The World Health Organisation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, yesterday launched a $9, 261,920 Canada Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE) grant to support COVID-19 vaccine delivery and distribution in Nigeria.
The two-year CanGIVE grant is from the Global Affairs Canada to WHO to support the scale-up of COVID-19 vaccine delivery amongst high-priority risk groups and strengthen the health system in Nigeria.
Speaking during the ceremony in Abuja, the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Jamie Chrisoff, said the grant was another example of Canada’s historical institutional relationship with the WHO to support Nigeria in the critical work for preventing disease and protecting those most at risk.
He said Canada, in 2022, launched CanGIVE- a global initiative of 317m Canadian Dollars to respond to country priorities for COVID-19 and build on Canada’s long-standing global commitment to support health systems.
He said under CanGIVE, the WHO project would be implemented in seven countries, with Nigeria receiving the greatest share of $9m Canadian Dollars.
WHO Country Representative to Nigeria, Walter Kazadi-Mulombo, said the grant would enable the WHO Nigeria country office provide technical support to strengthen health system specially for data management and surveillance linked to the Transforming African Surveillance Systems Flagship initiative, increase COVID-19 vaccine demand generation and uptake in an integrated mode with routine immunization and other primary healthcare services.
He said the country had made progress in the fight against COVID-19 but there was still more work to be done.
Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said the Nigerian COVID-19 vaccination programme, launched on March 5, 2021, had reached over 75% of the target population of individuals aged 18 and above with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
He said the grant targeted states with lower performance and aimed to reach high-priority populations.
He said the states targeted for implementation include Ondo, Rivers, Kogi, Delta, Ebonyi, Lagos, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Ogun, Katsina, Taraba, Anambra, Kebbi and Edo.