Vaccination is a right not a privilege- NPHCDA boss



The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said Vaccination is a right not a privilege.
The Executive Director of the agency, Dr. Ado Mohammed, who said this recently in Abuja at the 2014 Africa Vaccination Week (AVW) Stakeholders’ sensitization Meeting, urged wide-ranging cooperation to ensure the number of children vaccinated against vaccine preventable diseases continues to increase as the country heads into the AVW.

Dr. Mohammed said the Vaccination Week targets a stronger vaccine coverage, as throughout last year, more than 2.15 million previously unimmunized children got vaccine shots, a 66% increase compared with same period in 2012.
According to the Director, AVW, which coincides with Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week, April 30 to May 14, is expected to help Nigeria and over 130 countries globally support vaccination activities by sharing advocacy and responsibility.

He said: “we want to ensure we increase our immunization coverage and reduce to the barest minimum the number of unimmunized children.
“Government alone cannot guarantee vaccine availability in every nook and cranny. Even when the vaccines are there, we need parents and the media to uphold this shared responsibility. While government makes the vaccines available, it is important to ensure these vaccines get to the end user.”

In his speech, the WHO representative in Nigeria, Dr. Rui Gama Vaz, said immunization is one of the most successful and effective health interventions, as it been shown to prevent between two to three million deaths every year.
Dr. Vaz said: “This health intervention has reduced morbidity and mortality across the world in a safe and cost-effective manner.
“Immunization is an important investment for all countries. From infants to senior citizens, immunization prevents debilitating illness, disability and death from vaccine preventable diseases.”

He further added that the focus of the AVW is on Strengthening national immunization programmes in the Africa Region by raising awareness on the value and importance of immunization, increasing vaccination coverage and uptake of new and existing vaccine.
Also speaking at the sensitization meeting, the programme coordinator, Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FMWAN), Haj. Hauwa Kulu Ibrahim, said they have been partners with NPHCDA and go down to grassroot level, to give women and their children immunization in their bedroom, as some of them are not allowed to come out.

“In the islamic sector, most of our married women are always indoors, so we go right into their bedrooms to give immunization.”

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