The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Kaduna State has lamented decline in immunization coverage in the country, saying 67 per cent of children between 12-23 months of age were at the risk of vaccine preventable diseases.
NMA Chairman in the State, Dr. Shehu Abdulrahman 2017 at the annual physician’s week celebration in Kaduna, said, the 2016/2017 National Immunization Coverage Survey (NICS) indicated that, only 33 percent of children between 12-23 months of age had three doses of pentavalent vaccine against the global target of 90 percent and only 23 percent were fully immunized.
He noted that, the implication of the shocking revelation was that, many of Nigerian children particularly those under five years of age were unprotected making them prone to vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, diphtheria, pertusis, tetanus, hepatitis B among others.
He said the scaring statistics was unacceptable to Nigerian doctors saying, the trend must be reversed as soon as possible in the interest of the potential leaders of tomorrow.
He said, “the celebration of 2017 Physician’s week calls for sober reflection on the declining immunization coverage in our dear country.
Abdulrahman however clarified that, the recent monkey pox scare had nothing to do with low uptake of the vaccine, but inadequate education and awareness.