Why Nigerians must prioritise vaccination – Official

Prof. Isaac Adewole. Minister of Health
Prof. Isaac Adewole. Minister of Health

The federal government has implored Nigerians to imbibe the culture of getting immunised as a preventive measure for disease control as this will help reduce the financial burden incurred during treatment of vaccine preventable diseases.

The minister of state for health, Osagie Ehanire, made this call at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday to commemorate the World Health day which was celebrated April 7.

Mr Ehanire said Nigerians need to start thinking more in terms of disease prevention which includes regular vaccination for vaccine preventable diseases than embarking on the curative measures when those diseases break out.

Speaking on the theme ‘Universal Health Coverage: everyone, everywhere’, the minister said though the government is trying to put in place plans towards achieving UHC in Nigeria, it is aware that UHC cannot, for now realistically include all health interventions on a sustainable basis.

Mr Ehanire said studies had shown that for every Naira spent on immunisation, N16 is being saved on treatment cost of same disease.

“That is what would have been spent on treatment, 1/16 of it can be spent on immunisation instead of the treatment. That is a huge cost benefit it we are able to push immunisation to achieve 80 per cent, it can take care of the cost of many diseases and out of pocket expenses.

“This means an individual will be saving N11 out of pocket spending on diseases and government will be saving N4. That is why we are seeking full support of citizens to support the idea of mass immunisation as a routine activities in this country,” he said.

Mr Ehanire explained that in order to achieve this feat, the federal government has been reviving primary healthcare across the as healthcare begins with prevention, promotion of health, nutrition before curative health.

“Water, sanitation, hygiene and balanced nutrition are very important part of health and if you are able to take care of these panel and immunisation, you would have taken care of at least 60 per cent of the disease burden in the country.

The Country representative of WHO, Wondi Alemu, in a speech to celebrate the day had called on the government and every health player in Nigeria to make sure that UHC is achieved in the country.

He said Nigerians should have access to quality and basic healthcare services.

Mr Alemu while commending the government on its effort in revitalising PHCs as a means of delivering quality health care services to Nigerians, urged the communities to use the services that have been provided in places where available.

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