By Asmau Ahmad
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said it has immunised 2, 282, 374 children against polio and other related diseases in Niger state between January and June 2016.
UNICEF Health Specialist, Amina Baloni made this known in an interview with newsmen in Minna, the state capital.
Dr. Baloni said that the figure amounted to 88 per cent coverage across the 25 Local Government Areas.
Our correspondent report that the organisation used the monthly cumulative polio campaign data to arrive at the total coverage of children in the state.
She said the exercise was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Health in 212 health camps and 53 health care centres in each of the four rounds during the year.
Baloni said that 16,133 children were vaccinated using 71 health kits in every campaign with non-compliance from parents.
She said that through increased outreach effort in 550 villages, 68,565 children were vaccinated.
“To improve immunity among susceptible children, Trivialent oral polio vaccine and Bivalent oral polio vaccine exercise was carried out across the 25 local government areas. Sixty private facilities were trained on routine immunisation services which resulted in an increase in routine immunisation coverage.
“Through an increased outreach campaign, 68, 565 children were reached out for Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV), pent3 and vitamin A as well as Ante natal care,” she said.
She added that the number of non-compliance reported cases dropped from 329 to 197 in May because stakeholders such as traditional leaders, religious and focal persons were used to promote integrated health services.
Baloni explained that after the routine immunisation the cumulative percentage of coverage increased from the initial 119 per cent recorded in June 2015 to 124 per cent in June 2016, saying that the state had remained a polio free state till date since the last polio case was isolated in March 2013.