Myths, disinformation threaten immunisation in Nigeria – UNICEF


THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has identified disinformation, misinformation, myths and rumours as parts of the major factors responsible for poor immunisation uptake in Nigeria.

According to the organisation, the challenge is exposing young children to high risk and avoidable deaths.

The Chief UNICEF Field Officer, Rahama RM Farah, stated these in a welcome address during a media dialogue on routine immunisation and the Zero dose campaign held in Kano on Wednesday.

Farah said majority of the unvaccinated children are in Kano, adding that implementing the Nigeria primary health care policy will help capture unimmunised children in rural areas.

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“In the three states of the north-west of Nigeria: Kano, Katsina and Jigawa, there are over 600,000 children who have not been vaccinated against childhood killer diseases,” Farah said.

“This is closer to about 40 per cent of the total unimmunised children in Nigeria.

“Over 300,000 of those children are in Kano state, representing 50 per cent of the three states under the UNICEF Kano office.

“This situation is unacceptable and should be reversed urgently.”

He said the governments of the three states should prioritise interventions by providing essential medical services and improving primary healthcare centres in the region.

“Myths, disinformation, misinformation and rumours have contributed a great deal to poor immunisation uptake, exposing children to high risk and death that can be avoidable when they don’t get immunised,” he added.

The UNICEF chief charged the media to raise awareness on the importance of immunisation to caregivers, families, and communities.

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Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.


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