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Nigeria still records poor immunization coverage – NICS report

Efforts to end polio and other killer diseases among children may not yield the required results if some children are still not vaccinated against these killer diseases despite all the efforts put in place by the authorities.

The National Immunization Coverage Survey (NICS) released on Thursday in Abuja by National primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) noted that one in three children received three doses of Pentavalent vaccines while 31 percent of them who received the first dose of Pentavalent vaccines did not get all the three 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 where more children are fully immunized, other geopolitical such as North East and North West still fall 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.

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