Nigeria has more than 20,000 rural health facilities that ought to be the retail outlets for basic services including immunization to the majority of Nigeriaâ€™s 150 million people. We at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency are working to ensure development of a system to deliver quality basic health services in a sustainable way in Nigeria through the rural facilities.
Immunization is the first priority for my agency, because it is cost-effective. I am working with the team here to ensure rural health facilities are supported by their State and Local Governments with basic equipment, essential drugs and human resources while we are transforming the vaccine cold chain and ensuring reliable supply of vaccines to all the facilities. We are also working closely with indigenous institutions that have far more reach and legitimacy than local governments to mobilize populations to ensure all children are immunized as a routine. These efforts have begun yielding results in that we have reduced unimmunized children by 34 percent in 2009 compared to 2008 according to UNICEF/WHO reports and drastically reduced circulation of wild polio virus.
This entry in our series on â€œVaccines: The Next 10 Yearsâ€ comes from Muhammad Pate of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency in Nigeria: