Northern Nigerian Breaking News

UNICEF tasks Kano, Jigawa, Katsina on improved primary healthcare

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has urged the Kano, Jigawa, and Katsina state governments to strengthen their Primary Health Care (PHC) system for better and more effective service delivery.

The Officer In Charge (OIC) of UNICEF Kano Office, Micheal Banda, made the call during a media dialogue on polio campaign organised by UNICEF in collaboration with the Kano State Primary Healthcare Development Agency on Friday in Kano.

Banda urged the three state governments to implement the “Nigeria Primary Health Care Under One Roof Policy’’ to ensure a one-stop functional primary health care centre per ward.

He stressed the need for the governments of the three states to ensure an integrated package of primary health services to families in one functional health facility.

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He added that “UNICEF would continue to support the primary healthcare system to ensure at least one functional PHC in each local government area of Kano, Katsina, and the country at large.’’

The UNICEF OIC said that boosting routine immunisation would help to eradicate polio and childhood killer diseases from the country.

He explained that strengthening the PHC system and making routine polio immunisation a top priority is critical to child survival, hence the urgent need for stakeholders to collaborate and ensure that children below five years received all vaccines.

According to him, immunisation is the single, cost-effective and high-impact intervention which protects children against illnessess and death caused by vaccine-preventable diseases.

The OIC described the media as partners in progress, crucial in managing misinformation about vaccines.

“I urge the media to create the demand for immunisation and to raise awareness about the importance of vaccines by providing accurate information to caregivers, families and communities.’’

Earlier, Dr Nasir Mahmoud, the Director-General, Kano State Primary Healthcare Management Agency, said polio immunisation campaigns would be held between April 20 and April  23 in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa states.

He added that the exercise was targeted at children between ages 0 to 59 months in the three states. He noted that the Kano State Government had put modalities in place to make the campaign a success, saying “polio vaccine campaign has already started in some selected areas.’’

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He stressed the need for public enlightenment, attributing the low immunisation coverage in the last few years and non-functional primary healthcare centres as some of the major catalysts to the current situation.

“Currently in Kano, there is a global mission presence to curtail the situation and Kano State Government will provide all the necessary support to achieve the desired objectives,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state Epidemiologist, Dr Shehu Abdullahi, said “polio virus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis within hours. The virus can be transmitted from one person to another through the faecal-oral route or contaminated water. The initial symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness of the neck, and pain in the limbs,” he explained.

Some of the participants who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) thanked UNICEF for organising the media briefing and promised to put the knowledge to use and also share it with others.



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