Posted by Garba Ahmed | 1 June 2017 | 1,757 times
Nigerian Youths have called on the Federal Government to develop a sustainable domestic plan for Vaccine Financing as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, begins its five-year exit plan from vaccine financing support for the country.
The position was made known at the end of a two-day Routine Immunization Youth Champions retreat organised by Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR) through Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH).
A statement on Thursday by Ndidi Chukwu, CHR Communications and Media Officer, said that among issues discussed and resolutions reached at the end of the retreat, penultimate Wednesday in Abuja, the youths commended the recently approved $125m World Bank loan to finance 2017 Polio Eradication Programme, and other Routine Immunization Vaccines.
They however stressed the need for government’s ownership of immunization financing, without dependence on loans and donor support.
She said the youths, representing a coalition of CHR-PACFaH CSOs from Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano Niger as well as national, also applauded the Federal Government on the on-going anti-corruption crusade and advised that some of the recovered monies should be used to fund pressing health issues in the country, including immunization and strengthening of primary healthcare centres.
Ndidi Chukwu quoted the youths as also advising the Nigerian Government to increase budgetary allocation to immunization during the Gavi transition period to bridge possible immunization funding gaps in Nigeria, as well as innovative financing through taxes.
“The youths also urged traditional and religious leaders to effectively use their positions to actively participate in immunization advocacy to government at all levels, by ensuring community involvement,” she said.
On the recently signed Addis Declaration on Immunization Financing by 54 African Ministers of Health during the 2016 Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Addis Ababa, recently endorsed by African Heads of States at the 70th World Health Assembly, the youths encouraged the Government of Nigeria and stakeholders to take responsibility and ensure full implementation of each recommendation, as contained in the Declaration.
The youths who are members of Kaduna State Accountability Mechanism for MNCH (KADMAM), Bauchi State Accountability Mechanism for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (BASAM), Accountability Mechanism for Maternal Newborn and Child Health in Kano State (AMMKaS), Civil Society on Maternal Newborn and Child Health in Niger State (COMiN), and TrackHealth National Accountability Mechanism (T-NAM).
The youth coalition trained by CHR-PACFaH to support immunization financing advocacy in Nigeria, further stressed that “as youths, the future of our country is now, and every youth must realise that and ensure funding for immunization on Nigerian Children is task that must be done.” While calling on the government to develop an achievable plan for sustainable immunization financing, and save Nigeria children the dilemma of dying from preventable causes, and reversal of the achievements recorded so far in immunization.
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