Canada Gives Nigeria $9.26m Covid-19 Grant
The Nigerian Government has received a $9.26m grant from its Canadian counterpart to boost access to COVID-19 vaccine in 15 states across the country.
The grant came through the Canada Global Initiative (CanGIVE) which has been operating for two years in Nigeria to expedite COVID-19 vaccine delivery and distribution amongst high-priority risk groups, increase vaccine confidence and generate demand with the application of the gender lens.
Speaking at the unveiling, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said the initiative would target the implementation of Covid 19 vaccination exercise in 15 low-performing states which include: Ondo, Rivers, Kogi, Delta, Ebonyi, Lagos, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Ogun, Katsina, Taraba, Anambra, Kebbi, and Edo.
He said the CanGIVE grant targets states with lower performance and aims to reach high-priority populations and would be implemented through the World Health Organisation (WHO) to contribute, strengthen the health system, and address service delivery inequities and gender disparities at the sub-national level.
Shuaib said “We are confident that WHO will continue to support Nigeria’s efforts to enhance vaccine delivery, distribution, and public confidence, as well as generate demand. “
Furthermore, Shuaib said the vaccination uptake in Nigeria had reached over percentent of the target population of individuals aged 18 and above with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
He noted that the country has been able to administer over 87 million of its citizens with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine so far in addition to being among the first countries to establish an electronic registry and integrate COVID-19 vaccination with other primary healthcare services.
“Our “One Country, One Team, One Plan, One Budget” approach reflects our commitment to integrating lessons learned during and after the pandemic into our healthcare system.
“While we have made significant progress, we still have work to do. Several states have primary series coverage below 70 percent, and booster doses account for just over 20 percent of vaccinations,” he said.
The Head of Mission and WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, stated that the Canadian grant came at an appropriate time to enhance the coverage and uptake of the vaccine among the high-priority populations in tandem with the current WHO SAGE roadmap on uses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Mulombo also proposed a decrease in the age limit for COVID vaccination as a means to expedite vaccination in priority countries.
In his address, the Canadian High Commissioner for Nigeria, Jamie Christoff, said the grant would allow the WHO Country Office to strengthen health systems and increase COVID-19 vaccine demand generation and uptake in a way that is linked with routine immunization and other vaccination programmes.
CanGIVE, he said, was developed in collaboration with the WHO, UNICEF, the Pan-American Health Organization, and the Medicines Patent Pool to accomplish three goals: to strengthen COVID-19 vaccine delivery systems and community outreach to reach high-priority marginalized groups; to enhance the integration of COVID-19 vaccines into routine health services in a way that strengthens the broader health system, including to increase gender-responsiveness, and to scale up regional vaccine production capacity to bring manufacturing closer to populations in need.