Stakeholders in the health sector have called for more investment in immunization to check the spread of monkey pox and the recurrence of other diseases earlier eradicated from the country.

They made the call at a Stakeholders Forum on Declining Immunization Coverage in Nigeria and Threat to National Development held in Umuahia, Abia State.

A Consultant and Lecturer at the Abia State University, Professor Charles Adisa, noted that available statistics indicated that the nation’s immunization coverage was below average, posing serious danger to the health of young people.

Professor Adisa identified factors responsible for declining immunization to include insurgency, non-availability of vaccines, funding, cultural and religious beliefs.

He stressed the need for greater commitment among policy makers.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. EmaOkoro noted that healthcare remained a key component of the policy thrust of his administration and announced plans to strengthen the Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency for efficient service delivery.

Governor Ikpeazu pledged to address problems affecting the welfare of medical personnel and the Nigeria Medical Association to reposition the healthcare sector.

The Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Nkechi Ikpeazu, noted that with the violence in the North Eastern part of the country and the suspicion allegedly created by some military operations in the southern part, it was imperative to re-build the confidence of the people.

The Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, Abia State Chapter, Dr. Prince Onyemachi, urged government at all levels to make concerted efforts to ensure adequate health coverage for all Nigerians and called on the state governments to key into the National Health Insurance Scheme to enhance the welfare of the people.

The theme of the event is Declining Immunization Coverage Threat to National Development, The way Forward.