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PRESIDENT TINUBU CALLS ON VACCINE ALLIANCE, GAVI, TO COLLABORATE WITH POTENTIAL NIGERIA VACCINE MANUFACTURERS 

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PRESIDENT TINUBU CALLS ON VACCINE ALLIANCE, GAVI, TO COLLABORATE WITH POTENTIAL NIGERIA VACCINE MANUFACTURERS                                                                                                  04-04-24

By Sadiq Aminu                                                        President Bola Tinubu has called on the Vaccine Alliance, GAVI, to collaborate with potential Nigerian vaccine manufacturers to ensure equitable access to life-saving vaccines for children and adults.

Receiving a delegation of GAVI, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Sania Nishtar, at the State House, Abuja, President Tinubu said partnership on local vaccine production had become necessary owing to the challenges faced by developing countries, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious disease outbreaks.

”We have capable and talented people who can make the necessary contributions to the production of vaccines in Nigeria and the rest of Africa,’’ the President told the visiting CEO, who assumed office on March 18, 2024, and has embarked on visits to some African countries.

The President assured GAVI CEO of Nigeria’s commitment to fulfilling its outstanding counterpart contributions for routine vaccines for the year 2023.

He directed the Co-ordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate, to work with the Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance to ensure the release of necessary funds for vaccine procurement.

”We intend to contribute to the development of our healthcare programme, and we are committed to partnering with GAVI,” the President said.

The President stated that his administration was focused on ensuring that no child would be left behind during vaccination against preventable childhood diseases.

”GAVI’s commitment to humanity is recognized throughout the world. Thank you for the impactful commitment to humanity, and we welcome the collaboration to save our children from preventable diseases.

”We as a nation are committed to your values, and we believe that no child should be left unprotected,” he said.

President Tinubu acknowledged the invaluable perspective shared by the GAVI CEO, who hails from Pakistan, and emphasised the importance of leveraging her experience for the benefit of children’s health.

Commending Dr. Nishtar for her visit to Nigeria and support for the administration’s health-sector initiatives, the President pledged to prioritise investments in health sector renewal, noting the importance of co-ordination and collaboration among federal, state, and local governments.

The GAVI CEO had congratulated the Nigerian government on its innovative health-sector initiatives, including increasing budgetary allocations to health to 4.6 percent and commitment to providing HPV vaccines for adolescent girls.

She expressed readiness to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to leverage policy instruments and technical expertise to advance health outcomes.

Dr. Nishtar announced GAVI’s commitment to providing a 250 million dollar grant support to Nigeria, as well as its dedication to addressing vaccine inequity in Africa through initiatives like the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator, which has earmarked 1 billion dollars to support the sustainable growth of Africa’s manufacturing base for vaccine production.

”Nigeria is a very special country. It is a very special country in Africa. It is a special country in the world and it is a very special country for us in GAVI. There is a dictum in GAVI that says, ‘there is no success for GAVI without success in Nigeria’,” she said.

The GAVI CEO also informed the President that the GAVI Board would soon meet to decide on effective policy decisions on how Nigeria would receive support from the organisation, beyond 2028, and that her visit to the country was for discussions with Nigeria’s health managers.

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