Empowering Rural Women and Orphans Initiative (ERWOI), a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), has rewarded 36 women from six communities in the Lawra District of the Upper West Region for doing well in child healthcare services.
The women were each given one bar of key soap, two bathing soaps and Omo washing powder as a motivation for their commitment in adhering to child healthcare procedures.
Madam Seraphine Banongwie, the Executive Director for ERWOI, said the gesture, which formed part of the implementation of the Gavy Immunisation Project, funded by the Coalition of NGOs in Health, was not only meant to motivate the women but also to encourage others to take issues of immunisation seriously.
She said six men, one from each community, were also rewarded for either involving themselves in promoting immunisation or supporting their spouses to participate in immunisation activities.
Madam Banongwie explained that Lawra District was chosen for the project because it came last out of the 11 districts in the Upper West Region in terms of immunisation coverage.
She said child welfare clinics and durbars were organised to reach out to more children and sensitise communities on the importance of immunisation as part of the project implementation.
She said immunisation registers were also given to the communities to enable volunteers and nurses to properly keep records of all children who were immunised.
Madam Banongwie said fuel support was also given to the health staff to facilitate their movement to communities to carry out immunisation services.
Pognaa Edwina Kpintaatobo, the Lawra District Health Promotion Officer, commended ERWOI and its partners for the support to ensure that all children in those communities were immunised to significantly reduce diseases.
She said immunisation coverage in the District as at 2016 was 53.4 percent, which put the District at the bottom of the 11 districts in the Region, adding that after the implementation of the Gavy Immunisation Project, coverage increased slightly to 56.6 per cent in 2017.
Pognaa Kpintaatobo noted that if the project was sustained it would help increase coverage to an appreciable level.
She mentioned inadequate fridges for storing vaccines, inadequate ice chests for carrying vaccines, lack of gas in existing fridges, staff attrition and transportation as some of the challenges hindering immunisation services in the District.
She said about 89 per cent of their officers were using their own motor bikes, which were not robust enough thereby resulting in frequent breakdown.