African Vaccine Week NGO advocates special funding for immunisation

Mrs Chika Offor, Chief Oversight Officer, Vaccine Network, recommended for a fund where people can donate money through different kind of taxes such as telephone tax and VAT.

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Mrs Chika Offor, Chief Oversight Officer, Vaccine Network, an NGO, has advocated for a special fund to support immunisation financing in Nigeria.

Offor made the appeal while briefing newsmen as part of the activities to commemorate 2017 African Vaccination Week (AVW), which begins on April 24.

She recommended for a fund where people can donate money through different kind of taxes such as telephone tax and VAT to support immunisation financing.

According to her, GAVI and other partners that are supporting vaccine and immunisation programmes are gradually deflating their support in the country, meaning that Nigeria has to take full responsibility for vaccine financing.

“The first phase of gradual withdrawal has commenced in 2017. Nigeria will only receive 75 per cent of the donor funding for vaccine and immunisation from GAVI and other partners.

“In 2018, the support will also drop to 50 per cent and subsequently the support will be deflated by 2022,’’ she said.

Offor said the immunisation and vaccination funding gap in Nigeria was above 130 million dollars.

“As stakeholders we have developed various advocacy groups to persuade government and private sector organisations to bridge the funding gap.’’

Besides, Offor said the NGO is advocating for the local production of vaccines as another alternative of bridging the vaccination gap in Nigeria.

She added that National Immunisation Financing Task Team (NIFT) was also working to bring the private sector to support the government on immunisation financing and demand for vaccination services.

The AVW is an annual event instituted by WHO regional office and implemented by African countries.

The theme of the 2017 AVW is: “Vaccines protect everyone, get vaccinated”.

The AVW provides an opportunity for countries to strengthen immunisation services and systems through advocacy, awareness creation, education, communication and service delivery.

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