From Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
Save the Children International (SCI) Nigeria, has called on governments at all levels as well as other stakeholders to end childhood death by increasing domestic investment in the health sector.
According to SCI, statistics have shown that the global vaccination rates have dropped to levels not seen in a decade and that has led to the death of children due to vaccine-preventable diseases.
This was contained in a statement that was issued by SCI to mark the 2022 World Immunization Week. SCI urges the governments and other stakeholders in the country to accelerate actions toward reducing and ending preventable childhood death.
According to the Interim Country Director of SCI in Nigeria, Shannon Ward, immunization has proven to be effective in preventing diseases, disabilities, and deaths from Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPDs) such as diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, and pneumonia.
He said, “Every child needs to be vaccinated against preventable diseases. These diseases can negatively impact the quality of life and cause death”. Shannon explained that it is expected that the government and other actors would increase emphasis and training for health workers as well as community members on the many benefits of immunization.
He further stated that vaccines are among the greatest advances in global health and development. For over 200 years, vaccines have protected us against diseases, allowing generations of people to grow and thrive.
The Interim Country Director also disclosed that the 2022 WIW which is themed “Long Life for All,” was to highlight the collective action needed and to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages.
He said, “Save the Children believes that immunization saves millions of lives and it is recognized as one of the world’s most successful health interventions. Vaccines help eradicate childhood diseases and save millions of children’s lives each year”.
The statement also quoted the SCI’s Director of Advocacy, Campaigns, Communication and Media, Amanuel Mamo saying, “We urge the Government of Nigeria to support an increase in domestic investment in the health sector to meet with 15% target of the Abuja Declaration (2001) and ensure that health spending improves child health services”.
“This week provides us an opportunity to increase public awareness about the importance of every person’s need and rights, including that of children, girls, women and people with disabilities, to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. We call for increased coordination, collaboration with and support to be able to deliver high-quality, timely, free and accessible immunization programs at all levels,” Amanuel said.