By Hauwa Muhammad Gold
Sokoto – Sokoto State Government and the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) plan to adopt new strategies in 2018 to upscale access to immunisation across the state.
Current response to polio and other vaccinations across the state has remained “frustrating’’ in spite of concerted efforts to provide the service, UNICEF Chief Field Officer in Sokoto, Mr. Mouhuiddin Mohammed said on Friday.
The official said in Sokoto during the mid-year review meeting on UNICEF-State Government Annual Work Plan, 2017, noted that to achieve the desired success, new advocacy programmes must be developed to reach out to the people.
According to him, very low turnout of women and children for immunisation remain the greatest challenge which must be overcome.
“The main challenge is the community engagement, because my observation is that government, UNICEF and the other development partners are trying their best.
“They are making all the commitments to ensure that Sokoto and other states that are in critical stage of immunisation activities is free.
“This is the reason the state government on its own part released its counterpart fund, as all the critical stages in immunisation are connected,” he said.
“Community response is very frustrating, because in the health centres everything is there; we provide vaccines, other partners provide their vaccines, and it is free, these vaccines are free for the poor and the rich.
“The health workers are there, but the behaviour of the people is not remarkable, if they do not readily bring their children, what will the workers do.’’
Mouhuiddin said all partners in the programme would be involved in high level advocacy and community engagement to ensure that the people change their attitude to immunisation.