Taking vaccination closer to underserved communities - States optimize Africa Vaccination Week commemoration

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Vaccination exercise at Kara in Benin City during the Africa Vaccination Week © WHO Nigeria

Benin City, 19 May, 2019 - Sitting inside the Church, Pastor Evelyn Omigie of Home for the Needy Foundation (IDP) Uhogua, Benin City, Edo state says, “We are grateful for the recent health intervention rendered by the government and the World Health Organization. The vaccination campaign will go a long way in protecting our children from preventable diseases especially those who had missed some of the routine immunization doses due to displacement of their parents.”

The Pastor’s statement aligned with 2021 theme for Africa Vaccination Week 2021 (24 - 30 April), ‘Vaccines Bring Us Closer.’ The theme’s ambition is to promote the use of vaccines to get the world closer to preventing needless preventable deaths; a world where everyone, everywhere can reach their full potential and closer to a world where quality healthcare is there for everyone, as is our fundamental right.

To push the agenda forward in the context of integrating primary health care (PHC) services, both Edo and Adamawa States, in collaboration with WHO, commemorated the Africa Vaccination Week by expanding sensitization, vaccination activities and providing integrated delivery of free services for minor ailments to the internally displaced persons (IDP) in their camps.

Starting in Edo, the sensitization and intervention team was led by the Executive Secretary, State PHC Development Agency (SPHCDA) Dr Julie Erhabor and supported by Edo state WHO team, who provided technical support in areas such as health education, children vaccination and tracking those who had missed routine vaccinations, distribution of nutritional supplements, deworming tablets as well sensitization on COVID-19 safety measures.

The WHO Edo State Coordinator (SC), Mrs Faith Ireye said, “In Edo State, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted health care service delivery as was the case in many other places around the country. COVID-19 response activities pushed many other health care services to the background due to poor integration and the underserved areas such as IDP camp and nomadic settlements were worst hit.”

Additionally, the SC explained that, “To mitigate the effect, WHO Edo state Office has been engaging with State officials at all levels to strengthen health care services through strategic integration. In February 2021, we facilitated a meeting with all programme managers (including those for Lassa fever, COVID-19 Malaria, National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP), HIV/AIDs, Reproductive Health and Adolescent health, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), and Basic Health Care Provision Funds among others.” At the meeting, government and partners agreed to administer routine immunizations and all opportunities to integrate health care service delivery.

Edo State data is being collated but preliminary results indicate that 450 children under the age of 5, identified to have missed out from the routine immunization were attended to with BGG, Penta, Vitamin A, measles and yellow fever vaccines

Meanwhile, in Adamawa State, North – East Nigeria, WHO in collaboration with partners such as UNICEF, Red Cross, AFENET, CDC, NURU and Nigeria Primary Health Care Development Agency commemorated the African Vaccination Week 2021 with a joint press conference and vacation campaign to the underserved communities and rural areas in the state.

The highlight of field activities to mark 2021 AVW was the deployment of WHO-supported hard to reach team to under-served communities Yola south, Mubi North and Guyuk LGAs for delivery of medical intervention which included vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases, deworming, administration of vitamin A, health education and advocacy against Gender based violence.

In Adamawa state a total of 1,595 hard to reach populations received various medical intervention. Out of the total reached, 214 high value children were vaccinated, 360 dewormed and 376 received vitamin A.

Technical Contact:
Dr Adamu, Haruna Ismaila; Email:; Tel: +234 803 597 8458
Dr Famiyesin, Olubowale Ekundare; Email:; Tel: +234 802 309 4026