The Federal Government will spend 60 million dollars in the next two years for polio eradication to make the country polio-free.
Dr Ado Mohammed, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care development Agency, made the fact known in Abuja on Monday at a media capacity building workshop for the upcoming National Vaccine Summit.
He said ``the president made an additional provision of 17 million dollars for polio eradication initiative in Nigeria and that brings it to 30 million dollars per annum for the next two years, which is 60 million dollars. ”
Mohammed said with such amount, the country would be able to tackle the issues of polio eradication in its determination to become polio-free by 2013.
The executive director added that the support received from partners was for capacity building, technical assistance and social mobilalisation.
He said vaccines and immunisation were recognised globally as the most cost-effective means of preventing sickness and death from most childhood diseases.
The executive director said it was estimated that 17 per cent to 20 per cent of deaths in children under-five years could be prevented by the simple act of vaccination.
``However, despite this knowledge, the uptake of vaccines by the Nigerian child still remains suboptimal due to a variety of reasons.
``Financial access, constraints with supply and delivery of vaccines to poor knowledge of the benefits by parents and communities are some of the reasons,'' Mohammed said.
He said that the objective of the forthcoming summit was to deliberate and forge innovative mechanisms, particularly with the Nigerian private sector and global community, to ensure every eligible Nigerian child was vaccinated against all vaccine-preventable diseases.
Mohammed said for the country to succeed, the media must play their noble role of creating mass awareness, enlightenment and education, especially rural dwellers, on pertinent issues and key messages relating to vaccine.
Mr Paul Orhii, the Director-General of NAFDAC, in a paper, ``The Safety of Vaccine”, said vaccines contained immunogenic substances or compounds intended to induce active immunity.
Orhii, who was represented by Dr Monica Eimunjeze, the Technical Assistant in the agency, said vaccine regulation required several approaches.
He said the National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) were required to ascertain the safety and efficacy of vaccine before use while safety monitoring would be carried out before and after vaccine licencing.
Orhii added that normal procedure for bringing a vaccine to the market place required assessment for efficacy and toxicity in the laboratory and animal studies after three trials.
He said WHO had identified six critical control functions for NRAs to ensure that the vaccines used were of acceptable quality, safe and efficacious and were produced and distributed in such a manner that would not be compromised.
The functions are licencing, laboratory testing, lot release, inspection, clinical evaluation and post marketing surveillance.
Orhii said the role of the media was to ensure the importance of vaccines, effects on public health, clear misconception, provide education, increase public awareness and encourage adverse event reporting.
In an address of welcome, Mrs Moji Makanjuola, the Chairperson, Media Committee of the National Vaccine Summit, urged the media to always ensure that they did in-depth reports.
Makanjuola tasked them to investigate issues before writing or reporting on them in order to educate the public properly.
She also urged the media to read wide to understand how vaccines worked to enable them to report properly.
``We can challenge the political office holders on what they have done for their communities and know the budget to enable you ask constructive questions.
``The media should investigate issues before challenging the office holders so as to have a complete story.''
Makanjuola said the summit would hold from April 16 to April 17.