In recognition of the need for more coordinated and concerted effort around vaccine financing and security the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Muhammad, inaugurated the National Vaccine Financing Task Team on March 25, 2015. The task team was established in line with the NPHCDA Board approval of Friday March 11, 2015, following a memo to the NPHCDA Board from IVAC and endorsed by the, Technical Committee of the Board and the Logistics and Commodities Department. To improve coordination, the ED merged the newly formed Vaccine Financing Advocacy Working Group, inaugurated by Dr. Ado on Monday March 16, 2015, on the occasion of the round table discussion organized by the NPHCDA Advocacy Department and CHR.
Funding for vaccines/devices and the immunization program is precarious and will become even more uncertain with the phase out of Gavi support. The resource requirement from the GoN for 2015 to 2020 will increase from $105.3M in 2015 to $340.6M in 2020 as is depicted in the graph below . Although funding for 2015 is now secure with a facility from the World Bank, financing for 2016 and beyond is yet uncertain. In 2021, Nigeria is fully responsible for the $426M required for the vaccine program.
NIFT’s funding needs
Against the backdrop of the rising funding requirement, historic appropriations for vaccines have always fallen short and even declined in recent years. Since 2010 the following amounts were appropriated for vaccines annually – 2.2, 5.0, 6.0, 4.15, 2.156 and 2.615 billion naira. The average annual appropriation for vaccines in the last 6 years was thus 3.68 billion naira; 23% of what is needed in 2015 and 7% of what we need for 2020.
Nigeria faces an enormous funding gap for the immunization program due to the cost of additional vaccines, expanding birth cohort, loss of funding following Gavi graduation and insufficient budgetary allocation to vaccines. Importantly, when compared with other graduating countries, the major driver for the huge costs particularly in 2017 and 2018 are the 4 new vaccines planned for introduction.
Besides the funding issues, there are significant cash flow problems as well. Delays in budget passage and delays in release of actual cash are common. Efforts to address funding gaps should also include consider how to make funding more predictable and available as planned. Furthermore, there is a potential threat to the immunization program if the recent successes are not maintained. Recall, that in 2010 the RI coverage suffered a major setback following a lack of vaccine availability leading to deaths of many children from vaccine preventable diseases. The success of the vaccine task team will not just help in saving lives but saving money for the country.
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