Home News Katsina Govt., UNICEF Begin Polio Immunisation, Target 2.9m Children  

Katsina Govt., UNICEF Begin Polio Immunisation, Target 2.9m Children  


Katsina, – Katsine State Government, in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Monday, began routine polio immunisation in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 2.9 million children are targeted for the exercise, expected to hold for a week.

Executive Secretary of the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Shamsuddeen Yahaya, stated this while flagging off the immunisation on Monday in Katsina.

Yahaya said that the first phase of the exercise would cover 13 out of the 34 local government areas (LGAs) in the state.

He said that the immunisation was against polio virus and other vaccine-preventable diseases in the state, adding that the target beneficiaries were children between the ages of zero and 59 months.

The executive secretary further stated that the agency was working with other development partners and NGOs to ensure that children in areas with security challenges were reached.

“Although Nigeria has been certified for vaccination polio-free since 2020, the country has two circulating variants of the polio virus which has the potential to spread and cause serious setbacks to its citizens.

“Based on that, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) and all other partners deemed it fit to carry out this campaign to strengthen our immunity.

“It is also aimed at ensuring that the virus does not creep back into our communities.

“There is going to be an injection for children between six weeks and 59 months of age, while the other oral vaccine is going to be for children from zero to 59 months. All these vaccines are safe,” he said.

Yahaya also said that the agency had since embarked on series of campaigns and conferences, among other activities, aimed at mobilising the communities to come out and take the vaccines.

Similarly, Dr Ogu Enemaku, a social and behavioral change specialist with UNICEF, Kano field office, described the exercise as a very important development.

Enemaku noted that the state had the highest number of unvaccinated children, adding that the exercise was, therefore, an opportunity to have them all vaccinated.

“This flag-off is very important because it is not polio alone, routine immunisation is also part of it.

“So, it is an opportunity to have many unvaccinated children vaccinated. UNICEF is fully supporting this initiative in Katsina State.

“My message to the general public is that vaccination is safe and free. It is the easiest way to keep our family healthy.

“Therefore, every family or caregiver should make the children available for vaccination,” he said.

Some of the mothers, who spoke with NAN, expressed appreciation to the state government for the immunisation, assuring that they would make their children available for the exercise. (NAN)

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