As part of efforts to reduce the number of children who have never received a vaccination, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali-Pate has begun an assessment of the challenges facing vaccine rollout.
Professor Pate who paid a visit to the Primary Healthcare Centre, NewKaru, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa state, and the palace of Etsu Karu, Chief Luka Panya said Global Alliance For Vaccine Immunization, GAVI, will prioritise Nigeria in the rollout of the new malaria vaccine.
Recent data by the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF reveals that 67 million children across the world missed out on either some or all routine vaccinations between 2019 and 2021, while in Nigeria 2.2 million children have never received a vaccination.
The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali-Pate said Gavi has committed to prioritization of new malaria vaccine rollout in the country.
“But there are still many children that we miss and that we need to do more to ensure that we reduce those who are completely missing the zero children and as a government.
”The federal government is committed to working with the state government and the community leaders to ensure that every Nigerian child ultimately gets the benefit of this life-saving tools of vaccines, as well as treatment of other diseases.”
According to the minister, “Vaccines work and they are the most cost-effective tools for saving the lives of children, They’re safe, and they work and they protect many children from diseases like measles, polio, diarrheal diseases, Pneumonia.”
“But there are still many children that we miss, and that we need to do more to ensure that we reduce those who are completely missing the zero children and as a government, the federal government is committed to working with the state government and the community leaders to ensure that every Nigerian child ultimately gets the benefit of this life-saving tools of vaccines, as well as treatment of other diseases.
“They are vaccines against cancer, for instance, which affects a woman, the third largest burden of cancer in Nigeria is actually the cancer that affects women. There is a vaccine for it,” the Minister said.
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib said the choice of Nassarawa state was due to their commitment and progress in immunization and Primary Health Care.
“Over the course of the next few weeks, the importance of this visit will manifest. You will not hear from me, you will hear from the royal father when David Marlow and his team go back.
“It will be our responsibility to channel through your Commissioner for Health, your Executive Secretary, and State Primary Healthcare Board, some of the dividends of these visits, so I will say you are a very lucky people,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of GAVI, Dr David Marlow, said the purpose of the visit was to assess the challenges facing the healthcare in the communities, and how best to support and strengthen the PHC system.
”It is also to see clearly the challenges that continue to prevent the government from reaching children with life-saving vaccines, despite all of the investments that have been made.”
On his part, the Etsu of Karu, Chief Luka Baba who commended GAVI and the federal government for reaching the community with life-saving vaccines, called for more support to enable the community access more health benefits.
Written by: Modupe Aduloju
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