Nigeria is set to launch its biggest ever yellow fever vaccination campaign

Nigeria is set to launch its biggest ever yellow fever vaccination campaign

The government of Nigeria have announced plans for their biggest ever yellow fever vaccination campaign that will see over 25 million people vaccinated throughout 2018. The campaign will be supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Nigeria’s plan is part of global efforts to eradicate yellow fever epidemics by 2026. Yellow fever, which is transmitted by mosquitos, causes death in around half of all patients who experience the toxic phase of the disease.

 Areas particularly at risk of yellow fever are Africa and Central and South America. Nigeria experienced a yellow fever outbreak in Ifelodun, Kwara State in western Nigeria in September 2017. By January 2018, 358 suspected cases with 45 deaths.

The preventative campaign is supported by UNICEF and will be funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Vaccinations are set to begin on January 25th in Kogi, Kwara and Zamfara states before moving on to Borno and focusing on internally displaced persons and host communities. It is expected that over 8.6 million people will be vaccinated within the coming days.

Nigeria vaccinated over 3 million people towards the end of 2017 in an emergency campaign hoping to quickly contain the outbreak. However, other parts of Nigeria remain largely unprotected from the disease.

Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency said:

 “The goal of the Yellow Fever Preventive Mass Vaccination Campaign is to reduce yellow fever transmission by achieving 90% coverage in implementing States and Local Government Areas in line with the strategy for the Elimination of Yellow fever Epidemics by 2026,”

WHO will train thousands of healthcare workers to administer the vaccine with the aim of tracking reported cases and providing logistical support for the large scale campaign.

Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, WHO Representative in Nigeria commented:

“With a single dose of vaccine, an individual is protected for life against yellow fever…this is a massive undertaking which took weeks of planning. Nearly 3000 vaccination teams are being deployed across the four states participating in the campaign.”

The second phase of the mass vaccinations is expected to take place later in 2018.


AIDF’s 3rd Annual Aid and Development Africa Summit will take place on 27-28th February 2018. The summit will discuss innovations and best practices in tackling communicable diseases; innovations and reforms to support health SDGs and much more.

To see the full agenda click here.

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Image credit: WHO

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