Nigeria Achieved 66% Reduction in un-Immunised Children in 2013– Agency

Nigeria achieved 66 per cent reduction in polio eradication in un-immunised children in 2013 against 3.2 million recorded in 2012, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) has said.

Dr Ado Muhammad, the Executive Director of the agency, made the fact known in Abuja on Tuesday at the 2014 Africa Vaccination Week Stakeholders’ Sensitisation Meeting.

The AVW theme for 2014 is: “Vaccination, a Shared Responsibility’’.

Muhammad said that Nigeria would commemorate the week to synchronise with the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week slated for May.

“We have made progress in routine immunisation as the national coverage for other antigens remain above 80 per cent,’’ he said.

Muhammad also said that the country recorded improved “ coverage of diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus (DPT3) from 52 (per cent) to 84 per cent in 2013. ’’

He said that 1,656 Solar Direct Drive had been procured to boost cold chain capacity.

He said that the agency would go into partnership with military, paramilitary and faith-based organisations to ensure that every child received immunisation.

“Presently, the agency is working out modalities to bring on board military and paramilitary routine immunisation providers to reduce the number of reported un-immunised children, ’’ Muhammad said.

He urged states and local governments to earmark adequate funds for routine immunisation.

Commenting on the week, Muhammad said that it was a regional initiative led and coordinated by World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa and implemented by countries in the region.

He said the initiative provided a unique opportunity for countries and partners to strengthen national immunisation programmes by using the power of advocacy and partnership.

Muhammad said that in Nigeria, the week would be marked by lots of advocacy with partners, media activities and official launch of the programme.

Also, Dr Mustapha Mahmud, Head, Routine Immunisation of the agency, said that vaccination was the responsibility of every Nigerian.

Mahmud said, “Media has a big role to play, especially at the community level, for parents to know the importance of vaccinating their children.’’