NIGERIA Medical Association,
NMA, has decried the drastic variation
in immunisation coverage across
the country, adding that childhood
deaths from vaccine preventable
diseases will continue to rise until
routine immunisation is strengthened
nationwide.
Chairman of the Niger State chapter
of the Nigeria Medical Association,
Dr. Mustapha Makanta Yahaya, at a
press conference marking the 2017
Physicians’ Week in Minna, explained
that a recent survey by the National
Immunisation Coverage Survey
revealed that only 23 percent of
children from 12 to 24 months received
complete doses of the prescribed
vaccinations.
He added that 40 per cent did
not receive any vaccination, while
37 per cent received some form of
vaccination, pointing out that all states
across Nigeria is below the global goal
of 90 per cent coverage for three doses
of pentavalent vaccine.
“The implication of this statistics is
that only one out of three children aged
12 to 24 months has received all the
prescribed immunisation. This scaring
statistics is totally unacceptable to
doctors. It is a great danger and threat
to the survival of our great nation
as no meaningful development can
take place in a society where vaccine
preventable diseases and death is
ravaging the potential leaders and
hope for tomorrow. We must reverse
this ugly trend as soon as possible.”
Yahaya lamented that Niger State’s
uptake of routine immunisation which
is at 20 per cent is the lowest in the
North-Central and urged government
to channel more funds to child health,
especially routine immunisation and
ensure the timely release of such funds.
He stressed the need for the
reorganisation of the entire
immunisation project in Nigeria
overhauling the immunisation
management system from
procurement to delivery, stating
the necessity for the training and
retraining of all immunisation workers
in the state and the encouragement of
community entry by health workers to
promote uptake.
The NMA chairman said to mark
the 2017 Physicians’ Week, they
would carry out a sensitisation road
walk to draw government and the
general public’s attention on the
low immunisation coverage of the
country, pay a career guidance visit to
secondary schools across Minna and
Kontagora and conduct free medical
and surgical outreach in Magama
Local Government Area.

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