The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), says insurgency and communal crisis among other factors are the main hindrances against adequate immunization coverage in the country.
Vice Chairman of NMA in Cross River State, Dr Agam Ayuk, told reporters in Calabar during the opening of the 2017 Physician’s Week that immunization coverage in Nigeria was declining due to insurgency and recorded cases of communal crisis.
The event had as its theme, “Declining Immunization Coverage, Threat to National Security and Development: The Way Forward’’.
Ayuk, who is also the Chairman of the Physician’s Week, said riverine and other hard-to-reach areas communities were also hindering the holistic coverage of immunization in the country.
He said that it was time for the state and federal government to take bold steps in restoring peace and security in all nook and crannies of the country, to protect the lives of health workers in areas of crisis.
He worried that about 70 percent of immunization sponsorship comes from development partners, which is also on the decline, adding that it was important for government at all levels to adequately fund the health system.
The Director General of Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu, said the state has over 464 hard-to-reach communities in the state.
Edu said that with 959 health facilities across the state, it has become very difficult to access the 464 hard-to-reach communities either by land or sea for immunization coverage.
“Our immunization programme in the state is geared towards reduction of childhood morbidity and mortality through adequate immunisation coverage of all risk populations’’, she said.
The keynote Speaker, Dr Bassey Ikpeme, Chief Consultant, Community Medicine, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, advised government at levels to recruit more doctors and nurses into the health sector.
Ikpeme, urged governments all levels, to invest greatly on the development of primary healthcare centres across the country.