Measles: FG Earnmarks N3.5bn, Target 33m Under 5 Children

As El-Rufai flag-off 2017/2018 vaccination campaign for N/W

Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire on Monday  in Kaduna revealed that, the federal government has set aside N3.5 billion for measles vaccination of 33 million under five children across the country.

The minister told journalists in Kaduna shortly after he demonstrated the vaccination at Miyetti Allah primary healthcare centre, Rigasa, Igabi local government area of Kaduna State that, N2.5 billion has already being released to ensure the success of the programme.

Represented by the Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the minister said, the early release of N2.5 billion has enabled the ministry to make adequate preparation for the success of the vaccination between now and early 2018.

According to him, “measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children especially those under five years of age. Despite the availability of safe and effective vaccines, Nigeria accounts for the highest burden of measles globally with 3.3 million unimmunized children.

“This is due to persistently low routine immunization coverage and the fact that several measles supplemental immunization campaigns conducted to provide a second opportunity to reach unimmunized children has failed to achieve the required 95 percent coverage.

“The federal ministry of health is however confident that, this 2017/2018 campaign will be different going by the high quality preparation and financial commitment by all levels of government.

“The Sum of N3.5 billion was earmarked for this measles vaccination campaign across the country. But N2.5 billion has been released to enable us adequately prepare for the exercise and that is a signal that, the exercise will be a huge success.

“We are here in Kaduna flagging-off the campaign for the Northwest. For this zone, it will run between Thursday 9th and Wednesday 15th November while we have stagger campaign in the other zones between now and 2018”, he stressed.

Declaring the exercise open earlier, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai said, 1,498,332 children in the state are expected to be vaccinated during the one week exercise.

El-Rufai, who spoke through his deputy, Arch. Barnabas Bala Bantex reiterated the commitment of his administration towards provision of quality healthcare services to the people of the state as evident in prompt release of N38,402,675 as counterpart funding from the state for the exercise.

According to the governor, “we have released our counterpart funding to ensure each child is vaccinated so they can be prevented from preventable killer diseases.

“Measles is highly contagious. It can kill children directly through weakening their immune system. Immunising our children remains one of the cost effective means of curbing under five mortality rate in our state and the country.

“I want to use this medium to appeal to our people to join us in this campaign by avail their children for the exercise because it is a collective action towards survival of our children. The vaccines have been certified okay by WHO and NAFDAC which means, they are safe for the children”, he assured.

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