Iyaloja General of Nigeria welcomes WAVA delegation

Three months after her investiture as a WAVA Champion in December last year, the WAVA national convener Dr Chizoba Wonodi and her team paid a courtesy visit to the Iyaloja General of Nigeria, Chief (Mrs.) Folasade Tinubu-Ojo on March 21, 2017 at her Alausa residence in Lagos. The visit was aimed at consolidating the Iyaloja’s new role as a chief advocate for equitable vaccine access in Nigeria, as well as supporting efforts towards sustainable immunization financing. The visit proved vital since the market place – a melting pot for people of all works of life, age and profession – is a great medium to carry the life-saving message of immunization.

The event, which coincided with the meeting of the Iyaloja General with other heads of markets in Lagos State, was also aimed at sensitizing the market chiefs as well as other patrons on the value of vaccines, the immunization programme in Nigeria, the impending exit of Gavi donor support, and the resultant immunization funding gap for government as a result of the transition. During the meeting, the WAVA delegation promised to support the Iyaloja General with valid information and materials required for advocacy for vaccines and a stronger immunization programme. In a starting move, the WAVA team made good on their promise and distributed stickers and infographics with messages on immunization in Pidgin English to the participants at the meeting. The market leaders showed great enthusiasm in the reception of the messages and paraphernalia.

In her response, Chief (Mrs.) Tinubu-Ojo – backed by the other market leaders – reiterated her commitment to prevail upon policy makers to secure more funding for the immunization programme. She regarded the role as WAVA Champion in high esteem as a one which ensures the health of women and men in the country. The Iyaloja also promised to encourage market women and men within Lagos and other states to vaccinate their children/wards, and ensure a high immunization coverage rate across Nigeria.

The WAVA team comprised WAVA technical consultants, Gender Care Initiative – WAVA member in Lagos – and DUN Entertainment, media partners of WAVA.

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