The Nigerian government has released N35 billion to support the measles campaign coming up in n October.
The Executive Secretary of Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib says prompt release of funds towards the 2017 measles campaign is an indication of commitment to save lives.
Dr Shuaib was speaking on the programme of events of the planned Nigeria’s Measles Campaign, in Abuja.
According to him, “Persistently, low routine measles follow up Subnational Immunisation Activities, SIA, coverage in 2013 (74%) and 2015 (84.5%) have resulted in a population immunity profile that has allowed increased transmission of measles virus among children (10-year old) resulting morbidity and mortality.
“Movement of internally displaced people from recently liberated security threatened areas is also likely to have caused increased susceptibility and exposure among local populations”.
The Executive Secretary also said that case-based measles surveillance that has satisfied key surveillance performance indicators since 2012 showed that measles virus transmission is extensive throughout the country.
“These outbreaks occur in spite of the 2015 measles follow up campaigns. Approximately 2.4% of all children with laboratory confirmed cases of measles die, likely precipitated by malnutrition and or vitamin A deficiency.
“Vaccination status among confirmed cases indicates that majority of cases have never been given measles vaccine, consistent with inadequate levels of immunisation coverage. The number of outbreaks has increased from 166 affecting 140 local government areas to 183 affecting 158 local government areas in 2015 and 2016.
“Surveillance data shows that there was a steady increase in measles incidence among children under five years in the North from 190 million in 2014 to 527 million in 2016,” Dr Shuaib explained.
He noted that the trend of proportion of measles cases among children aged five and 10 years in the North has been rising steadily since 2014, cumulatively in 79.4% and 19.1%respectively in 2016.
According to Dr. Shuaib, in the Southern States, though the incidence decreased from 111million in 2014, to 11 million in 2016, the incidence rate is still above the desired less than five million populations.
“It is also noteworthy that the proportion of measles cases among children under five years old is 59.4% and five to 10 years is 18.7%,” he said.
He said the 2017/2018 measles Vaccination Campaign would focus on children ages nine months to 59 months and it would be implemented in phases from October 2017 to March 2018. Ninety-five percent national coverage is expected.
The NPHCDA boss disclosed that 22 States and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, are yet to approve the campaign, (Katsina, Sokoto, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Plateau, Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Lagos, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu States), while Kaduna, Zamfara and Jigawa States have approved but yet to release their counterpart funding.
Kano State only released N9 million out of N66 million, the remaining balance is expected to be paid by Local governments.
Kebbi, Borno, Nassarawa and Imo States have released their counterpart funding.
Dr Shuaib added that States that do not release their counterpart funding by September 15, 2017 would not participate in the vaccination campaign.