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Gates Foundation Boosts Polio Eradication In Nigeria With $75m

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The federal government represented jointly by the Ministers of Budget and National Planning, Finance, and Health, yesterday announced a new innovative financing agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aimed at strengthening both routine immunisation (RI) and broader primary healthcare (PHC) services.

Under the agreement, Nigeria will receive incentive financing of up to $75 million over five years from the Gates Foundation as the government meets existing commitments to increase domestic funding of its RI programme.

The incentive financing will be directly invested in Nigeria’s Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF), and used in strengthening RI financing and other PHC services for the poorest. Coming at a time when the nation’s revenue generation is constrained, the deal will direct new funds to Nigeria’s broader health sector even as more domestic resources are dedicated to critical childhood vaccines specifically—creating a win-win opportunity for essential PHC services to grow in tandem, a statement that was issued by spokesman of the Finance Minister said.

“Childhood immunisation is one of the most effective and cost-effective health interventions, and I can think of few better long-term investments in Nigeria’s human capital and future prosperity,” said Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning.

In April of last year, the federal government—through the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency—finalised its Nigeria Strategy for Immunisation and PHC System Strengthening, 2018-2028 (NSIPSS), which outlined plans to spend US$1.95 billion on immunisation services over ten years via the national budget and some World Bank loan financing. In June, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, committed to supporting the NSIPSS with extended donor financing as domestic resources scale up. During this extended transition window, international donors via Gavi will provide Nigeria with US$1 billion, on top of the US$1.95bn domestic commitment. Together these funds will cover procurement of vaccines—the lion’s share of the costs—as well as operational costs for routine and supplementary immunisation activities, and PHC system support.

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