Organisations unite to bring vaccines to children in Nigeria
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dangote Foundation, USAID and Nigerian governors have signed a new partnership committing political and financial resources to strengthen and sustain routine immunisation programmes that will save more lives and keep Nigeria polio-free. “These are tough financial times in Nigeria, but the health of children cannot wait,” said Professor I.F Adewole, Nigeria’s Health Minister. “The country has an ambitious plan to introduce new life-saving vaccines over the next several years, and these commitments will ensure we can get those vaccines to the children who need them most.” Through the Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), the governors commit to effective governance, leadership, and financial accountability to reduce child illness and death from diseases such as measles, pertussis, and hepatitis through increased routine immunisation in their respective states. The other partners will bring the financial and technical support needed to operationalise the programme. All signatories pledged to improve routine immunisation coverage in northern Nigeria systematically and sustainably, where vaccine coverage rates are low. “These agreements strengthen our partnerships with Nigerian states working to provide health services to all their citizens,” said Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chair of the Dangote Foundation. “Building on their recent success in eliminating polio from the region, Nigerian governors have and will continue to play a vital role in establishing a legacy of sustained commitment to routine immunisation.” The objective of the MoUs is to reach 80 percent of the target population in the signing states with the necessary life-saving vaccines by December 2018, to prevent common childhood diseases and ensure a polio-free environment. To achieve this, key components of the programme include the operationalisation of the ‘Primary Health Care Under One Roof’ policy that will see a single management body oversee the project. Contributions towards the costs of the initiative by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dangote Foundation, and state governments will be staggered across three years: 30 percent in year one, 50 percent in year two, and 70 percent in year three with the states taking progressive responsibility for financing immunisation services. “The states will be able to reap the full return on their investment through the number of lives improved and saved, and communities will remain protected from vaccine-preventable diseases for years to come,” said Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Nigeria’s governors have the opportunity to build health systems strong enough to stop future outbreaks.”
By Andrew Bates
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Photo: CDC Global