Kano — The United Nations Children and Educational Fund (UNICEF) has charged Kano state government to redouble efforts to strengthen routine immunization to check preventable diseases.
UNICEF call came at a point Kano is rated 16 percent in the national immunization coverage against the recommended 90 percent in both outreach and fixed stations.
UNICEF Chief Field Officer, in charge of Kano and Katsina Mrs. Padmarathic Yadki, who spoke during the state launching of 2017 Volunteer Community Mobilizers and Drugs, insisted that more energy was urgently needed to be deployed to save innocent children from morbidity and disability.
The UNICEF chief who applauded huge investment of the state government particularly on vaccines preventable diseases posited that "more miles need to be covered to reach each and every child for their survival, development and protection rights."
Lamenting on devastating effects of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) bedeviling the state, Mrs. Padmarathic advocated monthly provision of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) for affected children.
According to Padmarathic, "With huge investment on procurement of RUTF, there is need to put in place a mechanism in form of a standing order for monthly provision of free routine drugs for SAM children and logistics for Community Mobilizers against Acute Malnutrition (CMAM).
"It is equally important to scaling up of nutrition program to other LGA's in the state for maximum impact with much emphasis on life cycle approach that will cater for the adolescent girls, pregnant/ lactating mother's and children zero to 59 months," Padmarathic emphasised.
Responding, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, acknowledged the state is battling to meet the challenges of meeting huge responsible in the health care system despite paucity of resources.
Ganduje however noted that the state government has spent over N700 million on procurement of malaria drugs and food supplement to meet increasing cases of child malnutrition in Kano.
Besides, Ganduje said: "Our government has strengthen health care system particularly at the grass root level with the upgrade of 120 Primary health Care facilities, provision of health trust funds and health care insurance scheme. We have also employed 2000 health care professionals."
Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ibrahim Getso, said the lunching of 350 volunteers community mobilizers was to meet the shortage of immunization coverage in the state.