By Aderogba George
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Primary Health Care Board says it has commenced investigation into the allegation of sharp practices on COVID-19 vaccination being perpetrated by some health workers in the territory.
The Acting Secretary of the board, Dr Iwot Ndaeyo, said this at a sensitisation and social mobilisation meeting for the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination in the FCT on Wednesday, in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting organised for NGOs, Community and Faith-Based organisations, other stakeholders and the media.
Ndaeyo said that information had gotten to the board that some health workers were giving vaccination cards to FCT residents, in which they collected money for the purpose without vaccination.
He said that the allegation might turn out to be a rumour but that an agency had been saddled with the responsibility to identify the areas where this sharp practice was being carried out.
Ndaeyo further vowed that the law would take its full course for any health workers and officers identified to be doing that, adding that, the FCT primary healthcare have zero tolerance for corruption.
He noted that there were still many people in the city who are yet to take decision on the COVID-19 vaccination, stressing that, taking the vaccination was for their benefit and the benefit of the country.
“What we are doing here is that we are granulating social mobilisation activities/risk communication for the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination in the FCT.
“Government cannot do it alone, we have brought in partners that have been confirmed passionately involved in the progress of the health system in the FCT and we are to agree on the message we are to give out to people about COVID-19.
“It is painful at this stage of COVID-19 pandemic that some people are yet to decide on what to do, whether to take the vaccine or not, the vaccine hesitancy is getting too much, some don’t believe the virus exists.
“We need to do more on people with this mindset, beyond radio jingles, sharing of flyers, people also don’t come out on time even when they have agreed to take the vaccine.
“People must come out on time and do the needful by taking this vaccine,” he pleaded.
Speaking also, Dr Ruquayyat Wamakko, Director, Primary Healthcare Unit of the board, noted that media advocacy, sensitisation and social mobilisation were crucial to make the people get vaccinated against COVID-19.
She pleaded with the media to help do more, particularly at the grassroots to motivate people towards the vaccination.
“The media must help to sensitise the people that COVID-19 is real, and that vaccine is available, the virus doesn’t have respect for anyone whether rich or poor,” Wamakko stressed.
Mrs Agnes-Joseph Shekwo, a member of the Breakthrough Action Nigeria, an NGO, informed the board that her organisation had been working in the area of mobilisation in all the six area councils of the FCT.
She said that her organisation had been working with Community Volunteers and Ward Development Committee (WDC) to work out social mobilisation issues at the grassroots, adding that her NGO would do more for the COVID-19 mobilisation.
“We have also trained people in all of these segments of the community, we have given them messages to tell people in their community, motivate them, and create demand for them.
“We have told them to encourage their people to go to the health facilities in their areas to access health services including COVID-19 vaccination, we will do more on this, ” she added(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)