NPHCDA ASKS FG TO INCLUDE POLIO VACCINE IN 2012 BUDGET
BY VICTORIA OJEME
ABUJA-Following persistent shortage of vaccines for polio immunization in the 36 states of the federation, the Federal Government has been called upon to make adequate provision for the procurement of vaccine in 2012 budget.
Acting Executive Secretary National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr Emmanuel Abanida, made this appeal at a briefing yesterday in Abuja.
Dr Abanida noted that although measles' vaccine was not in September budget for the exercise, there was need for the agency to go out of its way to save the lives of Nigerian children.
He said: 'I am not trying to defend myself but I am only trying to explain the technical involvement in it, the government is preparing to raise funds for the procurement of vaccines on time to fill the gap.'
'I sincerely tender my apologies to Nigeian mothers and children and to reassure Nigerians that the vaccines will be distributed accordingly'.
'Nigeria was to loose hundreds of children this year if funds were not raised to procure vaccine for miseasles, we intend to work closely with States and Local Government to make sure that we meet up with some of the states that are left behind.'
Abanida also disclosed that although the agency was in all the states, ownership and implementation differ from one state to the other .
He said while successes had been recorded in some places, there were challenges in others, which had made success unattainable.
Findings have also revealed that the monthly immunization suffered disruptions this year, owing to the last general elections as well as the frequent strikes in the health sector.
This development, investigation revealed, has drastically reduced the projected milestones by more than half.