From Umar Dankano Yola
The Adamawa state Primary Health Care Development Agency,ADSPHCDA in conjunction with United Nations Children’s Funds,UNICEF and World Health Organisation,WHO have established a new partnership with media practitioners for improved awareness on importance of polio immunisation in Adamawa state.
Inaugurating the new collaboration at a sensitisation workshop for media executives and journalists in Yola Thursday, executive chairman of the Agency (ADSPHCDA),Dr.Abdullahi Dauda Belel said the synergy has become eminent due lack of enough awareness on the activities of the Agency especially immunisation and other health related exercises in the state.
Dr. Belel disclosed that one million children died yearly in Nigeria as a result of not been immunised whenever the exercise is being undertaken.
Belel explained that the economy of the country is negatively affected due to the disability suffered by children over their parents attitude towards polio vaccination.
The chairman also announced the formation of a group selected journalists in the state involving both print and electronic tagged “Journalists Against Polio”(JAP) to handle the enlightenment and awareness campaign on polio immunisation in the state.
He urged journalists Against Polio to use their professional experience to mount massive campaign to enlighten the public about the health importance of vaccinating their children after birth.
Belel disclosed that UNICEF has established 226 health facilities in all the wards of the state to facilitates fast and entire immunization of children in the state before the end of 2018.
He expressed concern that north east region has the highest number of children not immunized ,pointing out that 42 percent are not fully vaccinated and that journalists should take the led to mobilize the rural parents and educate them about the viability of the exercise.
While presenting a paper during the workshop,the Director disease control in ADSPHDA Dr. Amos Ujulu, said that the objective of the workshop is to update journalists about the challenges facing the non immunization of the children.
Ujulu who blamed lacked of enlightenment of the rural dwellers on the importance of vaccination of children, noted that ignorance about the exercise has contributed to the poor participation of parents.
He pointed out that with the efforts of media reports, last year 1.98 million children were vaccinated in Adamawa state and that only two local governments ,Guyuk and Fofure have recorded 80 percent vaccination exercise .
He urged parents to always present their children for the immunization to avoid them becoming infected with diseases that can hinder their future.
While speaking at the occasion, chairman of Adamawa state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Mr. Umar Dankano, assured the organizers that media practitioners in the state will take it upon themselves to use their pen to dismantle the barriers militating against polio immunization exercise.