…The 5-day free healthcare services witnessed hundreds of women and children
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commenced free medical healthcare outreach to women and children in seven local government areas ravaged by 2022 flood in Anambra State.
The 5-day free healthcare services which witnessed hundreds of women and children on the first day included COVID-19 vaccine and immunization.
Speaking at one of the centers in Okpoko, Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state, Local Immunization Officer for Ogbaru, Mrs Chukwuneke Modesta attributed the growing interest for the immunization to aggressive sensitization.
She said the immunization which would hold in the 16 wards in Ogbaru, was for babies from zero to two years, while the COVID-19 vaccines were for adults yet to receive their jabs.
She said, “We’re not surprised with the large turnout of women and children who are here to receive the medical services. Besides, we have enough vaccines that can take care of 2,000 children.
“Apart from being free, the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, ASPHDA in collaboration with UNICEF engaged town announcers to inform women about the exercise, especially those at the hard-to-reach areas
“Many of the children missed their routine immunization because their parents were forced to relocate during the flood that submerged their houses. The intervention programme is an opportunity to catch up with the medical services.”
Appreciating UNICEF for the gesture, Chukwuneke however identified accessibility to hard-to-reach areas of the local government as one of the major challenges affecting the exercise.
“One of the challenges we have is that some of the communities are difficult to access. Being a riverine area, the terrain is so bad that even motorcycles cannot get to some places except you trek.
“But we must take the programme to those areas within the period of this outreach because we notice that many mothers have missed their children’s routine immunization.
Also speaking, Health Officer in charge of Okpoko Ward 2, Mrs. Obika Clementina decried unfaithfulness of some women towards the immunization procedures, praying they would take advantage of the exercise to meet up.
“Some mothers still did not follow immunization procedure religiously for one reason or another. The children who missed their doses will get all them accordingly. They will also be given pluses as a way of encouraging their mothers,” she added.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Eberechukwu Obiajunwa, a mother of five, was full of thanks to the UNICEF for extending the free healthcare to the community, praying God to reward them in return.