Nigeria faces renewed risk of under-5 deaths

President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Oyewale Tomori, said the country was faced with a renewed risk of deaths of children this year to preventable diseases, as potential vaccine stocked out.

Oyewale, who stated this in a statement, explained that Nigeria in 2013 experienced a major measles vaccine stock out, a situation he said resulted in the occurrence of 57,892 measles cases with 348 deaths.
“In 2012, the number of reported measles cases was 11,061, with 126 deaths. This represents more than 500 per cent increase in the number of measles cases from 2012 to 2013,” he said.

Analysing the cases of measles in the country, he said it was obvious that reported number of measles cases in 2013 was the highest in the last six years.
He said: “Most (78%) of the 2013 measles cases occurred in children between the age of nine and 59 months.
“Significantly, 88% of the children coming down with measles had not received a
single dose of measles vaccine.”

He added: “Nigeria also has the largest population of people in Africa at risk of contracting yellow fever, yet vaccine coverage was at an alarmingly low rate of 35 per cent in 2012.
“Also, as a result of stock out of the yellow fever vaccine, vaccine stock outs are regular and frequent features of health care delivery in Nigeria.
“In 2013, there were stock outs of the BCG, Hepatitis B and Yellow fever vaccines at various times during the year.”

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