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Communities reject vaccines in Yobe

By Chinyere Amalu
THE task of enhancing the acceptance of immunisation of children against the six killer diseases continues to be a challenge in Yobe State as several parents resisted the administration of the protective  vaccines on their children during the just concluded national immunisation exercise.

Reports say some men actually threatened to send their wives packing if they dared present any of their children for the  immunisation exercise.

This development is coming on the heels of the realisation that Yobe is listed among the high risk states even as it is faced with the danger of inconsistency in the rounds of immunisation making children in the State  prone to disease attacks.

Health authorities including the World Health Organisation had employed Islamic scholars to preach importance of immunisation to no avail.

Meanwhile, Emir of Bade, Alhaji Abubakar Umar Suleman and, a renowned scholar Dr Daf fala had been visiting high risk local government areas of Gaidam Jakusko, Gujba, Nangere, Machina and Gulani sensitizing religious and community leaders on the importance of immunisation and precaution from the orthodox and Islamic perspective. Opinion leaders told the Emir in Damaturu, that they were skeptical over the provision of vaccines to healthy children even though the sick children were unable to obtain drugs and other medication.

Some communities on the outskirt of Damaturu insisted on being provided with a borehole before they would present their children for the exercise. The same demand was made when Good Health Weekly visited   Azare village in Gujba LGA.

Meanwhile, the strategy of offering incentives to mothers and the children appears to have succeeded as a good number of women presented their children for vaccination. Children playing on the streets offered themselves for immunisation in exchange for sweets. Immunisation officers said it had become easier to get the children on the streets than at home.

Emir of Bade who is the immunisation focal person in the State said, subsequent immunisation exercise in the state will be presided with mass mobilization of stakeholders including religious and community leaders to ensure that, “the programme is well embraced.Our next target will be 100 per cent coverage and we are optimistic of getting all stakeholders involved for a total success.”


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