Polio endemic may soon resurge in Nigeria if~PACFaH

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By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.

Eight non governmental agency under the auspices of Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health in Nigeria (PACFaH) have warned that polio endemic may soon resurge in Nigeria.

The NGOs handed down the warning in Ibadan while addressing journalists through the Programme Officer Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON), Ms Aanu Rotimi.

According to the NGOs, the absence of provision of adequate finances by the government to sustain intervention on routine immunization in the country, constitute major threat to the war against Polio in and across Nigeria.

“The recent announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring Nigeria free from the longtime dreadful polio endemic may soon resurge in the absence of provision of adequate finances by the government to sustain intervention on routine immunization in the country,”she said.

Ms Rotimi stressed that there is the urgent need for government to ensure adequate finances for immunization to ensure sustainable immunization and avert future resurgence of polio virus.

“In Nigeria, routine immunization is confronted with several
challenges such as imminent shortage of funding for vaccines, inadequate budget for R1 delay and piecemeal release of funds for R1, poor capacity of civil society organizations to work together to monitor and provide feedback on the effectiveness of R1 programs and finances”.

The NGOs however urged the Nigerian government to “increase immunization vaccine procurement and timely release of funds allocated for 2016 and 2017, enhance transparency and accountability on routine immunization spending at national and state level”.
“We task Nigerian government on adequate preparation to take leadership, commitment and capacity to identify and plan for sustainable sources of funding for R1 beyond 2022 as Nigeria graduates from GAVI support by 2022”

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