INVOLVING MEN TO IMPROVE VACCINATION COVERAGE
Too often, the burden of child health falls solely on the shoulders of female caretakers. Yet they may not share equally in the power or resources necessary to protect children from life-threatening diseases.
Both females and males have an equally important role to play in ensuring children’s access to vaccination. One father in northern Nigeria has taken this role to heart – becoming an advocate for immunisation in his community.
Growing up in the farming village of Unguwar Daji, Yusuf Ibrahim believed rumours that vaccines were a plot to control Muslims. But when his daughter Saratu nearly died of pneumonia, he began to talk through his beliefs with physicians at the local hospital.
They explained that vaccines were there simply to preserve life. Yusuf understood that if Saratu had been given the right vaccination, she would have been spared her ordeal.
A decade later, the father of four has become an avid advocate for immunisation. He goes door to door in his village, explaining to families why vaccines are so important.