World Immunization Day- Long Life for All
Vaccinate children to set the foundation for a long healthy life.
LONG LIFE FOR ALL
We are in the World Immunization Week. There is a lot to do to ensure healthy long lives for all Nigerian children. The last week in April of every year is dedicated to the issue of immunization.
Vaccines have proven to be arguably the most cost-effective health intervention in human history saving millions of lives of children, especially in under-served areas of the world. It is 226 years since the deployment of the first vaccine against smallpox (a diseases that has been successfully eradicated globally), and vaccine development and use have come a long way. Since the eradication of smallpox in 1980, millions of lives have been saved, making many children live beyond their fifth birthday. Thankfully, Nigeria also joined the league of nations that have successfully eradicated poliomyelitis, the devastating illness that causes lifelong paralysis. However, Nigeria and her children are still grappling with vaccine-preventable diseases.
Reasons given for this stark reality include poor socioeconomic status, insecurity, and vaccine-hesitancyamong many others.
In order not to miss out on the immense benefits of vaccines, it is highly important for parents to understand their roles in immunizing their children. Parents need to seek correct, accurate information about immunization and vaccines. They should also refrain from spreading rumours. Parents should take their children for immunization to minimize the risk of severe infections like tuberculosis and hepatitis B.
Parents should also get vaccinated as needed for the safety of all in the country. For instance, abstaining from COVID-19 vaccinations ensure the pandemic stays longer than necessary with preventable loss of lives.
The benefits of immunization go beyond children and health. Immunization has social and economic benefits. When children are healthy and remain free of vaccine-preventable diseases they grow into healthy and productive adults, parents are more productive; productive parents and adults create a healthy economy; and a healthy economy creates a healthy nation.
The Paediatric Association of Nigeria has consistently contributed to the support of immunization and the building of public trust in vaccines. Let us ensure long healthy lives in Nigeria by getting our children and ourselves immunized. Happy World Immunization Week!