The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says government spending on immunisation is expected to top $345 million a year by 2022 when international funding support from the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI) is completely withdrawn.
This is as a result of Nigeria losing GAVI support after a rebasing of its economy re-classed it the biggest economy in Africa and therefore, ineligible for vaccine support meant for third-world countries.
According to the Executive director NPHCDA, Dr Muhammad Ado, with donor support, full immunisation for children costs Nigeria an estimated $230 million yearly, but only around $85m to $90m is paid by Nigeria—the rest by donors.
Speaking in Abuja as legislators and health stakeholders from five Anglophone countries began a three-day peer review workshop to work out how each country can sustain funding for national immunisation, Ado said the $345m, rising due to introduction of new vaccines and the growing population of children who need immunisation, is expected to be funded domestically.
He cited research that’s shown every dollar spent on immunisation brings back $6 in direct return and $14 in indirect returns, insisting, “We want to change mind-set, to view immunisation as an investment.”
The meeting of Anglophone Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria is expected to develop template for an “immunisation trust fund” to help each country pay for its own vaccine requirements rather than depend on donors.