Renovation reignites routine immunisation in Oyo State, Nigeria

Renovation, combined with an aggressive immunisation outreach campaign, is boosting routine immunisation at Bode Primary Healthcare Centre, Oyo State.

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Bimbo Akinyele and her child during an immunisation visit at Bode PHC. Credit: Royal Ibeh
 

 

The Bode Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) is one of over 500 PHCs in Oyo State, Nigeria, but until recently, when walking by, one could be forgiven for not recognising it as a health facility.

Due to a lack of maintenance, the health facility had deteriorated to the point where  it had no burglary protector, gate, window net, bed lining or chairs for women and their children to sit during immunisation and antenatal visits. The internal doors to some of the rooms were damaged and there was an inadequate supply of essential drugs. 

“Our people want to see Bode PHC in good shape. We are determined to ensure that no woman has to suffer to vaccinate their children. The government has put in the facility, and we will keep maintaining it for the people living in the community.”

“This led to a low turnout of patients. Most women in the community did not know there was a health facility right in front of them. They would spend, not just money, but their time, to visit the next PHC, which is a bit far from the community,” the Matron of Bode PHC, Busari Modupeola, says.

Busari Modupeola educating women at an immunisation class. Credit: Royal Ibeh
Busari Modupeola educating women at an immunisation class.
Credit: Royal Ibeh

For instance, Modupeola says, in the month of June there were only a handful of visitors ,with no pregnant women coming through for Antenatal Care. Immunisation coverage was very poor as well, she adds.

These poor health outcomes were the main reason the federal government of Nigeria set up the Primary Health Care Provision Fund (PHCPF) and the Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) in Nigeria following the enactment of the National Health Act  in 2014.

“We are so grateful to the federal government and the Oyo state government for selecting Bode PHC. We have been able to access about 600,000 naira (around US$ 1,400) which has been used to fix the gate, put doors in rooms where essential drugs, including vaccines, will be stored, and purchase essential drugs and a megaphone for community outreach programmes,” the Matron reveals.

Bode PHC before the renovation. Credit: Royal Ibeh
Bode PHC before the renovation.
Credit: Royal Ibeh
The fixed gate at Bode PHC. Credit: Royal Ibeh
The fixed gate at Bode PHC.
Credit: Royal Ibeh

In July, the Matron says they started an immunisation and health education campaign, going from house to house and to marketplaces, to inform people about the services rendered at Bode PHC. 

She adds, “With the renovation at the PHC and the campaign, more women are now bringing their children for immunisation and accessing quality healthcare services. The government has given us a midwife to take care of pregnant women to complement the three health workers and two ad hoc workers at the PHC.”

Bimbo Akinyele, who brought her baby for immunisation, says, “I got to know about Bode PHC when the Matron with some nurses came to my shop at the marketplace to inform me about the services the PHC are providing for the community members, at little or no cost. Some of us spend up to 500 naira (US$ 1.16) to take our children to other PHCs for immunisation. In addition to the transportation cost, we spend the whole day there because of the crowds. Now that we are aware of Bode PHC, which is close to us, we are happy to bring our children here because we can save money and have our children immunised within a few minutes.”

“Our people want to see Bode PHC in good shape. We are determined to ensure that no woman has to suffer to vaccinate their children. The government has put in the facility, and we will keep maintaining it for the people living in the community,” says Moshood Abiodun, Chairman of the Ward Development Committee.