Vaccines: Perspective from Nigeria

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I think making the next ten years of vaccines successful will require two main efforts: first, the billions of poorer populations in our world today should have access to the most basic services, with immunization through vaccines being top priority.

The reality of our world today is that, for millions of people, if all it takes to prevent diseases is a clean cup of water, they will not be able to get it today. Countries that are not able to demonstrate progress in the next ten years in providing basic services to their populations, immunization being proxy indicator, should receive similar treatment as those denying fundamental human rights to their populace; second, there should be intensified efforts to increase population awareness around vaccine safety and efficacy. I believe that no parent would knowingly allow her child to miss a vaccine that is accessible if she knows it will benefit the child.

Nigeria has more than 20,000 rural health facilities that ought to be the retail outlets for basic services including immunization to the majority of Nigeria’s 150 million people. We at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency are working to ensure development of a system to deliver quality basic health services in a sustainable way in Nigeria through the rural facilities.

Immunization is the first priority for my agency, because it is cost-effective. I am working with the team here to ensure rural health facilities are supported by their State and Local Governments with basic equipment, essential drugs and human resources while we are transforming the vaccine cold chain and ensuring reliable supply of vaccines to all the facilities. We are also working closely with indigenous institutions that have far more reach and legitimacy than local governments to mobilize populations to ensure all children are immunized as a routine. These efforts have begun yielding results in that we have reduced unimmunized children by 34 percent in 2009 compared to 2008 according to UNICEF/WHO reports and drastically reduced circulation of wild polio virus.

This entry in our series on “Vaccines: The Next 10 Years” comes from Muhammad Pate of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency in Nigeria:

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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