To mark the 3rd and final key date in the 33-Days to Power Up Immunization campaign, civil society across Africa are raising their voices to enhance awareness about Pneumonia and are calling for more domestic financing to Pneumonia vaccines, routine immunization programs and strengthening of health systems.
“Prevention is better than cure and Immunization is the best strategy to get rid of Pneumonia instead of waiting to treat our children when they fall sick.” Says Chika Offor from the Vaccine Network. We have to pull our socks and increase our actions because too many children continue to die from Pneumonia,” Offor added.
Nigeria is among the 3 countries with the lowest score (38%) only above Chad (29%) and Somalia (27%) in the integrated Global Action for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD) against a threshold of 70% for Pneumonia and Diarrhea GAPPD scores 2017.
The same report shows Nigeria’s inability to meet the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) coverage threshold of 45% by scoring only 26%.
As Nigeria records only 1% gain from the 2016 report, there’s need for greater political will and more local investments that will take the Addis Declaration on Immunization that Africa heads of states endorsed in January 2017, a notch higher.
We are calling on the Nigerian government to reaffirm its commitments by increasing local financing to immunization, better the policies on immunization and expand the coverage of routine immunization so that all children in the country can benefit, especially those in rural and remote areas, because too many children continue to die from Pneumonia.