Bauchi State Government through the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (SPHCDA) with support from WHO, UNICEF, and USAID funded program titled: Breakthrough Action Nigeria have flagged off the annual commemoration of the 2022 World Immunization and African Vaccination Week today 11th May 2022.

In his opening remarks at the flag-off exercise held at the palace of Emir of Dass, the state commissioner for health Dr. Samaila Dahuwa said the world immunization and African vaccinations week is aimed to unify people around the idea that “vaccines enable us to follow our dreams, protect our loved ones and live a long, healthy life”.

Represented by Alhaji Aliyu Babayo Gamawa, the permanent secretary in the ministry, the commissioner said that this year’s campaign is dedicated to serving that purpose by providing routine immunization for children under the age of 2 years and to also reactivate vaccination to curtail the ongoing measles outbreak in some communities of the state.

Other purposes the campaign will seek to achieve, according to the commissioner, are focused on outbreak response to curtail the occurrence of circulating mutant polio virus and the expansion of the covid-19 mass vaccination to underserved and hard-to-reach communities.

While commending the efforts of the state governor, the commissioner said, “under the current administration of Governor Bala Mohammed, the state government has been redeeming the state counterpart funding for the different memoranda of understanding with partner organizations within the health and non-health sectors”.

The commissioner also appreciated traditional institutions and development partners for their efforts in demand creation and technical and financial support towards improving health care services and access in the state.

In his address at the event, the Emir of Dass, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Othman Billayaminu Usman said that the traditional institutions are ever willing to support all government projects and programs that aim to improve the health status of the populace, stressing that, “over the years, traditional institutions have continued to be at the forefront in mobilizing communities and creating demand for health services”.

The Emir, who doubles as the Chairman of the Bauchi State Emirate Council Committee on Health (BASECCOH), said that traditional institutions have been actively participating in various health interventions that include: Creating demand for routine immunization and resolving non-compliance during Polio and Non-Polio campaigns. Implementation of the community engagement strategy and line listing and tracking of pregnant women for antenatal care and hospital delivery.

Other areas the traditional institutions are involved in health care services of the State according to the Emir are, “collaboration with religious leaders in developing and disseminating advocacy messages relating to reproductive, maternal and child health. We are also playing a key role in debunking rumors and misinformation about ongoing Covid-19 vaccination and other epidemic-prone diseases”.

In his goodwill message, State Coordinator of USAID Breakthrough Action Nigeria, Usman Muhammed Inuwa said the intervention has supported the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BSPHCDA) to commemorate this year’s World Immunisation Week as part of its mandate of ensuring that every child in State gets vaccinated in line with the National Policy on Immunisation that is also been domesticated at the state level.

He commended the state government for demonstrating the political will aimed at making health care services accessible in the state.

Inuwa further reiterated the commitment of USAID Breakthrough Action Nigeria in supporting Bauchi State in its quest to see that every eligible child is vaccinated against child killer diseases in the state.

There were also goodwill messages from WHO, UNICEF, USAID IHP, and Religious Leaders, where they all commended the state government and the traditional and religious leaders for their doggedness in creating enabling environment for development partner’s intervention in the state.

The partners also urged the state government to improve on data collation to make informed decisions.

Our correspondent reports that this year’s World Immunization / African Vaccination Week has as its the theme: “Long Life for All”.

Source: Commissioner for health Dr. Samaila Dahuwa 

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