Nigeria among countries with poorest vaccination against measles – Report
…Set for national vaccination campaign
Marcus Fatunmole (Abuja)
Nigeria is currently among countries with poorest records on vaccination against measles, worldwide.
Currently, the country has 3.3 children who are not immunization, and ranks 192 among 200 countries, available data show.
Nigeria’s measles vaccination coverage in 2016 stood at 51 percent, just about a half of target population.
The country is however planning a national campaign to rapidly immunize children from ages nine to 59 monthsbeginning from October this year.
These were revealed in Abuja recently at a one-day sensitization forum for religious leaders on the 2017/2018 measles campaign.
The vaccination takes place as follows: North West: 26th – 31stOctober, 2017; North East: 30th Nov. – 5th December, 2017;North Central: 1st – 6thFebruary, 2018. All Southern States will have their turn from 8th – 13th March, 201
Key drivers of the exercise are the upsurge in measles cases, poor routine coverage and outbreaks. Majority of cases are unvaccinated children under five years.
As at the 26th week of this year, there were 13,893 suspected cases of measles with 92 laboratory confirmed cases across the country, against 166 outbreaks and 830 cases that occurred between January and December 2015, and 183 outbreaks and 1003 cases between January and December 2016.
Presentations at the meeting showed that there were wide spread number of missed children in communities across the country.
Some major reasons for non-vaccination include 22% of caregivers who reported that they were unaware of need for immunization; 17% who were too busy to go vaccination posts; 16% who did not know about the place to vaccinate their wards.
Some of the factors responsible for poor vaccination in the country are lack of political will and commitment; absence of high-level commitment from governors; inability of states and LGAs to meet shared financial responsibility; security-compromised areas; ineffective communication and social mobilization; poor data accuracy; and poor information sharing.