Sabin's Sustainable Immunization (SIF) Senior Program Officer, Clifford Kamara, describes immunization as a "best buy" for any country.
"At an event in Abuja Wednesay, stakeholders sought sustainable financing options for routine immunization and new vaccines in Nigeria, having noted how most childhood deaths were caused by malaria and pneumonia. Dr. Clifford Kamara of the Sabin Vaccine Institute noted that nearly 10 million children die annually, mostly from preventable and treatable causes.
'Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) alone constitute over 30 percent of the causes of death among children under the age of five,' he noted. 'Immunization against VPDs has been identified as one of the most cost-effective interventions in saving lives, especially among children under five years.
Closer home, studies have revealed that in Nigeria, $17 billion in economic losses could be averted with over 600,000 lives saved over the next 10 years by scaling up vaccine coverage to 90 percent (for Hib, PCV, Rotavirus, Measles and Pertussis).'
He described immunization as a "best buy" for any country, describing it as one of the least expensive tools for preventing childhood diseases and avoiding the cost of curative care. He added: "In other words, government's immunization budget must be adequate, predictable, performance-based and not come at the expense of other key programmes."