Nigeria: Why I Can’t Hide My Kids From Immunization Officials–Mother Of Three Says

……as UNICEF Support KDSG on Polio Vaccination

Kaduna, NorthWest, Nigeria

Charity Ruben, a mother of three has said she don’t under why any mother who truly love her children will want to hide them from immunization officers, adding that she always allow her children to be vaccinated against polio because vaccination is good for the health and growth of children.

Mrs. Reuben, who admitted that her children hardly fall sick because they don’t miss any opportunity to be immunized, spoke at her home in Angwan Mission area of Gumel Ward, Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State, when a team of immunization officials visited the community at the ongoing polio vaccination in the state.

“Since I started allowing them to be immunized they hardly fall sick. Even if they get fever it’s not severe. This is why I don’t joke with the vaccination.

“I always comply anytime they come to my house for the immunization because I3 know its benefit health wise on the children below five years old,” she said. She said.

According to her, she is not among those mothers who hide their chidren from being immunize.

“No, I made sure all my three children get vaccinated against polio virus and other diseases. I am also using this platform to call on other parents to always allow their children to get vaccinated because Doctors always tell us that its protect the child,” Charity appealed.

Kaduna State Government, through her Primary Healthcare Development Agency (SPHCDA), with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), are currently conducting another round of Polio and other killer diseases routine immunization campaign in the State, aimed at helping children grow healthier and free from any form of diseases that can affect their development.

Street to streets, house-to-house, markets, motor parks and highways, among other strategy were implored for this round’s campaign, which made the presence of officials visible in different places including schools and worship centres.

Speaking with media monitors who were on ground in Kachia LGA, Eugenia Aiyeligba, UNICEF facilitator for the LGA, her team vaccinated 22,774 children on the first day of the campaign out of the 78,230 children targeted by the LG.

According to her, “we want ensure that every child is protected against polio virus, it is a deadly virus that once it affect one child 200 children are at risk and if all the children are not properly immunized there is a probability one of the child might have weak immunity and might come down with the virus and other children will be at risk. Our aim is that every child should be vaccinated against polio.

“Yesterday the turnout was really commendable you know it was Saturday, all the children were at home and all of them we met at home were vaccinated.

“Even the houses that some of them were not around because of some engagements, it is expected that the team will go back to those areas and get all the children vaccinated.”

She explained that in preparation to the campaign, “meetings were held with various groups; like the Chiefdoms, there was social mobilization committee meetings, the working group as it is called, they all met to discuss and send out the messages to the various communities.

“Letters were also sent to schools, churches, Mosques and to special places whereby you have children of our target group which is from birth to 59 months.

“And we had task force meeting with the LGA Sole Administrator, which she granted us audience and she was present and we discussed and strategies for supervision and we did flag off in one of the settlement, ‘Awan’ of which we met with the people and the community leaders and we also sensitized them on the importance of immunization for them to give us their cooperation and let their people give us cooperation when we come so that their children will be vaccinated.”

SPHCDA, Deputy Director, Hamza Ikara, on his part, said the second round of the Polio Immunization Campaign which begins on Thursday 5th and will end 6th April, is targeted to reach 2.5 million children across the state with Direct Oral Polio Vaccination on 5 LGAs of Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Igabi, Zaria and Sabon Gari.

“Primary Health Care Development Agency has also established 183 Health Camp in 18 LGAs, and children between 0- 59 Months are expected to be immunized in reactive of their immunization status during this exercise.” Hamza added.

Media and External Relation Officer, UNICEF Kaduna Field office, Rabiu Musa, told the media monitors that, UNICEF provided support for the polio campaign in the areas of social mobilization including health camp strategy, provision of vaccines and logistics of all vaccination teams as well as technical support in the supervision and monitoring of the implementation of the campaign.

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