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2.4m kids in Nigeria not vaccinated against three child killer diseases -Gavi

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and Global Health Advocacy Incubator say there are about 2.4 million children that are assigned as zero-dose in Nigeria.

The organisations revealed the data at a One-day Multi-Stakeholder Technical Workshop, organised by Non-Government Organisations; Global Health Advocacy Incubator and Vaccine Network for Disease Control.

Zero-dose children are defined as kids not having received the first dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) containing vaccines.

Speaking at the meeting, Mrs. Chika Offor, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Vaccine Network for Disease Control, said the Global Health Advocacy Incubator uses the power of advocacy to reduce preventable deaths, and to improve health at scale by changing policies and strengthening systems.

According to her, GAVI has been at the forefront of helping Nigeria in funding, especially in areas of Primary Health Care (PHC) and immunisation campaign.

She explained that the meeting was a stakeholders’ technical workshop, to co-develop and review domestic resources, mobilisation and strategies for state immunization and primary health care.

Offor stated that GAVI was supporting Kwara, to ensure multi approach, where all stakeholders pool in resources, strategies and passion, for success in further development of PHC and immunization programmes in the state.

She observed that the stakeholders at the workshop had resolved that there was a need for more funding for PHC and immunization programmes across the 16 local government areas of Kwara.

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She explained that the recommendations made were both for short and long term approaches.

“The workshop also recommended involvement of the local government areas and state government, in provision of fund to support primary health care centres in a phased approach,” she said.

Offor added that there was the need for increase in health insurance funding, from one per cent, to two per cent, at the state level.

“We also talked about increase in health budget in the state. The state is doing well with 11 per cent but we cannot stop.

“This is because everyday, new vaccines are introduced. With this new vaccines being introduced, it’s money. and the state has to support the FG and the LGAs across the state,” she said.

She advocated that a certain percentage of Value Added Tax (VAT), should be allocated to PHCs and immunization, from both the state and local government levels, adding that it would go a long way to improve health care sector.

Earlier in her opening remarks, Dr. Amina El-Imam, the Kwara Commissioner for Health, commended the organisers, while stating the need to improve the number of vaccinated children in the state.

According to her, it is important that vaccine network is in the state, in order to gear all stakeholders towards promotion of primary health care.

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She reiterated the state government’s commitment to vaccination of all children, adding that the programme was aimed at improving the lives of children in the state.

Also speaking, Dr Nusirat Elelu, the Executive Secretary of Kwara Primary Healthcare Development Agency, emphasised the need for more funding, geared towards PHC and immunization.

She reiterated the resolve of Gov. Abdulrahaman AbdulRazak of Kwara in ensuring the revamping of the health system in the state. (NAN)

Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
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