November and January (3 Months) as we were deprived of vaccines that were out of stock. And within this period, mothers were visiting Facilities and eventually got tired.
“I want to use this opportunity to inform Cross Riverians, that we’ve received vaccines in February. So do kindly pass the message using your various Platforms so that the vacuum that was created will be filled.
So every mother must make sure their children and wards receives their routine Immunisation to fill up the gaps and complete the routine to stay safe and healthy because vaccines are available.
“It should be noted that during the last Survey, only 3 Local Government Areas Data were captured because they still had left some vaccines from old stock.
“It’s our wish that we do all that is possible to improve on our Database of Skilled Birth Attendance, encourage pregnant women to start Antenatal early enough to get to take their Tetanus-Diphtheria (TD) vaccination, Malaria Preventive treatment; so that in July, when the next Survey is due, our Data would have been improved.
Mind you, Immunisation is FREE.
“Right Now, We Talk All Health Matters and Not Just One,” she said.
Stakeholders who gathered for the IHS Engagement have representatives from Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Community Health Workers, Nurses and Midwives, Medical Officers of 13Brigade, Nigeria Army, Nigeria Police, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Civil Defense, Leaders of Market Associations, Youth Leaders, People With Disability (PWD), Muslims Leaders and Media Representatives amongst other.

 

Amawu Cletus Albert Amawu

I'm a Journalist, Host/Producer of The Verdict, your voice of conscience on FAD FM 93.1, Calabar, Public Affairs Commentator, Social Change Agent.

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