Meningitis Group praises Senate over free treatment resolution

The Senate reached the resolution on Tuesday, April 4, following the deaths of more than 300 people affected by the disease.

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President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki play

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki

(NAN)
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More than 40 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Nigeria have praised the Senate for resolving to make meningitis vaccination free in public hospitals across the country.

The Senate reached the resolution on Tuesday, April 4, following the deaths of more than 300 people affected by the disease.

Dr. Chizoba Wonodi, Convener of Women Advocates for Vaccine Access (WAVA), expressed pleasure at the decision via a statement.

“My heart bleeds for all Nigerians who have lost loved ones or have been hospitalized following the meningitis outbreak in the country,” Wonodi said.

“We at WAVA are however, consoled by the fact that all arms of government are working together to deal with the outbreak decisively. The resolution by the Senate to support free Meningitis C vaccination and supplementary appropriations to procure the vaccines is highly commendable.

“We urge the National Assembly to go further and appropriate sufficient funds for all vaccines as Nigeria transitions from Gavi support. We laud the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the state governments, the World Health Organization and other partners who are dealing with this outbreak.

“The Meningitis C vaccine, like other vaccines, saves lives, prevents illness and saves the cost of treatment. Nigerians should cooperate with the outbreak response and avail themselves of the Meningitis C vaccine.

“Government has an important role to play in assuring that we have vaccines to protect the health of our people. This role is now more important than ever before, as Gavi gradually withdraws its funding support over the next five years. The government and people of Nigeria must rise to the occasion and raise the needed funding for vaccines," she added.

ALSO READ: 10 things you should know about meningitis outbreak in Nigeria

A dose of the Meningitis ‘C’ vaccine costs between $30 - $50 and Nigeria needs $1.1bn to vaccinate 22 million persons against the disease.

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