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UNICEF WARNS OF ALARMING DECLINE IN GLOBAL VACCINE COVERAGE

UNICEF WARNS OF ALARMING DECLINE IN GLOBAL VACCINE COVERAGE

The UN Agency for Children, UNICEF wants Nigeria not to let COVID-19 distract the country from the work that still needs to be done to ensure that every Nigerian child receives full routine immunizations.

UNICEF says Nigeria is facing a critical moment of choice, wherein children can either be protected from a host of preventable diseases or face an uncertain future and possibly dire health prospects.

This came as new data by the World Health Organization and UNICEF show global disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic are threatening to reverse hard-won progress in immunization rates worldwide.

UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria Peter Hawkins, said this is a critical moment which the country can either seize or condemn millions of children to preventable illness or even death.

In the meantime, Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency said Nigeria has a full stock of routine immunization vaccines, and can use the strong community outreach programmes to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and also ensure children receive vaccinations for diseases that can easily be prevented.

Dr Shuaib also said the country must seize this moment to be creative and act wisely.