All States In NIgeria Fall Below Global Vaccination Goal, Imo Leads In High Coverage – UNICEF

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UNICEF

By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos

All states in Nigeria fall below the global goal of 90 per cent immunization coverage for three doses of Pentavalent vaccine, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said.
Pentavalent vaccine, UNICEF disclosed, protects children against five major diseases, namely: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B.
“But within the country, the South-East region has the highest immunization rate. This is a point of pride,” UNICEF stressed in a statement titled, “Vaccines Work: Keeping Nigerians Healthy And Safe Through Immunization.”
The children’s welfare agency said that many people are not able to seek vaccination due to poor road access in rural communities and difficulty in finding health centres.
“Others avoid vaccines due to incorrect beliefs about their safety,” the United Nations (UN) organ related.
In another release titled: “Imo State Leads The Way In Nigeria for Child Vaccination, UNICEF wrote: “The relatively high immunization coverage in Imo State over the past year – over 70 per cent – is a success story in a country where immunization rate can be as low as 6 per cent in some states.”
UNCEF described Imo State’s success as an example of what can be achieved through political leadership, sufficient funding, and efficient coordination between governments, development partners and communities.
It stressed that immunization saves two to three million lives globally each year by protecting children against vaccine preventable diseases.
Immunization plays a central role in ending preventable child deaths, the UN body added.
It declared: “UNICEF’s immunization programme helps identify children who have been left behind by health systems and bring them life-saving care.”

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