UNICEF blames myths, disinformation for poor immunisation uptake in Nigeria

The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has blamed myths, disinformation, misinformation, and rumours, as major contributing factors to poor immunisation in Nigeria.

Chief of the UNICEF field office in Kano, Mr. Rahama Rihood Farah, stated this in his goodwill message at a two-day media dialogue on Routine Immunization and the Zero Dose campaign held in Kano.

He said although immunisation has been the single, most cost-effective, and high-impact intervention protecting children against illness and death caused by vaccine-preventable diseases, its acceptability in some areas in the country needs to be enhanced.

According to him, “The National Immunization Coverage Survey Results have shown that over the years, Nigeria has made progress in Immunization coverage; however, it is also clear that gaps exist.

“For instance, in the three states of the Northwest of Nigeria: Kano, Katsina and Jigawa, there are over 600,000 children who have not been vaccinated against childhood killer diseases.

“This is closer to about 40 per cent of the total unimmunized children in Nigeria. Over 300,000 of those children are in Kano State, representing 50 per cent of the three states under the UNICEF Kano Office.”

Rahama urged media practitioners to create the demand for immunization and to raise awareness of the importance of immunization by providing accurate information to caregivers, families, and communities.

He also urged traditional and religious leaders, community leaders, and civil society organisations to forge partnerships to eliminate the number of unimmunized children in Nigeria.

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