Only about 23 per cent of children in Nigeria have received all recommended vaccines between 2016 and 2017, the Multi Indicator Cluster Survey report, (MICS) has revealed.
The report also states that though only one in four children received all recommended vaccines, more children are fully immunised in the southern part of the country. These are the South- south, South-west and South-east zones.
The survey which was sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was released on Thursday in Abuja at the MICS/NICS national dissemination meeting with stakeholders on revamping routine immunization and primary healthcare system.
The MICS is a survey designed to provide estimates of vaccines coverage for the country by zones and each of the 36 states.
In his presentation, the acting director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Abdullahi Garba, noted that the percentage of immunized children between 12-23 months of age is very low and below expectation.
He said “immunization coverage varies across Nigeria but improvements are needed in every state.
“The immunization coverage in Nigeria is below the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) goals, putting a substantial number of children at risk of vaccine preventable diseases” he said.
He said that more work can be done to ensure that at least 90 per cent of children in Nigeria receive all recommended vaccines.
He said the Nigerian government is committed to the 100 per cent goals of the GVAP.
While responding to questions from journalists, the Nigeria Country Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Yusuf Yusufari, called on the Nigerian government to take over the responsibility for immunisation in the country.
“Nigeria government has to take over ownership of immunisation in the country.
“The government, health workers and partners must also be held accountable for routine immunization.
“By accountability, I mean the Nigeria government has procured 100 percent of vaccines required to vaccinate our children, but the result is telling us only a few have been vaccinated. What is happening to other vaccines?
“This means that there is a lot of inefficiency in the system or a lot of inaccurate reporting, so we all need to be accountable”, he said.
In his remarks, the representative of European Union, Ibrahim Lisa, commended the effort of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to conduct the national dissemination meeting to enlighten Nigerians on where they stand with routine immunisation.
Mr. Lisa said the results will serve as evidence that more resources and efforts is needed to put immunisation on a high spot in Nigeria.
He also pledged the continuous assistance of the European Union to ensure that every child in Nigeria receives vaccines against preventable diseases.