The Jegamdombi community in Lau Local Government Area of Taraba State has appreciated the support of UNICEF, saying its intervention has led to reduction in early childhood diseases in the area.
Members of the community told journalists Saturday that UNICEF’s intervention had increased access to vaccines and other health care services for children and pregnant women.
“More children and pregnant women have received vaccination since the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) provided a motorcycle to assist healthcare workers to deliver vaccines to the area.
“When the motorcycle was not available, the turnout of women and children for vaccination was not as it is today.
“Before now, when they wait for hours without the arrival of the health workers, they leave, but not anymore.
“Since they started coming on a motorcycle, the health workers arrive here promptly and perform their duty on time.
“That gives our women enough time to go to their farms and attend to other domestic chores after bringing their children for immunisation,” the community head, Ishaya Yamva said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that motorcycles were provided by the Global Alliance for Vaccines Initiative (GAVI) through UNICEF as part of its health interventions in rural communities.
Yamva commended the organisation for the “life saving” intervention.
“The presence of UNICEF in our village has helped a lot; it affords our children the opportunity to be immunised against diseases that have been killing them in the past,” he added.
The community, however, cried out for urgent attention on the terrible state of the road leading to the village.
“As you can see the road to our community is very bad, we find it very difficult to even access the nearest primary health centre, which is more than 15 kilometers from here.”
He also appealed to the state and local governments to provide basic amenities for the community.
Benjamin Anthony, the Immunisation Officer for Jimlari Ward, told the media team that lack of access roads to most communities have been slowing down the immunisation outreach.
“No doubt the donation of the motorcycle has helped in enhancing our performance, especially in hard-to-reach communities,” he said.
Tushar Rane, Chief of UNICEF Field Office, Bauchi said GAVI, through UNICEF, donated 420 motorcycles and 13 Hilux Trucks in November 2022, to eight states to strengthen integrated routine immunization and Primary Health Care.
According to him, 100 motorcycles were provided to Taraba to improve service delivery in areas with underserved population and Zero Dose children.
He said that other states that received the motorcycles were Bayelsa, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Taraba, and Zamfara.
Rane said the motorcycles were provided to ease access to hard-to-reach areas and ensure timely delivery of immunisation services.
He urged communities to embrace the opportunity and avail themselves of the medical services.
The UNICEF official urged Taraba Primary Health Care Development Agency to maintain the motorcycles and use them for the purpose they were provided.
He assured that UNICEF would continue to provide support towards ensuring access to quality health care for all, particularly women and children in hard-to-reach areas.
Jegamdombi is an isolated community off the Jalingo-Numan highway in Taraba, North East, Nigeria.