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12,300 children unvaccinated in Nasarawa – WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says no fewer than 12, 390 children are yet to be vaccinated against childhood killer diseases in Nasarawa State.

The WHO Coordinator in the state, Dr Idang Ebong, disclosed this at a news conference on Wednesday in Lafia to mark the 2019 African Vaccination Week.

According to Ebong, most of the unvaccinated children are those of very poor parents, marginalised and hard to reach rural areas of the state.

She said the situation was not acceptable, adding that it behove on all stakeholders to leverage on the African vaccination week to ensure that these children were vaccinated.

“It behoves on all of us as stakeholders to mobilise and sensitise the people on the need to get their children immunised as the vaccines are safe, free and available across the 13 local government areas of the state,” Ebong said.

Dr Mohammed Adiz, the Executive Chairman, Nasarawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NSPHCDA), attributed the number of unvaccinated children to lack of awareness.

Adiz said there had been lot of innovations to help change the narrative, saying the inauguration of National/State Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordinating Centres in 2017 had yielded tremendous result.

“Presently, from the first quarter 2019 Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (DQAS), children appropriately immunised for their age was 72 per cent and 71 per cent for National and Nasarawa state, respectively,” he said.

He said that the state government was working assidously to ensure quality healthcare for children and mothers, and called for the support of all stakeholders.

Adiz noted that expanding access to immunisation was vital for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal on Universal Health Coverage.

It was gathered that the African vaccination week is celebrated every last week of April to raise awareness about the critical importance of full immunisation throughout life.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Protected Together, Vaccines Work!” (NAN).

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