Millions of children in Nigeria are at the risk of measles, polio, diphtheria and other diseases due to disruptions of routine immunisation and other vaccination programmes as a result of the lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Daily Trust reports that some of the mass immunisation programmes earlier scheduled for the year were cancelled or postponed because of COVID-19. This has heightened fears of more outbreaks of the diseases this year. The disruptions in immunisation schedules by COVID-19 are also threatening the gains Nigeria recorded in the fight against polio.
WHO, UNICEF, medics express fear of escalation
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF had warned of an alarming decline in the number of children receiving life-saving vaccines around the world due to disruptions in the delivery and uptake of immunisation services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the two organisations, “Some parents are reluctant to leave home because of restrictions on movement, lack of information or because they fear infection with the COVID-19 virus,” the two organisations said in a statement in July.