By Gabriel Olawale
In its bid to reduce the prevalence of diarrhea disease by 50 percent in Lagos State, Save the Children in collaboration with the Lagos State Government and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), with support from Reckitt Benckiser has flagged off the administration of rotavirus vaccine to children under five years of age in Shomolu area of Lagos.
Speaking at the flag off exercise, the Marketing Director, RB West Africa, Ms. Aliza Leferink said diarrhea remains one of the leading causes of death among children below five years in Nigeria.
Leferink said that rotavirus vaccines have helped in saving lives and improving health conditions in countries where children have access to them.
“Swift and significant declines in hospitalizations and deaths due to rotavirus and all-cause diarrhea have been observed in many countries with rotavirus vaccines in their national immunization programmes.
“Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea, and one of the leading causes of preventable deaths amongst children under-five years globally.
It affects more than 400,000 children annually and research suggests that 9 out of 10 children who receive rotavirus vaccine will be protected against the rotavirus in the advent of diarrhea infection.
It is projected that Nigeria could reduce its diarrhea burden by up to 40 percent which would avert approximately 24,518 annual deaths in children.
“Our overall ambition for this programme is to help in reducing the burden of diarrhea, one of the leading causes of deaths in children and also develop sustainable hygiene behaviours in Nigerian communities.”