Archive Finance minister withholds immunization funds

Finance minister withholds immunization funds

-

- Advertisment -
…over 7.2M Nigerian children at risk of death
Franka Osakwe
The lives of over 7.2 million Nigerian Children are on the line as the Minister of Finance withholds the release of N12.8bn approved for routine immunization, five months after the President’s accent to the 2016 budget.
This was revealed during a CSO/Media training by Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR) with support from the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH).
According to the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), routine immunization protects the lives of Nigerian children from vaccine preventable diseases and death.
They questioned the commitment of the Nigerian government to save the lives of millions of vulnerable Nigerian children. They said the non-release of the Routine Immunization funds to the relevant agencies in charge of implementation exposes Nigeria to a possible reversal of the achievements of two years since the interruption Wild Polio Virus in Nigeria.
They expressed fears that the image of Nigeria in the global community since the interruption of polio has improved but further delay of funds by the Ministry of Finance would have severe consequences in the country and global support that it receives.
It was also stated that the financial burden of polio eradication was largely borne by international donors. According to Stears Report, Nigeria’s total contributions to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative amounted to roughly $111 million between 2006 and 2013; and the estimated funding required for eradication efforts in Nigeria is $170 million just for 2016. 
Nigeria has recorded significant progress in reducing childhood mortality, and vaccines have been a significant contributor, prioritizing the sustainability of these gains will be important at this point. New vaccines such as the pentavalent vaccine have been introduced and Routine Immunization coverage has improved significantly from about 48% to 50 % in 2012 and 2013, to coverage of 87% nationwide in 2014.
In a time when the country is passing through a transition  process from donor support, amidst unmet needs for Routine Immunization of childhood killer diseases like measles, meningitis, Pnuemonia, Diarrhea, Mrs. Chika Offor, coordinator of Vaccine Network in Nigeria called on the Ministry of Finance to understand that by virtue of Nigeria joining the Lower middle Income Countries (LMIC) with a GDP of about $510billion in 2014, the country will no longer enjoy the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI) funding support for immunization which has made significant contribution to the country’s immunization it is important to sustain the gain achieved so far.   
It could be recalled that in 2015, Nigeria could not pay its part of the funding requirement and was able to secure a bailout fund from the World Bank, it is with this bailout fund that the country is able to sustain its contribution till the third quarter of 2016.
 
“we have less than five months to the end of 2016 yet nothing has been released for immunization, for procurement of vaccines and other logistics. As a nation we cannot continue to depend of development partners to buy the vaccines we need in the country yet we have funds for such purposes in our budget” said Dr Aminu Magashi Garba CHR/PACFaH, Project Director.
He further said: “the delay in releasing Routine Immunization funds puts the country at risk of experiencing stock out of vaccines in few months, if the Ministry of Finance is unable to priorities needs to protect the lives of under five children in the country”.
Immunization is the way to go to save the lives of our children, reduce cost of health care and give the children who are the leaders of tomorrow the opportunity to live their potential, but if we as a nation cannot provide health care to our children what message are we sending to the world?
In tracking Routine Immunization funds, the CSOs and Media present decided to form a strong coalition and launch a social media campaign called #RITrackit which hopes to raise awareness of the public on immunization funding activities in the country to ensure increased accountability and transparency in funds expenditure.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

JONAPWD-LAGOS Commends Sanwo-Olu For Restoring Disability Empowerment Fund

Kenneth Afor |  The Joint National Association of Persons Living With Dissabilities (JONAPWD ) in Lagos state has commanded Babajide...

Groups Call On Judicial Panels Of Inquiry To Dispense Justice On Victims, Survivors Of Police Brutality

Kenneth Afor | The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) and Centre for Law Enforcement Education (CLEEN Foundation) has...

COVID-19 Second Wave: FG Urged To Ban Flights From Britain, Others

By Ijeoma Ukazu | With some countries currently experiencing the spread of the new COVID-19 variant, the Health Writers’ Association...

“I am not distracted by calls for 2023 presidential race” — Yahaya Bello

Kogi state Governor Yahaya Bello has said calls for him to contest in the forthcoming 2023 presidential election is...

AfDB Provides $25m To Boost Low-Carbon Energy Generation

The African Development Bank’s Board of Directors on Monday, December 14, 2020 approved $15 million from the Sustainable Energy...

Civil Defence Receives COVID-19 Testing Equipment

The Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abdulahi Gana Mohammadu on Friday in his office received Covid...

Must read

JONAPWD-LAGOS Commends Sanwo-Olu For Restoring Disability Empowerment Fund

Kenneth Afor |  The Joint National Association of Persons Living...
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

%d bloggers like this: