Experts in the health sector have said that the outbreak of Coronavirus was already threatening the immunisation of millions of children in Africa to various diseases.

The pandemic is said to have caused a significant disruption to vaccination efforts and surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases on the continent.

Already, the Africa Vaccination Week has been put on hold as a result of the outbreak in most countries on the continent.

The exercise was expected to kick off last Friday but had to be suspended due to the lockdown of most countries including Nigeria. 

The World Health Organisation had before the disease outbreak underscored the importance of maintaining essential health services such as immunisation.

WHO noted that interruptions of vaccination activities would make the outbreaks more likely to occur, putting children and other vulnerable groups at risk of life-threatening diseases.

It said, “Africa has been experiencing a resurgence of measles. Measles preventive mass vaccination campaigns in Chad, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Sudan have been suspended because of COVID-19, leaving around 21 million children who would have been vaccinated unprotected."

Director of Disease Control and Immunisation of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Bassey Okposen, said the organisation had completed the development of eight guidelines for public health care workers and community members.

He said, "We started online training of facilitators who will train our health personnel at the sub-national level using the above materials.

"Again, there is an ongoing PSA from the agency with regards ongoing immunization and other PHC services at the PHC facilities."

He said the material were aimed at improving the knowledge of health workers and community members to reduce community level COVID 19 infection spread. 

You may also like

Read Next