A non-governmental organisation, Women Advocates for Vaccines Access (WAVA) has lauded the Federal Government for the allocation of N12.6 billion in the 2016 budget for vaccines, devices and operations programmes for polio, measles and other vaccines preventable diseases.
In a statement signed by the convener of the NGO, Dr Chizoba Wonodi, she said the budgetary allocation is a commendable step as Nigeria works to sustain the progress made towards polio eradication and closing the immunization gap.
“We are pleased that the National Assembly granted the request we made to preserve the routine immunisation budget during an interactive session with its leadership on the 2016 Budget Proposal. We had as well followed up with public sensitization on radio and social media on the need for sufficient budgetary allocation for vaccines in 2016.
“We call on the Ministry of Finance to ensure timely release of the fund and urge the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to ensure efficient utilization of the approved budget,” she said.
Addong, Wonodi said as Nigeria has started an exit transition from GAVI funding support, it implies that the government’s share of the cost of vaccine procurement and storage will increase progressively.
“The Nigerian Country Mid-Year Plan (cMYP) analysis shows that the government is required to budget a minimum of N14 billion in 2017 and N40 billion in 2020; thereafter, an average of N52 billion will be required every year.
“Given the political will demonstrated in the 2016 budgetary provision, we consider this a huge step towards sustainable funding for immunization. Immunization remains one of the most cost-effective and economically-rewarding health interventions yielding at least sixteen dollars per dollar invested.”
Wonodi also commended the Johns Hopkins International Vaccines Access Center (JHU-IVAC) and Direct Consulting and Logistics (DCL) for supporting the NGO’s advocacy work with the provision of evidence and key messages.
She pledged to support every action taken by government and other partners towards achieving uninterrupted and equitable access to immunization in Nigeria in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).