Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello
Niger state Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Global Alliance on Vaccine Initiative GAVI, Federal Government and the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF, with the aim of strengthening the Routine Immunization System.
The MoU which has thematic focus on Zero Dose Burden of children under the age of five especially Pentavalent first dose (combination of five different vaccines) given at six weeks of age, was signed at Aso Villa Abuja, the Nation’s Capital.
Addressing the high delegation from Gavi and other foreign missions , organizations as well as Governors of benefiting states ,Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State, explained that GAVI would help the state in streamlining its vaccination programmes to avoid duplication with other partners, as the State is currently implementing an MoU with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) with emphasis on revitalizing Primary Health Care (PHC) and strengthening community-based services among others.
“Harmonization of the GAVI and BMGF MOUs is essential to avoid duplication and ensure effective and efficient utilization of resources to achieve desired results.
“We will do that by ensuring that the Ministry and Agency come up with carefully drafted work and implementation plans in line with the priority areas of the MOUs”, he said.
The governor said government will ensure that micro plans are clearly defined and integrated towards a synergistic implementation of all PHC programmes while the State various Technical Working Groups (TWGs) led by the Ministry of Health will monitor and evaluate the processes, inputs and outputs of the implementations.
He added that “as part of consolidating the gains and achievements of PHC via State processes and the MOU, we seek new support to strengthen the vaccine and health commodities supply chain by way of bringing in new innovations or technologies”.
The governor assured of the government’s readiness to meet up with its responsibilities as outlined in both MOUs.
Speakers and other participants at the event commended and appreciated Gavi for the support given to Nigerian health systems and promised to deepen the relationship, partnership and commitment for mutual benefit as well as accountability so as to achieve the desired result.
The Foreign mission also commended Nigeria government and the states that signed the MoU for their efforts at strengthening the health systems both in the country in their various states even in the face of insecurity in some states.
Nigeria was billed to exit the GAVI MoU in 2021 but has been extended to 2028.