Vaccination System In Nigeria
Vaccination System In Nigeria
The Nigerian Vaccination system is called the National Program of Immunization (NPI). The system suffers from perennial challenges such as religious beliefs and ethnicity, which hinder success of the vaccination system. These problems are compounded by the fact that the country is one of the most populous countries in Africa. At the close of 2011, the Nigerian population was estimated to be 167 million. During this time, the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), which commenced in 1978 drove the country’s vaccination system (Ophori et al., 2014). The EPI targeted children below two years. The system had a mixture of success and failure due to unique challenges facing Nigeria (Ophori et al., 2014). Despite the challenges, the country through the EPI managed to achieve the global objective of childhood immunization of 81.5 percent during the 90s (Ophori et al., 2014). However, company started on a recessive trend where the levels of childhood immunization coverage fell gradually. In 1996, the national data on immunization coverage showed that Nigeria had immunization coverage of 30% for all diseases and antigens (Ophori et al., 2014). A worrying trend was recorded in 2003, when the national immunization coverage was reported at 15% (Ophori et al., 2014). This is among the lowest national immunization coverage the world over. It serves to explains the reason why many children in Nigeria are prone to infectious diseases.
A vaccination system is important in guaranteeing a long and healthy life for the citizenry in a given nation. More so, vaccinations are important in protecting children against diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles and Polio. These diseases are the leading causes of childhood mortality and morbidity. Therefore, it goes without saying that maintaining a high immunization and vaccination coverage is an important goal for any nation and its public health system as a way of reducing childhood mortality and morbidity that are associated with infectious diseases. Similarly vaccination and immunization help delay more than two million deaths around the world every year (Odusanya et al, 2008; World Health organization, 2009). Nevertheless, diseases that could be prevented with vaccines have remained the leading causes of childhood mortality. Center for Global Development (2005) reports that infectious diseases that could be prevented through vaccination cause three million deaths every year.
Today the National Program on Immunization has replaced the EPI vaccination and immunization system in Nigeria. NPI is tasked with delivering the following children vaccines
BCG: this vaccine is given immediately at birth or at the earliest possible time after birth
OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine)- administered at birth, at 6weeks, at 1o weeks and 14 weeks after birth
DPT (protects against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus)
Hepatitis B administered at birth, 6 weeks and at 14 weeks.
Measles: administered on children on attaining 9 months
Yellow fever: given to children at 9 months after birth
The Nigerian vaccination system considers a child as fully vaccinated if the child has all of the above vaccinations including the right dosage where a vaccine has more than one dose. From the above analysis it is clear that Nigeria has a challenged National Program on Immunization (Ophori et al., 2014). In fact, some parts of Nigeria, such as the northern region of Nigeria, have the lowest levels of immunization. nevertheless, this does not occur in a vacuum. There are reasons why the Nigerian National Program on Immunization is mired with challenges. Such challenges are discussed here under (Ophori et al., 2014).