Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Community Health and Research Initiative, CHR, under the aegis of Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health, PACFaH, has called on the federal government to timely release the 2016 immunisation funds as Nigeria marks its second year of no polio case.
In a press release sent to Nigerian Pilot yesterday, the organisation joined the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, GPEI, to laud all Nigerians for the efforts made towards eradicating polio in the last two year and also called for the release of immunisation funds as Nigeria marked two years on July 24 since it recorded the last polio case.
‘’The feat achieved so far has brought Africa and the rest of the world very close to the total eradication of Wild Polio Virus, WPV, which has been a global burden and one of the highest causes of Under-five deaths. It is also an important milestone and a major step towards polio-free certification for Nigeria in 2017.
As the world joins Nigeria to celebrate this achievement, CHR with support from the PACFaH Consortium, is calling on the Nigerian government to ensure timely release of routine immunisation funds allocated in the 2016 appropriation act.
CHR/PACFaH commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the allocation of N12.879.67 billion for immunisation which is 45 percent of the total 2016 health budget.
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ado Muhammad, was also commended for ensuring that a strong surveillance system is in place by increasing environmental surveillance sites and community informants across the country.
CHR called for sustainability and timely release of the 2016 immunisation funds, accountable expenditure of the funds to meet the required needs and achieve a total coverage of activities as the country moves to the last phase of the eradication programme.
CHR/PACFaH Project Director, Dr Aminu Magashi Garba, said ‘’Out of the N12.879.67 billion appropriated for immunisation, N9,821.33 billion (76 percent) was allocated for polio eradication initiative, N1, 017.50 billion (eight percent) is to be used for traditional vaccines and devices, N1, 743.41 billion (14 percent) will be used for non-polio SIAs (Vaccines + Devices +OPS cost), N220.46 million (two percent) for hajj vaccines, while N76.97 million will cover for clearing and distribution of vaccines and devices.
“Nigeria must not relent in its goal towards achieving a polio-free nation certification by 2017, but this is only achievable if the government can meet the required funding needs and make resources available, as well as ensure that funds to be used for immunisation and polio eradication programme are judiciously utilised for this purpose.”
What is needed in Nigeria is improved political will and efforts to meet financial commitments made for immunisation at all levels of government, strengthened surveillance system with access to basic healthcare services and other life-saving vaccines to protect children from vaccine preventable deaths,” Garba emphasised.