The Zamfara Government and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday called for support of traditional rulers toward achieving routine immunisation in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Lawal Liman, made the appeal in Gusau at a one-day sensitisation meeting aimed at improving the programme in Zamfara.
The meeting was organised by the state’s Primary Health Care Development Board in collaboration with UNICEF.
The theme of the meeting was “Improvement of traditional rulers participation in routine immunisation through community engagement and programme ownership in the state’’.
Liman, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Habibu Yelwa, said the state had gone into strong partnership to improve healthcare delivery.
He commended the board and UNICEF for organising the forum.
He said traditional rulers have vital role to play in community engagement and ownership of routine immunisation activities in their respective areas.
“With the support of our traditional rulers, Zamfara recorded various successes; we won various awards of good performance as regard to polio routine immunisation.
“We are calling on them to increase their participation in healthcare delivery programmes in their areas; ensure regular monitoring of health facilities in your areas and report any problem to the ministry.
“We are ready to listen to you, our door is always open to receive any complain from you with the aim of addressing them,” he said.
According to him, the state government is making efforts to improve primary healthcare services.
“We plan to provide functional primary healthcare centre in each of the 147 wards across the state.
“We have selected 30 across the 14 local government areas of the state, we have already started the pilot project on the 14 out of the 30 selected PHCs,’’ said the commissioner.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the board, Yusuf Mafara, said the meeting was aimed at sensitising traditional rulers in low performing local government areas at the last Oral Polio Vaccine campaign.
The exercise held between June and July, 2018.
Mafara, who was represented by the Assistant Cold Chain Officer of the board, Sani Halliru, said traditional rulers have greater role to play in improving health care, especially immunisation activities.
“With this meeting we are expected to bridge the gap in the subsequent routine immunisation activities,’’ he said.
The state representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Yusuf Argungu, attributed low performance on routine immunisation in the state to poor participation and concern by some parents.
Argungu said that the state had been recording various disease outbreaks.
The District Head of Talata-Mafara, Malami Galadima, noted that it was the first time such a meeting was being held in the state.
67 district heads from Anka, Gusau, Tsafe, Kaura-Namoda and Talata-Mafara Local Government Areas of the state attended the forum.