In bid to improve Nigeria health system, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) board said it has approved $2.7 billion to strength Nigeria Strategy for Immunization and Health Care System, an extension of its transition period for the next 10 years from 2018-2028.
The investment which worth over $2.7b of which GAVI has committed $1.03billion, while the Federal Government counterpart contribution is in excess of $1.9 billion in the next 10years (2018-2028)makes it the largest singular investment of any kind in the health sector.
Minister of Health, Dr Isaac Adewole said on Monday that there will be no plan to seek for another extension at the end of the transition period.
“However, due to poor microeconomic indices, light fiscal space, a further reduction in funding for polio related activities and very low immunization coverage, Nigeria sought an extension of GAVI support from 2021-2028, in other to ensure the country can fully finance its immunization and primary health care system.
“A GAVI transition proposal, Nigeria Strategy for Immunization and Health Care Systems’ strengthening, was developed over a period of 10months in a series of workshop and retreats involving government agencies donors and partners.
“The proposal described the programmatic decision and outlined the country financial mechanism for funding the immunization and PHC system.
“There was also added responsibility of renegotiating and resetting the relationship between the country and GAVI, which led to the country securing $1.03billion for GAVI which includes $773milion for the vaccine procurements and up to $260milion for health strengthen system.”
He said prior to the approval the government was made to pay back $5.6million to GAVI as fund which was not properly utilized.
“We do not plan to seek for another extension. Asking for another extension implies that we are not serious that the economy has collapse. We cannot use GAVI money the way we like it has to be approved by the governing board.”
GAVI is the largest global platform, mobilizing human, financial and logistics support and resources for vaccine-preventable diseases.
On indigenous production of Vaccine, he said: “it’s on stream we expect that May&Baker the first drug manufacturing company in Nigeria that we are partnering with will be able to produce vaccine of international standards.”
Executive Director, National Primary HealthCare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib said: “Now the work begins the time is now for us to deliver. With this infusion of funds, we have further confidence that the right decisions have been taken around improving health productivity for Nigerians.
“One of the key that grant the approval, was that there was a document that was design under the leadership of the Minister and the overall guidance of the inter agency team, including development partners and donors.”
World Health Organisation, Country Representative Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, noted that “The hard work, the commitment of the government in meeting the conditions that the GAVI has put in place and also the clarity of the proposal, well organized and meticulously put up. And it was reviewed at global level and when they review they see it as something that they should do.”