Efforts to end polio and other killer diseases among children may not yield results if thousands of children still could not be vaccinated against these killers diseases despite all efforts put in.
The National Immunization Coverage Survey (NICS) released yesterday in Abuja by National primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) noted that 1 in 3 children received three doses of pentavalent vaccines while 31 percent of them who received the 1st dose of Pentavalent vaccines did not get all the 3 doses.
The worst, it noted is that 40 percent of children do not receive any vaccines from the health system even though most of live close to a health facility.
The survey further revealed, “40 percent of Nigeria children are still not vaccinated, 37 percent are partially vaccinated with only 23 percent of them managing to be fully vaccinated.”
“Though Nigeria is committed to the goals of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) but its immunization Coverage is below GVAP’s goals putting a substantial number of children at risk of vaccine preventable diseases.
The survey cited lack of awareness,proximity of the immunization site to the people, lack of faith in immunization,lack of time and tight schedule of most parents and caretakers as part of reasons why children are still not fully immunized.
According to the survey, apart from South South, South East and South West zones were more children are fully immunized, other states such as North East and North West still falls below 50 percent of Pentavalent coverage and stressed the need for urgent actions and measures to be taken to revamp the situation to avoid many death that may occur.
The survey further stressed the need for the availability of child health cards, which it says,plays an important part of a child’s health record and critical for evaluating whether children have received their vaccination.
“In Nigeria,only 1 in every 3 children have child health card,states with low immunization also had low card availability rate.
Ibeneme Ebelechukwu, Abuja