United Nations Children’s Funds, UNICEF on says an estimate of 2 million people were at risk of meningitis in Katsina State. UNICEF Country Representative, Peter Hawkins disclosed this during the flag-off of the introduction of Meningitis A vaccine Routine Immunization in Dutsi local government area of Katsina state.
Hawkins represented by the officer in charge, UNICEF Kano field office, Niyi Oyedokun said the state in 2018 recorded 1321 cases of meningitis across the 34 local government areas of the state. According to him, “Meningitis is an extremely distressing disease that causes significant loss of life especially in countries located within what is called “the meningitis belt” which consists of almost all the states in Nigeria including Katsina State.
“Katsina, with a projected total population of 8.5 million people has an estimated 2 million people at risk of meningitis. In 2018, there were 1321 cases of meningitis across 34 LGAs of Katsina State,” Oyedokun said. The UNICEF Representative, however, harped on the need for continuous sensitization among people of the state on the importance of the routine immunization (Meningitis A vaccine inclusive) to prevent their children from the common childhood killer diseases.
“UNICEF is also supporting the state in communicating to caregivers the risk of meningitis and the importance of Meningitis A vaccination. “UNICEF alongside other development partners supported Katsina State in ensuring that all Routine Immunization (RI) providing frontline health workers have received the requisite training that will enable them to administer this vaccine safely together alongside other vaccines.
“We hope the flag off of the introduction of the Meningitis A vaccine routine immunization will serve as a laudable milestone in Katsina’s quest to ensure that all its eligible children receive full protection against vaccine-preventable diseases,” Oyedokun said. Flagging off the introduction of the Meningitis A vaccine routine immunization and also the maternal, newborn and child health week campaigns, Governor Aminu Bello Masari told the gathering that the campaign which was going on simultaneously in every ward of the 34 local government areas of the state would provide services such as immunization against childhood killer diseases, Deworming, vitamin A supplementation, screening for malnutrition, birth registration, HIV testing and counselling among pregnant women, childbirth spacing and health education.