Nigeria Has About 100 LGAs With Zero-dose Children – UNICEF

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says Nigeria has about 100 LGAs that have been categorised as zero-dose areas.

Zero-dose areas are places with children who have not received their first diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine (DTP1).

Rahama Farah, UNICEF chief, Kano field office, spoke on Thursday in Katsina at the launch of the distribution of 198 motorcycles for routine immunisation for officers and ward focal persons.

According to NAN, the Katsina government distributed the motorcycles to ensure optimal coverage of routine immunisation and other primary health care services across the state.

Farah, who was represented by Abimbola Aman, a UNICEF health specialist, said out of the 100 areas, Katsina has eight LGAs in the list ( Batagarawa, Baure, Funtua, Kankara, Katsina, Mani, Rimi and Safana).

“Zero-dose children remain vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases, along with un/under-immunised or ‘missed dose’ children, which refers to those who do not complete their immunisation in the National Immunisation schedule,” Farah said.

“I urge the government, traditional, religious, community leaders, and everyone to forge partnerships to ensure that every child in Katsina state is immunised..

“I also implore mothers and caregivers to ensure that children receive all relevant childhood vaccines as contained in the country’s routine immunisation schedule.

“They should also ensure that children, within the target age groups, receive other vaccines given during supplemental immunisation activities (SIAs), including oral polio vaccine (OPV) and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) for children less than five years.

“There is also the need to ensure that girls between nine and 14 years receive HPV vaccine, yellow fever, and other vaccines at different times (depending on epidemiology of diseases).”

Farah also urged the Katsina government to strengthen the primary healthcare system by implementing the primary health care under one roof policy to ensure one-stop functional PHCs in all wards.

He urged the government to increase strategic interventions to address persistent gaps in human resources and to increase the numbers, quality, and distribution of critical health workers.

He also emphasised the need to increase vaccinators, community health influencers and promoters services (CHIPS) agents for immunisation creation.

“Government should also ensure provision of essential medicines and health commodities, infrastructure, electricity, and water supply for quality integrated primary health care service for the people,” he added.

“UNICEF remains a trusted partner and would continue to support children, people and government of the state.”

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