Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has donated 420 motorbikes and 13 vehicles to eight states to strengthen integrated routine immunization (RI) and primary healthcare (PHC) in states.
The states are Bayelsa, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Taraba and Zamfara.
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The organisation in collaboration with UNICEF made the donation Friday in Abuja during the primary health care strengthening Memorandum of Understanding biannual partners review meeting organised by GAVI, UNICEF and the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).
Dr Tokunbo Oshin, Director High Impact Countries Country Programmes of Gavi, said Gavi decided to support some states in Nigeria that have weak indicators of health system strengthening and have more direct engagement at sub-national levels, towards the country’s graduation out of Gavi support by 2028.
He said the vehicles were donated to ensure delivery of services to hard-to-reach areas in the states, adding that $14m have been disbursed to the eight states this year to strengthen their health systems.
Cristian Munduate, UNICEF Representative Nigeria, said the partnership, which actively commenced on 1 April 2022, comes at a time when Nigeria is ripe for transformative change in the health sector, particularly coming off the heel of the just concluded PHC summit that set out an ambitious target of revitalising PHC in Nigeria.
Represented by UNICEF Chief of Health, Eduardo Celades, he said that the partnership, if done right, will significantly reduce the 2.5 million children never reached with any vaccine in Nigeria, and set Nigeria on a clear path to revitalise primary health care and for Nigeria to realise ambitions sent out in the Primary Health Care Revitalisation Agenda.
Handing over the vehicle to the states, the Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, who was represented by Dr. Ngozi Nwosu, the director PHC development, said the vehicles were important to the government of Nigeria considering challenges of delivering integrated COVID-19 services as well as childhood routine immunisation at sub national levels.
Director General NGF, Asishana Okauru, said the purpose of the MOU was to assist the eight states to strengthen their Routine Immunization and PHC health systems which will significantly contribute to the reduction of zero dose, mortality from vaccine preventable diseases and accelerate the attainment of Universal Health Coverage.