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SASTM Newsflash - Yellow Fever, Nigeria - Fake Cards


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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. 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.





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The content and opinions are neither pre-screened nor endorsed by the SASTM. The content should neither be interpreted nor quoted as inherently accurate or authoritative.

The information provided in SASTM Newsflashes is collected from various news sources, health agencies and government agencies. Although the information is believed to be accurate, any express or implied warranty as to its suitability for any purpose is categorically disclaimed. In particular, this information should not be construed to serve as medical advice for any individual. The health information provided is general in nature, and may not be appropriate for all persons. Medical advice may vary because of individual differences in such factors as health risks, current medical conditions and treatment, allergies, pregnancy and breast feeding, etc. In addition, global health risks are constantly evolving and changing. International travelers should consult a qualified physician for medical advice prior to departure.

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