The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced its plan to phase out completely, all old versions of Yellow card and a new e-Yellow card has been put in place in its stead with effect from July 1st, 2019.
Making the announcement in his office, in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, revealed that the new Card has enhanced security features that could be verified anywhere in the world by scanning the bar code or checking the card number on the Yellow Card portal.
The introduction of the new e- Yellow Card, otherwise known as International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP), is to address the issue of fake Yellow cards which has hitherto, constituted a source of national embarrassment.
Mr. Abdullahi stressed that with effect from July 1st 2019, the new e- Yellow card would be the only valid documented proof of vaccination against yellow fever.
Highlighting on the importance of the yellow fever vaccine for which the yellow card is documented for, the Permanent Secretary said that Yellow fever, a viral haemorrhagic fever, caused by a virus transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is a potentially fatal illness but vaccine preventable.
Mr. Abdullahi, noted that some countries, including Nigeria were endemic for yellow fever, as such, travellers to affected (endemic) countries were at risk of exposure to infection by the yellow fever virus; hence, the mandatory vaccination against the disease.
To this end, the Permanent Secretary informed that according to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO), recommendation, all international travellers, nine months of age and above, who were visiting Nigeria must be vaccinated against yellow fever.
Also, additional measures have been adopted at points of entry for the prevention and control of yellow fever, which involves mandatory requirement of evidence of vaccination against Yellow fever on arrival in Nigeria, Mr. Abdullahi added.
He further noted that some countries also require evidence of vaccination against yellow fever as a condition for entry.
He stressed that from 1st July 2019, travellers arriving Nigeria without proof of Yellow Fever vaccination would be vaccinated with the yellow fever vaccine at points of entry and issued the Card, after payment.
The Permanent Secretary therefore enjoined the travelling public to cooperate with the Ministry through Port Health Services Division, to prevent and control cross-border transmission of yellow fever by complying with laid down measures at points of entry and obtaining their e- Yellow Cards from the Division.
This makes us all a part of the global coalition/movement to eliminate yellow fever epidemics by 2026, Mr. Abdullahi asserted.