October 11, 2017

Girl Child Day: NGO tasks FG on immunisation

Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR), an NGO, has appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that girls in hard to reach areas are not left behind and that all girls have access to important vaccines.

The vaccines include Tetanus, Rubella and Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine, among others.

Dr Aminu Magashi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, CHR, made the appeal in a statement issued by Asma’u Rufa’i, Knowledge Management and Communications Coordinator of the organisation on Wednesday in Abuja.

Magashi said that the vaccines provide protection against 70 per cent of incidences of cervical cancer, which claims the lives of an estimated 266,000 women and girls a year.

“As the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl Child, CHR is joining other organisations in over 10 countries in Africa in launching the 33 Days to Power Up Immunisation Campaign.

“The campaign seeks to hold governments accountable for the multiple promises they have made to support Immunisation,’’ he said.

According to him, in 2016, the continent marked significant achievement in interrupting the near elimination of Meningococcal Meningitis A epidemic and the significant reduction in disease burden and child mortality due to Measles.

“According to the Multi Indicator Coverage Survey/National Immunisation Coverage Survey (MICS/NICS) report 2016 conducted in Nigeria, only 23 per cent of children (aged 12 – 23 months) are fully vaccinated with another 37 per cent partially vaccinated.

“Some of the states in Northern Nigeria were reporting below 20 per cent immunisation coverage,’’ he said.

He said CHR recognised the efforts that have gone into reaching the current levels by the Nigerian government, however, much more needs to be done.

He therefore called on the Nigerian government to prioritise increase in the national and states budget to finance immunisation and ensure timely and efficient releases of immunisation funds.