By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
It took the authorities of Sokoto south local government area of Sokoto state and relevant stakeholders including Ulamas to convince households at Gagi “B” against resistance and Non Compliance for their children to be vaccinated on Monday in the ongoing DOPV and house to house polio vaccine immunisation exercise which entered its third day having immunised no fewer than 49,231.
However, most of the non compliant households use religion as basis for their decision or action with some quoting Islam as saying” knowledge of our religion teaches us not to take preventive medication on health matters but curative”, the ward Focal Officer, Surajo Umar said to reporters.
The local government is targeting no fewer than 49,100 children of 0-59 months old already enumerated for the MOPV4 OBR vaccination exercise.
According to the Ward Focal Officer, religious Focal persons, consultants, council officials as well community heads had to be mobilised to under the Resolution Committee set up for the exercise in order to encourage compliance and discourage resistance by households.
” To our dismay, some of them are even medical personnel: doctors, nurses and other classes of people”, he told reporters who monitored the exercise.
Umar ” we have visited 75 house holds with a total of 127 children to resolve issue of NC but succeeded in resolving 44 house holds to immunise 58 children of 0-58 months old. We have 31 households and 69 children as pending.
He said, one of the religious Focal persons, Malam Isah Salame resolved a non compliant issue experienced at Malam Hussaini Quranic school in the ward.
Explaining further on the cumulative coverage, the State Technical Facilitator, Murtala Usman said the local government had commenced the DOPV two days ahead of the house to house flag off last Saturday.
According to Usman 11,531 and 9,698 children were immunised on day 1 and 2 of the DOPV while 8,824 and 10,562 children were vaccinated on day 1 and 2 of the house to house as well 8,617 for day 3 respectively which summed 49,232.
Similarly, reports say at Dandurumi in Sarkin Zamfara” A” ward, a male parent, Malam Musa Muktar (now late) had sworn against allowing his wards to be vaccinated, a message he left for his wife as part of will according to the ward Focal Officer who conducted the exercise.
The Local Cold Chain Officer, Lawali Isiyaku said a total of 56,100 doses of vaccines were received while 52,020 had been administered across the eleven wards of the area.
Commenting on the exercise, the Council’s Sole Administrator, Alhaji Farouk Sawidi expressed appreciation with the improvement being recorder especially on the non compliance challenges.
He noted with acknowledgement the efforts of stakeholders for ensuring synergy, cooperation and support towards eradicating polio and other child killer diseases in the area, state and Nigeria as a whole.
” We on our part would continue to support health related initiatives and efforts of development partners for a healthy population and society. I also urge parents to support all rounds of vaccination for the health benefit of our children”, he said