By Abimbola Ogunnaike
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has disclosed that at least 2.2 million Nigerian children do not receive a single dose of any vaccine ever year.
UNICEF said this development made Nigeria the country with second highest number of zero-dose children in the world.
The Chief of Health, UNICEF Nigeria, Eduardo Celades, made this disclosure on Thursday, April, 2023 at a media briefing on the release of the State of the World’s Children global report.
“In the first eight weeks of delivery, 2.2 million children every year are not vaccinated at all in Nigeria,” Celades said, adding that vaccines are a very powerful tool in preventing childhood diseases as well reducing child mortality.
The UNICF official, who disclosed that the lives of more than 4.4 million children every year, added that UNICEF, in collaboration with the federal government and other actors, was working towards addressing the zero-dose children in Nigeria.
Celades disclosed that 100 priority local government areas and 1, 200 wards with zero dose children had been identified and that they aimed to catch up with one million missed children in the next 700 days.
UNICEF Nigeria, Chief of Communications, Rajat Madhok, said the global report revealed that 67 million children missed out on getting vaccinated, with vaccination coverage levels decreasing in 112 countries.
According to Madhok, 12.7 million children in Africa missed out on getting vaccinations in the last three years.