Press Statement Issued on 9th May, 2022 by the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from MacArthur Foundation implements “Public Education on COVID19 Vaccine Project”, the project aims to create awareness on efficacy of COVID19 vaccine as well as enlightens the public on misinformation, disinformation and false narratives being shared on the vaccine, the goal is to ensure uptake of the vaccine.

To understand challenges and hindrances associated with administration of the vaccine, CITAD held an engagement with Executive Secretaries of Primary Health Care Development Agencies from 19 northern states in Abuja. During the meeting various hindrances and challenges related to the vaccination exercise were identified and debated on, recommendations to mitigating the challenges were offered in order to boost uptake of the vaccine. Notable among the challenges are stated as follows:1. Lack of political will, commitment and the needed support to Primary Health Care Development Agencies2. Poor knowledge of vaccine storage, usage, expiration, etc 3. High deployment of vaccination personnel in urban areas at the expense of rural areas4. Non supply of vaccines on time5. Technical failure in capturing people’s data6. Depositing vaccination funds at State Ministries of Health rather than Primary Health Care Development Agencies  7. Exclusion of marginalized groups in the vaccination chain 8. Inaccessibility of vaccination funds as a result of not centralizing the funding source9. Conducting vaccination in security affected states and areas 10. Transportation of the vaccines and vaccination personnel to hard-to-reach areas11. Delay and nonpayment of allowances of the vaccination personnel12. Health care workers hesitancy to towards COVID19 vaccine 13. Absence of performance and reward mechanism on vaccination exercise at federal, state and local government levels14. Passing information and communication in a fragmented manner to Primary Health Care Development Agencies 

After extensive deliberations at the meeting, stakeholders recommended various measures to mitigate the challenges. CITAD is therefore using this medium to make the following: 1. Call on state governors to demonstrate strong political will and commitment to addressing the myriad of challenges that bedevilling the mass vaccination efforts 2. Communication among healthcare agencies in the states should be coordinated and centralized.  3. States should leverage social gatherings such as markets, ceremonies should be targeted for mass vaccination 4. State governments should identify hard-to-reach areas and treat them with logistical peculiarities they possess 5. Payments of allowances of vaccination personnel should be given priority and always be made on time, nonpayment of past allowances of the personnel should be settled immediately 6. Senior officers such as Directors should be engaged in the vaccination exercise and be made to handle certain areas and be rotated at not more than two weeks interval 7. Marginalized groups should be specifically targeted in the vaccination exercise 8. The adhoc staff engaged in the vaccination exercise should be continuously trained on the vaccine9. There should be a blueprint detailing reward and punishment for the vaccination personnel10. Healthcare workers should be provided with motivation packages to encourage them be active  and committed in the COVID19 vaccination exercise 

Signed:

Hamza Ibrahim,

Coordinator,

Public Education on COVID19 Vaccine Project.

About the Author

Judith Caleb

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Judith Caleb is a Blogger, content creator, Social Media Specialist, and the owner of Judith Caleb Media; A digital marketing company that runs social media campaigns, messaging, and content creation for businesses, companies, and NGOs. She is also The Team lead of ELLE (Empowering Ladies for leader and Entrepreneurship) and Host FESTOLI- Festival of Lights. She is passionate about life and its description through various art forms, writings, paintings, movies.

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