Covid-19: Stakeholders Urge Government On Improved Vaccine Utilisation, Immunisation

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders in Nigeria’s health sector have urged the Oyo State Government to strengthen the involvement of CSOs’ in order to improve Routine Immunisation (RI) and increase the utilisation of COVID-19 vaccines in the state.

The stakeholders made the call as part of their recommendations at the end of a two day review and validation meeting of COVID-19 and Health Security Accountability Scorecards for Oyo State with CSOs, young people and the media, organised by the African Health Budget Network (AHBN).

In the recommendations, the CSOs called on the Oyo State Government to make resources available and institutionalise financing mechanism for health security, including COVID-19 equitable recovery, tasking the state government on the availability of adequate COVID-19 vaccines in all the state’s vaccination centres, for increased uptake of COVID-19 vaccines.

The stakeholders also called on the state Ministry of Health for collaboration to monitor/track allocation, donor support, loans and government releases for health security and COVID-19, so as to improve routine immunisation performance and support factual public information on COVID-19 in the state.

One of the stakeholders, Dr Musa Muhammad Bello of the Department of Community Medicine, Bayero University/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, charged the state government to ensure that the state ministries of Health and Finance publish the state government’s 2020, 2021 and 2022 COVID-19 and health security expenditure report.

“The Federal Government must find ingenious ways to improve routine immunisation coverage in the state. It is also important to the call for the prompt release of all budgeted funds for immunisation related activities. This is important because it will enable the state and the country at large to have a healthy population.”

The COVID-19 and health security accountability scorecard were developed through adaptation of indicators from the World Health Organisation (WHO) Joint External Evaluation and tool for evaluation of International Health Regulation (IHR) 2nd edition, review of government documents including budget and presentations, review of COVID-19 related government online dashboards and advocacy/retreat meetings with relevant government agencies, CSOs, media and young people.

The scorecard, developed to report CSOs review of Oyo State’s capacity on preparedness and response to health security and COVID-19, serves as an evidence to be used by all stakeholders including CSOs, professionals, media, advocates, young people and development partners, to strategically influence actions that would mobilise resources and promote prudent spending, transparency and accountability of COVID-19 and health security fund.

Source: Voice of Nigeria