2.7 Million Children Immunized In Niger – Dr Na’uzo

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This photo taken on September 15, 2016 shows a mother holding her young malnourished baby at a public health facility in the Dalaram district of Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria. Aid agencies have long warned about the risk of food shortages in northeast Nigeria because of the conflict, which has killed at least 20,000 since 2009 and left more than 2.6 million homeless. In July, the United Nations said nearly 250,000 children under five could suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year in Borno state alone and one in five -- some 50,000 -- could die. / AFP PHOTO / STEFAN HEUNIS

BY Juliana MAIRIGA, Minna
The Executive Director of the Niger State Primary Health care Development Agency (NSPHCDA), Dr. Yahaya Na’uzo has disclosed that 2.7 million children were immunized during the just concluded Immunization plus Week in the state.
Na’uzo, during a press conference in commemoration of Africa Vaccination Week in Minna organized by the Coalition on Maternal and Newborn Child Health in Niger state (COMiN), said that although the state recorded a high rate of compliance during the Immunization week, 10,000 children remain un-immunized in the state.
He added that routine Immunization intensification strategies are being mapped out to ensure that the unimmunized children are reached and immunized.
Na’uzo said that the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency is working hard towards reducing the rate of deaths in children fewer than five years caused by vaccines preventable diseases adding that the state is aiming to reduce the current death rate resulting from vaccines preventable diseases from 40 per cent to five per cent.
He urged parents and guardians to ensure their wards are regularly vaccinated stressing that Vaccination is very important towards safeguarding the lives of the child.
In his address, the Niger State Immunization Officer, Dr. Samuel Jiya noted that vaccines remain one of the powerful tools for disease prevention.
He said that funding gaps, poor access to hard to reach communities, inadequate vaccine storage capacities at Primary Health care, frequent equipment breakdowns, inconsistent power supply are part of the challenges faced by the state Immunization office adding that the state currently has over N72 million worth of vaccines stored at local government councils across the state.
He added that with the inconsistent power supply, the safety of the vaccines cannot be guaranteed and the state will be set back pointing that while the government is trying to do its best in providing solar refrigerators, it needs partnership with donor agencies to help achieve its aims.