Nigeria needs about $2.7 billion (N824 billion) to buy vaccines over the next 10 years to enable it achieve its target of 84 per cent immunisation coverage by 2028, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has said.
The Executive Director of NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, said the investment will also allow the agency attend to the over 4.3 million unimmunised children in the country.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting with donors and partners on immunisation financing in Abuja on Friday, Mr Shuaib said the country’s immunisation coverage currently stands at 33 per cent.
The meeting was part of activities marking the 2018 Africa Vaccination Week, which is celebrated every last week of April. This year’s event will run from April 23 through 29 under the theme “Vaccines work, do your part.”
The week was set aside to ensure children get the vaccines they need.
“Nigeria will require about $2.72billion to procure vaccines and devices from 2018 to 2028. While GAVI will support with $773.2 million, the government and other source, which include Basic Health Fund, loans and marching grants from donor agencies, will provide the balance,” Mr Shuaib said.
He said out of about $93 million needed for immunisation in 2018, the federal government approved only $33 million.
He noted that Nigeria is graduating from GAVI support in the next two years, though conversations are still ongoing for extension.
This, he however said, has necessitated that government takes full responsibility for immunisation in the country.
As part of the programme for the vaccination week, Mr Shuaib said NPHCDA will be visiting the 18 worst performing states on immunisation.
He said the exercise is also targeted at children who have not been vaccinated in the last two to three years.
“The plan of NPHCDA is to reach any child, no matter where they live. It is a moral responsibility that we do not take for granted. Plans are in place to locate the hard to reach areas and to get the vaccines to them,” he said.
Nigeria country director, IVAC, Chizoba Wonodi, highlighted the economic importance of investing in immunisation programmes.
She said countries that invests one dollar in immunisation get about $16 to $44 back on their investment.
She noted that Nigeria will need about $1.9 billion to procure Routine Immunisation and SIA vaccines and devices from 2018 to 2028 and $295million annually following GAVI transition
The World Health Organisation Country Representative, Wondi Alemu, called for increased domestic resources for immunisation programmes in the country.
“I call on governments, parliamentarians and policy makers, civil society organisations, the private sector, communities and all families to break down the barriers to immunisation and ensure all Nigerian children get the shot to life that they deserve.
“WHO and partners are dedicated to working with the government in ensuring universal immunisation coverage,” he said.