NGO Urges FG To Release N60m Funding For Immunisation

The Federal Government has been urged to release the budgeted N60 million for scaling up immunisation activities across the country.

Highlighting a critical delay in Nigeria’s immunisation funding, a non-profit organisation, the Vaccine Network for Disease Control (VNDC), called for the immediate release of the allocated N60 billion for 2023.

Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, the founder of VNDC, Mrs. Chika Offor expressed concern about the potential threats this delay poses to public health, particularly for vulnerable populations.

According to Offor, Nigeria has shown commendable commitment to public health, with increased budgetary allocations for immunisation. However, the delay in releasing the allocated funds puts progress in controlling infectious diseases at risk, especially for children susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases.

Offor emphasised that if the N60 billion funds are not released by December 31, 2023, they will expire, hindering vaccine procurement and possibly leading to shortages. This situation, she warned, could undermine President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda, dealing a severe blow to healthcare objectives.

While acknowledging the approval for the malaria vaccine in 2024 as commendable, Offor stressed the necessity for substantial budgetary allocations to ensure successful implementation.

The call to action urgently appeals for the swift release of the planned N60 billion immunisation funds, with an appeal to the Accountant General of the Federation for approval. Offor underscored the need for a clear commitment from all stakeholders to align with Tinubu’s health blueprint.

By meeting financial obligations, Nigeria can demonstrate resilience, responsibility and dedication to sustaining progress in public health, ensuring a healthier future for its citizens, Offor concluded. The immunisation budget, a crucial component of overall health expenditure, aims to ensure vaccine availability, strengthen healthcare infrastructure and support comprehensive vaccination campaigns nationwide. With funds yet to be released, health authorities and stakeholders express growing concern about potential consequences for public health, warning of a potential rise in vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly among vulnerable populations.

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