Why Is Nigeria Failing to Prioritise Immunisation?


Despite allocating N69 billion for immunisation programmes in 2023, the government of Nigeria has not released the funds, even as the year winds down.

Development Diaries reports that although President Bola Tinubu’s 2024 ‘Budget of Renewed Hope’ shows a 100 percent increase in immunisation allocation from the previous fiscal year, allocations for the 2023 fiscal year have still not been released by the government.

The allocation is supposed to cater for immunisation programmes, including counterpart funding, procurement of routine immunisation vaccines, devices, operational cost, and distribution among others.

The failure to release these funds increases Nigeria’s vulnerability to the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases such as diphtheria and polio.

‘The timely release of these funds is paramount to sustaining the momentum in our nation’s immunisation efforts, which directly impact the health and well-being of our citizens’, the Chief Executive Officer of Vaccine Network for Disease Control (VNDC), Chika Offor, said in a statement.

The immunisation budget, a crucial component of the overall health expenditure, is designed to ensure the availability of vaccines, strengthen health care infrastructure, and support comprehensive vaccination campaigns across the country.

Despite allocating more funds for the 2024 fiscal year, the Tinubu administration must offset the deficit needed to implement immunisation initiatives.

Development Diaries calls on President Tinubu to ensure that all funds allocated for the implementation of health programmes, especially immunisation drives, are fully released on time to ensure citizens remain in good health.

Photo source: Save the Children


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