Health official says community leaders should participate in immunisation campaigns
Mrs Lilian Oyetayo, the Health Educator and Social Mobilisation Officer of Bwari Area Council of the FCT, says the government should always engage community leaders for rural immunisation campaigns.
Oyetayo said this in Bwari on Tuesday, while speaking on the 2018 December Polio Outbreak Response, being organised between Dec. 15 and Dec. 18.
She said that the input of the community process would particularly promote the inclusive participation of all stakeholders.
Oyetayo, however, decried poor level of compliance by the residents of Tudun-Rugan community in the polio response activity, which had somewhat frustrated the efforts of health officials to effectively carry out anti-polio immunisation in the neighbourhood.
She noted that the residents would never accept any injectable vaccine, adding that they always preferred the administration of oral polio vaccine.
“The information we are getting from the health officials is that the residents of the community are afraid of any injection; which they assume would make their children to cry and have high body temperature, thereby leading to other ailments.
“This is the fifth time we are coming here. We have come earlier to sensitise the community’s residents to the need to immunise their children and wards from 0 to 11 months against measles.
“We came here and injected the children that were due for measles immunisation and other interventions like yellow fever, so as to prevent them from getting infected in the event of any outbreak.
“Actually, most of them will not allow you to immunise their children or wards. The health officers, who come here, carry out the exercise in fear but we have so far immunised only five children in the community.
“We, therefore, call on the government to always engage community leaders in awareness creation on rural health issues in order to help proffer solutions to the non-acceptance of injectable vaccines by the residents,’’ she said.
Speaking, Dr Ibrahim Yusuf, Chief Imam of Sabongari Central Mosque in Bwari, said that it was the ignorance of the residents of the community that made them to resist the administration of injectable vaccines on their wards.
“Sometimes, the people feel that their resistance is in fulfilment of certain religious doctrines; it is not religion, they are only doing this out of ignorance.
“The government, including the council authorities, should engage the community leaders in a dialogue; if that is done, it will aid efforts to proffer lasting solutions to the challenges facing immunisation against vaccine-preventable diseases,’’ he said.
Newsmen reports that apart from the polio immunisation, mosquito nets were also presented to some residents.
Photo Credit: NAN