Paediatric Association of Nigeria

Date Published

PRESS RELEASE 19-02-2024







At no point in the history of Nigeria is the axiom, “prevention is better than cure” more relevant. With most families struggling to feed their children, they cannot afford any major illness in any family member because one may cause a catastrophic decline in their financial fortunes. A chest infection, for instance, may result in a visit to the hospital, incur transportation fare, and the cost of laboratory tests and medications. In some cases, admission to the hospital is required with its attendant loss of income from employment for the parents. The same process may result when a child develops diarrhoea. However, many of these illnesses are preventable with immunisations. Be it diarrhoea, pneumonia (chest infection), TB, polio, whooping cough, diphtheria, meningitis (brain infection), tetanus and now cervical cancer.

The good news is that these vaccines have been shown to be effective and safe for more than several decades. Take polio for example. Nigeria defeated wild polio largely because of the polio vaccines. This act alone has saved many of our children from being physically paralysed. Another good news is that these vaccines are provided freely by the Nigerian Government at primary health centres in every local government area of the country. The biggest challenge we have as a country is that our parents are not giving their children these effective vaccines for many reasons, chief among the reasons being misinformation from all quarters including social media.

To tackle the menace of misinformation that is robbing our children of their health and inflicting untold hardship on families, the Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN) and the International Pediatric Association (IPA) in collaboration with major immunisation stakeholders in Nigeria will be training influential members of the society as Immunisation Champions at a workshop in Lagos, Nigeria from 19th to 21st February 2024. The participants of the workshop will be drawn from the 36 states of the federation and FCT, Abuja. The Immunisation Champions will enhance vaccine awareness, promote dissemination of the correct information about vaccines, drive demand for vaccines from families and respond to negative views of the society about vaccines.

This workshop aligns perfectly with the mission of PAN to promote the wellbeing of the Nigerian child. It is an immediate response of PAN to the sorry state of childhood vaccine coverage in Nigeria headlined during the recently concluded 55th Annual Scientific Conference of PAN tagged Eko Akete. Which took place in Lagos from the 17th-19th January 2024. The Paediatric Association of Nigeria, under a new executive council led by Dr Ekanem Ekure, remains committed to advocating for the wellbeing of the Nigerian child.