By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development has reinstated its support for the Conditional Cash Transfers for Routine Immunization programme, assuring that the MoU between New Incentives – All Babies Are Equal initiative will be signed in due course.
This was contained in a communiqué, made available to our correspondent on Saturday, jointly signed by Health Commissioner of Katsina (SMOH), Engr. Yakubu Nuhu Danja, Health Commissioner of Zamfara, Alhaji Yahaya Muhammad Kanoma and Representative of the Permanent Secretary of Jigawa State Ministry of Health, ES JSPHCDA, Dr. Kabir Ibrahim.
The communiqué was from the New Incentives (NI)-All Babies Are Equal Initiative (ABAE) Joint States Stakeholders meeting, co-hosted by the Katsina SPHCA, Jigawa SPHCDA AND Zamfara SPHCB, held on Thursday 20th May 2021 at the Tahir Guest Palace Kano State.
According to the communiqué, after extensive deliberations and discussions on the Conditional Cash Transfers for Routine Immunization (CCTs for RI) programme of New Incentives – All Babies Are Equal Initiative (NI-ABAE) in the three states, the following resolutions were reached;
“The New Incentives – All Babies Are Equal Initiative will continue to align its programmes with Nigerian Federal and State laws and policies, including routine immunization plans and priorities.
“Immunization is one of the most effective public health interventions, saving 2 to 3 million lives yearly (WHO) and there is evidence that suggests a 27 percentage points increase in the likelihood that children would be fully immunized by a conditional cash transfers for routine immunization program (NI-ABAE RCT Impact Assessment 2017-2020).
“The Stakeholders in Katsina, Jigawa, and Zamfara States will provide New Incentives – All Babies Are Equal Initiative the necessary support to expand the conditional cash transfers for routine immunization programmes to more LGAs and health facilities,” it informed.
Other resolutions include the New Incentives – All Babies Are Equal Initiative will continue to support demand creation and other components of routine immunization in the three states and at the national level.
“Katsina, Jigawa and Zamfara States health authorities agreed to greater ownership of the conditional cash transfers for routine immunization programme, confirming that this programme is in line with its routine immunisation and public health plans and priorities.
“The Department of Health Planning, Research and Statistics of the State Ministries of Health committed to support New Incentives – All Babies Are Equal Initiative to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation (M&E) through rapid assessment and analysis of DHIS2 data.
The meeting also agreed that New Incentives – All Babies Are Equal Initiative will continue to provide transparent and regular updates.
Similarly, the meeting of stakeholders of NI-ABAE programme in Katsina, Jigawa and Zamfara States vowed to support stakeholders on routine immunization, health and social protection.
“The Commissioners of Health will continue to provide the needed support to NI-ABAE programmes at all levels.
“Facilitate meetings between the Governors of their State and NI-ABAE representatives.
“Encourage the Governors of their States to present the NI-ABAE program gains and successes at the federal level
“Engage the Governors to speak to the relevant federal health stakeholders to support the NI-ABAE program before the end of 2021,” it added.
The communiqué said that the Executive Secretaries on their part, will continue to support the NI-ABAE programme at all levels.
“Provide needed guidance to ensure expansion of NI-ABAE programme to at least 17 LGAs in Katsina, Jigawa and Zamfara States (with a goal to exceed this target)
“Ensure adequate vaccine supply and health workers discipline in all health facilities
“Engage all relevant state actors to ensure successful conditional cash transfers programming
“Ensure accountability among health workers and correct reporting of vaccine utilization
“Ensure periodic assessment of the cold chain system, plan preventive maintenance and request improvement to ensure vaccine efficacy.”
New Incentives (NI) is an international non-government organization that aims to reduce child mortality through cost-effective and evidence-based health interventions.
In Nigeria, the organization operates as the All Babies Are Equal Initiative and implements a conditional cash transfers (CCT) for routine immunization (CCTs for RI) program.
Programme Components include the flagship CCTs for RI programme operated by ABAE disburses cash incentives to caregivers conditional on infants receiving four vaccines: BCG (against tuberculosis), PENTA (against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b), PCV (against pneumococcal disease), and MCV (against measles).
These vaccinations are part of the routine schedule for infant immunizations in Nigeria and are provided at no cost to the caregiver through government-supported clinics.
Upon confirmation of their infant receiving a vaccine, the caregiver receives ₦500 for the first four routine immunization visits and ₦2,000 for the fifth visit.
The cash transfers compensate for transport, lost trading income, and waiting time while creating behavioural change through awareness.