Women in Parliament
The importance of immunization to prevent diseases cannot be over emphasized. As a nation we are able to save lives and money when we engage in immunization. Vaccines used in the process of immunization are being financed majorly by international donor partners and then the Federal Government of Nigeria. This financing arrangement is about to be jeopardized.If immediate strategic actions are not taken, the past gains from immunization may be lost.
Threats to the sustainability of immunization financing are:
- The gradual exit of and the eventual full exit of GAVI (Major Donor Partner) by year 2022.
- The steadily increasing birth cohort in Nigeria. Presently, it is about 7 million children annually.
- The ordering period for vaccines as well as advance payment for same to avoid stock out.
- The introduction of new life saving vaccines into the immunization space.
Our objective was to sensitize women parliaments on the reality of immunization financing gap at the wake of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance’s exit and the implication of not having a transition plan.
- We mapped out all women Senators and women House of Representative members.
- Strategically identified Hon. Nnenna Ukeje, Hon. Rita Orji, Hon. Princess Adedoyin, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Senator Binta Garba.
After a series of advocacy visits and convincing, we were able to inform their decisions. Hon. Nnenna supported Hon Usman when he discussed the issue of poor financing for vaccines at the floor of the House of Representative. She equally pledged to ensure increase in funds allocated for immunization in the 2018 Budget. It is no surprise that the 1% National Health Act was appropriated in the 2018 Budget; this is a result of joint efforts of different CSOs’ advocacy to the National Assembly.