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Childhood immunization picks up at Adaklu after mobilization

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stethoscopeAwareness and patronage of childhood immunization and Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) in 30 communities in Adaklu District, have improved in the last 18 months.

This followed community mobilization and awareness creation on the importance of those interventions by Future Generations International (FUGI) supported by Global Alliance for Vaccines International (GAVI) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

During the period, the total average coverage of childhood immunization and reproductive and child health recorded in the six health centres in the district, stood at 8.5 per cent.

In contrast, FUGI’s Community Based Health Volunteers recorded 53.8 per cent total average immunization in 30 communities where they carried out education on the importance of childhood immunization and reproductive health.

A report compiled by FUGI at the end of the first phase noted that there had been greater awareness about the importance of Childhood Immunization and attendance at Ante-Natal Clinics.

More childhood immunization data were also collected by Community Volunteers (CVs) and Health Centre Nurses from 2011 to 2012.

Population figures for 2012 were also compiled for the 30 communities where the programme was implemented.

The Programme also promoted the importance of environmental sanitation and hygiene to the welfare of children and the well-being of the communities.

Some of the challenges, which confronted the programme, included slow acceptance of community ownership of the program by some Community Oversight Committees (COCs) and Community Volunteers (CVs).

Other challenges were the wide geographical coverage of the district, bad roads and the absence of a District Chief Executive a functioning District Assembly and the support it could have given to the programme.

The report recommended among others the application of lessons in the first phase towards increasing childhood immunization in the remaining communities.

It also recommended periodic training for Community Volunteers (CVs), Community Oversight Committees (COCs) and Health Centre staff.

There should also be linkages between FUGI and critical departments of the District Assembly such as the Environmental Health and Water and Sanitation when established.

The report also recommended that the GHS should provide “basic equipment and vehicular transportation such as jeeps to the Health Centres in that district.

It called for additional CHPS compounds to be opened to facilitate access to health care in the district in addition to suitable venues for Child Welfare Clinics (CVCs) during the rainy season.

Mr Stephen Kwami Awunyo-Akaba, Programme Director of FUGI, told journalists that the intervention in the 30 communities was prompted by a Ghana Health Service (GHS) report in 2009, which mentioned Adaklu as one of the communities in Ghana with the least response to childhood immunization and reproductive and child health.

Mr Awunyo-Akaba said nurses working in the Adaklu District were doing their best under difficult conditions such as bad roads and limited means of transport.

He said the involvement of FUGI in the District was to augment the efforts by GHS to take health care to the populace.

Source: GNA

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