Lagos -Nigeria – In a bid to improve vaccine equity and boost COVID-19 vaccine access for vulnerable Nigerians, the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF) has announced a donation of N300million as part of its strategic support to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in the COVID-19 vaccination program in Nigeria. The donation is expected to help support the COVID-19 advocacy campaign in 6 states across 6 geo-political zones in Nigeria to reduce vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccine uptake.
The Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF or The Fund), the brainchild of Global Citizen (GC) and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) today announced a game changing campaign to vaccinate one million Nigerians before the end of 2021. As African countries accelerate the deployment of COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine inequity and hesitancy continue to pose a major challenge.
With its multi-donor institutional mechanism for mobilizing pooled funds earmarked to support the government’s COVID-19 relief efforts. NSSF is funding Nigeria’s National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) game changing program to accelerate the rate delivering and administering Covid 19 vaccines across the country particularly rural and urban poor population segments. Starting in October 2021 with six states across Nigeria’s 6 geo-political zones in Nigeria the program involves sending teams to Adamawa, Edo, Imo, Katsina, Nasarawa and Ogun states targeting each Local Government Area. With a roll out target of 60 vaccines a day per team, one million vaccinations will be achieved by 31st December 2021.
The campaign will also address the challenge of vaccine hesitancy experienced during the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Nigeria as well as delays in vaccine roll out due to funding constraints.
The game changing vaccine program commences just as Global Citizens hosts Global Citizen Live in major cities including Lagos. NSSF is funding the vaccination campaign through donations mobilized from ordinary citizens, philanthropists, donor organizations, business and government. The partnership between NSSF and NPHCDA has the potential to significantly improve Nigeria’s fight against vaccine inequity and vaccine hesitancy.
Speaking on the partnership with the agency and the donation, Babatunde Folawiyo, Chairman, NSSF, stated, “The devastating impact of COVID-19 is unquantifiable, and we understand that we cannot leave this fight to end the pandemic to the government alone.” “He added, public-private partnerships (PPP) are needed if the country is to succeed in the fight against the pandemic and restore social and economic normalcy within the quickest time possible”.
Folawiyo explained that the collaboration between the NPHCDA and NSSF will not only ensure equitable distribution and application of the vaccinations program across the country but also promote adequate education and awareness about the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, NPHCDA, expressed delight about the partnership with the NSSF. In his words: “I am delighted by this historic partnership between NPHCDA and the NSSF, following the signing of an MOU, on the provision of funding that would increase COVID-19 vaccine advocacy on its safety and effectiveness and in turn increase vaccine uptake in Nigeria”. He further added… ‘’the NPHCDA-NSSF vaccination campaign will cover six states in six geo-political zones in Nigeria within 12 weeks from October 1st to December 31st, 2021. The states include Adamawa, Edo, Imo, Katsina, Ogun and Nasarawa. Coverage will be across 133 LGAs and 513 implementing wards across these states. Data collection will be monitored by national, state and LGA supervisors using GPS technology”.
According to Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Vice-Chairman, NSSF, “The need for private sector interventions to fill noticeable developmental gaps cannot be overemphasized. With less than three (3) per cent of the population vaccinated, Nigeria is way below the 60% minimum vaccination threshold required to achieve herd immunity” He added that therefore NSSF has made it a priority for 2021and 2022”.
He revealed that the goal in partnering with the NPHCDA is to provide funding to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines by administering one million doses in six selected states across the six geopolitical zones by the end of 2021 as well as educating millions more on how to fight Covid -19 within the same time frame.
Commenting further on the campaign methodology, Dr. Fejiro Chinye-Nwoko, General Manager, NSSF stated that ‘’ NSSF will collaborate with NPHCDA and States towards achieving program set targets during the period of implementation. She also added that vaccine roll-out sensitization will be carried out by internal stakeholders, such as town mobilizers and community heads. This would improve acceptability of the message and ensure that the message penetrates to the the last mile within the communities, thereby breaking down the barriers to vaccine hesitancy ’’.
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Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund
National Primary Health Care Development Agency
Notes to Editors
ABOUT NIGERIA SOLIDARITY SUPPORT FUND (NSSF)
The NSSF is a private-sector led institution born out of a collaboration between the Global Citizen (GC) and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to complement efforts in combating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic through fund raising to address three core COVID-19 response areas: supporting the most vulnerable, strengthening health care systems and re-skilling of Nigerian youth for The New Nigeria.
The Institution believes that everyone should have access to quality and affordable healthcare services when they need it, young Nigerians should be enabled with opportunities for self-empowerment and well-skilled for a post-COVID era and that the most vulnerable, disadvantaged, and marginalized groups in Nigeria are not left behind.
For more information, please visit https://nigeriasolidarityfund.ng/
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PRIMARY HEALTH CARE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (NPHCDA)
The NPHCDA, established in 1992, and merged with the National Programme on Immunization (NPI) in 2007, is the domestic development agency for health.
Between 1986 and 1992, remarkable and innovative progress was made in the development of Primary Health Care, focusing on Local Government Areas (LGAs) resulting in Nigeria being placed in the front rank of countries in the world that have advanced the process of equitably improving the health and quality of life of its people through primary health care.
To capitalize on these achievements, and sustain Federal assistance in the LGAs, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency was established following the recommendation of a high level WHO review team through Decree 29 of 1992.
To more information, please visit www.nphcda.gov.ng