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In a bid to reduce the mortality and morbidity caused by rotavirus infections across the country, the Federal Government has officially introduced the rotavirus vaccine into its routine immunisation programme.

This was made known by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who was represented by the Director of Public Health, Morenikeji Alex-Okoh, in Abuja during the launch of the vaccine and flag-off of this year’s African Vaccination Week.

He noted that the government, with the support of donors and partners, especially GAVI has spent huge amounts to procure routine immunisation vaccines for children. Improving the health of children remains a priority for the present administration.

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While stating that children can now take the rotavirus vaccine at 6, 10, and 14 weeks as they take other life-saving vaccines, it noted that the vaccine is of great importance because it is expected to avert over 110,000 deaths of children under the age of five in the next 10 years.

The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib, has also noted that Nigeria has the second highest number of deaths from rotavirus, accounting for 14 percent of all childhood rotavirus deaths worldwide.

Similarly, he said, the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine is a huge investment due to its substantial economic impact and the number of lives that the country is going to save from the introduction.

Also speaking during the launching of the vaccine, the representative of the world health organization in the country, Dr. Walter Mulombo said that the introduction of the Rotavirus Vaccine will provide the opportunity to reduce the number of children dying every day from diarrhoea disease caused by rotavirus.

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