The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF) have initiated a significant partnership aimed at enhancing routine immunisation in Nigeria.
The two organisations signed the partnership in Abuja recently with the NSSF providing N150 million in funding support for the conduct and strengthening of optimised outreaches for routine immunisation in three states of Cross River, Kwara, and Ogun.
The group disclosed that the six-month pilot initiative, which commenced last month, will improve immunisation coverage and reduce the number of zero-dose children, who have not received any vaccine in the supported states.
While addressing the media, the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of NSSF, Dr. Fejiro Chinyere-Nwoko, said: “Recognising the critical role of routine immunisation in safeguarding the health and well-being of our country, this collaborative effort is designed to ensure that every child has access to life-saving vaccines.
“By conducting outreaches in strategic locations, the initiative will ensure that access to vaccines is improved particularly in hard-to-reach communities and communities where immunisation coverage is low thereby closing the immunisation gap and protecting vulnerable populations.”
She added that the outreaches would be executed by skilled healthcare workers from primary health centres within the communities while supervision would be carried out by community members, “and health workers at various levels of governance including ward, local government area, state, and national levels. This multi-level supervision approach will ensure effective implementation, quality service delivery, and accountability at every stage of the process.
“Both NPHCDA and NSSF are excited about the collaborative effort and the potential impact it will have on routine immunisation in Nigeria. By working together, leveraging resources, and implementing innovative strategies, we aim to ensure that no child is left behind, and every Nigerian receives the necessary vaccines for a healthy future.”
Chinye-Nwoko stated that the NSSF was borne out of a partnership during the COVID-19 period between Global Citizen (GC) and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), adding that the Fund promotes its mission of transforming health outcomes in Nigeria by supporting impactful initiatives that provide critical intervention in the areas that improve leadership and governance of Routine Immunisation (RI) programmes.
Meanwhile, NPHCDA is the focal agency responsible for the development and implementation of primary health care policies and programmes in Nigeria. The NPHCDA is mandated to provide immunisation services, maternal and child health care, as well as strengthen the health care delivery systems nationwide.