Nigeria has the world’s worst measles immunization figures – UNICEF

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According to UNICEF, Nigeria has the highest number of children in the world not immunised against measles.

The United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that Nigeria has the highest number of children in the world not immunised with the first dose of measles vaccine.

Also, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said a surveillance data shows that measles incidence among children under five years increased in the northern part of Nigeria from 190 million in 2014 to 527 million in 2016.

Premium Times reported he disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at a one-day media orientation forum for the 2017/17 Measles Vaccination Campaign.

Also at the event, a UNICEF official, Margaret Adaba, said Nigeria has over 3.3 million of such children, followed by India with 2.9 million. She said that Nigeria needs to work on creating more awareness on measles vaccination.

Shuaib noted that the country’s challenge with measles and said the federal government plans to mitigate this through a nationwide measles vaccination campaign. According to him, Nigeria still accounts significantly for the global measles burden, despite the successes achieved in the reduction of measles-related morbidity and mortality.

Shuaib said that the Measles Vaccination Campaign aims to reach 33 million eligible children in Nigeria. While the agency was able to reach 85 per cent of children in 2015, he said this year’s campaign must cover at least 95 per cent of children eligible for the vaccine.

 

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Paul is a university lecturer, medical researcher, extensively published author and freelance contributor. He holds a MSc degree in cell biology and genetics, and is a PhD candidate of the University of Ibadan.

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