Declare national emergency to fight vaccine preventable deaths —NMA

Posted by News Express | 27 October 2015 | 2,732 times

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Dr Kayode Obembe, President, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), has called on the Federal Government to declare national emergency to fight vaccine preventable deaths in Nigeria.

Obembe, made the call on Monday in Abuja at the opening of the 2015 NMA Annual Physician’s Week with the theme: ‘Routine Immunisation in the Change Era: Targeting measles and other vaccine preventable diseases.’

He said that vaccine preventable death was the leading cause of child mortality in the country and stressed the need for all stakeholders to pull resources to fight the scourge.

“Preventable childhood diseases like measles ought not to still exist in Nigeria; our record shows that measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children.

“In 2013 alone, there were 145,700 measles death globally.

“We observed that measles vaccination resulted in 75 per cent drop in measles death between 2000 and 2013 worldwide.”

Obembe urged the government to implement the roadmap to achieve universal health coverage as provided by the National Health Act 2014 which guarantees funding for healthcare delivery.

The NMA President observed that annual physician’s week would offer doctors and dentists in Nigeria the opportunity for critical appraisal of the ethics of the medical profession and other global issues.

Dr Fatima Mairami, Chairman NMA, FCT chapter, said that after breast feeding and access to clean water, immunisation was essential for protecting babies from infectious diseases.

She said that vaccine preventable diseases account for no fewer than 22 per cent of child death in Nigeria, adding that the figure amounted to over 200,000 deaths annually.

She noted that in spite of the fact that vaccines are freely provided in Nigeria, it was saddening to note that many Nigerian parents fail to appreciate the importance of vaccinating their children.

While applauding the delisting of Nigeria from WHO polio endemic countries, Mairami said that efforts must be sustained to ensure that the country remain polio free. (NAN)

•Photo shows Kayode Obembe.

Source: News Express

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