The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that 160 million Nigerians are at risk of contracting yellow fever, making up around 25 per cent of all the population in Africa.
WHO also revealed that Nigeria vaccinated over 45 million people during the COVID-19 pandemic out of Nigeria’s population which is around 200 million.
The Medical Officer, WHO Nigeria, Dr Anne Jean Baptiste, noted that yellow fever is a dangerous virus transmitted by infected mosquitoes while a small percentage of patients will go through a more toxic phase of the disease.
She said the fever mainly affects the kidney and liver, adding that the affected person may experience bleeding coming from the mouth, nose and eyes and half of them will die within seven to 10 days.
Director General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, noted that the centre had strengthened surveillance considerably by establishing reference laboratories in the country which are being supported and assessed to meet all the performance parameters in terms of sample collection and referral to the reference labs in Abuja.
He stated that despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NCDC has given out over 66 million doses in 2020 and 2021 to protect people from yellow fever outbreaks through routine immunisation, and mass vaccination campaigns that identify gaps in the population and proactively target vulnerable communities.