Paediatricians task gov on free vaccines to prevent infant mortality

By Bianca Iboma-Emefu

The Paediatric Association of Nigeria ( PAN), has called on the government at all levels to urgently work out plans to make free vaccines available, in order to prevent every 37 seconds infant morality rate in the country.


•L-R: Chair, Scientific Committee, PAN Annual Conference (PANConf) 2024, Dr.Chris Esezobor; Treasurer, Paediatric Association of Nigeria, Dr. Adaeze Ayuk; Secretary, Dr. Mariya Garba; President, Dr. Femi Ogunrinde; President-elect, Dr. Ekanem Ekure and LOC Chair, Dr. Seinde Eletu, during the Paediatric Association of Nigeria Press Conference For PAN 55th Annual Conference (PANConf) 2024, held in Lagos.
This was disclosed yesterday by the leadership of the Association at a press briefing to herald its 55th annual conference scheduled to hold from Wednesday 17  to Friday 19 January in Lagos.

President of the association, Dr. Olufemi Ogunrinde said Nigeria has an unacceptable 6.2 million children, who have never received any vaccine.

“ These so-called zero-doze children are one of the main reasons we are having outbreaks such as diphtheria in some parts of the country. We need to reach every child in the country, irrespective of their locations with vaccination and health care to guarantee the optimal well-being of each Nigeria citizen.

Ogunrinde stressed that vaccines do not kill but lack of it does. The myth, disinformation and misinformation have  prevented widespread awareness designed to keep the Nigerian child from getting vaccinated.

He added that physical steps was needed to ensure good health for newborn.

Ogunrinde equally urged parents to patronise professionals for the treatment of their children, adding that paediatricians are not being patronised enough due to poverty.

He encouraged colleagues in the field to remain committed to promoting the health of the Nigerian child.

The association also lamented that many of its members were leaving the country, saying those that were available had been overworked. “Brain drain is putting extreme pressure on our health care system and on health workers in the country,” he added.

He called on the government to act and urgently work out pragmatic solutions to produce a national environment that is conducive for growth, development and productivity.

Ogunrinde implored all the states to domesticate the child rights act.

Meanwhile, the new president, Dr Ekanem Ekure said vaccine were available but not affordable.

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