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FG launches Rotavirus Vaccine


By Princess-Ekwi Ajide, Abuja B


The Federal Government has launched a Routine Immunization Schedule- the Rotavirus vaccine, so as to reduce mortality rate in children under the age of five.

According to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire at the flag off ceremony, noted, that the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) is expected to avert about 110,000 deaths in children under the age of five in the next 10 years.

The minister, who was represented by the Director of Public Health, Dr Morenike Alex-Okoh, said, that ninety percent of such deaths occur in developing countries including Nigeria saying the vaccine is very important in the country as it will avert the death related to diarrhoea for about ten years and that government has the support of donors and partners, especially GAVI which has spent huge amounts to fulfil routine immunization vaccines for the Nigerian children.

Dr. Ehanire, also said improving the health of Nigerian children remains the priority of this administration and asked parents and caregivers to leverage on the privilege to ensure their children are vaccinated against all preventable diseases.

The Minister thanked all those who are primary health centre leaders at the sub-national level, and all healthcare workers across the 40,000 Primary Healthcare Centres for their doggedness in ensuring that no Nigerian child is left behind in accessing potent vaccines and other services.

The Country Representative of the World Health Organization, WHO, in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Mulombo, assured of WHO’s continued commitment to providing technical support to the introduction of the Rotavirus Vaccine into the Routine Immunization Schedule and other health interventions in Nigeria.

He charged the federal government to ensure that the introduction of the vaccine “is part of a comprehensive strategy to control diarrhoea diseases to scale up of both preventive and treatment packages.

According to him, Nigeria, one of the 4 countries that harbor approximately half the global burden, stands to have enormous gains from the economic impact of the introduction adding that immunization remains the most cost-effective public health intervention, but regretted that the benefits of immunization are unevenly shared.

Dr. Mulombo, therefore, implored the federal government to continue to implement the immunization agenda 2030 and that the GAVI 5.0 strategy seeks to address the gap by leaving no one behind with immunization.

He commended the efforts of the Federal Government at keeping immunization high on the national agenda especially as demonstrated by the progress in the COVID-19 vaccination.

The Executive Director of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, on his part, explained that Introduction of Rotavirus vaccine is a big investment due to its substantial economic impact and number of lives that wold be saved from the introduction.

Dr. Shuaib who stated that the vaccine will be integrated into other diarrhoea preventive strategies commended stakeholders including the minister, traditional and religious leaders, health workers for their constant effort in ensuring that children are vaccinated.


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