The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has expressed concern that over 189,000 children in the South West in the country lacked access or were never reached by any routine immunization.
It’s Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said this at the Quarterly Review meeting of South West Traditional Leaders’ Committee (SWTLC) On PHC Delivery held in Akure the Ondo capital, organized by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with NPHCDA.
Shuaib said that ” from January to June 2023, a total of 189,310 children in the Southwest zone lack access to or were never reached by any routine immunization.
” These children are referred to as zero dose children. Notably, Lagos has the highest count, with 79,279 zero dose children, followed by Oyo state with 53,812 children, Ondo with 30,280 children, Osun with 19,737 children, Ogun with 3,204 children, and finally Ekiti with 2,998 children who have never received any form of vaccination effort.
“As respected leaders of our nation, I respectfully implore Your Majesties to consistently advocate for immunization and other primary healthcare (PHC) services.
” By utilizing your influential and revered position in society to emphasize the significance of regular immunization and other PHC services to parents and caregivers, we can overcome obstacles and enhance the acceptance of vaccines, ensuring that every child receives these life-saving treatments
The Executive Director explained that the meeting was aimed at promoting an effective primary health care delivery to the people of the Southwest in particular and Nigeria in general.
” Immunization, particularly the eradication of all forms of vaccine preventable diseases for example Poliovirus, remains our top priority. Your involvement as traditional leaders in promoting vaccination campaigns and community mobilization have been pivotal in our progress thus far.
“With your support, we have achieved remarkable milestones, witnessing a significant decline in cases of circulating variant polio virus type 2 (cVPV2) in the zone.
“However, our work is not yet complete. We must persistently labor until we reach the finish line, ensuring that future generations are shielded from this debilitating disease and other vaccine-preventable diseases”.
He added that as part of NPHCDA’s efforts to strengthen PHC facilities and enhance reproductive, maternal, child, and adolescent health services across the states, the agency has recently launched and initiated the roll-out of the Community-Based Health Research Innovative-Training and Service Programme (CRISP).
“This intervention aims to optimize human resources for health, reduce maternal, newborn mortality rates, enhance the capacity of PHC facilities to provide quality services by recruiting skilled birth attendants, medical officers of health, and deploying of CRISP resident doctors from tertiary institutions”.
Dr Shuaib, said the Federal Government, in collaboration with development partners, will be introducing the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine into the national immunization schedule by September 2023.
“The HPV vaccine is highly effective in preventing the most common types of Human Papilloma Virus that cause cervical and other types of cancers. We would be reaching out to you to help communicate to your communities the importance of these vaccines.
The NPHCDA boss noted that the meeting presented another opportunity to deliberate and devise strategies to tackle the challenges facing PHC system in the zone, identify service delivery gaps, and explore innovative solutions to enhance PHC services in various communities through collaborative efforts.
In his remark, the Acting governor of the State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa said the State will continually embrace partnership with NPHCDA for the benefit of the people of the sunshine state, in promoting and protecting the health of all residents.
Aiyedatiwa said, “All levels of our health system have continued to receive necessary support to ensure that our people receive the kind of healthcare they desire without being subjected to unbearable expenditures.
He added that the personal involvement and endorsement of primary health care services by royal fathers in the region will enhance trust and confidence among the citizens.
Chairman, Southwest Traditional leaders’ Committee and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi said that the event aimed at providing avenue to deliberate on ways to bring improvement to PHC.
Oba Ogunwusi pledged the unwavering commitment of the traditional rulers in the region in promoting and increasing uptake of Primary Health Care services within their communities.
While praying for the quick recovery of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, the monarch, urged the Southwest to support President, Asiwaju Tinubu especially in the aspect of health which he said is critical to the development of the nation.
In his welcome address, the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi commended the FG for putting the programme in place calling on all to embrace PHC and thanked NPHCDA for eradicating polio in Nigeria.
Oba Aladelusi assured that the outcome of the meeting would make a substantial impact on Primary Health Care delivery in the South West region as Traditional Leaders take the lead in driving positive change.
The meeting was attended by traditional rulers across the region and Major Stakeholders and Developmental Partners.