Nigeria continues to fight measles outbreaks. The disease, characterized by a high temperature and red spots on the body, killed more than 1,400 people in Africa during the 2010 epidemic in some of the most serious outbreaks seen for a decade.

In Nigeria there were more than 4,771 cases in 2010, a ten-fold increase on the same period in 2009. A further outbreak in Katsina State in late 2012 demonstrates the need to maintain our efforts in fighting measles.

The NPHCDA is continuing its programme of Sub-National Immunization Plus Days (SIPDs). These days include increased immunization against measles for all one year old children.

Improving distribution
Part of any effective vaccination programme is ensuring there is an effective system to store, transport and distribute vaccines. A national cold chain assessment was carried out in order that we could know the status of – and gaps in – our storage capacity as well as plan for the introduction of new vaccines. As a result a new initiative to strengthen human resources for managing the cold chain in the Agency has been approved.

Increasing vaccine availability
The Agency has also enhanced integrated disease surveillance and training for measles and meningitis, and increased the availability of vaccines (over 5 million for measles and about 3 million for meningitis).

New vaccine approval
The NPHCDA has also been instrumental in gaining conditional approval by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization to introduce two new vaccines: Hib Pentavalent was introduced in 2010. Pneumo vaccines were conditionally approved in 2011.

For the first time, Nigeria has conducted a maternal and neo-natal tetanus elimination (MNTE) Campaign covering, 56 local government areas in the Abia, Ogun and Rivers states.

Vaccine distribution
Immunization vaccines have been distributed in accordance with the National Immunization schedule. Numbers of doses procured (using the Federal Government  Fund) and utilised were as follows:

Yellow fever  – 9,072,600
Trivalent oral polio vaccine (TOPV)  – 17,426,000
Measles  – 9,400,000
Tetanus toxoid vaccine  – 12,969,800
Diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT)  – 15,624,400
BCG  –  6,100,000
Hepatitis B  – 13,600,000
Hajj ACwY134 tetravalent meningitis vaccine  –  More than100,000 doses