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Immunisation implementations slow - Bill Gate

By The Citizen

Founder of Microsoft and Co-Founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates yesterday in Abuja launched the National Routine Immunisation Strategic Plan, (NRISP).

Launching the plan, Gates said, 'nothing is more important in health in Nigeria  than giving immunisation to children and persons in order to prevent diseases.'

Gates lamented  that the manner at which immunisation programmes have been implemented had been very slow, stating that, 'vaccination has not operated the way it should be.'

Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said the new plan will scale up government efforts in preventable diseases through efficient immunisation programmes.

Chukwu observed that while diseases like measles and polio have continued to posed challenges, government is putting in place a strategic framework that will bring about optimum results.

Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote urged the National Assembly to expedite action in passing the health bill, as well as ensure proper funding of the health sector.

Representative of GAVI Alliance, Dr Mercy Ahun said the organisation has 'committed to the immunisation programme in Nigeria and expect a significant increase with additional new vaccines and health systems support in the new future.'

'Nigeria is still home to the wildest inequalities in vaccination coverage by household wealth with more than 9 children vaccinated from the richest household compared with just one child from poorest children vaccinated.'

Executive Secretary, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado Muhammad said the new plan provides details and data based on the best strategies needed to implement an accountable and effective immunisation programme.

The event was attended by the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar, UNICEF, WHO, Save the Children among others.