Traditional leaders vow to promote routine, Polio immunisation in Jigawa

The Emir of Dutse in Jigawa, His Highness Alhaji Hameem Nuhu Sanusi, has assured the traditional institutions’ determination to continue pursuing initiatives to promote routine immunisation and the ongoing Polio special vaccine exercise.

The Emir gave this assurance while administering the polio vaccine to some children in his palace, stating that traditional leaders would do their utmost to enhance healthcare delivery to children in particular.

Alhaji Hameem Nuhu Sanusi noted that he personally administered the vaccine to some children to demonstrate to the general public the importance of the ongoing exercise and to ensure that it is safe and effective.

He emphasised that “traditional institutions will continue to pursue and promote anything that will enhance the health, social, and economic well-being of the people and will equally oppose anything detrimental to the people.”.

The Emir called on parents to bring out their children for vaccination to enable Jigawa State to sustain the gains made in polio eradication thirteen years ago.

In his part, the Officer in Charge of the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund’s (UNICEF) Kano Field Office, Mr Michael Banda, called for Nigeria to strengthen its primary health care system and give routine immunisation a vital boost.

Mr. Michael Banda explained, “As the data show, in the three states of Kano, Jigawa, and Katsina, supported by the UNICEF Kano Field Office, we have over 556,750 children who have not received a single dose of vaccination they should have received, referred to as zero dose children.”

According to him, such children are inevitably vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases, including poliomyelitis, which is unacceptable and must be addressed directly.

“Not only is polio vaccination crucial, but all routine vaccinations are also critical to children’s survival. We must all work together to strengthen routine immunisation services and ensure that all children under five receive all vaccines, including the polio vaccine.”

He further stated, “If all children receive all the vaccines they need, they would no longer be at risk of contracting polio, with its debilitating consequences, but instead, they would have received immunity protecting them against vaccine-preventable diseases.”

The UNICEF Field Officer in Charge emphasised that immunisation has been proven to be the most cost-effective protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. “Let’s all work together—government, development partners, religious and traditional leaders, communities, NGOs, CSOs, and the media—to ensure that every Nigerian child under five is vaccinated to protect them from not just POLIO but all other vaccine-preventable diseases.”

“Managing misinformation and vaccine hesitancy for polio and overall vaccination is crucial in Nigeria to stop the outbreak,” Banda emphasised.

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Source:

Tribune Online