Thirty-one-year-old Zaliha Haruna’s sixth child receives immunisation at the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN), a primary health centre (PHC) in Chanchaga, Bosso Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State. Haruna learned about the importance of immunisation through health talks during antenatal care (ANC) sessions in the facility and now advocates to her neighbours to bring their children for the service.
Previously, on immunisation days, women had to wait for vaccines to be delivered to PPFN from Maikunkele PHC, resulting in a waiting time of about two hours. As a result, many women missed their immunisation schedule, and others went to the Maikunkele PHC instead. The delay was caused by PPFN’s lack of a vaccine storage room.
In 2022, the Niger State Primary Health Care Development Agency (NSPHCDA) with support from the millenium Develolement Goals (MDGs), renovated the PHC and provided the facility with a vaccine storage room. Asabe Muhammad, the officer-in-charge (OIC) of PPFN Chanchaga, stated that the facility now immunises more children weekly due to the convenience of having vaccines on-site.
Mrs Tabitha Simon, a resident of Chanchaga and a mother of three, expressed her satisfaction with eliminating long waiting times and vaccine shortages at the facility. She said, “Unlike before, anytime I come for immunisation, I know I will have what I want, and in time.”
However, the increased demand for vaccination at this facility has resulted in overcrowding. “Where we are attended to for ANC now is the reception, because there’s not enough space to contain us,” said Mrs Simon.
Residents accessing maternal and child health at the Chanchaga PPFN are happy with the services they receive, and are increasingly and consistently attending this facility. However, both healthcare workers and the residents are calling on the Bosso LGA authorities and the Niger State government to:
- Expand the facility and deploy additional health workers to reduce congestion and accommodate the increasing demand for the ANC and immunisation services.
- Continue to support the facility to sustain the quality of maternal and child health services provided.