Nigeria: Children below One-Year-Old to Get New Pneumonia Vaccine
Children under one year in the FCT can now benefit from the newly introduced vaccine against pneumonia called Pneumococacal Conjugate Vaccine or PCV10.
The measure was aimed at preventing diseases caused by the bacteria. The Executive Secretary of the FCT Primary Health Care Development Board (FCTPHCDB), Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, revealed this at the ceremony to start the vaccine at the Family Health Clinic, Area 2, Abuja. He said that in August 2016, the vaccine was introduced into the EPI schedule to be taken by children under 1 year in the FCT and already the PCV had been introduced into the routine immunisation schedule in all the six area councils of the FCT. The acting Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat, represented by Mrs Alice Odey Achu, said that the introduction of the vaccine was done to reduce childhood deaths and protect children against childhood pneumonia and meningitis. She called on traditional and religious leaders as well as stakeholders to spread the message of the new vaccine so that targeted children can be protected, adding that caregivers were expected to ensure their children received the vaccine at six, 10 and 14 weeks.
The representative of the WHO, in a goodwill message, said that the WHO estimated that over 800,000 children under five years used to die from pneumococcal diseases each year, and in Nigeria pneumonia claimed the lives of approximately 177,000 under-five children annually, accounting for 16% of all deaths within the age group.