By Abdul Isa
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has called on the Nigerian authorities to ensure the effective utilization of the second round of 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines it provided alongside other development partners, which are expected to arrive in the country on Sunday.
UNICEF’s representative in Nigeria, Perter Hawkins who made the plea shortly after a meeting with the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero in his palace on Thursday cautioned against the spread of the Delta variant of the respiratory illness.
“UNICEF, as well as my colleagues from the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization, would like to emphasize that some more vaccines are coming in and the public need to be sensitized so as to achieve a wider reach out and have more people vaccinated.”
“UNICEF has already provided 4 million doses of vaccines for Nigeria which have been successfully administered and at this point, I would like to thank the Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) as well as state ministries of Health for the effective utilization of the vaccines. 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, ‘’Hawkins said.
Responding to UNICEF’S evaluation on Nigeria’s response to the pandemic so far, the representative noted that “it is 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 is why I’m here in Kano today”.
Hawkins explained that the purpose of the meeting with the Kano monarch is to rub minds with the emir on ways to maintain the preventive measures of COVID-19, especially as the Delta variant is faired to be transmitted faster.
Speaking in Hausa on behalf of the emirate council, director of the health department of the Kano emirate council, Dr. Sha’awa Khalil Sa’id the council is committed to ensuring that the general public is adequately sensitized on the importance of taking precautions against the deadly virus.
“We have a role to play in addressing the spread of COVID-19 especially with the Delta variant in play now, which the UNICEF cautioned that it’s deadlier than the variant recorded in the first and second wave of the pandemic”.