Multi Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has showed that only about 23% of children in Nigeria were fully immunized in the last one year leaving 77% not fully immunized.
The MICS is a survey designed to provide estimates of vaccines coverage for the country by zones and each of the 36 states. The breakdown revealed that more children from the Southern part of Nigeria were fully immunized compared to the children from the Northern part of the country, according to the survey. The survey released Thursday in Abuja during the MICS/NICS national dissemination meeting with stakeholders on revamping routine immunization and primary healthcare system also stated that though only 1 in 4 children received all recommended vaccines.
In his presentation, the acting director planning research and statistics, Dr Abdullahi Garba noted that the percentage of immunized children between 12-23 months of age is very low and below expectation. He said “immunization coverage varies across Nigeria but improvements are needed in every state. “The immunization coverage in Nigeria is below the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) goals, putting a substantial number of children at risk of vaccine preventable diseases.” He however said all hope was not lost, as much can still be done to ensure that at least 90 percent of children in Nigeria receive all recommended vaccines. Garba also assured that the Nigeria Government was committed to the 100 percent goals of the GVAP.
Nigeria Country officer, Bill and Melinda gates foundation, Yusuf Yusufari on his part charged the Nigeria government to take over the responsibility of immunization in the country. He said “Nigeria government has to take over ownership of immunization in the country. “The government, health workers and partners must be held accountable for routine immunization. “By accountability, I mean the Nigeria government has procured 100 percent of vaccines required to vaccinate our children but the result is telling us only a few have been vaccinated, what is happening to other vaccines? “This means that there is a lot of inefficiency in the system or a lot of inaccurate reporting, so we all need to be accountable.”
Also, the representative of European Union. Dr Ibrahim Lisa commended the effort of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency(NPHCDA) to conduct the National dissemination meeting to enlighten everyone on where we stand with Routine immunization. Adding that the results will serve as evidence that more resources and efforts is needed to put immunization on a high spot in Nigeria. He also pledged the continuous of the European Union to ensure that every child in Nigeria receives vaccines against preventable diseases.