Enugu State inaugurates Task Force on Immunization, to close gaps in immunization coverage

The formation of a Task Force on Immunization gives an opportunity for an inter sectoral group to review and support current efforts towards reducing unimmunized children in the state, Dr George Ugwu, the Executive Secretary, Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency observes.

Enugu in the Southeast geo political region, is one of the States in Nigeria with high number of unimmunized children and inadequate infant antigen coverage, a great source of concern at state and national levels, with unimmunized children summing up to 57,696 across the state.

To change the narrative in immunization coverage statistics in Enugu state, the Deputy Governor, Her Excellency, Lolo Cecelia Ezeilo inaugurated the State Task Force on Immunization (TFI) on February 14, 2020 to provide opportunity for inter sectoral groups to review and support current efforts aimed at reducing the number of unimmunized children and take preventive health care delivery to rural dwellers.

In February 2009, a special session of the Governor’s forum on Health was convened under the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, all the Executive Governors committed themselves to increased ownership, oversight and engagement on polio eradication, routine immunization and primary health care activities. A key recommendation by experts on ”translating these commitments into action and improved programme performance was the establishment of a high level inter sectoral committee such as TFI.

Mrs Ijeoma Ezema, a Nsukka based caregiver mentioned that, we are glad the government is making such moves to make sure no child goes unvaccinated, we need our children protected from the vaccine preventable deadly diseases. It is better than buying medications which we can barely afford sometimes. She also stated that the government should provide more health workers and pay them well to provide such services.

Officials from the Ministry of Gender Affairs and Social Development, State Primary Health Care Development Agency, traditional leaders, faith based organizations, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and Rotary International attended the event. The Permanent Secretary of the Enugu Ministry of Health (who represented the Commissioner for Health) appreciated the Deputy Governor and pledged commitment of the newly inaugurated TFI to their terms of reference.

Source: World Health Organization. Africa