According to UNICEF, approximately 600,000 children in Kano, Katsina, and Jigawa states have yet to be immunized against childhood killer diseases.
Rahama Farah, UNICEF’s Chief Field Officer in Kano state, stated this during a media briefing on the organization’s State of the World Children’s (SOWC) 2023: Immunisation and Zero Dose scenario in Kano Field office states on Thursday.
He stated that Kano state had the greatest number, with over 300,000 unimmunized youngsters, accounting for 55% of the total.
According to Farah, the children were spread throughout 44 local government areas (LGAs), with Kano State having the most, followed by Jigawa and Katsina.
He said that the victims were in remote and out-of-reach of normal health system areas.
“We in UNICEF are very concerned about the zero dose number of children not immunised in the three states of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa under the Kano field office. We are concerned because this is the basic fundamental child rights in terms of having access to immunisation services.
“We know that globally, children are dying because they don’t have access to preventable diseases vaccination. And this is a major concern for us in Nigeria and Kano in particular,” he said.
The official stated that: “Over 600,000 children who missed first dose of immunisation are in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States. Over 300,000 of the children who are in Kano, represents 55 percent. We have 26 percent of the children in Jigawa state and 19 per cent in Katsina State.
“We are calling on every community leader, policy makers to put hands together to build partnership and reduce the high number of children not immunised against the child killer diseases. We are calling on the government to increase investment in health system to reach out to the children.
“We also call for community engagement in terms of creating demand and build the confidence on the effectiveness of the vaccines,” Farah added.
Similarly, UNICEF’s Health Specialist, Abimbola Aman-Olaniyo, stated that unvaccinated children were definitely vulnerable to preventable diseases and prone to outbreaks, citing recent incidences of Diphtheria outbreak in Kano state and Cerebrospinal meningitis in Jigawa state.
According to her, the fund intends to reach 250,985 children in Kano, 154,768 children in Katsina, and 94,060 children in Jigawa in 2023 to reduce the number of zero dose children.
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