By Julie Ekong
Recent report by the Nigeria Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, MICS, and National Immunisation Coverage Survey, NICS, indicates that six in every ten children under two years are still vulnerable to at least one vaccine-preventable diseases.
This is because, only 39 percent of children aged 12 to 23 months received all recommended vaccines.
Report which was carried out between 2017 to 2021, by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, WHO, and other partners, shows that children are open to the diseases either they did not complete their doses of vaccines or have not taken any at all.
64% of children are still at risk of diseases such as, diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae serotype b infection and hepatitis B.
Others are, measles, meningitis, mumps, pertussis, poliomyelitis, rubella, tetanus, tuberculosis, and yellow fever.
The UNICEF Chief for Data, M4R, Claes Johnson gave details of this at a two-day media dialogue on the MICS/NICS result in Port Harcourt.
The UNICEF chief said political will plays a big role in the results of the survey.
“The result did not look good for some sectors and states, therefore taking actions should be a priority for the government. It is a government-owned survey”.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, has accepted the data”
The report also showed that the some group of children who did not receive any vaccinations are found in Enugu,1% and Ebonyi 0%. While Sokoto has the highest with 51%.
It notes that the benefits of vaccines can only be achieved when children receive all the recommended doses as and when due adding that, more children in the south are fully vaccinated compared to those in the North.
“The survey is a document designed to collect estimates on key indicators used to assess children and women on issues such as health and nutrition, education, child welfare among others. It is one of the largest MICS in the world, which includes interviews with 39,500 households with over 1,000 per state.”
The survey also revealed that Enugu and Eboyin has the lowest number of unimmunized children.
A Communication Consultant for UNICEF, Dr. Nancy Mbaya identified access to quality data and time constraints as some of the biggest challenges affecting proper reporting of stories with data.
More than half of all children under the age of five 57%, have their births registered with civil authorities in 2021.
This is an increase of 10% from 5 years ago.
The highest levels of birth registration are found in Lagos, 94% and FCT, 87%, while the lowest levels are in Jigawa, 23.6%, and Sokoto, 22.5%.
Slightly more than half, 57% of children under the age of & five had their births registered with civil authorities.
This is an increase of 10 percent points from the previous MICS, 47% in 2016, which targets 80% in the next 10 years.