Traditional leaders move to intensify community sensitisation on health hazards
Traditional leaders in the South-West have resolved to intensify community sensitisation efforts in their domains on immunisations and preventable diseases.
“Our immediate responsibility will be to educate the general public in our respective communities on risks posed to their health,” the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, said Tuesday during a meeting in Abuja.
Ooni emphasised the roles of traditional rulers and efficiency in public healthcare delivery.
The maiden meeting was organised by the National Primary Health Care Development Board (NPHCDA).
The federal government had in 2021 inaugurated the Traditional Leaders Committee (STLC) on primary healthcare delivery at the palace of Ooni of Ife, with the aim of one model primary healthcare centre in one ward across the states to be determined by the royal fathers.
At that event, one royal father represented each state in the zones.
The model of primary health centres will be professionally designed with staff quarters, solar power, borehole, perimeter fencing and a tricycle ambulance.
This was expected to be a model for each state, to see what the government wanted primary health care to be like.
The executive director, NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, said the meeting would therefore fine-tune the operational framework for members so that the partnership would be productive.
“Also, we humbly expect that at this meeting, the committee will adopt an operational guide for members’ support to PHC programmes and interventions on COVID-19 vaccination, polio, measles, yellow fever, rotavirus, and other routine vaccinations.”
He said the interventions would also cover maternal, newborn and childhood nutrition in the areas of role modelling, community advocacy, mobilisation and sensitisation, resource mobilisation and monitoring.
He said Nigeria was certified wild polio virus free on August 25, 2020, and this year marked the third anniversary of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) eradication in Nigeria.
The NPHCDA boss assured the traditional rulers that the agency had deployed various interventions, one of which was the outbreak response to ensure that all eligible children were protected.
Mr Shuaib said vaccine hesitancy due to low-risk perception was the greatest bane in the country’s efforts to control COVID-19 transmission through vaccination.
According to him, as of Tuesday, Nigeria successfully vaccinated 41.235 million of its eligible population with the first dose and this represents 36.9 per cent of its eligible population.
He told the traditional leaders, especially those yet to receive or complete their vaccinations, that COVID-19 vaccination was still ongoing in all states and available for those yet to be vaccinated or were due for a second or booster dose at the venue.
The NPHCDA boss urged the traditional rulers to continue to promote routine immunisations and COVID-19 vaccination in their kingdoms and communities.
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