EU commits N4b to polio immunisation in Nigeria
TOWARDS ensuring that Nigeria secures a World Health Organisation (WHO) polio-free certification by 2017, the European Union Support to Immunisation Governance in Nigeria (EU-SIGN) has committed N4 billion to immunisation activities in Nigeria for 2015.
Officials said the funding covers three categories of programmes operation guidelines.
The funding is expected to cover a period of four years to work with the State Technical Assistance, STAs, with the states and with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to plan how to strengthen immunisation, strengthening the cold chain, the health facilities and build capacities.
Contracting Advisor and Procurement Expert for the EU-SIGN, Aminata Sidibe, said at a Bi-annual Review Meeting of 23 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory which benefited from the fund in Abuja, said the scheme was aimed at helping the country end polio and other related diseases; help obtain the WHO certification on polio and also assist in containing other vaccine-preventable diseases in the country.
Sidibe said: “The EU is committing 150 million euros into the programme. For this specific programme estimate, 4.3 billion naira has been committed.”
Director of CONSEIL SANTE, an organisation through which the EU funds the SIGN programme in Nigeria, Anna McAthur, said: “The EU-SIGN actually came in at real good time for Nigeria because we’ve just got to the elimination of polio, and we are working towards eradication of polio.
“Government has set up state primary health care agencies and has advisory body in each state. It is good for Nigeria to strengthen its primary health care agencies and also strengthen its immunisation which will help to make polio eradication in Nigeria a success.
“What is really important with the programme is that it is working with the state governments. So, working on a system that will have a long term impacts on reducing preventable diseases and maintaining polio eradication, it is working on governance, it is working on human resources strengthening. It is building equipment in the state to be able to have strong report. So, with all these support, and working with the government, we can get there and increase immunisation campaign.”
Director of Department of Logistics and Health Commodities at National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Mustapha Zubair Mahmud noted: “We must do all we can to maintain a polio-free country up to 2017 so that we are certified free of polio.
Focal Person for the EU-SIGN in Nigeria, Dr Adamu Dawud noted that milestone was to re-emphasize the place of routine immunisation.
He noted: “And, thank God, the meeting today addresses routine immunisation; the routine immunisation and the vaccination given to children from birth to one year. It is actually the immunisation that gives the potency for children to develop immunity in such a manner that they will be able to combat all infections that will actually be encountering them as they are growing. Now, EU-SIGN programme is a very special programme that came on board actually potentate and sustain routine immunisation.