The Nigerian Government has established an emergency centre to coordinate immunisation activities in the country, as part of the effort to meet the national target of 85 percent coverage for routine immunisation.
The National Emergency Routine Immunization Coordination Centre will govern routine immunisation programmes and projects in the country.
Speaking at its inauguration in Abuja on Tuesday, the Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, said the centre was established in line with the vision of the agency to strengthen primary health care in Nigeria.
“Although routine immunization is a very vital pillar to eradicate polio and other vaccine preventable diseases, our expanded programme on immunization efforts have suffered from low uptake resulting in sub-optimal national coverage,” Mr. Shuaib noted.
He said the centre was prompted by the aim to rebrand and rapidly revive routine immunisation performance in the country.
“We are here to inaugurate a dedicated squad that would proffer solutions towards addressing the challenges and accelerate the control of vaccine preventable diseases,” he said.
Mr. Shuaib urged the team to ensure the national target for coverage of routine immunisation is achieved and that kids are quickly reached for vaccination through innovative strategies.
He said although the Federal Government was responsible for funding the centre, additional support was expected from donors and development partners.
In her remarks, the director, Disease Control and Immunization at NPHCDA, Dorothy Nwodo, reaffirmed the government’s aim to eradicate polio and increase the performance of routine immunisation in the country.
In his goodwill message, the Chief of Health, UNICEF, Modibo Kassougu, commended the NPHCDA for declaring routine immunisation and primary health care a priority in Nigeria.
He however called for the harmonisation of efforts of development partners, with respect to the goal of eradicating polio.