Jegam Yappai community in Lau local government area of Taraba State on Wednesday expressed gratitude to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for providing a motorcycle to the community to help in transporting vaccination workers.
The motorcycle was given to the community by UNICEF in collaboration with Global Alliance for Vaccines Initiative (GAVI) as part of its health interventions in rural communities.
The community head, Ishaya Yamba, commended the organisations when the head of the UNICEF Bauchi field office visited the village.
He said since the intervention last year, there had been a reduction in early childhood illnesses in the area as more children have been immunised.
“When the motorcycle was not available, the turnout of women in bringing out their children for vaccination was not as it is now. Because they wait for several hours before the arrival of the health workers, most of them get tired and will live before the arrival of the health workers without their children being injected.
“But since they started coming here on a motorbike, they arrived here promptly and perform their duty on time, that gives our women enough time to go to their farms and also attend to other domestic work after bringing out their children to take the immunisation,” he said.
Mr Yamba said, “The presence of UNICEF in our village has helped a lot; it affords our children the opportunity to be immunised against killer diseases that have been killing our children in the past.”
Mr Yamba added, “As you can see the road to our community is very bad, we find it very difficult to even assess the nearest primary health center which is more than 15 kilometers from here.”
While commending UNICEF for its intervention in the Village, he begged the government to provide basic amenities for the community.
While speaking on the successes of the intervention, the head of the Primary Health Care facilities in Lau Local Government, Anthony Benjamin, told PREMIUM TIMES that the major challenge faced by the field workers was the lack of accessible roads to the remote communities in the locality
“No doubt the donation of the motorcycle has helped in enhancing our performances, especially in areas that are difficult to reach,” he said.
Jegam Yappai lies isolated from Mararaban Kunini on the Jalingo-Numan highway. The 10 kilometers journey from the highway to the village is stressful due to the bad terrain.
In November last year, GAVI and UNICEF donated 420 motorbikes and 13 vehicles to eight states to strengthen integrated routine immunization (RI) and Primary Health Care (PHC) in states.
The states are Bayelsa, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Taraba, and Zamfara.
One hundred motorcycles were donated to Taraba State.
Tokunbo Oshin, Director, High Impact Country Programmes of Gavi, said Gavi decided to support some states in Nigeria that have weak indicators of health system strengthening and have more direct engagement at sub-national levels, towards the country’s graduation out of Gavi support by 2028.
He said the motorcycles were donated to ensure delivery of services to hard-to-reach areas in the states.
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