The Jigawa State Government says it has integrated the rotavirus vaccine into routine immunisation to curb the infection among children.
The Executive Secretary, Jigawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Kabir Ibrahim, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Dutse.
Ibrahim said the gesture was aimed at curbing the menace of diarrhoea and other childhood killer diseases in the state.
He explained that the vaccine was integrated into routine Immunisation after it was discovered that 70 per cent of children under the age of five die as a result of five clinical conditions.
The executive secretary listed the clinical conditions as malaria, measles, respiratory tract infections, malnutrition and diarrhoea.
According to him, more than half of diarrhoea cases in children are caused by rotavirus, which he described as a small microorganism that causes watery stool in children.
“We’ve realised that more than 70 per cent of children who are less than five years die because of five clinical conditions, malaria, measles, respiratory infections, malnutrition and diarrhoea.
“And more than half of the incidences of diarrhoea in children are caused by rotavirus, which is a small microorganism that causes watery stool in children.
“So now, we have the privilege of providing the prevention of rotavirus infections and preventing children from diarrhoea episodes, mortality, and morbidity,” the executive secretary said.
Ibrahim also said that the vaccine would be administered to the children in three doses, starting with the first dose when a child is six weeks old, the second dose at 10 weeks and the last dose at 14 weeks.
He, however, added that children who got vaccinated were not likely to have diarrhoea.
“If they (children) don’t have diarrhoea, there would be a reduction in under-five mortality.
“We know that diarrhoea can also lead to malnutrition in children and when it is stopped, it will reduce the number of malnourished children in the state.”
The executive secretary said there would be adequate doses of the vaccine and encouraged parents whose children are within the age group to get the vaccine at any health facility in their communities.