Lives of millions of children is said to be at risk between now and 2021 if the federal government fails to take charge of funding immunisation in the country.
Global Alliance for Vaccines Initiative (GAVI), a global player that funds all new vaccines in Nigeria has announced plans to withdraw funding between now and 2021.
Already, GAVI has reduced its support by 20 percent in 2017. In 2018, it will take off another 20 percent, 2019 another 20 percent, 2020, 20 percent, and by 2021 it will withdraw the last 20 percent making it 100 per cent withdrawal.
So, it is important Nigerian government know now that it has no choice than to start investing smartly for its vaccines.
Unfortunately, it is worrisome to note that only a paltry N12.5 billion was provided in this year’s budget for immunisation but the actual requirement is N114 billion.
“The question is, will Nigeria be ready to finance her immunisation 100 per cent by 2021 with the requirement of about 560 million dollars?
Going down the memory lane, he quickly reminded the public in case they have forgotten that, in 1980s when, the United Nations children Fund (UNICEF) started withdrawing and the Nigeria’s immunisation rate dropped from 80 percent to less than 20 percent in three years.
“There will be total stock out of vaccines, unimmunised children will increase and that will eventually lead to mass deaths of children across the country. Those who are lucky to be alive will be incapacitated for the rest of their lives.