BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna
The federal government, yesterday, said it had earmarked N3.5 billion for the 2017/2018 national vaccination campaign against measles targeted at no fewer than 33 million children across the country.
Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this at the national flag-off of the 2017/2018 of the measles vaccination campaign at Miyetti Allah Primary Health Care (PHC) centre in Rigassa, Igabi local government area of Kaduna State.
The Health minister, represented by the executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, said Measles constituted a challenge, as the country accounted for the highest burden of measles globally with 3.3 million unimmunised children.
According to him, “This is due to persistently low routine measles immunisation coverage and the fact that several measles supplemental immunisation campaigns conducted to provide a second opportunity to reach unimmunised children has failed to achieve the required 95 per cent coverage.
“Consequently, population immunity for measles is very low resulting in frequent outbreak of the disease across the country,” Ehanire said.
According to him, the Federal Ministry of Health is however confident that the 2017/2018 campaign will be different going by the high quality preparation and financial commitment by all levels of government.
“It is, therefore, imperative that all stakeholders support the campaign with time, material and financial resources to meet the targeted 33 million children within the period,” the minister said.
The minister noted that the agency was working with Development Partners to achieve high quality and effective measles vaccination in the 2017/2018 campaign.