Northern Nigeria records low immunization coverage

Ismail Umar

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A new report by the United Nations Children Fund, (UNICEF) has revealed that northern Nigeria is still faced with immunization challenges.

The new Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey report MICS 2016-17, organized by UNICEF indicated that only eight percent (8%) of children from North-western part of Nigeria were fully vaccinated and seventeen point-five (17.5%) from North-eastern part of the country compared to South-west which has over forty-seven percent (47.9%) of children that were fully vaccinated.

UNICEF monitoring and evaluation specialist, Mrs Maureen Zubie-Okolo, made the identification at a two day media dialogue on data driven reporting using the new Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey report MICS 2016-17 organized by UNICEF in Enugu, South-east Nigeria.

 “The data from the survey shows that about one out of five children twelve to twenty three months are fully immunized by their first birthday in the two region of the country due to improper awareness and Education and cultural background of parents”. Mrs Okolo said.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Officer said lack of proper awareness and good education contributed to the decrease in immunization by mothers in Nigeria particularly in the northern part of the country.

 “The report from the survey vividly indicated that mothers who attended higher Educational qualification fully vaccinated their children compared to those mothers who have lower background in formal Education or those that do not undergo any form of Educational system particularly in rural areas”. She added.

She said with good Education and proper awareness mothers in the region would be enlightened about the benefit of immunization to human national development.

She urged religious and Traditional leaders to continue to do more in encouraging mothers to ensure that they fully immunize their children for sustainable health among their communities.

“Let’s us join hand together and immunizes our children and save them from common diseases and find a lasting solution to their health for sustainable growth and development”.

The Multiple indicators Cluster Survey (MICS) is a national household survey programme developed by the National Bereau of Statistics in collaboration with UNICEF to support Nigeria in the collation of national data covering a wide range of indicators on the situation of children and women including Health, Nutrition, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene(WASH), Education, Protection, HIV and AIDS among others.

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