Kaduna, 08 November 2017 – In a ceremony attended by stakeholders in the health sector to kick start the 2017 / 2018 Measles vaccination campaign, the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr Faisal Shuaib vaccinated the children Kaduna state Governor, Nasiru El Rufai. The ceremony which took place at Miyetti-Allah Primary Healthcare Centre in Rigasa ward of Igabi Local Government area of Kaduna state was a clear demonstration of the level of ownership and involvement of government and partners to ensure all eligible children aged nine (9) months to fifty nine (59) months are vaccinated with measles vaccine in the country.
The ED NPHCDA Dr. Faisal Shuaib, while representing the Honorable Minister for State for Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire, stated that “Measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children especially those under five years of age. Despite the availability of safe and effective vaccines, Nigeria accounts for the highest burden of measles globally with 3.3 million unimmunized children”. He further stated that “Due to persistently low routine immunization coverage, supplemental immunization campaigns are conducted to provide a second opportunity to reach unimmunized children.”
The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Architect Bala Bantex, who represented the Executive Governor at the occasion, thanked the federal government for choosing Kaduna state to host the national Flag-off for the measles campaign. As an illustration of commitment and confidence on the importance of measles vaccination to the Nigerian child. The wife of the Executive Governor of Kaduna state brought her eligible children, who were administered the measles vaccine at the Flag-off event.
The Chairman of the Northern Traditional Leaders, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto was represented by the Shehu of Bama along with the representative of the Chief of Kagoro.
Speaking on behalf of Development Partners at the flag off ceremony, the Team Leader of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Fiona Braka gave assurance that WHO and partners are in full support of the government efforts to achieve measles elimination in Nigeria. Dr Braka underscored the combined effort required to achieve 95% coverage at sub national level during the campaign and through routine immunization to build up population immunity sustainably.
2017/2018 measles vaccination campaigns will be staggered within the states and across the geo-political zones during October 2017 to March 2018.