• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigerian researchers advocate PCV inclusion in routine immunisation regimen

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Nigerian health researchers at the Nigerian Branch of South African Cochrane Centre (NBofSACC), Institute of Tropical Diseases Research and Prevention (ITDR&P) of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Calabar have advocated for the inclusion of PCV [pneumococcal conjugate vaccine] in the routine immunization regime in Nigeria.

PCV is the vaccine given to, especially children under fiver years against pneumonia attack.

Led by Martin Meremikwu, a professor of Paediatrics and Consultant paediatrician, the health research group informed that findings from new evidence-based systematic reviews carried out by researchers under the Cochrane Collaboration in Finland and Philippines show that “PCV could effectively prevent pneumonia (lung infection) and blood infection due to Pneumonia (Septicaemia).”

Also, the researchers said the systematic reviews proved that “there was a significant reduction in child mortality amongst participants” used during the review.

“From the findings of this review, PCV should be included in routine immunization regime in Nigeria,” stated Olabisi Oduwole, research officer at NBofSACC, while presenting the Cochrane Systematic to journalists during a media forum in Calabar.

Ekong Udoh, a medical doctor and a researcher with the NBofSACC, while presenting latest studies on pneumonia informed further that pneumonia kills 143,000 under-fives in Nigeria, making the highest deaths in Africa and second highest in the world after India, with 300,000 deaths.

The NBofSACC researchers therefore urged the Federal Government to make PCV (pneumonia vaccine) administration part of the routine immunization to under-fives in Nigeria, as part of efforts to drastically curtail pnemonia deaths in the country.

They also advocated for sustained PCV administration, rather than the one shot immunization of the pneumonia vaccine, which they said is not enough to stop pneumonia infected under-five child.

The NBofSACC researchers also called on the Federal Government, states and local governments to increase measles vaccination coverage nationwide, which has also been linked to stopping pneumonia deaths.

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