By Asma’u Ahmad
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has cautioned health workers in the country against falsification and manipulation of results or data of immunisation.
The Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, gave the warning while speaking with newsmen after a stakeholders’ meeting on immunisation in Suleja, Niger on Thursday.
Dr Shuaib said that his agency would not tolerate the falsification of immunisation data and would punish any erring health worker that indulged in such dubious act. He said that the agency, under his leadership, had accepted the result of the survey released recently by partners which puts the immunisation coverage in the country to about 33 per cent.
“After several years of telling lies of immunising unrealistic number of children, it is now time to be realistic and reflect the correct figures of vaccinated children. In the past, there was claim of 120 and 150 per cent coverage in the result of vaccination conducted across the country,” he said.
The executive director said that the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and the leadership of the National Assembly had pledged their commitments to put things in the right position. Also, Dr Seth Berkley, the Chief Executive Officer of Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI), said that in spite of the huge investment on vaccination in the country, the result got was not impressive.
Berkley disclosed that Nigeria had the highest numbers of unimmunised children in the world. According to him, about 700 million dollars has been expended on the provision of vaccines to Nigeria.
The executive officer said that the problem in the immunisation programme could be addressed with the commitment of political leaders and traditional rulers in the country.