The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on Imo communities to establish World Development Committees (WDC) to reorintate their people on the importance of immunisation, use of toilets and continuous observation of COVID-19 protocols.
WDC is a concept of the UNICEF being replicated in communities as as an effective communication tool for creating awareness, debunking rumors and clarifying misinformation in respect to routine immunization and post COVID-19 pandemic in societies.
Mr Vitus Ekeocha, the Imo State Director of NOA, made the call at a one-day sensitisation meeting held with stakeholders and women groups at Amagu Ihube Autonomous Community in Okigwe Local Government area of Imo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme, with theme: “Improve the Knowledge of Mothers, Parents and Care givers on Essential Family Practices as stated by UNICEF”, was held at the instance of UNICEF as collaborating partner.
Ekeocha said the sensitisation became necessary as a result of reported cases of low immunisation record in most communities following post COVID-19 pandemic.
“The programme is to revive the spirit of the people and redirect them toward accepting immunisation, hence the institution of the World Development Committee constituted by at least one or two members from different villages to help propagate the message of immunisation and other health issues.
“It is also to discourage the people from engaging in open defecation, but to have toilets in every home, continue in exclusive breastfeeding as well as complete all doses of immunisation for the children.
“There is need for the communities to be free of communicable diseases as we are now free from polio,” he said.
Ekeocha said immunisation had helped to reduce many diseases in the country, adding that the committee would help dispel every negative information, revitalise and re-establish basic health practices in communities.
He said that 10 out of 15 selected communities had so far been sensitised to establish the committee that would reoriente the rural dwellers and facilitate routine immunisation.
Ekeocha stressed the measure became necessary due to decline in immunisation of children from some communities in the state, noting that people were being discouraged from protecting their children due to misinformation that the vaccines were harmful.
A UNICEF Consultant, Mrs Ngozi Dike, expressed regret that many lives, especially those of children, were often lost due to lack of access to proper health care.
She urged women to maintain good hygiene, seek antenatal care and ensure exclusive breastfeeding of babies to reduce maternal mortality and infant morbidity.
Dike also advised them to avoid feeding their children with feeding bottles as it could be a channel for disease transmission and also breastfeeding in lying position to avoid suffocating the child.
Mr Lloyd Obiaraeri, the Vice President General and the Woman Leader in the community, Mrs Cecilia Okorie, thanked NOA and UNICEF for the sensitisation visit.
NAN reports that the two complained of ill equipped health facility in the community and called on the government and well meaning individuals to come to their aid. (NAN)
Kindly Follow Us On Twitter