Centre for 21st Century Issues

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By Seyi Taiwo-Oguntuase

As the Lagos state government kicks off the second phase of the Covid-19 vaccination in 183 centres across the state, there has been an abysmally low turnout of Persons Living with Disability (PWD).

All the centres in Ikeja and Ifako Ijaiye local government areas visited by Daily Independent, officials in charge of the vaccine said there is high turnout of able bodied people, but people with disability were very low.

At the Ogundimu Primary Health Care Centre in Ifako Ijaiye local Government, Oludare Adenike, Officer in Charge while speaking with our correspondent said the turnout is very huge even when it rains.

She said since the phase started no person with disability has shown up to be vaccinated.

“The turnout has been very encouraging, even the elderly were coming to get the vaccine but since we started no person with disability has come here for vaccination,” she said.

The same is the situation at the Iju Primary Health Centre also in Ifako Local Government where Shinyanbola Mojisola, the Supervisor for the programme said the turnout is huge compared to the first phase.

Read Also: Inadequate public counselling, clustering, apathy, slow ‘capturing’ process, other issues arising from Phase 1 exercise

She said at times the centre attends to over one-hundred people daily but persons with disability are not forthcoming.

She said that the centre operates only Monday to Friday for the programme except the first week the programme stated, stressing that the centre will operate at weekend if there is directive from above.

Omolara Kayode, Apex Nurse of Ifako Primary Health Centre while speaking said that the attendance has been encouraging.

“Thank God for the pre-registration online, it makes the work easier for us if not for the last one we had, we find it very difficult controlling the crowd despite the fact that we have a crowd controller.

“This time around if you don’t register we will give them the link and that is what they have been using and it has made the work easier for us. Despite the rain the turnout was okay.

“Concerning persons with disability, we are able to see one or two since we started three weeks ago; the turnout was not as much as the able bodied people. Though the aged have been coming, their people have been bringing them with their cars and we attend to them but people with disabilities are not too much we cannot compare the turnout with the people that work in to get vaccinated,” she added.

Ibitoye Adeshola, Supervisor for Team two at the Ogba Primary Health Care Centre in Ikeja Local Government also said the turnout has been great, that people have been coming out for the vaccine.

She said there are two sessions; morning and afternoon and that during the sessions officials enlighten those who present themselves for the vaccine what they need to know about it.

“We tell them to wait for 15 minutes then we ensure that they are pre registered before they come. We also tell them about the other vaccine and that when they start with Mordena  or AstraZeneca they must continue with it and must not mix the two together.

“We tell them that where you receive the first dose is where you will also receive the second dose. We also inform them that the appointment for Mordena is four weeks and that they should come back at the date they were given.

“We also tell them about the age group and the category of people that can take it,” she added.

Ibitoye also said that a major side effect is that most of them have pain at the injection site, maybe later during the day.

“If anyone comes to report pain at the injection site, we tell them to take paracetamol. “It is only when they come to report that we tell them to take paracetamol, we don’t tell them when they come for the vaccine.

“We call it Adverse Effect Following Immunisation (AEFI) if there is side effect they will be treated and we will take their record and we report to the Disease Surveillance  Notification Officer (DSNO) to tell them that there is pain in the injection site or there is fever or there is swelling or any other complain.

On persons living with disability she said, “Since we started we have only got a few of them, let say between five or six since these three weeks. Those that came, we gave them preferential treatment because of their state and they are being assisted by their family members. Once they come we attend to them first,” she said.

Oguntade Yetunde, Ward Vocal Person in Charge of Oke-Ira Central Primary Health Care Centre in Ikeja Local Government, the turnout has been impressive since the commencement of the second phase.

“We ensure people are pre-registered before coming and since we started we have not had any case of AEFI.

“Since we started about three weeks ago, I think we attended to only one person living with disability.

On the reason for the low turnout she said, it might be due to the various misconceptions about the vaccine.

“The misconception about the vaccine is what I think is responsible for their low turnout, some think that if they take it they will die or their blood will clot and that is not true,” she said.

Meanwhile, speaking with the people that came for the vaccine, they said they all pre-registered online before coming for the vaccine and that they were well attended to at the various centres and information about the vaccine were given to them before vaccination.

At the Ogba PHC, Gomez Kofoworola said most people are scared to take the vaccine but he is not because he sees the President, Governors and other leaders taking the vaccine, that that gave him the confidence that there is nothing bad  about the vaccine.

At the Ogundimu PHC, Bernerd Patient said she was initially skeptical about taking the vaccine because of the various misconceptions about the vaccine.

“I was initially afraid but when my husband took it and because the infection is becoming rampant I felt the best thing is for me to take it and be protected against the virus,” she said.

Popoola Samuel, Alhaji Shittu Rasheed, Ibrahim Mulikat and Joy Onyegbula also shared the experiences at the centre while calling on Lagosians to come out to get vaccinated so that the virus can be kicked out of the state and the nation at large.

At the Iju Primary Health Care Centre, Yetunde Asedeko, Ganiyu Adeyemi and Aloba Oluwadare gave the officials a pass mark on the way they were being attended to and the level of information about the vaccine that was given to them at the centre.

At the Oke-Ira Central PHC, Oluwatope Bankole, Adebayo Folashade and Akin Akinlabi expressed their delight about the vaccine and friendly and professional ways the officials at the centre attended to them, stressing that the process was seamless and fast.

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