By Asma’u Ahmad
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has pledged to donate 12 million doses of Yellow fever vaccines in 2018 and 19 million in 2019 to support Nigeria’s campaign against the disease.
WHO Communications Officer, Ms Charity Warigon, said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday that the intervention would be carried out with the support of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance.
Warigon said that it would ensure all persons aged nine months to 45 years were vaccinated during the ongoing yellow fever campaign in Danja Local Government Area of Katsina State.
She said that the campaign, which was being carried out by the Federal Government with the support of the organisation, would run from Aug. 9 to Aug. 18 in the state. According to Warigon, the campaign will protect at least 154,131 people from the disease.
She said that WHO’s support to Nigeria was aimed at complementing governments plan to eliminate the disease by 2026 as guided by the Eliminate Yellow Fever Epidemics (EYE) strategy launched by the organisation in April.
She noted that the country has since September 2017 been experiencing outbreak of yellow fever with confirmed cases reported in 22 local government areas across 11 states.
Warigon said that from the onset of the outbreak, 2,400 suspected yellow fever cases including 47 deaths have been reported by theNigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“The campaign in Katsina is a reactive vaccination in response to confirmed yellow fever cases. WHO is committed to continuing this effort and supporting Nigeria to better protect its population against this disease and ensure better health and well being.
“With one single injection, we can provide life-long immunity against this disease at a cost of approximately one United States Dollar. Ensuring availability of adequate vaccine supply to reach all those at risk is a constant challenge; with the support of GAVI, however, WHO has pledged a donation of 12 million doses of yellow fever vaccines in 2018 and 19 million in 2019 to Nigeria.
“The assistance from WHO will ensure that all persons aged nine months to 45 years will be vaccinated during the ongoing campaign, bringing the overall number of states where the vaccination drive has been
implemented to 10,” Warigon said.
She said that the yellow fever response in Nigeria led by the government was being coordinated through the National Yellow Fever Technical Coordinating Committee (NYFTCC) with participation by all partners.
She said that preventive mass vaccination campaign was underway for Nov. 8 to 17 in Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau and Borno states as well as the FCT under phase two of the EYE strategy plan. Ms Warigon said that about 25 million people would be vaccinated by the end of 2018.