9 December 2012

Nigeria: Meningitis - Poor Turnout of Youths At Immunization Exercise

Maiduguri — As immunization exercise against cerebrospinal meningitis enters day nine, low turnout has been observed in Sokoto.

Over three million people between ages 1-29 were targeted for the exercise in Sokoto State.

The immunization exercise which commenced Saturday December 1st, 2012 was to last for 10 days. But at most of the immunization points in Sokoto, it was noted that those who were present for vaccination were mainly children below 10 years.

Commenting on the issue, Executive Secretary Sokoto State Primary Healthcare Development agency, Dr Sani Labaran, described it as discouraging, saying in most of the centres only children of one to six years were mostly participating in the exercise. He urged people to ensure they are immunized during the remaining days of the exercise.

The Executive Secretary however acknowledged the efforts of traditional rulers in enlightening people on the exercise and urged them not to relent. He said necessary measures had been put in place towards ensuring the success of the exercise

Similarly, following the low turnout in the ongoing vaccination against meningitis in Borno State, a group, Social Mobilization Technical Committee (SOMTEC) in collaboration with the state social mobilization working group have embarked on a door to door campaign to ensure that people come out for the exercise.

Our correspondent recalled that the exercise which was flagged off by governor Kashim Shettima last week Monday in Maiduguri witnessed low turnout as people shun the exercise.

It was also gathered that the insecurity problem in the state and the belief by some residents that the vaccines have negative implications may have contributed to the low turnout.

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