Nigeria has concluded plans to accelerate the phased prevention of Yellow Fever in a strategy christened-global strategy to Eliminate Yellow Fever Epidemics (EYE) by 2023.
This is contained in a statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO), to announce the relaunch of what it described as the an accelerated series of mass preventive vaccination campaigns to protect Nigerians against Yellow Fever (YF).
The Federal Government of Nigeria is being supported by WHO, CDC, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
The WHO explained that, to enable safe implementation in the COVID-19 context, personal protective equipment (PPE) and enhanced infection prevention control measures have been assured by a collaborative initiative and agile support of the state Ministries of Health, CDC, and WHO Health Emergencies Programme, and funding from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
“With support from WHO, UNICEF, GAVI, and other partners, Nigeria has updated its strategic elimination plan with the accelerated EYE strategic plan 2020-2023, aimed at completing nationwide vaccination by 2023 (instead of 2025 as initially planned), improve yellow fever diagnosis capacity, routine childhood immunization coverage and overall population immunity in all states.
“Over the duration of the strategy, it is expected that almost 180 million Nigerians will be protected against yellow fever through accelerated phased preventive mass vaccination campaigns,” the statement noted.
The massive 10-day yellow fever campaign to be conducted in Nigeria began yesterday in Anambra state and 4 other states are scheduled to start on the November 20, 2020. These campaigns are to be implemented in accordance with the WHO guidelines for the implementation of mass campaigns in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. with the use of PPEs and infection prevention control strategies as recommended.
The 2020 campaigns, the WHO said, represent an acceleration of the phased preventive mass vaccination campaign aimed to protect the country against yellow fever outbreaks.
The statement quoted the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, as saying that: “While COVID-19 remains a pressing priority, we are pleased to be able to safely relaunch life-protecting vaccination campaigns against yellow fever this week.
“Almost 30 million Nigerians will be protected for life from these campaigns in coming months – a remarkable achievement by our health care workers and communities.
“We encourage all eligible persons in the state to come forward and get vaccinated.
“Yellow fever outbreaks have re-emerged as a serious public health concern since September 2017. The upcoming campaigns will help stop outbreaks and save lives.”
On his part, the WHO Representative to Nigeria, Dr Kazadi Mulombo, explained that: “Through decisive and agile work by the WHO EPI and Health Emergency programmes, WHO has helped source and provide 265,000 face masks that will support safe implementation of life-saving yellow fever vaccination activities in the COVID-19 context in Anambra state.
“The technical support provided by WHO to national and state levels will ensure a high-quality campaign including planning, training of health care workers, supervision of the campaign and high vaccination coverage.
“WHO and partners are committed to ensuring that every person at-risk of yellow fever is protected.”