National Child Health Week in Nigeria


The 1st to 8th of August has been declared National Child Health Week f by the Ministry of Health in association with UNICEF.

They plan to vaccinate 30 million children around the country. Find details here and here.
The plan is to hold these weeks twice each year…

It was interesting watching the usual visit of the UNICEF country representative; Ms Veneman brief our VP on the aspirations of the programme….on our very own NTAi (i for international!)

Just in May 2009 there was a campaign across the country, primarily for Polio but integrated with other vaccines called the “Supplementary Immunisation Days (SIDs)/Immunisation Plus Days (IPDs)”. This extended to 11 other west African countries immunized by in a synchronized response to a wild poliovirus (WPV) outbreak from northern Nigeria that has swept as far westwards as Guinea.

Now this appears to be an ingenious plan to merge campaigns and routine immunisations in Nigeria. We seem to be already very addicted to campaigns as a means of vaccinating our children rather than ongoing sustained routine programmes.

BUT yes… if that is the only way to reach most of our children….so be it.

So…here at Nigeria Health Watch – we will also focus this week on new interesting developments related to immunisation in Nigeria.

Find some interesting resources here:

USAID – Immunizations Today and the Way Forward: The review team remains concerned about the support for and understanding of the needs for strengthening routine immunization. Priorities to reduce measles mortality, introduce yellow fever and meningitis vaccines are all campaign based and in their initial stages. Campaigns as demonstrated in the desegregation data undermine routine immunization services.

Household Baseline Survey on the Factors Affecting Routine Immunization in Northern Nigeria – 2007: Report of Pertinent Findings.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

Leave A Reply