The Federal Government has restated its commitment to improving and sustaining strong immunization coverage as a way of saving lives and also improving health outcomes in the country.
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, made the commitment at sidelines of the 68th meeting of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa, Senegal.
He disclosed that Nigeria recently conducted a Multi Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) that gave a clearer picture of the immunization status as against the administrative data, and thereby declared a Public Health Emergency on immunization to enable the country to close all the identified gaps.
“The government also came up with several initiatives to address some of the challenges such as the establishment of National Emergency Routine Immunization Center (NERIC) which primarily aims to revamp the country’s Routine Immunization (RI) Programme.
“Some of the major challenges were poor coordination, accountability, weak service delivery and inaccurate data among others.,” he said.
In developing strategies to address the challenge, the Minister said, “the country now adopted zero tolerance for data falsification.
“NERIC has developed a strong coordination and accountability structure, with reward and sanction for actors at the Federal, States and Local Government levels. And conduct daily progress monitoring meetings to immediately identify gaps and deal with them appropriately.
“Government of Nigeria has an annual funding plan of 10% increase in immunization budget which will enable the country take full responsibility for immunization of its citizens by the end of the transition Programme in 2028,” Adewole noted.