The Federal government has introduced the Rotavirus vaccine into the nation’s immunization schedule to address the high rate of diarrhea 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 diarrhea disease among 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 of, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib said the vaccine would be free at all primary health care centers, and affirmed that the vaccine was safe and effective to protect the children as well as prevent Diarrheal.
Dr Shuaib explained that mild adverse effects such as vomiting, runny nose, and fever might be experienced after the vaccine and then urged mothers to continue exclusive breastfeeding, use vitamin A supplements, hand washing, and use 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 10 years.
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 the rotavirus vaccine.
Reporting by Nancy Anika-Ezie; Editing by Seyi Ajibade & Tina Oyinsan