By Asmau Ahmad
The Executive Director (ED) of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado J G Muhammad on Wednesday 25th March 2015 has inaugurated the National Vaccine Financing Task Team at the NPHCDA headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.
He described the progress the country had made on immunization, thanking the partners for their support and noting that no case of wild polio has been reported in the last eight months, four new vaccines had been introduced in the last 4 years and six new vaccines are planned to be introduced by 2020. These new vaccines represent an opportunity to save lives and prevent morbidly
He however noted that with the increasing infant population, the higher cost of the new vaccines and the declining support from Gavi due to graduation, funding requirement for the vaccine program will increase progressive and significantly to 450 million dollars by 2020. For 2015 alone, the government of Nigeria requires 105 million dollars. While efforts are underway to secure the financing for 2015, funding for 2016 and the subsequent years remain precarious. He emphasized that with the increasing burden of the vaccine program, government alone cannot fund vaccines.
The ED mentioned that the Task Team’s Terms of Reference (TOR) are to:
- Develop a sustainable vaccine financing advocacy strategy and roll out plan
- Develop a structure for the vaccine fund and a strategy to grow the fund.
- Develop a road map for achieving local vaccine production.
- Provide periodic updates and review of progress to the management and the Board of the NPHCDA and to the core group for action.
With that, Dr. Ado described the composition of the National Vaccine Financing Task Team as follows:
- Dr. Ben Anyene, NPHCDA Board member and Board Chairman HERFON – Chairman
- Dr Adebayo Abanida, Director Disease Control and Immunization, NPHCDA
- Dr Mahmud Mustapha, Director of Logistics and Health Commodities, NPHCDA
- Dr Adamu Nuhu, Director, Advocacy and Communication, NPHCDA
- Billy Ashogbon, Director, Finance and Accounts, NPHCDA
- Dr Lekan Olubajo Head, Health Financing Division, NPHCDA
- Dr Chizoba Wonodi, Country Lead, International Vaccines Access Centre
- Dr Aminu Magashi Garba, Africa Health Budget Network/CHR
- Alhaji Garba Abdul, Director of Vaccines, Clinton Health Access and Initiative
- Muntaka Umar Sadiq, Executive Secretary, Private Sector Health Alliance.
Responding on behalf of the members of the Task Team, the Chairman, Dr. Ben Anyene, pledged his commitment and determination to succeed in the assignment. He reiterated the importance of the task ahead to ensure funding for the vaccine, stating that the bottom line is about saving lives. He urged that “we must maintain the current gains and ensure that vaccines reach those for which it was intended.”