The Nasarawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NAPHCDA) is to engage the traditional institution to reduce the number of unimmunised children in the state.
Dr Mohammed Adis, Executive Chairman, (NAPHCDA), disclosed this to the Nigerian News Agency on Friday in Lafia.
Adis said that the initiative, under the agency’s Community Engagement Strategy (CES), would help more children in the rural communities of the state to have immunisation.
He said the initiative would entail utilising traditional rulers through the community leaders, to track children in their domains for the purpose of getting them immunised against childhood killer diseases.
He said the community leaders would also encourage parents to access Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) for immunisation and other services as well as follow-up to ensure that they complied.
According to him, a similar system is in place in Kano and Jigawa States where community leaders have people in the villages tracking all new borns.
Adis said the agency was already meeting with traditional rulers to solicit their support in this direction and to get their input on certain peculiarities within the state, with a view to ensuring the success of the strategy.
He explained that as part of effort towards increasing the demand for primary healthcare services, including immunisation, the agency piloted the Community Health Influencers, Promoters and Services (CHIPS) programme in January 2019.
According to him, the CHIPS programme which is operational in 58 of the 147 wards across the state involves training of non health workers in villages who could read, write, take data, provide some basic services and mobilise the people to PHCs.
He added that the agency intended to scale up CHIPS programme to cover more wards in the state.
The executive chairman maintained that both the Federal and state government, in collaboration with development partners have been working relentlessly towards providing the necessary immunisation equipment such as vaccines and cold chain facilities.
He, however, cited inadequate human resource for health as a major challenge requiring attention to ensure universal coverage.
Edited by: Ejike Obeta/Maureen Atuonwu