Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 14 August 2017 | 1,699 times
CHR and Track Health, a civil society accountability coalition have commended the effort of the Federal Ministry of Health under the leadership of Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, for improved transparency in reporting for the first time an improved and quality data on immunisation estimates nationwide.
Aminu Magashi Garba, Chairman Board of Trustees of Community Health Research Initiative (CHR), said in a statement issued on Saturday in Kaduna that the nationwide data was reported in the recently released 2016 WHO/UNICEF estimates of national immunisation coverage (WUENIC).
The 2016 estimates have revealed that there were eight countries that had less than 50% coverage with DPT3, including Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic and Ukraine.
The data also revealed that worldwide, an estimated 12.9 million infants, nearly one in 10 did not receive any vaccinations in 2016, per DPT coverage estimates and also additionally an estimated 6.6 million infants who did receive their first dose of DPT-containing vaccine did not complete the full, three dose DPT immunisation series in 2016.
Garba observed that although Nigeria was among the few countries reported in the 2016 estimates to have less than 50% coverage with DPT3.
This development according to him, also underpin the transparent commitment of the Nigerian government in reporting accurate data, which will tremendously boost effort to improve immunisation services nationwide and also help to step-up efforts in the states where coverage was at its lowest level.
“As opined by experts, amid the stagnation and even regression in some countries, a clear position has also emerged this year, better, more accurate data.
“For the first time at the global level, WHO and UNICEF received immunisation coverage data at the sub-national level for 125 of 194 countries, 89 of which reported data even further down to lower administrative (‘district’) levels covering a combined population of 88 million,” he said.
He said such change represents a huge leap forward in a remarkably short period. “And countries like Nigeria deserve our highest praise for reporting the most accurate estimates of coverage, not the highest possible number.
“As a result, the Nigerian government, despite immense administration and security challenges, is better placed to map out gaps in coverage and respond appropriately. Nigeria’s courageous leadership demonstrates how serious commitment to reaching every child with immunisations starts with accurate data.
“With this newfound commitment to accurate data, our chances of succeeding have never been greater. Why? Because accurate data can completely change how we deliver vaccines. More detailed data can help identify patterns and give us new insights into why these gaps persist, opening the door to new solutions,” he added.
The statement also quoted Mrs. Chika Offor, Co-chair of Track Health as saying, “for every $1 invested in Immunisation in Africa, $41 is gained in economic and social benefits, this means investing in Immunisation in Nigeria to our teeming children is the answer to national sustainable growth and development, I encourage for a concerted effort at national and sub-national levels to utilise this improved quality data and step-up campaigns and ensure no child is left behind.”
The statement also quoted Honourable Muhammad Usman, Deputy Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Health, as saying that the legislators, will strengthen their oversight function so that Nigerian government will improve Immunisation and revitalise primary health care services within the shortest possible time.
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