189,452 children in Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi states have not received specific immunisations, dubbed “zero-dose children,” as of December 2022, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.
UNICEF agreed that Nigerian children account for 2.2 million of the world’s 48 million children who have not gotten a single vaccination shot.
Dr Danjuma Nehemiah, Health Specialist at UNICEF’s Sokoto Field Office, announced on Sunday at a two-day Media Dialogue on Routine Immunisation and the Zero-Dose campaign in Sokoto.
The debate was sponsored by UNICEF in partnership with Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara states’ primary healthcare development agencies.
The term “zero-dose” refers to children who did not get a single dosage of antigens that they should have received at their age to protect them from vaccine-preventable illnesses.
Therefore, the health professional stated that immunisation is a top priority for the next five years.
“In spite of decades of progression to increase access to immunisation in lower-income countries, at least 12.4 million children still go without basic routine vaccines every year.
“UNICEF is now focusing on reaching these zero-dose children because zero-dose children account for nearly half of all vaccine-preventable deaths,” Nehemiah said.
He stated that UNICEF’s objective was to reduce the number of zero-dose children by 25% by 2025, and 50% by 2030, when the UN Sustainable Development Goals will be completed.
According to Nehemiah, Sokoto had 122,015 zero-dose children in 13 local government areas, Zamfara had 47,085 zero-dose children in six LGAs, and Kebbi had 17,352 zero-dose children in three LGAs.
cc: Punch Ng