Minister State for Health Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate has said that the Federal Government of Nigeria has allocated the sum of 6Billion Naira for the procurement of routine vaccines against child killer diseases.
The Minister made this known in Abuja while declaring open vaccine summit organized by National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and development partners in the health sector.
According to him, the Government considers immunization as one of the cost-effective public health interventions for preventing diseases and death hence the continued budgetary provision for procurement of routine vaccines in Nigeria.
“In 2012 the Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan has allocated 6Billion Naira for procurement of routine vaccines and new vaccines against pneumonia. The million of doses of routine vaccines to be procured directly through UNICEF will be distributed to all the 36 States and FCT for administration to all Nigerian children free of charge.
“This year we do not expect funding to affect the delivery of vaccines, what we require is counterpart action from the State Governments to ensure that their cold stores are effective and their health workers are adequately positioned to deliver the vaccines in primary healthcare centers and outreach sessions.”
Speaking on the lack of awareness by parents, the Minister said that many parents were not fully aware of the benefit of vaccination and as a result they missed the important opportunity to protect their children against the vaccine preventable diseases.
He noted that it is only severe lack of understanding that lead to parent for example, to refuse few drops of polio vaccines that can protect their children from a disease that kill or permanently paralyze them.
In order to address these challenge, the Minister said that we must embark on continue awareness promotion to parents and community leaders to recognise and demand for vaccines to protect their children, all children are the same, no child shall be left behind. He stressed.
He urged all political, religious and traditional leaders should ensure that in all public gathering or engagement, vaccination is explained and encouraged.
He further acknowledged and commended the role of traditional rulers and community leaders in the fight against polio in the country.
Dr. Pate said that Federal Government is committed to expand access to life-saving vaccines to all Nigerian children.
He said in 2009 the National Immunization Policy was revised to accommodate new vaccines, in addition to traditional vaccines the policy have made room for introducing new vaccines that will protect children against pneumonia and other invasive bacterial diseases.
He also said that the Federal Government has strengthened the capacity of vaccine managers in all the 36 states of the Federation and FCT, to manage the routine immunization system while also improving the supervisory function throughout the country.
The Minister commended Development Partners such as Japanese Government UNICES and European Union (EU) among others for their contribution on routine immunization.
In his remarks the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pious Anyim said that despite the availability of simple cost effective measures such as vaccines, Nigeria continued to lose estimate of one million Nigerian children each year to a diseases that could be prevented through vaccination.
He said that Federal, State, Local Government, Private stakeholders, Non Governmental organization, traditional rulers and religious leaders must join hands together to educate Nigerians on the benefit of vaccination.
He urged all stakeholders to mobilize the necessary resources for vaccination and also to monitor the entire process of vaccination.
He emphasised that the process of monitoring and ensuring accountability is very important especially in the rural areas where the large number of population are living.
He stressed that as the year 2015 draw near Nigeria remain committed to achieve Millennium Development Goals. It is proving that vaccinating our children is the most cost effective for achieving MDG4 which means reducing child mortality rate.
Senator Anyim said that Federal Government has lend it full support in convening of the summit.