By: ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
Kaduna State Government with Support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Saturday kicked off another round of Polio Immunization campaign across the state aimed at helping children grow healthier and free from any forms of diseases that can affect their growth and development.
It would be recalled, that similar exercise was held in April between 5th and 10th 2018. And this round which started on 30th June is expected to end on July 3rd 2018.
Some mothers who gladly brought out their children and wards for the exercise, at Magajiya area in Kafanchan ward A in Jema’a Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, where full of praises for the Kaduna State Government, UNICEF and other partners who provided support in making free vaccines available.
Ai’sha Ahmed, a mother of 6 who could not hide her joy, thank UNICEF officials who always sensitised them on the dangers of not bringing their children for immunisation.
“If you come to some of our communities, you will see the negative effect on some of the children who have not been taking the vaccines.
“UNICEF, told us that immunization helps in preventing children from strange diseases that can easily affect them, and we have seen that ourselves and all my children are very healthy.
“All my children have been taking the polio vaccine since they started sensitizing us on the need to always take our children for immunization, and I thank God, Kaduna state and UNICEF for their efforts.” She said.
Another mother, Ai’sha Abdullahi, Who also brought her 2 years old baby for the exercise said, “i have been bringing my child for this polio immunization since when he was 3 months old.
“Before, her Father don’t agree with this immunization until I attended a Polio workshop in Kafanchan B PHC where they sensitized us on the importance of this polio immunization.
“I have discovered the danger, if you don’t take your children for immunization and i am not ready to be taking my children to hospital for treatment, it is better for me to prevent it now and the vaccine is free.”
This round was also an opportunity to convince some mothers who never saw any reason to immunize their children to come in term with the reality and accept to do so henceforth.
For instance, Mrs. Ummi Hassan a mother of two from Kano, who was in Kafanchan for a wedding revealed that she has never taken any of her children for immunization because she and her husband don’t like it.
According to her, “we are scared of taking our children for polio because we heard people saying the children will be infected with strange diseases. Their father don’t want immunization for his children and i don’t like also.”
After some level of sensitisation for 30 minutes on the importance of Polio immunization by UNICEF Consultant in-charge of Jema’a LGA Mr. Isaac Gwamna, Mrs Ummi, agreed for her two years old baby to be given the vaccine.
She Promised to advise her husband on the need for their children to continue to take the vaccines since it is in their interest.
Isaac Gwamna, had earlier explained to a team of media monitor; some of the strategies implored to ensure that people participate massively during the exercise, adding that, 459,15 children are expected to be reached in Jema’a LGA in this round.
“We liaised with Northern Traditional Leaders Committee (NTLC) members in conducting sensitization meeting at surubu and kampany- Zonzon ward due to high unimmunized children.
“Social Mobilization Committee (SMC) work plan was developed to capture settlement with habitual Non Compliance (NC) and poor Routine Immunization (RI) with major activities conducted and it was used to develop High Risk Operation Plan (HROP).
“Participate in Task Force on Immunization/Social Mobilization Committee (TFI/SMC) meeting in addressing pending challenges and developing strategies of tackling any up coming issues that may arise during implementation.
“We trained Health Camp (HC) personnel and have HC sited in settlement with NC and poor Routine Immunization (RI) coverage to boost coverage. Support and supervised HC/IPDs teams during June/July 2018 Immunization Plus Days (IPDs) implementation, among others. He said.
On some of the challenges encountered on the first day of the exercise, Isaac added, “in Jema’a, some parents didn’t allow us to give their children the polio vaccine despite the sensitisation, but we have to talk to such people in a way they will understand.”