UNICEF is looking at the possibility of trimming its Volunteer Community Mobilizers (VCM) by 250 staff in Katsina State in order to strengthen polio polio eradication programme in North East following recent resurgence of polio wild virus in Borno State.
The Katsina UNICEF Chief Field Officer, Padmavathi Yedla, made this known on Thursday during Katsina VCM convention and traditional leaders’ award held at Muhammad Dikko Stadium in Katsina.
“There is now a shift in funding priorities. In this regards, we have been advised that we shall have to trim our VCM staff by 250 people in order to afford key priority state in the North East Nigeria to strengthen their eradication programme containment efforts. We are working together with the state government to ensure a smooth implementation of this recommendation,” she stated.
The head of the UNICEF zonal office disclosed that 2,725,244 children received oral polio vaccine during last January campaign in Katsina State but 3510 households with 5422 children were missed during the campaign, adding that they were still looking forward to resolve 2001 non-compliant households with 3423 children in Katsina.
She noted that UNICEF decided to honour the entire social network with 2500 people because they have excelled over the years in providing services and contributed immensely to making a difference in the polio eradication programme in the state.
Governor Aminu Bello Masari, represented by the state commissioner for health, Hajiya Mariatu Bala Usman, assured the readiness of his administration to upgrade Gen, Ahmadi Rimi Specialist Hospital (GARSH) to a teaching hospital and make at least four Primary HealthCare Centres (PHCs) per local government area truly functional with full complement of PHC services.
He said the administration has since its inception employed over 500 doctors and other health care workers as part of its efforts to improve human resources for health in the state.