Monday 25th September, 2017
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CSOs laud Senate over Meningitis response

CSOs laud Senate over Meningitis response

A coalition of over 40 Civil Society Orga­nizations (CSOs), that work to ensure equi­table access to vaccines in Nigeria, has commended the Senate for its resolution, which called for meningitis vaccination to be made free in public healthcare facili­ties across the country.

In a statement signed by Dr. Chizoba Wonodi, the national convener of the coalition - Women Advo­cates for Vaccine Access (WAVA) - the CSOs “noted with pleasure, the motion on the floor of the Senate calling for free Meningitis vaccination for all Nigeri­ans.”

The group noted that the timely response of the Sen­ate and its readiness to ap­prove a supplementary bud­get to enable the executive tackle the menace shows that all relevant stakehold­ers are “responding to the epidemic by ensuring ade­quate coordination, aware­ness creation, social mobi­lization, case management, infection prevention and control, active surveillance, and reactive vaccination in the affected states.”

Dr. Wonodi said: “My heart bleeds for all Nige­rians who have lost loved ones or have been hospital­ized following the meningi­tis outbreak in the country.

“We at WAVA are how­ever, consoled by the fact that all arms of govern­ment are working together to deal with the outbreak decisively. The resolution by the Senate to support free Meningitis C vaccina­tion and supplementary appropriations to procure the vaccines is highly com­mendable.

“We laud the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), the National Cen­tre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Pri­mary Health Care Develop­ment Agency (NPHCDA), the state governments, the World Health Organization and other partners who are dealing with this outbreak.”

The National Convener of WAVA concluded by stat­ing that, “the Meningitis C vaccine, like other vaccines, saves lives, prevents illness and saves the cost of treat­ment. Nigerians should co­operate with the outbreak response and avail them­selves of the Meningitis C vaccine.

“Government has an im­portant role to play in as­suring that we have vac­cines to protect the health of our people. This role is now more important than ever before, as Gavi gradu­ally withdraws its funding support over the next five years. The government and people of Nigeria must rise to the occasion and raise the needed funding for vac­cines.”