EPI briefs Journalists, traditional communicators on immunisation

Friday, January 05, 2018

Journalists, traditional communicators, civil society members, were on Wednesday 3 January 2018, briefed on the expanded program on immunization in commemorating African Immunization Week.

The forum which was organized by EPI  under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, in collaboration with UNICEF, Rotary international, World Health Organization among other development partners, was held at EPI  conference hall in Kotu.

The objective of the briefing was for the media to disseminate information to the wider community on the significance of immunization of children on a regular monthly basis.

Speaking at the press briefing, Dawda Sowe,  program manager of EPI,  said  as service provider, they deemed it very fitting  to organise that type of meeting with journalists and traditional communicators to brief them on what EPI is doing so that the community would know the importance of immunization  and when and where to take their children.

He said lactating children should be taken to the health centres for immunization for five years, adding that they have realised that the coverage for women reporting to the health centres and taking their children for immunization was very low.

This, he divulged was what led them to organise the press briefing with different stakeholders such as students, journalists, traditional communicators, and civil society groups among others to give them the relevant information and the significance  of immunization.

According to Mr. Sowe, the  aims of the press briefing was to raise awareness on the importance of immunization throughout life, strengthening  immunization services to sustain gains already registered, improving immunization coverage by informing parents and caregivers, and when and where to seek for immunization services.

He said it was also to encourage women to take their children to health centres for complete five years, noting that the EPI wanted to utilize the briefing as a sensitization tool on the importance of immunization.

 He therefore encouraged women to take their children to the health centres for immunisation purposes, saying that the press briefing was for people to know that vaccination was available and people must go for it at the health centres.

According to health experts, immunisation is widely recognized as one of the most successful and cost-effective global health interventions, saving up to three million lives every year.

At the end of the meeting, there was a recommendation that men have a big role to play and their involvement in helping their wives to take their children to the health centres is key, as this should be a collective responsibility.

Author: Fatou Dem