Three Northern Governors, including Mallam Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), and Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara). Monarchs, Health commissioners and stakeholders met in Kaduna to deliberate on ways to curb the ravaging of meningitis in the region.
Also at the meeting held at the Sir Kashim Government House, Kaduna was the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole. Speaking at the meeting, Adewole said the Federal Government needed about $1bn to vaccinate 21m people in the epidemic-prone state of the North, saying that the vaccine is scarce and very expensive. If we are to vaccinate people in the affected states, we will need to vaccinate about 21m people. That will cost us about $1b. That is a huge amount of money. If we want to vaccinate in local government councils, it will cost us about $6.5m.
He has suggested the establishment of an immunization trust fund since the cost of vaccines was expensive. Adewole has noted that the establishment of the trust fund became imperative because by 2025, the international community would want the Federal Government to take up the funding of vaccines for the disease. “We will need to sit down to ensure that things are done properly towards ensuring that we produce the vaccines. “If we have the funds, we would be able to mobilize resources at short time to tackle the emergencies like the one we have now.
He has said that part of the suggestion is to have an immunization trust fund. We also need to put more money in health. Health is an investment, adding that the issue of immunization fund is so important because as we move away from the epidemic, Nigeria will need to put more money in vaccines. El-Rufai has expressed worry that the North-West zone was the worst hit by the meningitis epidemic for the past two months. He has commended the Federal Government for the timely intervention in slowing down the spread of the disease, noting that the state recorded 17 suspected cases in 11 out of the 23 Local Government Areas of the state from January till date. Tambuwal has told the gathering that 1,000 cases of meningitis were recorded in seven Local Government Areas of the state. However, the Governor was silent on the deaths recorded during the outbreak of the disease in the state. Tambuwal has added that the state had embarked on an aggressive enlightenment campaign on the need for proper ventilation of homes across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.

No Comments

Leave a Comment