Federal Government of Nigeria said it had released about N3.5 billion to support the 2017/2018 Measles Vaccination Campaign (MVC) while targeting over three million children for the programme. Nigeria is currently ranked number one measles burden country globally with over 3.3 million un-immunised children for measles vaccine first dose, according to United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Margaret Soyemi, UNICEF official said in Abuja on Thursday, during a one day media orientation forum on 2017/2018 MVC that Nigeria is ranked ahead of India with 2.9 million. She said that Nigeria needed to work on creating more awareness on measles vaccinations.
Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib also said that the Measles Vaccination Campaign aimed to reach 33 million eligible children in Nigeria. He said that though the agency was able to reach 85 percent of children in 2015, this year’s campaign must cover at least 95 percent of children eligible for the vaccine. Shuaib who lamented the increase in the number of measles outbreak in Nigeria in the past two years, said that the surveillance data showed that there was a steady increase in measles incidence among children under 5years in the north from 190million in 2014 to 527 million in 2016.
He noted that Nigeria still accounted significantly to the global measles burden, despite the successes achieved in the reduction of measles related morbidity and mortality. He however assured the country that the Federal Government will mitigate the burden of measles through a nationwide measles vaccination campaign while urging all states government to release their counterparts funds for the campaign. The nationwide Measles Vaccinaton Campaign will commence in the last quarter of 2017 and will focus on children between the ages of 9 months and 59 months.