Vaccination drive not an imposition but a public health emergency — Dr. Riju
Dimapur, May 20 (EMN): With an aim to strengthen social mobilisation for Covid appropriate behaviours (CAB), Vaccine Promotion and Routine Immunisation (RI) in Nagaland, Assam Don Bosco University (ADBU), with technical support from UNICEF, organised a ‘One-day state-level training of CSOs & FBOs on CAB, Vaccine Promotion and Routine Immunisation’ at AIDA (Anma Integrated Development Association, Salesians of Don Bosco), Dimapur on May 20.
An update informed that Dr. Ritu Thurr, State Immunisation Officer, Nagaland; Dr. Rebecca Zhimomi, DPO (UIP/RCH) Dimapur; Zahir Abbas, SBC Regional Consultant for NE; Dr. Pangjung Pongen, SBC Consultant, Nagaland; Dr. Longri Kichu, RMNCHA Consultant, UNICEF Nagaland; Awele Thurr, Public Health Immunisation Consultant UNICEF, Nagaland; Dr. Riju Sharma, Project Head-SBC NE Secretariat, ADBU Guwahati; Dr. Nandita Bezbaruah, an associate professor of social work Minnesota State University Moorhead attended the event.
There were 31 participants, comprised of five Faith-based Organisations (FBOs) — SD Jain Charitable Clinic, Don Bosco Youth and Educational Services (DBYES), AIDA, Rongmei Baptist Association, Development Association of Nagaland — and four other civil and govt. agencies — Kripa Foundation, CHC Dhansiripar – H & FW, Can Youth and FWA PHC.
Speaking on Covid-19, Dr. Ritu said that the vaccination drive is not an imposition, but a public health emergency. He requested the CSOs and FBOs to reach out to the community and gain the confidence of the people for better response to vaccination. Touching on RI, he also spoke on making all the children VIP (Vaccination, Immunised and Protected).
Dr. Rebecca, speaking on RI, said that society has the responsibility to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases. She also called upon civil society to join in the mission of reaching RI to the last child in the last village of the state.
Dwelling on the first 1000 days in a Child’s life, Dr. Longri stressed on the core interventions – ANC, institutional delivery, breast feeding, routine immunisation (Vaccination), adequate nutrition for children, and early childhood development. He noted that the active participation of civil societies would enhance the govt. objective of creating better health for the future of the society.
Focusing on behaviour change and the role of CSOs and FBOs, Dr. Ponjen pointed out that mere information and awareness are not sufficient for behaviour change (BC). She highlighted six stages of BC – awareness, desire, knowledge & skills, trial, maintenance, and sustenance. As for the CSOs and FBOs, she suggested some roles – practice promoter, trust builder, community mobiliser and advocate.
Speaking on Social and Behaviour Change Communication, Zahir said that earlier, the communication model was linear like ‘sender to receiver.’ However, today BCC emphasises analysis of behaviour and those that affect changes in awareness, knowledge, attitudes and practices/behaviour.
Meanwhile, in the group session, the participants discussed barriers to CAB and RI, interventions and ways to integrate the key messages of CAB and RI into their ongoing activities and platforms. The participants were re-energised to further reach out to the community with Covid-19 and RI key messages so as to provide the right information to the people.
It may be mentioned that the programme was organised as part of the university’s on-going effort to strengthen the North East SBC Alliance under the guidance of UNICEF (India) for a healthier and better North East.