Health workers have sued for the support of education authorities to take the upcoming measles immunization campaigns to remote villages in Nigeria.
A Coordinator with the Department of Community and Primary Health Care in Cross River State, Southern Nigeria, Mrs. Agnes Ogogo, who led a team of health workers to the State Universal Education Board, SUBEB, said it was imperative for schools in the rural areas to take part in the campaign next week.
Ogogo stated that the department was collaborating with the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Children’s Education Fund, UNICEF, to reach all children with measles immunisation.
According to her, “the WHO and UNICEF are making effort to ensure that Cross River participates fully in the 5 day integrated measles campaign from January 28 to February 1, 2016 for children aged 9 to 59 months”.
The Coordinator urged the board to assist to sensitise and mobilise pupils, teachers and parents through the Local Government Education Authority, LGEA, when the exercise commences.
The Immunisation Officer in the State, Mrs. Felicia Eyamba hinted that there was need for heightened campaign this year to achieve the desired results.
“The Board has always given us the needed support during past immunization exercises. We truly appreciate that and this year our appeal is for greater partnership to get better results”, Eyamba said.
The Communication Consultant for the United Nations Children’s Education Fund, Mrs. Glory Odu-Oji stated that “the 2016 measles campaign has to be more aggressive due to the poor results recorded in the South-South region of Nigeria, especially Cross River State in 2013”.
Mrs. Sherifat Lawal, a consultant to the World Health Organization on Integrated Measles Campaign for Cross River State, said the awareness should be taken to churches and homes in addition to schools.
Lawal said “we are involving 980 teams across the state. Already at each Primary Health Centre, we have 70 mega phones to be used during the campaigns, but we need more community oriented personnel to monitor and keep accurate records; vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles including boats and canoes for difficult to reach areas”.
Responding, the Director of SUBEB, Mr. Emmanuel Ojong gave assurance of the board’s readiness to support and ensure the success of the 2016 measles immunisation campaign in the State.