The Chief Executive Officer, Gavi, David Marlow, has completed his first high level visit since assuming his new role in August 2023, to Nigeria.
According to a statement, he met with Nigeria’s Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Muhammad Ali Pate CON; the Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib; and Vaccine Alliance Partners.
He pointed out that the introductory trip was an opportunity to take stock of Nigeria’s progress, establish ways of working, set clear priorities, and foster alignment to improve immunisation performance.
“Nigeria is a key partner to Gavi, and the country has made substantial progress in the last five years towards increasing coverage and building a resilient and sustainable immunisation program.
“While these achievements are noteworthy, concerted efforts are required to address ongoing challenges including reducing regional disparities in immunisation coverage and strengthening health systems to prevent further outbreaks,” the statement added.
Welcoming Gavi to Nigeria, Pate thanked Marlow for the timely visit and particularly the ongoing support of the vaccine alliance to Nigeria’s broader goal to strengthening her health and immunisation systems to better promote access to vaccines and immunisation services.
In his words: “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is determined to using better health and social welfare outcomes to transform Nigeria.
“This is the fulcrum of the Administration’s renewed hope agenda because a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. Our overriding goal is to save lives by producing affordable and easily accessible healthcare for Nigeria through reducing physical and financial pains.”
Highlighting the huge number of Nigeria’s infant population, Pate stated that central to the government’s health agenda was the health of children.
“With 43 per cent of Nigeria’s demographics under 0 – 14 years, we will invest in vaccination programs and strengthening systems for equitable child health towards significantly reducing the number of zero-dose children in line with universal health targets. “But we cannot do this alone, which is why we are excited with (the visit of) Vaccine Alliance Partners. “Your strong collaboration will be vital to improving vaccine coverage and reaching Nigerian children and their families with the full range of immunisation and other routine health interventions needed for achieving the goals we have set for desirable and holistic health outcomes for all Nigerians.”