Vaccine stock-out threatens Nigerian kids



Nigeria faces the risk of losing thousands of its children under the age of five years to various ailments, this year, due to the expected stock-out of the vaccines according to a Development Communications (DEVCOM) report.
The report signed by the President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Mr Oyewale Tomori, said the country, having lost hundreds of young children to measles in the last three years, wouldl lose more to measles, yellow fever, diphtheria, hepatitis B, tetanus and polio in 2014 due to stock out of vaccines for these child killer diseases.
Tomori said: “Nigeria faces a renewed risk of losing many children this year to vaccine preventable diseases, arising from potential vaccine stock out. 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.
“We had exhausted our stock of yellow fever vaccine since December 2013. While some frantic efforts have been made to procure more vaccines, the current stock level of vaccines will be completely depleted by March/April 2014. With the 2014 budget yet to be approved by the National Assembly, the Federal Government may not be able to release funds on time to procure vaccines needed for the rest of the year.
“Delay is not only dangerous but deadly to the 6-7millions annual cohort of Nigerian children, left unprotected in the absence of vaccines as vaccine preventable diseases still account for about 40 per cent of all childhood deaths in Nigeria.”
According to the report, Nigeria lost 348 children to measles in 2013 and 126 in 2012 due to stock out.

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