The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), has called on Nigerians to support child routine immunization in the country, stating that the federal government alone cannot drive the initiative of leaving no child behind.
The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said this at the closeout event by the Solina Centre for International Development and Research (SCIDaR), involved in Routine Immunisation Strengthening Project (NNRISP), implemented in Kano, Bauchi, Sokoto, Kaduna, Yobe and Borno States.
The event with the theme “Insights for Impact at Scale,”showcased the achievements and valuable lessons learned during the seven years of collaboration, while also disseminated knowledge products that add to the body of evidence on immunization and PHC systems.
Shuaib, who was represented by Dr Mohammed Abubakar, Director, National Advocacy Communications Social Mobilisation, NPHCDA, said that the agency’s collaboration during the project improved immunisation in the country.
He said to sustain the gains, the agency needs the support of everyone and all relevant stakeholders.
“The government cannot do this alone; we must scale this initiative nationwide to ensure that no child is left behind,” he said.
Dr Ahmed Iya, Head, Health Nutrition Officer, Aliko Dangote Foundation, said that” immunisation was not merely a medical intervention; it was an investment in a child’s future.
It ensures that every child receives life-saving vaccines which protects them from preventable diseases and lays a solid foundation for a healthier and more prosperous future,” he said.
Iya said that in celebrating the achievements of the project, the states should know that the work was far from over.
“We must persist in our efforts to ensure that every child in Nigeria has access to life-saving vaccines, regardless of their circumstances,” he said.
In her remarks, the senior country manager, GAVI Nigeria, Jessica Crawford, said that GAVI would continue to support the country’s initiatives that ensure vaccines were available to every child.
Crawford said that GAVI would keep supporting the journey of reaching every child with life-saving vaccines in the country.
The Emir of Dass, Alhaji Usman Bilyaminu, said that the country is seeing a lot of progress in immunisation, stressing that it could do better.
According to Bilyaminu, “We must continue to work together to ensure that our children have access to immunisation to help them become productive citizens in future.”
In his welcome address, Dr Muyi Aina, Executive Director, SCIDaR, said through a holistic approach, the project has promoted accountability and political will for primary healthcare services.
Aina said that this includes immunisation while enhancing capacity and strengthening PHC system building blocks sustainably.
“Over the past several years, the NNRISP has played a pivotal role in revitalizing immunization and enhancing PHC services across the six focus states in Northern Nigeria.
“Today’s event is possible because of your collective efforts and unwavering commitment to improving immunisation and primary healthcare services by all the stakeholders,” he said.
He called on target audiences to take advantage of this momentous occasion to adopt and adapt the best practices emerging from the NNRISP implementation programme for similar contexts.
This would help improve routine immunization and primary healthcare outcomes in other states in Nigeria as well as other African nations.
Also reforms and galvanising resources were needed to address routine immunisation performance in the six Northern States.
Attendees also had the opportunity to explore insightful knowledge products derived from extensive research conducted during the project’s implementation phase.