Tinubu Commits Nigeria to Vaccine Partnership to Safeguard Lives

By Helen Okechukwu, JKNMedia Reporter

PRESIDENT BOLA Tinubu has affirmed Nigeria’s readiness to collaborate with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to bolster local vaccine production and ensure widespread immunization against preventable diseases.

The announcement follows a pivotal meeting between President Tinubu and a delegation from Gavi led by CEO Sania Nishtar at the state house on Thursday.

In a statement relayed by the president’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, the partnership aims to facilitate equitable access to life-saving vaccines for both children and adults across Nigeria.

Ngelale highlighted Tinubu’s emphasis on leveraging the expertise of local vaccine manufacturers to address the challenges exacerbated by recent health crises like the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have capable and talented people who can make the necessary contributions to the production of vaccines in Nigeria and the rest of Africa,” remarked Ngelale, echoing President Tinubu’s commitment to investing in the nation’s healthcare infrastructure.

During the meeting, Tinubu stressed Nigeria’s dedication to meeting her obligations regarding routine vaccine procurement, urging swift action to secure necessary funds through coordinated efforts between health and finance ministries.

“We intent to contribute to the development of our healthcare programme, and we are committed to partnering with Gavi,” Tinubu affirmed.

Dr. Nishtar, who assumed the role of Gavi’s executive director in March, commended Nigeria’s positive health initiatives, including increased budget allocations and commitments to adolescent vaccination programmes. She pledged Gavi’s support, including a $250 million grant, to reinforce Nigeria’s healthcare system and address vaccine inequity in Africa.

“Nigeria is a very special country. There is no success for Gavi without success in Nigeria,” Dr. Nishtar emphasized, highlighting the nation’s pivotal role in advancing Gavi’s global mission.

Her visit, Ngelale notes, aims to foster policy dialogue and secure long-term financial backing beyond 2028 to fortify Nigeria’s health sector and enhance her resilience against future health threats.  

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