Leadership (Abuja)

23 May 2012

Nigeria: NPHCDA Adopts New Approach to Make Polio Vaccine Acceptable in Bauchi

Poliomyelitis, a viral infectious disease, had once paralyzed and crippled hundreds of thousands of children each year. But the development of ... ( Resource: Africa: Polio May Be Returning as 'Global' Threat

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said on Wednesday that it had evolved a new approach to encourage parents to allow their children to be immunised against polio in Bauchi State.

A Director in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Nasir Gwarzo, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi.

Gwarzo, who delivered a lecture at a sensitisation workshop organised by the agency for traditional and religious leaders, said the workshop was aimed at dealing with the refusal of parents to allow their children to be immunised

He said the new approach would enable the workshop participants to be directly involved in the exercise.

"It is not totally new, but it is a combination of approaches - the same old approaches combined in one way; we give them intensive education; we dialogue with them; we get feedback from them, and then we give them the option to come up with suggestions.

"From our experiences, it works better that way because at the end of the day, the entire team will not only accept vaccinating their children, they will be vanguards supporting the process in the field.

"The details we are giving participants relate to the disease, the virus that causes it and how it passes into the human body and causes disease."

Gwarzo said that past experiences had shown that the public had a way of responding positively to policies when they were integrated into the implementation process.

"The reason is when people understand what you are saying - the science behind it - they are most likely to cooperate with you.

"And it's much easier for them to de-link it from the old thought that it is caused by a Jinn; now they will understand that it is an organism that causes the disease.

"Now that's why we go into details to explain to all participants how the disease is caused and as they understand, you find out that they are more likely to cooperate with us.

"We now give them further details of the vaccination schedule and each time we do this kind of lectures, our experience shows us that they do cooperate and they even give us better suggestions on how to improve acceptance in the community."

NAN

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