39 million children between ages nine to 29 months will soon enjoy the measles immunization by this Friday when government begins to give measles vaccines.
Executive-Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Muhammad, made this known yesterday in Abuja at a press briefing ahead of the exercise in the country.
Muhammad said that the exercise would be structured into two phases: the first for 19 northern states in the country while the second would be carried out in 17 states that make up southern part of the country.
According to Dr. Ado, the northern phase which begins Friday would end on 29th of this month, and the second phase for the the Southern part of the country takes off between January 28 and 1st of February 2016.
According to the NPHCDA boss’ explanation, the age range of children is because epidemiological results shows that about 80 percent of the disease burden was in this age range.
“The measles campaign is a follow-up campaign. We have our routine immunization system in place. And, children that are born newly are immunized through the immunization platform. We have vaccines in our primary health care centres. We have vaccines in our secondary facilities. However, for those children that are missed, through routine immunization platform, we are carrying out this follow-up campaign, Ado said.
“The essence is to provide immunity for our children, and it also helps to mitigate the occurrence of epidemics. That is why in every two years, we carry out vaccination campaign so that we can reach children that have been missed in routine immunization and give a second dose of opportunity to those already vaccinated,” he added.
NPHCDA intends to reach a minimum of 95 percent of the target population for the exercise Muhammad noted.
He said, “The campaign is structured in two ways, that is facility-based immunization in which we expect children and wards to primary health centres and outposts such as churches, mosques, schools and homes of our traditional leaders. “We also build transit point so that we will not miss any child in that age range. We will also target motor parks and other hard-to-reach areas in-between states and international borders”, he emphasised.
“We also have made arrangement in all the IDP camps in the security-challenged areas of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. As at last count, we have identified about 96 IDP camps, clustered in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, and also part of FCT. Those IDP camps are also part of temporary posts…
“The essence is that no child should be missed. We do not want to miss any child. We are determined to have quality campaign. We are determined to ensure that we have optimal uptake of this exercise. We are trying to ensure that we achieve 95 percent coverage, so that we can reduce and bring to the barest minimum, the burden of this disease in this country.
Government is committed to child survival through effective immunization, and reduction of about 40 percent of deaths in under-five children, Ado emphasised.

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