By Mary Jalingo
Acting Executive Director, Niger State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) , Pharm. Ndanusa B. Usman has attributed the recent improvement in Routine Immunization (RI) coverage in the state to political will and right attitude of staff to duty.
Pharm Ndanusa B. Usman stated this during the daily State Emergency Routine Immunization Coordinating Center (SERICC) meeting held at the Epid unit in Minna last Thursday.
He said the improvement from 53 percent in the last quarter of 2018 to 74 percent in the first quarter of 2019 which has to do with the proportion of children appropriately immunized for age by card plus history showed that the effort put in by the state government in term of funds allocated, released and the right attitude of staff has yielded result.
“Looking at where we are coming from and where we are going, the right attitude to work is responsible for the success story as moving from 53 percent to 74 percent is no small progress”
Pharm Ndanusa Usman said the state being the most improved state in the country as released by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in its first quarter LQS national result was great especially as the national target was 80 percent.
He said in order to meet and even surpass the national target, the state has appointed a community engagement officer who has already  met with other stakeholders to develop an action plan aimed at improving RI coverage across the 25 LGAs.
Also speaking, the State Project Manager, SERICC, Dr. Ahmed Abdulsalam said after the last quarter LQS of 2018 where the state was at 53 percent and among the low performing states in the country, it had to change its strategy by intensifying RI fixed and out post sessions, integrating RI services with other component of PHC and intensified RI supportive supervision.
Dr. Ahmed Abdulsalam said the state was working hard in ensuring that the components of community engagement was strengthened in order to maintain the position and even surpass it.
He said the state has the political will to ensure that no child was left out and even missed ones identified and vaccinated and commended the acting ED of SPHCDA for personally visiting over 7 LGA with low RI coverage to interact with them which he noted has so far brought about tremendous improvement.
In a related development, the state Community Engagement Officer, Mrs. Comfort Danladi said all was now set for the unboarding of the 25 local government community engagement officers which she noted would go a long way in improving RI coverage in the state especially at rural areas.
Mrs. Comfort Danladi said demand creation was still low adding that there was need for community involvement and ownership of RI activities at community level.
She said when community leaders get involved in card retention, listing of newborn and tracking of defaulters, vaccines preventable death among children would be a thing of the past.