BY SULE TAHIR
Over 600,000 Children’s of three state’s namely Kano, Katsina and Jigawa state’s were not immunized against childhood killer diseases, The Kano field offices of United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF has disclosed.
The UNICEF Kano Field Officer, Rahama Farah made the disclosure unbehalf of UNICEF during a media briefing on the UNICEF State of the World Children’s (SOWC) 2023: Immunization and Zero Dose situation in Kano indicating Kano state with the highest number with over 300,000 of the children representing fifty five per cent.
Farah said the children are scattered across 46 Local Government Areas, LGAs with majorities in Kano, followed by Jigawa and Katsina and mostly in remote and outreach of normal health system areas.
According to him, “We in UNICEF are very concerned about the zero dose, number of children not immunized in these three states of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa under the Kano field office.
We are concerned because this is the basic fundamental child rights in terms of having access to immunization services. We know that globally, children are dying because they don’t have access to preventable diseases vaccination. And this is a major concern for us in Nigeria particularly Kano state.
“Over 600,000 children who missed first dose of Immunization are in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States. Over 300,000 of the children were in Kano, representing 55 per cent. We have 26 per cent of the children in Jigawa State and 19 per cent in Katsina State”.
The children are scattered across 46 LGAs, majorities in Kano, followed by Jigawa and then Katsina. They are scattered across LGAs in remote and out of reach of normal health system areas.
We are calling for every community leader, policy makers to put hands together to build a partnership and reduce the high number of children not immunized against the child killer diseases.
We are calling on the government to increase investment in health system to reach out to the children. They should also invest heavily to ensure robust and strengthening the primary healthcare in the three states. They should integrate immunization as part of health services that are being provided to the communities.
We also call for community engagement in terms of creating demand and build the confidence on the effectiveness of the vaccines,” Farah however stated.
Similarly, the UNICEF Health Specialist, Abimbola Aman-Olaniyo said children who are not immunized are vulnerable to preventable diseases and prone to outbreaks as she linked situation to the recent Diphtheria outbreak in Kano state and Celebrospinal meningitis in Jigawa state.