No fewer than 3 million deaths are prevented each year as a result of regular immunisation of children and pregnant women, says Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Civil Society Organisation in Malaria Control and Immunisation (CSOMCI).
Speaking during a media roundtable in Calabar, the South-south coordinator of the CSOMCI, Dr. Duke Etim lamented that most mothers are not aware of the importance of immunisation on the health of their children.
He said the NGO has trained people in over 50 wards across the state, especially in hard-to-reach areas, helping to disseminate information on the malaria scourge and the need for the immunisation of their children.
Lamenting that most rural dwellers were unaware of the benefits of the immunisation programme, he blamed the disturbing trend on ignorance and naivety.
He said the NGO in partnership with the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI), have over the years streamlined programmes and policies that would benefit the vulnerable through immunisation programmes across the state.
Also speaking at the event, Secretary of ACOMIN, Mr. Effiong Effiong Udobong, said the project was currently piloted in thirteen states; 2 states per geopolitical zone of the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Udobong said immunisation remains the most effective tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases and is estimated to avert at least three million deaths each year.
He added that the NGO is working to ensure transparency and accountability in the carrying out of immunisation by bridging the gap between governments or global health actors such as GAVI and communities.