UNICEF vows to stem deaths of children under 5 with immunisation
By PETER DURU
MAKURDI— Determined to stem preventable deaths among infants and children in the country, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has vowed to intensify the immunisation of children under the age five from this year onwards.
The Chief of Office, UNICEF A-Field Office, Mr. Charles Nzuki who spoke at a one day zonal quarterly media briefing in Makurdi, Wednesday, said the move would also help the country meet its MDG4 by 2015.
Nzuki said, “Our focus this year will be aimed at systems strengthening for routine immunisation for all under- five children and also integrate maternal neo-natal child health interventions.
”We will support our government partners and other partners to deliver impact interventions to increase the coverage in immunisation to reduce preventable diseases among the children in the states covered.”
While acknowledging the progress being made so far by UNICEF, Nzuki further said, “the progress in reducing child mortality has been rapid and excellent towards achieving the MDG4 by 2015.
Statistics show that under-five and infant mortality rates have been falling drastically.
”However, the main causes of infant and child deaths still remain such diseases like pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria, while neonatal causes like under-nutrition or vaccine preventable diseases still remain major factors.
”It is also pertinent to note here that 24 per cent of all under-five child deaths occur in the neonatal period which therefore calls for intensified campaigns in that area,” he added.