Recent reports have revealed that routine vaccination coverage in the North West has been on the   decline since 2012, dropping from 81percent in 2012 through 77 per cent in 2014 and then 70 per cent in 2015 till present. This decline at the regional level has been accompanied by a corresponding decline in most health districts with the number of health districts with coverage declining over 80percent progressively  
In a bid to scale up the statistics, Strategic Humanitarian Services (SHUMAS) Cameroon a locally-based, not-for-profit development non-governmental organisation based in Bamenda, North West Region of Cameroon has kicked off a project aimed at scaling up routine vaccination rates in some five health districts of the region. The project “Identify and Vaccinate Children Lost to Follow-up and Zero Dose in 5 Health Districts in the North West Region” took off with a preplanning meeting June 15, 2017 involving all stakeholders amongst representatives of women’s groups from all the health districts, SHUMAS and Public Health Regional officials led by the Regional delegate Dr Manjo Matilda.
Explaining why the preplanning meeting, the Director General of SHUMAS said was “to inform all stakeholders on the objectives, activities, expected results, role of each stakeholder in the project.”
Mformi Ndzerem Stephen Njodzeka told the gathering that after the training of nurses for rural health centers, constructing/refurbishing/equipping of rural health centers, providing portable water to health centers, schools and communities amongst others with the organization’s health program, SHUMAS has been “promoting routine and supplementary vaccination” as an interface organization with the Ministry of Public Health. According to the Director General it is thanks to the close collaboration between SHUMAS and the Ministry of Public that the “project to promote routine vaccination coverage” in the five health districts in the NW came to being.
“SHUMAS has been in partnership with UNICEF since 2016 implementing a similar project in 5 health districts in the West Region with amazing results. More than 2000 children children loss to follow up and zero dose were identified and about 1500 of them started receiving their vaccines. We are here to start the same project in the North West Region. It is our wish we will realize the expected results and beyond for the benefit of our children.” Nformi Ndzerem Stephen N. said.
The project to be implemented in the five health districts of Bafut, Bali, Batibo, Benakuma and Mbengwi it emerged from the meeting has as main objective to “improve the rate of routine vaccination coverage to at least 90per cent” in the selected health districts.
Addressing the event, North West Regional delegate for Public Health Dr Manjo Matilda appreciated SHUMAS for the work done so far as concerns community development reason why they have attracted her ministry as partners in the project. She will also express confidence on the eventual success of the project stating that from the work done so far by SHUMAS in reaching out to families and communities and this time through women, the objective will be met.
It is expected that at the end of the project the capacity of 150 women leaders and 15 development/health actors will be built on vaccination issues, routine vaccination coverage will be improved to at least 90 percent in all five health districts, the districts will be sensitized on the importance of vaccination, at least 95 per cent of identified children lost to follow up and zero dose will be vaccinated and five women groups who will identify and vaccinate the highest number of children will be provided micro credits which assures the sustainability of the project.

Derick BAKAH

Derick BAKAH

Bakah Derick is a Broadcast Presenter and Multimedia specialist with focus on sharing with the rest of the world the daily happenings in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. You can contact us on +237 675460750 or debakah2004@gmail.com.

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