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The UNICEF staff association has donated medical equipment to a PHC in kano.

NOA, UNICEF Engage Traditional, Religious Leaders On HPV, Diphtheria

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) and UNICEF have collaborated to raise awareness of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and diphtheria among traditional and religious leaders in Kaduna Central senatorial district.

The LGAs in the Kaduna Central senatorial district are Kaduna North, Igabi, Kaduna South, Chikun, Kajuru, Giwa and Birnin Gwari. The sensitisation, supported by UNICEF, Kaduna field office, was also on preventive measures for yellow fever.

At the two-day sensitisation meeting on Tuesday in Kaduna, the NOA director, Hamisu Abubakar, said traditional and religious leaders are major stakeholders in all government activities and programmes.

Speaking on the mandate of NOA, he said the agency is saddled with the responsibility of consistently raising awareness, positively changing attitudes, values and behaviours, accurately and adequately inform

and sufficiently mobilise citizens to act in ways that promote national development.

Mr Abubakar, therefore, said in that regard, the NOA holds traditional and religious leaders in high esteem, noting that they play a vital role in ensuring that Nigerians better understand such programmes.

He, therefore, said in cognisance of the dangers of HPV, yellow fever and diphtheria, the NOA turned to a development partner (UNICEF) to embark on educating Nigerians on the dangers of the diseases and their preventive measures.

Read Also: NSSF: HPV Vaccine Is Safe And Effective For Nigerian Girls

He added that HPV infection, diphtheria, yellow fever and cervical cancer are leading health problems and causes of death in many parts of the world, and Nigeria is no exception.

He lamented that hitherto unknown diseases, if not properly understood and checked, would continue to claim the precious lives of Nigerians. He, therefore, noted that the sensitisation programme aimed to educate the traditional and religious leaders on the dangers of the diseases.

Mr Abubakar added that the programme aimed to solicit the traditional and religious leaders’ involvement in disseminating what they learned to prevent diseases in their various communities and wards. He also said they would write and submit a report of the programme and its recommendations to the Kaduna governor for their positive support.

He urged all the participants to deduce knowledge impacted on them by the field’s experts, particularly regarding preventive measures for diseases and practices.

Earlier, the UNICEF consultant on tradition and religious leaders, Khalifa Abdullahi, spoke on the importance of the participants, especially on preventive measures of the diseases. He decried the unacceptance of vaccination among some people while calling on them to embrace it, noting that it is part of the safest means of preventing diseases.

According to Mr. Abdullahi, there are vaccination centres in parts of the state, where the traditional and religious leaders are expected to educate the people in their respective places on the need for vaccines, however, he noted that as reflected in a guide, there was an increase in the rate at which people go for routine immunisation at primary health care centres.