2017 Budget – Govt Needs U.S.$181 Million for Vaccines

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Nigeria will need to source extra $181 million to pay for vaccines in 2017 and 2018, analysis has shown.

That’s around N57b, nearly four times the N12.8b appropriated for vaccines this year excluding cost of distribution, maintenance and other logistics until they are used.

Vaccine procurement for 2017 and 2018 is estimated to cost a total $264 million, out of which $83 million is confirmed from international partners.

The Immunization Partners, a coalition of civil society groups pushing for sustained vaccine financing, called on Thursday for the funding gap of $181m to be figured into the 2017 budget to create sufficient time to order vaccines for nearly 7 million children born yearly who will need vaccination.

Lives would be lost to preventable diseases if the funds are not provided,” said Edwin Ikhuoria, country representative for ONE campaign.

“Boko Haram may have killed up to 20,000 but every year 750,000 children die in Nigeria, and you don’t think it is an emergency?”

“If we must keep these kids from dying, this is very important. The government of the day must demonstrate commitment to say every life matters,” Ikhuoria noted.

“We are looking at vaccines for 7million children. It takes a minimum of six months for you to order,” said Chika Offor, head of Vaccine Network, a member of the coalition.

“If you have to order in advance, you have to prepare early. We cannot afford to have stock out of any vaccine. It is important that we start now.”

Laz Eze, senior technical manager for Direct Consulting and Logistics, said after using up immunization-support loans and credit from international donors, Nigeria still had to raise the balance.

“All the available funds have been put together to come up with $83m. What we need to bring out to fill the gap is $181m, and that has to be appropriated,” Eze said.

The vaccines in routine immunization help protect children against diseases such as, polio, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, measles, yellow fever, pneumonia, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, and influenza.

SOURCE: DailyTrust

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