Like play like play, some parents dey dance surugede with the lives of their children by not taking them for immunisation. As is commonly believed surugede is the dance of esoteric spirits and not for humans.
Immunisation is the process whereby people are protected against illness caused by certain organisms.Vaccine refers to the material used for immunisation, while vaccination refers to the act of giving a vaccine to a person. The practice of immunisation dates back hundreds of years with Buddhist monks drinking snake venom to confer immunity against snake bite. Vaccines work by stimulating the body’s defence mechanisms against infection. These defence mechanisms are collectively referred to as the immune system.
Vaccines are made using several different processes. They may contain live viruses that have been weakened so as not to cause illness; inactivated or killed organisms or viruses; inactivated toxins (for bacterial diseases where toxins generated by the bacteria, and not the bacteria themselves, cause illness); or merely segments of the disease causing organism.
They are also given by several routes. While some like the oral polio vaccine is given as drops into the mouth some others are given as intramuscular or subcutaneous or intradermal injections. These routes are specific for each vaccine and ensures adequate efficacy.
Before vaccines, many children died from diseases such as whooping cough, measles and polio. In Nigeria, vaccine preventable diseases is said to account for approximately 22 per cent of deaths in children.
Immunisation provides multiple benefits which includes provision of long-term, sometimes lifelong protection against a disease. It also helps facilitate herd/Community immunity. This refers to the protection offered to everyone in a community by high vaccination rates. With enough people immunised against a given disease, it’s difficult for the disease to gain a foothold in the community.
In spite of intense efforts and attempts at creating public awareness the 2016/2017 National Immunisation Coverage Survey (NCIS) indicated that only 33 per cent of children around 12 to 23 months of age had three doses of pentavalent vaccine against the global target of 90 per cent and only 23 per cent were fully immunised. Sadly, 40 per cent of Nigerian children 5years of age and less over the surveyed period did not receive any vaccines. These children obviously have increased risk of dying from vaccine preventable diseases.
The nagging question becomes why would parents put their children at risk by not vaccinating them?
The answer plenty full ground remain! Some parents do not believe in it either because of some sort of cultural, religious or personal beliefs. The personal beliefs include the perceived risk of immunisations and side effects. Religous believes are basically faith based with some parents believing that allowing their children take vaccines is a display of faithlessness or lack of faith. Others erroneously believe that vaccines have agents imbedded in them to cause sterility and infertility. Some other parents are scared of side effects like fever but truth be told , the benefits outweigh both the real and imagined side fears.
So maale and paale, if your child is not fully and appropriately immunised quickly do the needful by going to a health facility. To born pickin no easy so no waste the one when you born.