The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, has said it is targeting 80 per cent immunisation coverage in 2018.
The Executive Secretary of the agency, Faisal Shuaib, gave the assurance at the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, FCT Chapter Physicians week on Friday in Abuja.
The theme of the week is entitled, ”Declining immunisation coverage: A threat to national security and development: The way forward.’’
He said that the agency is also targeting 85 per cent coverage in 2019 as against the present 33 per cent.
Mr Shuaib said that some modalities have been put in place toward the realisation of the target as the declaration of state of public health concern on routine immunisation in June, and the establishment of the National Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centre, NERICC, in July.
According to him, the centre is aimed at improving detection and responsiveness in the resolution of routine immunisation gap, strengthening leadership and accountability.
“It is also geared toward strengthening coordination as well as increase data visibility, quality and use for action at all levels.’’
Other measures include development of National Quick Win Action Plan in collaboration with states, LGAs and partners among others for the establishment of state and LGAs Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centres, SERICC, and implementation of State Action plans.
He said these efforts would also increase outreach services for immunisation for traditional vaccines especially in very low performing states.
“So far seven states of the 18 high priority states for NERICC interventions have established SERICC these are Sokoto, FCT, Borno, Kaduna, Kebbi, Nasarawa and Kano. Yobe and Bauchi are to be inaugurated next week.
“Following an intensive review of available reports and assessment, there are 11 states for every high priority interventions, seven for high priority interventions, ten for medium and the other nine sustained required support,” Mr Shuaib said.
The Executive Secretary, who decried the decline in immunisation coverage however urged states that were yet to establish SERICC to do so on or before November ending to boost the Federal Government efforts of increasing immunisation coverage.
He commended NMA for their efforts so far in boosting service delivery in primary healthcare centres among others.
He however called for further collaboration with them and other CSOs in government quest to reach the yet to reach children with immunisation thereby securing their future and that of the nation.
According to him, the Federal Government alone cannot achieve optimum universal coverage of immunization without the support from NMA, LGAs, State government, traditional and religious leaders, parents and other care as well as Civil Society Organisations.
“The Federal Government wants NMA to continue to give free routine immunisation services to compliment its efforts of providing free and potent vaccines for use at public and private health facilities.
“NMA should ensure adequate reporting of immunisation services provided at all levels to the relevant levels of government when the need arises.
“And use every opportunity to enlighten patients and caregivers on the potency of vaccines among others,” he pleaded.
Chiedozie Achonwa said the theme of the week was selected to highlight the security and developmental implications of declining immunization in Nigeria, role of regenerative medicine in modern care of the patients, emergence of Monkey Pox disease among others.
Mr Achonwa reiterated that the progress of a nation lies on adequate immunisation of its younger generation.
According to him, well-immunised children would grow up healthy to realise their potentials in life thereby contributing meaningfully to national development.