The Federal government has introduced the Rotavirus vaccine into the nation’s immunization schedule to address the high rate of diarrheal diseases in children caused by Rotavirus.
This ensures that every child accessing routine childhood immunization at the primary health care facilities could also be vaccinated with the Rotavirus vaccine for free.
Rotavirus is a highly contagious virus that causes severe diarrhoeal disease amongst infants and other children all over the world.
Globally, about 525,000 under 5 children suffer from severe diarrhea each year leading to 215,000 deaths.
According to the World Health Organization, WHO, more than 90% of these deaths occur in developing countries, including Nigeria.
Hence the need for the government to introduce the Rotavirus vaccine into the nation’s immunization schedule to address the out of pocket expenses experienced in accessing the vaccine.
The Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency Dr Faisal Shuaib who stated that the vaccine would be free at all primary health care centers ,affirmed that the vaccine was safe and effective to protect the children and prevent Diarrhoeal
Dr Shuaib explained that Mild Adverse effects such as vomiting, runny nose and fever might be experienced after the vaccine.
He then urged mothers to Continue exclusive breastfeeding , use of vitamin A supplements, hand washing and use of zinc- ORS to prevent dehydration.
The minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire represented by the Director Family Health, Dr Morenikeji Alex-Okoh said the vaccine would directly avert over 110,000 deaths in the next 10years
The Country representative of WHO, Dr Walter Mulumbo said Nigeria, being one of the 4 countries that harbor approximately half the global burden, Would greatly benefit from the economic impact of this introduction of the rotavirus vaccine.
Also, the UNICEF country Representative Mr Peter Hawkins Called for good human capital development for health workers to support the efforts of the immunization campaign.