Enugu state commissioner for Health Fintan Ekochin has expressed state government’s concern to take necessary measures that will check the noticeable lapses to improve immunisation outcomes in all the local government areas of the state.
He pointed out that the state government was worried over prevailing decline in immunisation coverage in most local government areas of state.
According to the commissioner “Enugu State has the infrastructure and manpower resources to improve primary health care.”
Ekochin while speaking on the theme ‘Declining Immunisation upstate; threat to National Security and Development’, during the opening ceremony of the 2017 Physician’s Week organised by the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) promised the state’s readiness to collaborate with experts to create awareness and improve on the excise.
The commissioner said that Enugu was among the 19 states in the country with very worrisome immunisation feedback.
He said that the situation was so pathetic that 10 out of the 17 local government areas of the state were found wanting. He said that of the 10 affected councils, immunisation coverage in two were at zero level, those he said are Igboeze South and Aninri Local Government Areas, adding that women in the areas had refused to present their children for immunisation.
The commissioner said that the people needed the right information that would enable them participate in health programmes that were beneficial to them.
Ekochin said that the state government would soon enrol the services of specialists to render their services in primary health institutions.
In a remark, the Chairman of the occasion, Anthony Ugochukwu, said it was sad that some diseases which were hitherto preventable had resurfaced. Ugochukwu said that the situation could be attributed to non-participation of prospective beneficiaries in the immunisation exercises.
He said that health practitioners need to do more “as immunisation is at the core of our profession”. He said that the exercise was very important, adding that all stakeholders needed to find better means to make it penetrate the rural people that do not understand what immunisation means.
Ugochukwu said that the government needed to make immunisation attractive and something that the target audience would participate in.
The Chairman of the NMA in the state, Cajetan Onyedum, said that the event was organised to raise awareness on the declining immunisation update and other topical issues. Onyedum said that the state chapter of the NMA was ready to partner with the state government to ensure that the void in immunisation feedback was filled.