Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Insecurity: 800,000 Children lack access to routine immunisation – NPHCDA

About 800,000 children lack access to routine immunisation in six northern states, the Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shauib, has said.

The Executive Director named the 6 Northern states to include Kaduna, Niger, Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina and Sokoto and said they lack access to or were never reached by any routine immunisation due to banditry and other forms of insecurities.

Speaking at a strategic meeting with traditional leaders of inaccessible communities in six states on PHC Delivery held in Sokoto, on Friday, Shuaib, said the trend is a result of bandits’ activities in the areas.

He said the strategic meeting is a turning point in their approach to reaching children for vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases.

He also said the gesture is the reflection of the commitment of the traditional institution in northern Nigeria to the provision of effective health service delivery to their communities.

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He explained that inaccessibility is a formidable threat to our efforts to interrupt the transmission of the circulating variant poliovirus type 2 (cvpv2) currently spreading in some states of the country

He stated that inaccessibility to vaccination would derail their efforts by making other children vulnerable to poliovirus infection.

The meeting was organised by the Sultan Foundation of Peace and Development in collaboration with NPHCDA.

Shuaib further explained that the meeting was aimed at promoting an effective primary health care delivery to the people of the region in particular and Nigeria in general.

“As respected leaders of our nation, I respectfully implore your majesties to consistently advocate for immunization and other primary healthcare (PHC) services. By utilising your influential and revered position in society to emphasize the significance of regular immunisation and other PHC services to parents and caregivers, we can overcome obstacles and enhance the acceptance of vaccines, ensuring that every child receives these life-saving treatments.


“By taking this action, we can stop the spread of cVPV2 and achieve a comprehensive enhancement in the health and welfare of our communities.

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“The HPV vaccine is highly effective in preventing the most common types of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that cause cervical and other types of cancers. We would be reaching out to you to help communicate to your communities the importance of these vaccines.”

The NPHCDA boss noted that the meeting presented another opportunity to deliberate and devise strategies to tackle the challenges facing the PHC system in the zone, identify service delivery gaps, and explore innovative solutions to enhance PHC services in various communities through collaborative efforts.

According to Shauib, “Immunisation, particularly the eradication of all forms of vaccine-preventable diseases, for example, poliovirus, remains our top priority. Your involvement as traditional leaders in promoting vaccination campaigns and community mobilisation has been pivotal in our progress thus far.

“With your support, we have achieved remarkable milestones, witnessing a significant decline in cases of circulating variant poliovirus type 2 (cVPV2) in the zone. However, our work is not yet complete. We must persistently labor until we reach the finish line, ensuring that future generations are shielded from this debilitating disease and other vaccine-preventable diseases.”

On her part, the UNICEF country representative Cristian Munduate, represented by the head of the Sokoto field office Maryam Sa’id said UNICEF has provided a million doses of vaccine for the country.

She further stated that UNICEF would continue to render technical support to Nigeria for effective health service delivery.

Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, represented by Emir of Argungu Alhaji Samaila Mera said as leaders of the people they would find alternative ways of reaching inaccessible areas.

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He noted that some of these people are in IDPs in Niger Republic, and other places in Nigeria saying the traditional leaders would communicate with them to avail their children of vaccination.

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