BY DOYIN OJOSIPE
Despite concerted efforts and much resource invested in routine immunisation, Nigeria has not recorded a laudable achievement in the past few years, a new report has shown.
The 2016/017 Multi Indicator Cluster Survey which was disseminated in Abuja revealed that while about 77 per cent of children aged 12 to 23 months did not receive all routine immunizations, mistrust, lack of awareness on the part of parents and distance of facilities were key issues responsible for low and incomplete vaccination.
The report, which shows that 40 percent of the infant population did not receive vaccination at all, revealed that only 1 in 4 received all recommended vaccines in the country.
The report however noted that the benefits of vaccines are optimised when children receive all recommended doses.
While the Northern part of the country had the lowest immunisation coverage due to mistrust and refusal of some parents and consequence of long time unrest in crisis torn areas of the region, the South had at least 50 per cent coverage of the immunisation exercise.
Speaking at the dissemination event, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib said the poor results were obvious from the onset, adding that it had necessitated the declaration of the state of public health concern on routine immunisation earlier on.
He said, the declaration was followed by the establishment of National Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Center(NERICC) and State Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Center(SERICC) to revamp routine immunisation in the country.
“The result of the recent MIC/NIC Survey has shown that we are far from successfully protecting our children and the most vulnerable population from vaccine preventable diseases,” he said
Speaking to Journalists, the Commissioner of Health, Nassarawa State, Dr Daniel Iya said while Nigeria has not done well, more attention should be given to low performing states.
The Commissioner of Health, Enugu state, who was represented by the state Primary Health Care Executive Secretary, Dr Hillary Agbo said there is much need for a massive awareness campaign at the grass roots if Nigeria must achieve her target.