UNICEF tasks Kano, Jigawa, Katsina on improved primary healthcare

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By Muhammad Nur Tijani

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has urged the Kano, Jigawa and Katsina State Governments to take steps towards strengthening primary healthcare system in their domains.

The Officer In Charge, UNICEF Field Office in Kano, Micheal Banda, made the call at a media dialogue and polio campaign organised by UNICEF and the Kano State Primary Healthcare Development Agency on Friday in Kano.

Banda urged the state governments to implement the Nigeria Primary Health Care Under One Roof Policy to ensure one-stop functional primary healthcare centre in every ward.

He stressed the need for the governments of the three states to make integrated primary healthcare package accessible to families in every functional health facility.

”UNICEF will continue to support the growth of primary healthcare system in these states.

”We want to ensure that at least one primary healthcare facility is functional in each local government area,” he said.

The UNICEF official said that boosting routine immunisation would eradicate polio and childhood killer diseases in the country.

He said that strengthening the system and making routine polio immunisation a top priority, was critical to the survival of the child.

”It has become important for stakeholders to collaborate and ensure that children below five years receive all vaccines.

”Immunisation is the single, most cost-effective, and high-impact intervention which protects children against vaccine-preventable illness and death,” he said.

Banda described the media as partners in progress with critical role to play in managing the misinformation about the use of vaccines.

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

Earlier, the Director General, Kano State Primary Healthcare Management Agency, Dr Nasir Mahmoud, said that polio immunisation campaign would hold between April 20 and  23.

He said the exercise was targeted at children between ages 0 and 59 months in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States.

The D-G stated that the Kano State government had put modalities in place to make the campaign a huge success.

Mahmoud who emphasised the need for public education and enlightenment on polio, attributed the low immunisation coverage in the last few years to non-functional primary healthcare centers.

Also speaking, Dr Shehu Abdullahi, said that polio virus could invade the nervous system and cause total paralysis within a few hours.

”It can be transmitted from one person to another. Polio is a highly infectious disease.

“The virus is spread mainly through the faecal-oral route. Less frequently, it is spread through contaminated water or food and multiplies in the intestine.

”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 NAN thanked the agency for organising the media briefing and polio campaign.

They promised to put the knowledge gained in the exercise to use in the interest of their well-being.(NAN)www.nannews.ng

Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa and Azubuike Okeh

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