By Cordelia Agbo

Alliance Building Meeting with Community Governance Structure on COVAX vaccine update across all the communities in Ebonyi State has been held in the three (3) Senatorial Zones of Ebonyi State.

The programmes which were held on 30th September, and 6th to 7th October, 2021 for Ebonyi North, Ebonyi South and Ebonyi Central Senatorial Zones respectively, took place for each zones at; Abakaliki, Afikpo North and Ezza South LGAs for Ebonyi North, South and Central Zones.

In his opening remarks, the State Director, National Orientation Agency, NOA, Ebonyi State, Dr. Onwo Desmond informed the community leaders that the vaccines were approved by NAFDAC and have also been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective in preventing severe COVID-19.

Dr. Onwo disclosed that “COVID-19 outbreak had led to an unprecedented global crisis that has negatively affected lives and works of the general population in nearly all parts of the world.

He stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had caused unprecedented health, social and economic crisis with devastating global effects.

Onwo said that health, humanitarian, and socio-economic challenges of the COVID-19 crisis still confront countries across the world with the international community as a whole, Nigeria and Ebonyi State not left out.

He said: “That there is broad agreement within the global scientific community that the most effective way to defeat the COVID 19 pandemic is through the mass vaccination of populations around the world. However, the approval and rollout of vaccines does not herald the immediate end of the health crisis, as attaining mass immunity will require the vaccination of a very substantial proportion of population.”

“To succeed in the mass immunization effort, governments need to give priority to addressing issues of trust – trust both in vaccines, and in the institutions responsible for the vaccination. They need to promote confidence among the public in the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines.

“meeting with you the community leaders is to urge you to accept that;
1.COVID-19 pandemic is real and has been killing people
2. There is a vaccine that helps people from contracting the pandemic and even when contracted, it will be easy and better for one to be treated.
3. To mobilise and bring out the members of the community to take the vaccine.

The UNICEF C4D consultant for Ebonyi State, Uju Ene encouraged the participants to mobilize the community members to come out and take the vaccine for the benefit of mankind.

Others who addressed the community governance structures include, the Ebonyi State Immunization Officer, Ogbonnaya Kalu, the Ebonyi State Health Educator, Ajaodi Priscilla and so many others. All highlighted on the importance of the vaccine to their communities.

Also speaking, Aja Odi harped on the importance of essential family practices as according to him, it promotes healthy living and safe maternal life including the need to stop the practice of Open Defecation.
Those in attendance at the meeting included; Eze Martin Nwali of Ameka community in Ezza South LGA, Eze Fidelis Nwonumara of Amagu community in Abakaliki LGA and Oduma Jerry, President General, Ezillo community in Ishielu LGA who spoke on-behalf of other community leaders who agreed to bring out their people to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

The programme was well attended by traditional rulers, town union chairmen, women leaders, the clergy and youth leaders.

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