By Hammed Salawu, Minna
OVER 108,575 children under the age of five in Hard-To-Reach (HTR) communities in Niger State have been vaccinated and immunised by the United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) at the end of its fifth quarter.
The state Coordinator of the UNICEF Hard to Reach Communities, Dr. Mohammed Khalid, said that the children were attended to in 850 hard to reach communities in the state, adding that 314,604 Oral Polio Vaccines (OPV) doses were administered to the children.
Khalid who disclosed this in an interactive session with newsmen in Minna said, there are over 3,600 hard to reach communities in Niger state where people have no access to healthcare facilities due to the challenging terrains leading to these communities.
He lamented that most of the health facilities are more than five kilometres from these communities which can take a number of hours for the villagers to get health services, adding that UNICEF is handling only 850 communities leaving about 2,950 communities without the possibility of accessing healthcare in the state. Read also: 2019 election: I’m the best candidate, Fayose declares
“So many of these Hard-to-Reach communities are so far away from civilization that they do not have electricity or even mobile networks. They have been abandoned, they are socially secluded and do not even know what they are missing because they have been left behind.”
“Our team usually consist of an experienced nurse midwife, a Child Health Emergency Worker (CHEW), two junior CHEWs and a data assistant. UNICEF hard-to-reach project covers 17 local government councils, 145 wards, 850 settlements and we have 17 teams and 850 voluntary community mobilisers.” Read also: China to shut down North-Korea’s companies
He commended the Niger state government for its support and commitment towards ensuring the success of the project especially in the supply of potent vaccines and RDT kits.
The Niger state Immunization Officer, Dr. Samuel Jiya, said the state government is still working towards carrying health Intervention to the hard-to-reach communities in its bid to improve health indices and end maternal and child mortality.
He said that government is putting in all its resources towards combating child killer diseases in the state.
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