Government tackling menace of Fake Yellow Fever cards in Nigeria
Published Date: 2013-08-27 20:21:00 Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Yellow fever - Africa (22): Nigeria, fake cards Archive Number: 20130827.1906967
YELLOW FEVER - AFRICA (22): NIGERIA, FAKE CARDS *********************************************** A ProMED-mail post http://www.promedmail.org ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases http://www.isid.org
Nigeria's Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has urged travellers who were still using the old yellow [yellow fever (YF) vaccination] card to replace it with the new encoded one. Chukwu, while addressing newsmen in Abuja, said that foreign countries had been informed not to recognise the old card by 1 Oct 2013.
He said: "We are giving new cards now; please don't accept any old card as a fresh person if you get immunised today. If you are vaccinated against yellow fever, demand the yellow card, the new one. Now, the question will be what about those people who are vaccinated for whom their immunisation is still current? If you even bring it to the Ministry of Health today, go to the Department of Public Health, and it will be replaced. If their marking tells us you bought it, if you bought it, we will vaccinate you; the process is N 1000 [USD 6.18] only. Nobody should cause you to pay more; we will vaccinate you here in the ministry, and we will give you the correct yellow card. If the old one you bring shows clearly you actually were vaccinated properly, we will just give you the new one and put all the documentation aright. So, 1 Oct 2013 is the date we have set so far; after that date, the old one will not be recognised."
Chukwu said that earlier, states and the private sector were printing the card, "but now it is only the Federal Ministry of Health that is printing the card." He added that in terms of distribution, the ministry issued to only the National Primary Health Care Development Agency because it had the vaccines. "The other sector that also gets the card from the ministry is the Port Health Authority, which also does the vaccination, and they belong to the Federal Ministry of Health," Chukwu said.
The minister said children who were immunised routinely would not need the card except if they were travelling out of the country. According to him, those who need the yellow card are people who intend to travel outside the country.
-- Communicated by: ProMED-mail
[The sale of fake yellow fever vaccination cards to individuals who did not receive the vaccine presents a serious public health problem. Susceptible, unvaccinated individuals can contribute to a YF outbreak. YF virus is endemic in Nigeria. Unless the situation has changed recently, Nigeria is at risk for yellow fever outbreaks because it is the only country among 13 in West Africa yet to conduct mass vaccination, as was indicated in a ProMED-mail post of 24 Oct 2012 (archive no. 20121026.1366454). One hopes that the Ministry of Health's initiative to issue new cards, accompanied by vaccination, or replacement cards for old, legitimate ones will rectify the earlier problem of fake cards.
Comments: In india too there have been reports of fake cards of Yellow Fever vaccination being given, even though the minister of health has denied it in Parliament. To protect oneself & the country, it is very important that everyone takes the vaccine before going to a Yellow Fever endemic country. Remember this is a disease that can KILL.