COVID-19: Rise Up To Expectations–UNICEF Urges Traditional Rulers

From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano

The UNICEF has urged traditional rulers to, as a matter of urgency, rise up to expectations in the concerted fight against Corona Virus.

The international Donor Organization, said it has unready launched aggressive campaign to conquer the  Second-Phase of the COVID-19 vaccination, particularly, in Kano, Nigeria, and Africa, at large.

“As Nigeria  gets set to commence the second phase of its COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the  United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has appealed to traditional leaders to mobilize Nigerians to come out and be vaccinated to ensure  effective utilization of the second round of 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines  donated to Nigeria by the United States of America under the COVAX Facility,” it said.

UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Peter Hawkins, made the appeal during a courtesy call on the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero at his palace in Kano recently.

Mr. Hawkins who was accompanied by Dr. Hamidreza Setayesh, Senior Country Manager, Country Support, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, noted that mobilizing Nigerians to get vaccinated was important especially to curtail the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 which is reported to be  deadlier and spreads faster – now  also found  in Nigeria.

“UNICEF as well as my colleague from the General Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization would like to emphasize that some more vaccines are coming in and the public needs to be sensitized so as to achieve a wider reach and have more people vaccinated,” said the head of the UN agency for children in Nigeria.

“I would like to appeal for continued leadership of HRH in mobilizing the good people of Kano to come out for vaccination during the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign which begins in August. I also solicit continued support and routine immunization on a sustainable basis,” said Mr. Hawkins. 

” I would like to thank the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) as well as state ministries of Health for the effective utilization of the 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines earlier donated to Nigeria by the COVAX Facility partners which have been successfully administered and at this point. Another 4 million doses will be coming into the country on Sunday and it’s very important that they are utilized in the same manner.

“it’s very important to build on the coordination of the Presidential Task Force but the states and traditional leaders also have a pivotal role to play, that’s why I’m here in Kano today,” Hawkins stated.

Responding, the Emir of Kano, His Highness, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, assured that he and the traditional leaders in Kano would support the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign just as they did during the first phase. 

‘We have both the team and the network to support the vaccination campaign and we’ll do it,” assured the monarch,” the First Class Monarch, assured.

Speaking on behalf of the Kano Emirate Council, the Director of the Health Department of council, Dr. Sha’awa Khalil Sa’id, said the emirate council is committed to ensuring that the general public is adequately sensitized  about the importance of vaccination and taking precaution against the deadly virus.

“We have a role to play in addressing the spread of COVID-19, especially with the Delta variant found in Nigeria now, which the UNICEF cautioned it’s deadlier than the variant recorded in the first and second wave of the pandemic,” he added.

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