In an effort to improve Routine Immunization (RI) uptake and Primary Health Care (PHC) services across the country, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), has engaged top civil servants as ambassadors.
It would be recalled that in 2016, a survey indicated that only 23 per cent of kids in Nigeria were fully immunized and only 33 per cent of children had had the third dose of Pentavellent vaccine.
This led the NPHCDA to send out a distress signal across the country raising the alarm about the falsification of immunisation data that says Nigeria had over 90 per cent coverage.
Responding to questions from journalists, at the training for civil servants in Abuja, the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, noted that the top civil servants were engaged because of the respect they command in their various communities.
The aim, according to him, is to galvanise them and get them involved in immunization and PHC in their various communities.
“Public servants serve as the engine room of the society, so we are going to start with them, galvanise them into being involved in immunization and primary healthcare so that when they go back to their communities they can ask tough questions about how their primary healthcare centres are working and the quality of the services that are being delivered in their communities.
“Apart from that, they go to their communities with a check list of the things that they could look out for in the health facility and when they come back to Abuja, they will give us feedback on what they have seen.
“What this means is that we are expanding our footprint across the country, although you may not be a staff of the NPHCDA or the Ministry of health, but you are still able to do few spot checks and provide some level of assessment of the kind of primary healthcare services that are available in your community.”
On his part, speaking with The AUTHORITY exclusively, a top civil servant from the Head of Service, Abubakar Ilu, described the initiative as noble.
According to him: “All of us are fathers and we owe our children the responsibility of making sure that they are immunized considering the grave implication of not giving them the immunization. We will definitely can carry the message to our communities and to those who need it.”