The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is to immunize 3.1 million
children in Borno state against measles and other child-killer diseases, as part of “communication and social mobilization” campaign strategies adopted in camps and host communities in the North-East.
The immunization age group has also been scaled up to 10 years, because of insecurity and inaccessibility to liberated communities by health officials.
Geoffrey Ijumba, the UNICEF chief field officer, in Maiduguri disclosed this in Maiduguri while speaking on challenges of immunizing children in camps and host communities in the affected sub-region.
“To achieve our immunization targets of 3.1 million children, UNICEF and the media are to partner, as local journalists know the “terrain,
customs and regulations” of the affected communities, cut off from being immunized, because of violence and insecurity of health
officials,” said Ijumba.
He however noted: “Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps and host communities in Maiduguri; have the will to survive despite the violence, as long as they could have access to protections; qualitative and functional education.”
Ijumba added: “We need the local media, as journalists on ground know the terrains, customs and regulations of the insurgency affected towns and villages.”
He said the displaced persons should not lose hope of returning to their ancestral homes.
Haruna Adamu, UNICEF Vaccine and Logistic Officer said under phases one
and two immunization programme, 25 council areas are to be covered.
He said the agency has supplied 2, 126, 390 doses of vaccines, adding that under the two immunization phases, one million doses of vaccines are being administered on children.
He said the immunization campaign strategy, was to “focus on and prevent” the outbreaks and spread of measles in Borno and Yobe states.
“It is important to integrate the immunization programme with Vitamins A supplements,”
He said on the fifth day of immunization in Borno, 774 children were vaccinated.
On challenges of immunization, he said: “There are many children in IDPs camps and host communities that were not able to be reached, due to insecurity.
“Most of the children below the age 15; have been infection by measles, as they spent over three years under Boko Haram captivity.”
Source: The Nigerian Voice