Health Stakeholders Seek Partnership With Media Players, Target 575,000 Children In Measles Campaign

In Breaking News, Health, National News

By Elijah Ugani: Health Correspondent

Players in the Cross River State health sector have solicited the partnership of the media in disseminating information concerning immunization campaigns in a bid to promote a healthy attitudinal change among the citizenry.

This was the focus of an interactive session organized by the state primary healthcare development agency, (CRSPHCDA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) office where representatives of both agencies solicited the support of the media to choose favorable angles in their reportage of the current immunization campaign which kicks off on Friday (today) and will last till March 14, 2018.

“This is the most important meeting we will be holding as a build up to the measles vaccination campaign, we have to form a tag team to take this massage to the grassroot, let every woman in CRS know that in the next fourteen days, CRS will immunise children from 0-59 months, our children should not be left out,” said Dr. Betta Edu, the Director General of the CRSPHCDA.

She also noted that: “We need to flood the internet, WhatsApp, Facebook, radio, television, churches, schools, market, we need to saturate the air and system, let people ask, in Cross River, don’t they do anything other than measles?

“When you do this, you could be saving the live of a child by broadcasting this massage. (There is) nothing bigger than service to humanity, while we go about this duty, remember you are serving God and humanity. For us to succeed, you are a key actor, put in your effort. As you go, do not kill the massage but rather share it.”

A cross section of journalists at an interactive session for the 2018 measles immunization in Calabar, the Cross River State capital. 2/3/2018. Elijah UGANI/CrossRiverWatch

Also, the Communication Development Manager of UNICEF, Mr. Rufus Essuchi, noted that: “The media is a key partner in this campaign and I have no doubt that you are going to play that role; the fact you are here has proved that.

“The reason why we are here is that a lot of children are born but have missed routine immunization, we are where we are because of our attitudinal behaviors, we need to be involved and spread the message so that our people will need to know that after a child is born such a child is to be taken to the hospital for routine immunization, we can influence our audience to behavioral change in the way we make our stories.”

The state performed poorly in the 2016 round of measles immunization, and the south south zonal director of the national primary healthcare development agency, Mr. Lawrence Oden posited that: “We need to more serious this time, after this exercise, a team will come to evaluate our work and publish the result, the target population is not less than 575,000 children, please help us to reach out as you have always done.”

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