Nigeria’s 2017/2018 Measles Vaccination Campaign will commence on October 26, here is the full schedule.

Nigeria’s National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) has announced the 2017/2018 Measles Vaccination Campaign flag off. According to the agency,the campaign starts on the 26th of Oct. to 31st Oct. 2017 in Kebbi, Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina & Zamfara states.

It added that Kano will take place on the 2nd of Nov. to 7th Nov. 2017.

According to the agency, the exercise will be carried out at health centers for children from age 9 months to 5 years.

In Nigeria, measles is still a problem and thousands of children still die annually from the disease. As at July, 2017, 3,296 confirmed cases have been reported in the country with 70% of cases in children under 5 years.

Earlier, the agency expressed concerns over the reluctance of state governments to pay counterpart funding into an account dedicated for the vaccination, even after the agency met with the Nigeria Governor’s Forum.

Back then, the agency said only four states have paid any part of the fund; the other 33 were still silent.

“States that fail to release funding for measles vaccination by September 15 will be ruled out of the next vaccination campaign, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency has warned,” the agency stated.

NPHCDA executive director Faizal Shuaib told a press briefing: “We cannot continue to have poor quality coverage campaign in this country that leaves our children susceptible to measles infections and deaths.”

The agency had previously confirmed that Federal Government has committed the sum of N3.5 billion, to support the measles vaccination campaign.

The NPHCDA Executive Director assured that with the early release of funds by the Federal Government, which is unprecedented, there is hope of achieving a high quality campaign exercise to drastically reduce the increasing rate of measles related morbidity and mortality among children.

Speaking on behalf of the development partners, the Country Representative, World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Wondi Alemu, noted that Nigeria can only address the continued measles outbreak, by meeting the required target of 95 per cent routine immunization coverage if the state and local governments provide their counterpart funds.

He lamented that the “continued measles outbreak in Nigeria poses real challenges to the elimination efforts put in place by the country. The routine immunization coverage has not reached optimal levels at subnational level,” and Nigeria did not achieve the desired 95% coverage.

In 2014, measles was recorded in 190 children out of every one million n aged under five in the north, according to surveillance data. Last year, incidence of the disease climbed to 527 children out of every one million.

At least 166 outbreaks affecting 140 council areas across the country were recorded in 2015. Last year, outbreaks jumped to 183 last year.

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Dr. Victoria Adepoju provides special insights into topical issues as they affect various stakeholders in the health sector with special emphasis on day-to-day operations of the various units in the hospital. She has vast experience reporting health and continues to cover major events for HealthNewsNG.com

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