Polio in Katsina, Jigawa: Kano border communities call for intensified surveillance, healthcare delivery

October 11th, 2018

From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano

Following a week old outbreak of Polio meningitis in Daura Local Government Area of Katsina state and the persisting case of the epidemic in Jigawa state, Kano communities bordering these two states have called for intensified surveillance and provision of medical facilities to forestall the infiltration of polio into the state.
Speaking to members of Journalists Against Polio (JAP) who took the campaign against Polio to the localities, residents and community health workers in Kunchi, Dambatta, Takai, Gaya, Makoda, Albassu and Gezawa Local Government Areas, among others, expressed concern over the need to ensure that Polio meningitis does not permeate Kano through border communities in Jigawa and Katsina states.
At Yandadi Community in Kunchi Local Government Area, Mohammed Lawal and Abdullaziz Abba who spoke on behalf of residents, called for the improvement of Yandadi Model Primary Health Clinic.
According to them, due to lack of adequate medical facilities in the clinic, residents were forced to travel as far as Katsina state to access medical services in times of emergency.
The Health Education Coordinator in Makoda Local Government Area, Yahaya Ismaila said the intervention of the Local Government chairman who personally mobilized parents to offer their Under-five age children for immunization greatly reduced the challenges of child absence and non-compliance hitherto faced in the area.
Alhaji Hassan Bala, the Health Focal Person of the State Primary Healthcare Management Board, for Kachako Ward in Takai Local Government Area, also decried lack of infrastructure and medical equipment in Kunar Huguma Health clinic, though he acknowledge that the state government has been given the community the needed attention in terms of polio eradication and other health matters.
According to him, “in this town, we are receiving adequate cooperation from the indigenes. They mobilize their children for polio immunization. We don’t face any problem of child absence or non-compliance.
“The only problem we are facing is lack of infrastructure such as bench, beds, chair and medical equipment. We are appealing to the government to come to our rescue because Kunar Huguma Health clinic is in dire need of infrastructure.”
While there are enough infrastructure and medical equipment at hospitals and Primary Health Care Ccentres in Albasu Local Government Area, residents of the community with over 203, 250 population rely on only one Nurse and dozens of Primary Health Care Workers to attend to their medical needs.
According to Malam Abdulrazak Idris Usman, the Primary Health Care Coordinator for Albasu Local Government Area, about 47064 under-five children were targeted for October’s round of polio immunization.
Usman said the three-day exercise was a huge success in the area as parents willingly offered their children for immunization, particularly in Gagarame, Datto and Albasu Wards which share borders with Jigawa state.
The Health Coordinator, however, regretted that Albasu Local Government Area does not have even one Medical Doctor, “what we have here is only a Nurse who is being assisted by Primary Health Care Workers, made up of Junior Community Health Extension Workers and Community Health Officers.”
At Gaya Local Government Area, the District Head of Gaya, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir expressed appreciation to the World Health Organization, Kano state government, the Kano Emirate Council and other stakeholders for making polio eradication in the area a huge success.
The Local Immunization Officer for Gaya Local Government Area, Garba Suleiman Rimi said they received all materials needed for the exercise, adding that the response of parents for polio vaccination in the area was also encouraging.

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