By Adeola Ogunlade
On the 24th of March, the Lagos State Civil Society Coalition Against COVID-19 under the coordination of the Centre for 21st Century visited three Primary Health Care Centres in Alimsoho LGA.
The three PHCs namely; Rauf Aregbesola Primary Health Care Centre; Akonwonjo Primary Health Centre; Ipinienere PHC in Alimosho LGA were promptly covered as part of the assessment of the vaccination exercise.
At about 11: 00 am at Rauf Aregbesola PHC, it was observed that there were the presence of security operatives and community health volunteers who were on ground to ensure orderliness in the process of administering the vaccines to the persons eligible.
The eligible persons were given tallies before the commencement of the vaccination exercise.
It was also observed that at the entry point, people were quizzed on their profession to ascertain their eligibility which is in strict adherence to the Lagos state government rollout phase plan.
A canopy was erected for the exercise at the frontage of the PHC with two community health management officers and four nurses on ground.
According to the protocols as observed at the centre, online registration is important for anyone who wants to receive the vaccine; whether they have registered before or not, they have to go through the registration process before the actual intake of the vaccine.
Some of the questions they asked the people coming for the vaccines include their full name, date of birth, home address, and whether they have any underlying ailment.
There were also photo capturing and scanning of the vaccine card barcode issued by the health worker, the next port of call was to receive the vaccine.
At the point where the vaccine was administered, there was no counseling done to explain about the side effect of the vaccine.
After taking the vaccine, the recipients were told to sit down for 15 minutes for observation before they are asked to go. However, no paracetamol or pain relief tablets were given to the people that came for the vaccination exercise.
At Akonwonjo Primary Health Centre (PHC), there was no security presence to identify and guide persons at the entrance of the PHC.
On getting to the vaccination centre, the seats were arranged strategically at the centre for people to sit calmly and wait for their turn.
Presence at the centre included elderly persons — 70+ and above, retired health workers, and some others adorning their nose masks were seated taking turns to go through the registration and capturing process. The recipients went through the online registration process at the PHC before receiving the vaccine.
It was observed that about seven health workers were on ground to make the process smooth but the outer part which served as a vaccination site was small and could not accommodate a handful of persons adequately.
Interacting with one of the community health workers, Olabisi Olawumi, who had received her dose said “I don’t have any fear. I have taken it myself. It is normal for people to be afraid, but we are doing our best to encourage others. We close 4pm as against 2pm so as to stay around and see if some people will come so they can be vaccinated”.
Another resident, a Banker who chose to remain anonymous said that he came around to receive the vaccine “I am here to receive it to encourage other people in my place of work to come and do the same”, he said.
Also, an Executive Member of the Community Development Association, Adi-Camp-Shasha, Alimosho, Alhaji Ganitu Farudeen, who has also received his first jab, explained that he did not experience any side effects.
Speaking with LIO, Akonwonjo PHC, Mrs Ogunsanwo said that the vaccination exercise across the 10 sites in Alimosho Local Government was going on fine but the coverage of the frontline workers within the area is still a challenge.
She posited further that it was evidential that there is a kind of apathy been displayed among the people especially the frontline workers and strategic leaders within the community but the volunteer health workers have been going after them and some showed up when they were told that the Governor, Local Government and the health workers themselves who are administering the vaccines have receive theirs.
However, findings at the centre indicated that some of the health workers administering the vaccines do not have proper understanding of persons who are classified as frontline workers and strategy leaders.
Persons who were not listed as frontline or strategic leaders were given the vaccines under the excuse that they don’t want the ‘vaccines to waste’.
“My husband did not get himself for three days after taking the vaccine but he is better now. That experience did not deter her from taking her vaccine”.
This were the words of a teacher, Mrs Ekechi who was recently vaccinated at Akonwonjo Primary Health Centre (PHC).
She was among the over hundred persons that were vaccinated at the centre.
Ekechi, a middle age teacher, took the vaccine around 1: 15pm at the PHC. After taking the vaccine, she was told to wait for 15 minutes.
After five minutes after waiting, she was asked how she felt after taking the vaccine, she responded with a smile “I am, fine and I don’t have any side effect after taking it”.
She quickly added that she was encouraged to take it after her husband, also a teacher took it. She said “my husband did not get himself for three days after taking the vaccine but he is better now. That experience did not deter me from taking the vaccine. I have called my father who is over 70 years of age to come and take his. He thought that there will be crowd here”.
When asked whether she was counselled on what to do if she experiences any side effect from the vaccine, she said “nothing of such has been said, I was only told to come back after 8 weeks for the second dose of the vaccine”.