Youths call for sustainable vaccine financing plan

Gloria Essien, Abuja

Nigerian Youths have called on the Government to develop a sustainable domestic plan for Vaccine Financing.

The call was made at the end of a two-day Routine Immunisation Youth Champions Retreat organised by Community Health and Research Initiative CHR, through Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health PACFaH.

Issues discussed and resolutions reached at the end of the retreat were the commendation of the recently approved $125m World Bank Loan to finance the 2017 Polio Eradication Program, and other Routine Immunisation Vaccines.

Government Ownership
They stressed the need for government’s ownership of Immunisation financing, without dependence on loans and donors support.

The youths, representing a coalition of CHR-PACFaH CSOs from Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano and Niger applauded the Government on the on-going anti corruption crusade.

They advised that some of the recovered monies should be used to fund pressing health issues in Nigeria, including immunisation and also for Strengthening Primary Healthcare Centre.

Community Involvement
The Government was asked to increase budgetary allocation to Immunisation, as it would help to bridge possible Immunisation funding gaps in Nigeria.

Traditional and Religious leaders were urged to effectively use their positions to actively participate in Immunisation advocacy to government at all levels, by ensuring community involvement.

Immunisation financing
On the recently signed Declaration on Immunisation Financing by 54 African Ministers of Health during the 2016 Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Addis Ababa, the youths encouraged the Government of Nigeria and stakeholders to take responsibility and ensure full implementation of each recommendation.

The youths also saw the need for Nigeria to create an immunisation trust fund.

“As youths, the future of our country is now, and every youth must realise that and ensure funding for immunisation on Nigerian Children is task that must be done,” the Youths stressed.

The Government was called upon to develop an achievable plan for sustainable immunisation financing, and save Nigerian children the dilemma of dying from preventable causes and reversal of the achievements recorded so far in immunisation.

Confidence Okwuchi