The Rivers State Task Force on Immunization was re-inaugurated on the 21st of September 2016 by the Governor of Rivers State. Presently, the Deputy Governor Her Excellency, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo is the Chairperson while the Chairman of ALGON is the Secretary of Task Force. Dates for the quarterly meetings were fixed for  21st November 2016, 2nd March 2017, 7th July 2017, 16th October 2017, 27th February 2018, 8th November 2018,  9th April 2019, 24th June 2019, Subsequent meetings will hold for 2019 on the 14th October 2019 and 23rd December 2019.

  The meetings are convened by the Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board. 

Members Are:

  1. Honourable Commissioner for Health
  2. Chairman, House Committee on Health, Rivers State House of Assembly
  3. Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Health
  4. Executive/Permanent Secretary, R/S Primary Health Care Management Board
  5. State Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA)
  6. Director Community Health Services (DCHS, RSPHCMB)
  7. GAVI Consultant and Routine Immunization Specialist.
  8. State Coordinator, World Health Organization (WHO SC)
  9. Chairman, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA)
  10. State Immunization Officer (SIO)
  11. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment
  12. Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Environment
  13. Formation of Media Advocacy Task Force for publicity of health programs chairmaned by Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Communication
  14. Representative, Clinton Health Access Initiative-CHAI
  15. Governor, Rotary International
  16. Representative,Total Nigeria
  17. State Team Leader, National Primary Health Care Development Agency – NPHCDA
  18. Representative, UNICEF
  19. Director, Central Medical Stores (CMS)
  20. Chief Medical Director, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH)
  21. State Cold Chain Officer
  22. Chairman, State Social Mobilization Committee
  23. State Health Educator
  24. Representative, Nigeria Agip Oil Company- NAOC
  25. Chairman, Nigeria Union Of Journalist (NUJ)
  26. Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Information – MOI
  27. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information – MOI
  28. Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Women Affairs – MOWA
  29. Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria – ALGON
  30. Representative, The Niger Delta Development Commission – NDDC
  31. Representative, Shell Petroleum Development Company – SPDC
  32. Representative, National Population Commission, Rivers State – NPC
  33. Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Rivers State – CAN
  34. Representative of The Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers
  35. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education – MOE
  36. Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Education – MOE
  37. Director Public Health, State Ministry of Health
  38. Chief Medical Director, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital
  39. Representative, Etisalat Nigeria
  40. Representative, MTN Nigeria
  41. Chairman, Association of General & Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria – AGPMPN
  42. Representative, Globacom Nigeria
  43. Representative, Airtel Nigeria
  44. State Program Officer, Save One Million Lives, Program for Results
  45. The Honourable Commissioner, Social Welfare and Rehabilitation
  46. District Health Information Officer, Centre for Disease Control (CDC)
  47. Representative General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Nigerian Army
  48. Representative of The Commander, NNS Pathfinder, Nigerian Navy
  49. Representative, Commissioner of Police.
  50. Representative of The Commander, Nigerian Airforce
  51. Representative of Nigeria Info 92.3 FM
  52. Representative of Radio Rivers 99.1 FM
  53. Representative of Rhythm 93.7 FM
  54. Representative of Cool FM 

Major Achievements of the Rivers State Task Force on Immunization

  1. Maximum political will to support all immunization and health related programmes. Meetings are regular and well-coordinated under the leadership of the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipallibo Harry Banigo.
  2. Significantly improved immunization coverages on all antigens (see fig 1and 2)
    • The State has had good administrative coverages usually between 80 and 90 % of Penta 3 (DPT3) from 2015 (evidence from the DHIS2 platform). In 2013, according to the NDHS, the State had 69.2% coverage of DPT3 (National 38%) while in 2018, it rose to 74.5%. The National average was 50%.
    • Comparing data from NNHS conducted by Unicef and SOML in 2015 and 2018, Penta 3 coverage has improved from 67.7 % in 2015 to 82.6% in 2018.
    • There has been two nationally conducted Lots Quality Assurance Survey (LQAS) in the State for 2018 (quarters 2 and 4).
    • The proportion of children appropriately vaccinated was 59% in quarter 2 and 66% in quarter 4. This has demonstrated the impetus of the State Task Force on Immunization (see chart below).
Figure 1: Proportion of Children appropriately vaccinated for age in quarter 2 2018
Figure 2: Proportion of children vaccinated appropriate for age in quarter 4 2018
  • Regular routine immunization and outreach sessions through funding from the Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board and SOML PforR is now sustained. This has led to an increase in the number of children 0-11 months vaccinated from 59% to 66% between quarter 2 and quarter 4 of 2018 (based on Lots Quality Survey conducted by National Primary Health care Development Agency).
  • The sustained supply of adequate vaccines from the state level to health facilities. This has been achieved through the Push Strategy where vaccine quantification is done and pushed to the service delivery areas.This has effectively ensured steady availability of vaccines in the health centres across the State (using the vaccine stock dash board).
  • Provision of an incinerator for management of sharps
  • Engagement of traditional rulers through the Traditional Rulers Council in Rivers State. The participation of these key gatekeepers and stakeholders has increased community participation in all health activities. This has led to a reduction in vaccine rejection in all strata of the communities.
  • Better coordination and resource mobilization from partners for immunization, family planning and health education activities
  • Strengthening of the Advocacy and Behavioural Change Committee at the State level and Social Mobilization Committees at the LGA level has improved the performance of Immunization Plus Days and Maternal and New-born and Child Health Week.
  • Regular replacement of obsolete cold chain equipment’s
  • Procurement and installation of solar direct drive panels in over 200 health facilities in the State, partnering with UNICEF, GAVI, CHAI, EU-SIGN, etc
  • The procurement of over 17 freezers and distributed to LGAs
  • Building of a zonal cold store at Bori.Formation of Media Advocacy Task Force for publicity of health programmes and activities. This has led to production of jingles aired in Radio Rivers, Nigeria Info, Wazobia and Garden City FM. The Nigerian Tide and RSTV are now at the vanguard of disseminating health information.
  • Significant reduction in the outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases
  • Integration of immunization services at all levels with other child survival strategies
  • Increased the scope of the immunization program by involving the private sector, secondary and tertiary public institutions
  • Expansion of the taskforce to include the military and communication institutions
  • The establishment of Local Government Task Forces on Immunization in all LGA in the State.
  • Roll-out of the Accountability Framework for Routine Immunization in Rivers State.

Flag-off ceremony for the 1st round of National Immunization Plus Days by the Deputy Governor of Rivers State in 2016