The Chief Field Offcer, Katsina State UNICEF Field Office, Padmavethi Yelda has expressed her concerned about the statistics that only 25% of children in Katsina have access to immunization.
Yelda made this assertion when she was speaking at a programme organised by the office of the Senior Special Assistant to His Excellency Aminu Bello Masari on Development Partners and Donor Agencies, Hon. Fatima Y. Usman Katsina in partnership with the UNICEF Katsina Field Office.
Mrs. Yelda also thanked the participants for putting in their contributions in order to help develop a comprehensive advocacy framework for immunization in Katsina State.
She stated that Nigeria as country is placed under international watch due to the negative data on health intervention. She lamented the increase in the number of children and mothers’ death in Nigeria. According to her, “This situation is worrisome and not encouraging”.
The UNICEF Chief Field Officer cautioned that Nigeria must do something and urgently to find out why these interventions are not producing the expected results noting that some thirty years ago, Nigeria had fantastic records of immunization. She further noted that recently, those positive data have now become burdens to the entire statistics narratives of health interventions in Africa.
Yelda also called the attention of the Nigerian government to the danger of not investing in children’s healthcare which she pointed out to be the bedrock of the future of the country.
She therefore charged the government at all levels to move from policy to practical actions in order to make sure that under each person’s watch, each household no one will die. Education, she emphasized is the enabling tool to get it right for our children.
Earlier in his speech, the Commissioner of Education, Prof. Badamasi Lawal Charanchi who was representing the Deputy Governor of Katsina State, declared the event open stating that Governor Aminu Masari recently procured vaccines on public health worth N35 million against outbreak of Cerebral Meningitis in the state.
Special Guest of Honour at the event who is also the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Alhaji Shehu Dalhatu Tafoki observed that the advocacy was timely, adding that Katsina State House of Assembly had passed a resolution that would back the creation of two more child-mother hospitals in Funtua and Daura zones, in addition to that of Katsina Central zone of the state.
He hoped that the Forum would develop a working document from which the state could develop a framework with UNICEF to mobilize relevant resources to upscale immunization in Katsina State.
In her address, the Senior Special Adviser, Development Partners and Donor Agencies, Honorable Fatima Y. Usman Katsina encouraged participants, Governmental, Non-Governmental, Civil society and Traditional Rulers, especially the Female Youth and Civil Society groups represented at the programme to feel free to express their feelings.
Fatima emphasized the need for community intervention and collaboration for the successful and sustainable child-mother development in line with Governor Aminu Bello Masari’s administrative vision of inclusive governance and total development of the people and resources of Katsina State.