Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse
Communities in Kiyawa locality, Jigawa State, have been warned not to relax in the fight to control the spread of COVID-19 despite the absence of fresh cases in the State.
The communities were also sensitised on how to curb the rising cases of pneumonia amongst children through basic hygiene practice of washing of the hands with soap.
Speaking to some of the community leaders during a field visit to the area, the head of Social Behavioural and Communication Change, Save The Children field office, Jigawa, Mr Ibrahim Haruna, explained that pnemonia is now a leathal killer disease which is on the rise among vulnerable children under the age of five.
Mr Ibrahim explained that ‘unless adequate time and attention is given to the effective means of breaking the chain of it’s transmission, vulnerable children under the age of five would continue to be infected and ultimately die before their prime in the State.’
‘We would continue to preach to the people in the basic form of hygiene by always washing their hands with available and affordable hand washing materials in their community to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and also reduce the risk of pneumonia infection among children,’ he said.
In his speech while fielding questions from newsmen during the visit, the officer in charge of primary healthcare facility Mr Musa Nababa Kiyawa, said the Save The Children intervention had helped in the improvement of immunisation coverage in the Local Government from 67% to 82%.
He said Save The Children organised a series of training to health workers in the Local Government which they subsequently cascaded to about a hundred other community volunteers.
‘We engaged about a hundred of community volunteers in the campaign against COVID-19, pneumonia Infection and also how to promote immunisation, ante natal, hospital delivery, exclusive breast feeding and child complementary food, among others,’ he stated.
He added that the organisation had also supported them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 crisis worth over N 7 million, together with over 1,500 tippy-taps which were installed in public places.
The village head of Dangolin Gabas in Kiyawa Mallam Musa Nababa told our reporter how the community’s earlier behaviour towards immunisation was gradually transformed by the Save The Children campaigns.
He said that previously the community had not supported the immunisation of their children, but since adopting it the community has become one of the healthiest in the Local Government.
According to one of the community volunteers, Mrs Shafa’atu Yawale, ‘we have since realised that a mother too is psychologically and emotionally sick when her child is sick,’ which is a reason ‘we will do all we [can] to support our fellow women to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and pnemonia so that it will be a thing of the past.’