Over 25 million children born in the last five years have never had any vaccination against measles, figures show.
They are the target in the planned nationwide campaign to immunise at least 39 million children aged nine months to 59 months this November and early next year, according to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
Dr Damaris Onwuka, the agency’s director of disease control and immunization said “There are still children among those suspected or confirmed cases of measles and Over 63 percent are zero doses, which means they have never had any immunization.”
Measles vaccination are usually administered at the age of nine months, however, about six out of every 100 children do not get vaccinated and past measles vaccination campaigns have shown more children that were not reached.
National coverage of measles vaccine when combined with oral polio vaccination did not exceed 70 percent between 2003 and 2010.
Dr Chinedu Okoronkwo of the agency revealed that a first phase of the latest stand-alone measles vaccination will target children in 19 northern states and the FCT between Nov 21 and 25 while the second phase will begin from January 28 to February 1 next year and will target 17 southern states.
Health workers will inject children with the measles vaccine at some 52,323 fixed posts, inlcuding health centres, town halls and homes of designated traditional rulers, where parents can bring children.
The campaign will cost an estimated $45.5 million. Around 10 percent of the entire campaign cost is borne by federal and state government, contributing $3.731 million to operational spending. The rest, including vaccines said to have arrived the country on Monday, is paid for by international donors through the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative, GAVI.
This story was originally published by Daily Trust.