The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to commit $75 million to immunization intervention in Nigeria over the next five years. The country director of the foundation, Paul Bassinga, made the pledge on Tuesday in Abuja at the launch of the second National Strategic Health Development Plan (2018-2022) and the rollout of the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Funds.
The event at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa also featured the disbursement of fund to high performing states under the Save One Million Lives Program for Results (SOML-PforR).
Mr. Bassinga said the foundation was impressed with the improvement of immunization activities in the country sp far and as such will be using the money it pledged to strengthen immunization, with the expectation that the federal government will honor its commitment to the immunization basket fund.
Commending Nigeria for its effort in improving immunization services across the country, he said rigorous investment in the primary healthcare centers in the rural areas is very crucial to achieving effective immunization coverage in the country.
Mr. Bassinga said, “This year marks significant progress in Nigeria as immunization rate increased. This is the first year we have seen improvement even in the rural areas and almost all the states. This shows that when you provide vaccines at the facilities nearest to the people, people will surely go there to receive the services. This is what we are committed to in BMGF, to ensure that vaccines are available and that why we are committing the $75 million for the next five years.”
Also speaking at the event, the governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, who represented the Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum, said healthcare delivery is not only for the federal government.