IVAC Sets Up Evidence Based Data Pool For Immunization Advocacy

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The John Hopkins International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) is set to develop a voice tool that will enable Researchers; Advocates and Policy Makers easily find data on efficacy and value of vaccine immunization in Nigeria and the world at large.

This was revealed during a two-day workshop organized to strengthen advocacy for immunization through data.

The workshop, which held in Abuja, is meant to educate government officials, health advocates and media on the need to help create and drive acts that will bring about progress in vaccine immunization.

“We are trying to make that link between the data that was generated to actually drive policy and have the advocates drive policy by using it,” said Julie Younkin, IVAC Advocacy Manager.

IVAC Nigeria Project Lead, Chuzoba Wonodi also explained that, “The advocates need information that they can take to policy makers, to say these are the number of children that are dying from vaccine preventable diseases, and this is the impact that vaccines are having in Nigeria; therefore it’s a good investment… data from Nigeria is very important.”

Briefing Newsmen at the opening of the event in, Wonodi said accurate data on vaccine immunization and access to it, is key to reducing preventable diseases in children.

She added that, routine immunization is paramount to averting disability caused by a preventable disease, which could also lead to avoidable deaths in infants.

Her words, “Cognitive impairment is caused by vaccine preventable diseases such as pneumoccocal meningitis and otitis media.”

“The interaction of childhood diarrhea, Pneumonia and malnutrition contributes to vicious circle of poor health and delayed growth and development. Immunization can help promote healthy growth and development,” she added.

Wonodi further explained that increase in childbirth has created a funding gap for immunization programme in Nigeria, and almost affecting “the five-year transition out of Gavi funding support for new vaccines from 2017.”

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