The State Primary Health Care Board and Partners have organized an intensive sensitization training for Health Educators, the Media, Civil Society Organizations and Social Mobilization Network on the forthcoming Measles 2nd Doze Vaccination which is scheduled to hold from 14th – 18th December, 2020.
In his remarks, Mr. Izang Yakubu Dauda, Director Immunization and Disease Control who represented the Executive Secretary Plateau State Primary Health Care Board lauded the initiatives and urged participants to put in their best in educating the public especially caregivers on the importance of the Vaccination in order to minimize infant mortality from the Killer Disease, Measles.
Participants were taken on wide range of topics such as the objectives and expected outcome of the training, Scope of Communication for Measles Containing Vaccine 2, Rationale for Communication; Advocacy/awareness creation & social mobilization, Interpersonal Communication (IPC) and Risk Communication (Rumor management). Answers were also provided to frequently asked questions.
Some Health Experts who made presentations at the training were Jackdonmi Gbubemi UNICEF Consultant Plateau State, Mrs Comfort Adoon, Community Engagement Focal Person and Sussan Akila Technical Assistant to Plateau State on Immunization from National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
They hinted that the introduction of the Second Dose of Measles vaccination at 15 months into the Routine Immunization Plan was said to provide opportunity to vaccinate children who missed the first doze in the first year of life, reduce morbidity and mortality from measles in the Country, introduce Measles Containing Vaccine Dose 2 (MCV2) to children from 15 Month of age to build the immunity of the children in the Country.
They said Measles is an acute and highly infectious disease which is one of the leading causes of under-five morbidity and mortality. They said single dose of measles is not enough to attain at least 95% coverage, with >90% coverage needed to build herd immunity.
They posited that CSOs, MDAs, traditional/community leaders, Religious Leaders and the Media play vital roles in disseminating health information to the public as they create awareness concerning health issues. They said there is need for holistic and very effective advocacy.
They also observed that political commitment (will) is needed to enhance acceptability.
They underscored the need for strategic awareness creation and social mobilization to make the exercise achieve its desired result.
Target age group are children between 15 to 23 Months. The vaccines can be accessed at Health Facilities and Outreach Sessions (Markets, Emirs’ Palaces, Schools)
Participants were also trained on how to confront and address localized rumors or misinformation on Vaccination by identifying source of rumors and understand their contents, identifying persons or organization responsible for spreading rumors and design strategies to educate them, having reliable facts and data to address rumors, identifying reasons for rumor creation and engaging sources of rumors to seek solutions they can offer to diffuse the rumors. Participants were told that the best way to handle rumour is having the right information to dispel the rumour.
The event also held virtually with presentations from Dr. Eugene Ivase, Ladan Aliyu and Adefisoye Adewole.
Participants were admonished to deepen the Measles Vaccination advocacy and work towards minimizing the outbreak of Measles.
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