By Abimbola Ogunnaike
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has disclosed that at least 80,000 children lack access to routine immunisation in six northern states.
The states, according to NPHCDA, are: Kaduna, Niger, Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina, and Sokoto, just as it also added that these states lack access to or were never reached for any routine immunisation due to banditry and other forms of insecurities.
The Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shauib, made this known while speaking at a strategic meeting with traditional leaders of some inaccessible communities in six states on PHC Delivery held in Sokoto, .
Shuaib, who said the trend was as a result of bandits activities in the areas, added that the strategic meeting was a turning point in their approach to reaching children for vaccination against preventable diseases.
NPHCDA executive director also said that the gesture was the reflection of the commitment of the traditional institution in the North to the provision of effective health service delivery to their communities.
Shuaib explained that inaccessibility was a formidable threat to our efforts to interrupt the transmission of circulating variant poliovirus type 2 (cvpv2) currently spreading in some states of the country
He stated that the inaccessibility to vaccination would derail efforts made so far by making other children vulnerable to polio virus infection.
The meeting was organised by the Sultan Foundation of Peace and Development in collaboration with NPHCDA.
Shuaib further explained that the meeting was aimed at promoting an effective primary health care delivery to the people of the region in particular and Nigeria in general.
“As respected leaders of our nation, I respectfully implore Your Majesties to consistently advocate for immunisation and other primary healthcare services.
“By utilising your influential and revered position in society to emphasise the significance of regular immunisation and other PHC services to parents and caregivers, we can overcome obstacles and enhance the acceptance of vaccines, ensuring that every child receives these life-saving treatments.
“By taking this action, we can stop the spread of cvpv2 and achieve a comprehensive enhancement in the health and welfare of our communities.
“The HPV vaccine is highly effective in preventing the most common types of Human Papilloma Virus that cause cervical and other types of cancers. We would be reaching out to you to help communicate to your communities the importance of these vaccines.”
On her part the UNICEF country representative Cristian Munduate, represented by the Head of Sokoto Field Office, Maryam Sa’id, said UNICEF had provided million doses of vaccine for the country.
She further stated that UNICEF would continue to render technical support to Nigeria for effective health service delivery.
Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, represented by the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Mera, said as leaders of the people, they would find an alternative way of reaching inaccessible areas.