By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
An NGO, Journalists Initiative on Immunisation Against Polio (JAP) has said introduction of drama has boosted polio immunisation acceptability especially at the grassroots levels.
The JAP Coordinator in Kaduna State, Alhaji Lawal Dogara made the disclosure during a courtesy call on the Emir of Zazzau, Dr Shehu Idris at his palace in Zaria, Kaduna State on Wednesday.
He said: “We are happy to inform His Royal Highness that the introduction of drama has assisted us immensely to penetrate and gain acceptability especially at the grassroots level.
“Initially, parents don’t allow their children to be immunised but with the introduction of drama, we demonstrate to them the importance of taking polio immunisation as well as implication of rejection.
“We thank God Almighty because we have achieved a lot in the area of sensitising parents. It may interest to know that we have been in existence as an NGO for over eight years now in Nigeria,” he noted.
Dogara told the Emir that they were in his palace to formally introduce themselves and to appreciate his fatherly role especially on issues relating to immunisation.
“I must use this medium to acknowledge and salute your efforts in the area of calling on parents to give polio immunisation the attention it deserves to achieve the desired success in the exercise.
“We are happy that in every occasion, you make sure that you utilise it to call to parents and general public on the need for accepting immunisation and the need to promote peaceful coexistence.
“These efforts were not in vein, because it had really assisted in encouraging parents to accept the immunisation which reduced the cases of rejection, your call also paved way for prevailing peace not only in Kaduna but nationwide,” he noted.
Dogara appealed to the Emir to advise parents in some specific areas to further extend maximum cooperation to the polio immunisation staff to enable the programme record total success.
Responding, the Emir thanked the NGO for its consistent awareness campaigns across the state, adding that the work had yielded positive results.
He noted with satisfaction that reports show that very soon Nigeria would be declared a polio-free nation, assuring that history would never forget their efforts and that of other stakeholders.