Polio: Khadijat hails UNICEF for creating vaccination awareness


By Maduabuchi Nmeribeh/Kano

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has received commendation for creating adequate awareness on the need for routine vaccination of children against polio and other diseases that hamper the health of children in Kano and across Nigeria.

UNICEF got the commendation from Khadijat Hussein (28), a mother of three, who told our Correspondent that she was convinced to approve administration of polio vaccination on her chiidren through UNICEF campaigns and enlightenment programmes.

She spoke at Panisau Health Clinic, Ungogo Local Government Area, shortly after Amina (2), her last child took her dose of polio vacination at the day-two of the 2024 Polio (nOPV2) vacination exercise.

She said: “I am happy with this polio programme. I was convinced to believe in it thriugh campaigns and advocacy by UNICEF representatives. I don’t allow my children to miss all forms of immunization because I know how important it is to their health.

” On my own, I have been reaching out to my fellow women, telling them the need to release their children for immunization. Here in Panisau, I must confirm to you that our parents are glad allowing their children to be vaccinated.”

The Ungogo Local Governmenr Area UNICEF Facilitator, Hajiya Fatima Zakari Ibrahim, told our Correspondent that the ongoing polio vacination exeecise is recorsing tremendous improvement in Ungogo compared to two other previous rounds of immunization. have over 1000 non-compliance cases, but as at yesterday (Saturday), we have only 53 households, with 81 children non-compliance record in the entire Ungogo Local Government Area.”

According to her, the initial record of non-compliance was 278 households, but after intervention by a team comprising of government officials, traditional rulers and partners, includung UNICEF representatives, 225 households agreed to participate in the immunization programme afrer dialogue.

“We are still talking to the remainig 53 non-compliant households, and I am optimistic they will submit their children for immunization. When we talk to some of them, they will say their children have had many rounds; while others will say that they don’t need immunization, what they need is food and government palliatives, not the vaccine.”

Ibrahim Muktar, the Focal Person for Gawuna Ward, Nassarawa Local Government Area, said the exeecise was moving smoothly in the area.

According to him, they have no record of non-compliance, “our people here are wise. They are willingly accepting the vaccine. We have no challenge of non-compliance.”

Ibrahim, who spoke at the Gwagwarwa Comprehensive Health Clinic, Brigade Quarters, hinted that betwwen 18 and 20 April, they recorded 3, 179 immunized children out of 6, 315 Target Population (TP) in Gawuna Ward.

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The Focal Person for Sabon Gqri West Ward, Fagge Local Government Area, Yusuf Shehu said the exercise commenced in the area on April 18.

“We started the Direct Observation of this immunization programme on April 18. We did the Direct Observation for two days, during when we focused on the settkements we had high level of non-compliance in the last exercise.

” We are also targetting schools, markets and churches and other special sites, because we want to make sure that all children under the age of five are immunized.

“So far so good, we are sure of hitting our targets. On day one, we immunized 2, 168 children. On day two, we immunized 2, 143 children. This is encouraging. We are experiencing over 100 percent increase in compliance compared to the previous immunization exercise,” he said.

Accorsing to him, the healt workers are moving around, street to street, house to house, the churches, the market and other special places identifying under-five children and immunizing them accordingly.

At the Cathderal Church of Holy Trinity (headquarters of Anglican Church in Kano) located on Igbo Road/New Road, Sabon Gari, wife of the Senior Pastor, Mrs. Joy Silas, called on the state government, UNICEF and other partners to intentify campaign for compliance to polio vaccination, revealing that most members of the church, inclueing the educated ones, have wrong impression about polio vaccination.

Mrs. Silas said the Church authority was ready to partner with government and UNICEF in creating awareness among members of the Church on the need for vaccination of children.

Mrs. Silas who spoke to our Correspondent inside the Church premises on Sunday regretted that a team of health workers who visited the church to immunize children left after administering vaccine to very few children as most parents refused to allow their children to get immunized.

According to her: “Most of the parents refused to allow their children to get immunized. I believe in the immuniztion of children because as a person, I believe that the government is trying to save the lives of our children.

” I try to explain to the parents on the need to allow their children to get vaccinated, but some parents, even the educated ones believe that child immunization is a trick by the government to reduce population. So, there is need for more awareness and orientation.”


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