Communal clashes hinder immunisation in C’ River – PHDA DG

Governor Ben Ayade

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State

Dr Betta Edu, Director General, Primary Health Care Development Agency, Cross River has said that communal clashes in some parts of the state were hindering full immunisation coverage.

Edu said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Calabar while commemorating the World Immunisation and Africa Vaccination Week.

The Week, with its 2019 theme “Protected Together: Vaccine Work”, is celebrated in the last week of April with the aim of promoting the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against vaccine preventable diseases.

She said immunisation in some parts of Cross River was challenging due to the security challenges, adding that insecurity in a particular area reduces the immunisation coverage because health workers would not go there.

The DG also said the state has many hard to reach areas which prevents the smooth delivery of vaccination.

“Communal clashes like we have in Ukelle Community in Yala Local Government Area against a part of Ebonyi and the crisis in Abi Local Government Area are some of the clashes that have made immunisation coverage in these parts low.

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”We have too many hard to reach areas in Cross River, about 428; in an area like Belegete, you trek for 8 hours up and down mountains that are very steep, this makes it difficult to reach the people of these areas with vaccination.

”These are outside the fact that we have challenges in equipment that are not functional, we need more health workers, although, the state government is employing 1000 health workers to boost health service delivery in the state,” she said.

Edu said the world was able to overcome certain diseases due to its commitment to immunisation through the process of vaccination.

She pointed out that her agency always find novel ways to ensure residents access the immunisation at all times.

She said that if an individual or organisation was having an event and invited the agency to come and immunize people, they would be glad to participate.