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Conditional Cash Transfer for Immunization: We’ll not deviate from FG, States’ laws, policies – NI-ABAE declares

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

The States implementing the Conditional Cash Transfer for Routine Immunization (CCT-RI) program of the New Incentives – All Babies Are Equal Initiative (NI-ABAE), say they will continue to align with Nigerian laws and policies, including routine immunization plans and priorities.

The CCT for RI is a project of NI-ABAE, an international NGO, where a total of N4,500 is given overtime to compensate parents’ and caregivers’ transportation and loss of income, so they can take their children for routine immunization against childhood killer diseases.

The caregiver receives ₦500 for the first four routine immunization visits and ₦2,000 for the fifth visit. Another ₦500 is given to the caregiver for her final visit when the child gets measles-2 vaccination. 

To this end, the implementing states, namely, Bauchi, Katsina, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara have committed to providing enabling environment that will ensure expansion of the CCT programme to more health facilities in their respective areas.

These were part of the resolutions adopted at the bi-annual joint stakeholders’ meeting held weekend in Kano, with 39 participants in attendance, among them, Sokoto State Commissioner for Health (Mohammed Ali Inname) and Katsina State Commissioner for Health (Engr. Yakubu Nuhu Danja).

In the communiqué, Bauchi, Katsina, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara States’ health authorities agreed to greater ownership of the conditional cash transfers for routine immunization program, admitting that the program is in line with their routine immunization and public health plans and priorities.

According to the resolution, NI-ABAE, through the implementing states, will continue to support demand creation and other components of routine immunization in the five States and at the national level.

It will, in addition, continue to provide transparent and regular updates to all stakeholders and provide support on routine immunization, health and social protection.

The State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (SPHCDA), through the office of the Commissioners of Health, will continue to provide the needed support to the programs at all levels, facilitate meetings between the Governors of their States and NI-ABAE representatives.

The ministry will also encourage governors of their States to present the programme gains and successes at every forum, including the national health stakeholders, to support the program.

Other resolutions are that, the State Primary Health Care Development Agencies commit to supporting the CCT for RI program at all levels, provide the needed support to ensure the expansion of the program to over 60 LGAs in Katsina, Jigawa, Zamfara, Sokoto and Bauchi States (to exceed this target), ensure adequate vaccine supply and health-worker discipline in all health facilities, engage all relevant state actors to ensure successful conditional cash transfer programming, ensure accountability among health workers and reinforce accurate reporting of vaccine utilization. 

“In addition, the State Primary Health Care Development Agencies agreed to make their cold chain facility accessible and request for improved vaccine efficacy with relevant stakeholders.

Commissioners for Health and Executive Secretaries of program states to meet and discuss on state-level vaccine logistics system to improve immunization coverage and reduce stock-out and and wastages.

“The Programme should allow data to speak for its impact, as this will facilitate stakeholders’ ownership. Commissioners for Health of the respective programme states will take the responsibility of leading engagement with NPHCDA in support of programme sustainability.

“The implementing states agreed to develop a sustainability framework for the CCT for RI program. Other RI implementing partners should be invited to subsequent meetings to allow for program synergy.

“The program will work with relevant stakeholders to ensure data speaks for its impact at all levels. Relevant stakeholders in Katsina, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara States to provide necessary support to expand the conditional cash transfers for routine immunization programs to more LGAs, health facilities, and infants and commit to its ownership.

“The program will continue to work with relevant stakeholders to implement all agreements reached towards improved immunization coverage across all implementing states.

“The supporting organization will work with the Commissioners for Health of the respective program states towards meaningful engagement with NPHCDA and other stakeholders in support of program sustainability.

“Advocate to governors of the benefiting states to arrange meetings among themselves to share success stories as well as challenges as it relates to immunization coverage.

“To address concerns with periodic vaccines stock-out involving Commissioners for Health and Executive Secretaries of programme states, the communiqué said, these will meet and discuss on state level vaccine logistics system to improve immunization coverage and reduce stock-out and wastage.”

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