An official of World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Larai Aliyu Tambuwal on Wednesday said Nigeria saves billions of naira annually in preventing sickness, disabilities and death through vaccination and routine immunisation just as a total of 23 cases have been recorded globally according to 2018 report.
She however, also observed with concern how Northeast and Northwest were lagging behind for the low level compliance to routine and supplementary immunization activities.
The exercise expected to cover first 8 local government areas in six days would commence November 8 through to Dec, 2018.
“The exercise will cover Yellow fever vaccination/ immunisation across 22 LGs with exception of Kebbe which had been carried out.”
Dr Tambuwal who spoke at a 1- day pre- routine and supplementary immunisation exercise meeting with the media in Sokoto noted that Sokoto was not an exception from the poor RI and SIAs compliance.
According to her” we have to encourage active collaboration with relevant agencies to address the possible risk of transmitting the killer disease by sustaining the tempo of RI and SIAs”‘ she said.
Dr Tambuwal stressed the urgent need to sustain RI and SIAs unabated, adding” it must continue with consistence.”
She noted that the immune system in children remain highly vulnerable to polio virus and other preventable killer diseases. A child needs full schedule immunization.
” We have to take all the vaccine preventable killer diseases to extinction. The polio case had caused serious panic in the 50s. Though we have 0 case in Sokoto.
” The last case we had in Sokoto was that of Abubakar Ibrahim, 10, in 2012 with residual paralysis.
” I recall that in the 80s and 90s, there were rapid approach to disease coverage through vaccination. In 1988, we had high number of cases which were eventually tamed to forestall lost of lives. Without vaccine, there will be no protection”, the Bulgarian trained doctor said.
According to her” RI and SIAs are the most expensive health drive for saving life which goes down the grassroots”, She pointed out.
In his presentation, Mr Pius Kwesi Koffi said vaccine preventable diseases can be contained through far reaching commitment to reaching every child by encouraging acceptance and compliance to vaccines.
He explained that UNICEF network coverage by volunteer community mobilisers records have shown there are 400-500 new born on weekly basis in not morethan 10% of areas covered across LGs.
” We need to engage the active participation of groups influential to the course of achieving results”, Koffi said.
He further noted that Nigeria had in the past two years, not recorded cases of Wild Polio Virus(WPV).