As part of efforts to increase immunization uptake in Lagos State, the United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF) and National Orientation Agency, (NOA) has kicked off community rally at Kosofe Local Government Area, (LGA) of the State.
Addressing journalists, UNICEF Immunization Specialist, Dr. Charles Nwosisi, expressed gratitude that UNICEF is excited that Kosofe communities are owning the responsibility of ensuring that all her children are fully immunized and women make use of health facilities for antenatal care and delivery.
Nwosisi said that the declaration by traditional and religious leaders in the LGA will in no small measures contribute to increasing uptake of immunization and birthing services in the health facilities in Kosofe LGA.
He stated that “this is a recognition of the community’s critical role in ensuring a healthy mother and child. This meeting is to let the communities know that they have to assist the government and its partners in ensuring that all children in the various local government are immunized.”
He explained that immunization protects against a wide variety of illnesses that can lead to the death of children. It can protect against some type of pneumonia which is a cause of death of children under age five.
He added that ” immunization protects against diarrhoea which causes death in infants. Diarrhoea can lead to a long hospital stay. Immunization is cheaper, that is why we are pushing for the increase in uptake.”
Also speaking, the Director, National Orientation Agency, (NOA) Lagos State, Waheed Ishola said that “we are going to embark on a five day intensive motorised campaign in these communities in order to touch the nooks and crannies of the LGA to ensure that the people are adequately sensitised to see the importance of taking immunization.”
He said from statistics, it shows that we need to increase uptake of immunization in Kosofe and Alimosho LGAs in Lagos State.
Ishola pointed that hopefully with the intensive motorised campaign that will follow the rally, all those who because of some reasons either religion or ethnic that has refused to participate in the immunization exercise will have a change of heart.
The NOA Director said that “we have people from across the three Local Government Areas of Kosofe which comprises of Kosofe LGA, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA and Ikosi Isheri LCDA present here.
“We also have present, all community leaders, religious leaders, market women, community influencers, these are people that can help increase uptake of immunization.”
Mr Ishola added that for the sake of children, every child that must be immunized must be reached, stressing that the riverine communities of Agboyi-Ketu will also be reached as buy-in of the community influencers within the riverine is needed.
He further added, “so that by the time health officials starts going round those areas, the community influencers would have sensitised their people enough to be able to participate in the exercise.”