By Alex Uangbaoje, Sokoto
In a bid to reduce the mortality rate of meningitis Type C deaths in North-western Nigeria, the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) on Monday said the organisation is delivering about 850,000 doses of meningitis vaccines to Sokoto State Government to help curtail the outbreak which threatens the lives of many in the region.
Mohammad Mohiuddin, UNICEF Sokoto Chief of Field Office, disclosed this to a team of journalists in his office when he played host to the press men.
According to him, UNICEF has already delivered about 100,000 doses of the vaccine to the state government.
“Approximately,100,000 has already been handed over to the government, tomorrow we are expecting to receive 50,000 plus doses of the vaccines, a day after tomorrow we are also going to receive 600,000 plus excess. About 850,000 will be provided to the state government at the end of day.
“We are also supporting the state government in social mobilisation campaign, and as part of that, we are doing social mobilisation through our field network.
“We have the Community Volunteers mobilizers at the community level, we have the LGAs consultants and we have our whole network of Communication for Development.”
Mohiuddin commended the state government for her efforts, adding “the Commissioner of Health is very hard working and committed; all his team are taking the outbreak very seriously.”
Confirming the first batch of receipt of the vaccines from UNICEF, Incidence Manager, Emergency Operations Centre, Sokoto, Dr. Aminu Shehu, noted that over 97,200 doses of the vaccines are already in the custody of the state government.
According to him, since the outbreak, the state has responded well especially in collaborating with other partners like UNICEF, by providing drugs to people affected by the bacteria.
“We have a state of the art laboratory where cases are analysed and treatments are promptly administered. Many at times, even before the confirmation, once the symptoms are there we commence treatment.
“We have different teams on ground working together to tackle the menace and these includes surveillance, mobilization, vaccines and we get reports and feedback through the ministry of health
“Currently, we have 33 confirmed cases in the state, which have been treated and discharged. But apart from these, there are over 1000 suspected cases.
“The situation is that when someone is down with fever and neck pain, they immediately rush to the Centre to say that they have Meningitis and you cannot say you will not treat them until the test results are out.”
He however, revealed that vaccination exercise and campaigns will commence on Thursday 27th April 2017 in 9 Local Government Areas.