The Women Advocates for Vaccine Access (WAVA) has commended the House of Representatives over its call on the federal government to make adequate budgetary allocation for childhood immunization and facilitate the revitalization of primary healthcare centres across the country.
In a statement by the convener, Dr Chizoba Wonodi, the group agreed with the concerns expressed by the legislators about the poor maternal and child health indices in the country. According to her, “the enormous health and economic benefits of immunization buttress the need for the federal and state government to prioritize health and ensure appropriation of adequate funds for primary health care, particularly immunization in the 2017 budget.”
It may be recalled that WAVA and many other civil society organizations across the country have been leading advocacy for adequate funding for primary health care to improve the quality of health care services in the country.
Recently, Dr Wonodi and the Chairman of the National Immunization Financing Task team (NIFT), Dr Ben Anyene briefed the House Committees on Health Services on the funding requirements for vaccination in Nigeria. The committee had also met with other key stakeholders in the health sector in their bid to identify the gaps and take legislative actions to improve the quality of health care services in Nigeria.
At its plenary session on Thursday, 20th October 2016, the lawmakers unanimously adopted a motion by the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health Services, Hon. Chike Okafor (APC, Imo State), titled “Urgent Need to Avert a National Crisis through Revitalisation and Adequate Funding of Primary Healthcare Systems”. Hon. Okafor emphasized that urgent intervention of the federal government in primary health care has become inevitable as donor agencies are gradually withdrawing from funding vaccine procurement.
In adopting the motion, the house also wants the federal government to implement the 2001 Abuja Declaration by the Nigerian and other African leaders to allocate 15 per cent of their annual budget to healthcare delivery.