2YL Project: Over 60 women sensitized on importance of immunization; urged to go ‘full circle’
The Deputy Director of Nursing Services, Ga East Health Directorate, Rejoice Bansa has appealed to all Ghanaians to help demonstrate high level of commitment in welfare of children at all times by making sure they get immunized regularly and properly in conformity with the required schedules outlined by health experts.
According her, promoting the welfare of every child to go the “full circle” of getting immunized against certain diseases so as to be strong and healthy should be the collective responsibility of every citizenry.
Rejoice Bansa made the plea while addressing over 60 selected women who were participants of 1-day sensitization forum on the importance of childhood immunization held at Boi, a community located within the Ga East Municipality of the Greater Accra Region on September 22, 2016.
The forum which forms part of measures to improve healthcare delivery in the country was organized by the Rural Project Support Network (RPSN), an NGO under the 2ND Years of Life (2YL) Project.
The 2YL project is an initiative which seeks to help raise an awareness as well as sensitize women especially young mothers on the importance of immunization in order to ensure children are well immunized according to the laid down schedules of health experts; right from birth till the age of 2 up to 5 years period.
“Go the full Circle- from start to finish” is the slogan carefully selected to drive the campaign message under the 2 Years For Life(2YL) pilot project implemented to raise awareness and sensitize mothers and caregivers on the importance of immunization to children from birth till 2 years and above.
The project is being implemented by the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH) though the support of the Ghana Health Service(GHS) with funding from the Center for Disease Control(CDC), USA and its partners from South Africa and Kampala(Uganda).
The 2YL project is a 3- month initiative currently in its pilot phase which kicked-off somewhere in early September and it’s expected to be completed in November this year to pave way for the actual project likely to be rolled out early next year.
According to Mr. Paul Kwame Agbeko, Finance Manager of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH), the project is intended to remind or concientize parents to visit the hospital and continue with their immunization schedule up to 4 to 5 years in order to help their children complete the ‘full circle’.
He warned mothers to desist from skipping schedules with excuses that their children look quite healthy therefore there’s no need for them to take them to weighing sessions, adding such moves will only compromise on the good health of their wards.
Mr. Agbeko expressed optimism about the success of the on-going pilot project which covers only Greater Accra and Volta Region for now, saying it would be sustained immediately after its closure to pave way for the implementation of the actual program which covers nationwide.
Childhood immunization is said to be safe, effective and free for all children and it has been tried, tested and proven over the years to be a shield for many children around the globe from diseases
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) whose recommendation for mothers is to ensure they vaccinate their children in conformity to their schedule for safe, proven disease protection, touted immunization as one of the best ways parents can protect their infants from 14 serious childhood diseases before age 2.
Today, children in the United States routinely get vaccines that protect them from more than a dozen diseases such as measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough), such as measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, Meningitis, pertussis(whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, rotavirus and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) among others. Most of these diseases are now at their lowest levels in history, thanks to years of immunization.
In Ghana however, the story is different as most children are left without going through the full circle as a result of a number of factors including shortage of vaccines and carelessness on behalf of parents and caregivers.
But explaining the rationale behind the 2YL project in addressing the some of the challenges faced by children, Finance Manager of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health, Mr. Paul Kwame Agbeko noted the project seeks to remind mothers/parents on the need for them to always visit the hospital to get their wards immunized regularly and appropriately according to the schedule which suggests they go the “full circle”.
Since its inception, the Rural Project Support Network (RPSN) with the support of the Ga East Health Directorate, some NGOs and stakeholders in the health sector have managed to train 30 selected opinion leaders from 10 communities within Ga East Municipality, sensitized a large group of women at Zongo-Masalati mosque at Madina, organized durbar to sensitize some women at Abokoki and around the Madina market, briefed nurses in the Ga East Municipality on the importance of the program in addition to the recent forum which saw over 60 selected women from Boi community within the municipality vigorously sensitized.
According to the Executive Director of the Rural Project Support Network, Ms. Felicia Sosu, series of durbar would be organized across ten (10) selected communities under the Ga East Municipal Assembly going forward to drum home the message on the importance of immunization to children and to get everyone involved, sensitized to take action in promoting the welfare of children as far as vaccination is concerned.
Addressing participants at the forum, Ms. Felicia Sosu entreated all and sundry to help cultivate the habit of advising young women including infant mothers to always endeavor to send their children to be weighed at the nearest health Centre or clinic so as not to evade any of the schedules. She told them to be their ‘brother’s keeper’s always by helping check their neighbors children’s hospital cards to see if they are point and following the require schedules.
She revealed the program has already gathered momentum since it has commenced barley few weeks ago owing to a lot of improvement in the way some mothers’ are now handling their children as far as going the ‘full circle’ of immunization is concerned.
Felicia Sosu lamented the ignorance exuded by most women in not patronizing the nearest Child Welfare Clinics (CWC) in their communities after they’ve gotten transferred to other health facilities in the country to deliver babies, urging them to desist from the practice
According to her, series of sensitization forums being organized under the project so far have been fruitful in addressing some most challenges women face in accessing healthcare delivery in the country.
When asked what her expectations would be after the end of the 3 months project, she said: “we should see a vast difference in childhood diseases and if possible close the gaps”.
Meanwhile, Rosemond Yeboah, Health Promotion Officer at the Ga East Health Directorate who conducted the training charged participants to make sure all the children in their communities are fully immunized so they can live a healthy life.
By Joseph Kobla Wemakor/GhanaNewsOne.com