|© UNICEF/2008/ Turkovich|
|Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria Toshitsugu Uesawa (right) with UNICEF Acting Representative in Nigeria Dr. Robert Limlim at teh announcement of Japan’s $8.04 million donation for child survival.|
ABUJA, Nigeria, 23 June 2008 – On Friday, 20 June, the Government of Japan donated $8.04 million to UNICEF for child survival programmes in Nigeria. The grant is for polio eradication, routine immunization and malaria prevention.
The donation was made in an exchange between Japan’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Toshitsugu Uesawa, and UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Robert Limlim, in the presence of the Nigerian Minister of Health.
"With this donation, the government and people of Japan have once again renewed their commitment to child survival in Nigeria," said Dr. Limlim. "This large donation will contribute immensely to Nigeria’s drive towards achieving the health Millennium Development Goals by 2015. It is timely, too, with the current resurgence of wild polio virus in Nigeria and the fight to interrupt its transmission this year."
The contribution will be used for the procurement of products designed to improve child survival, including polio vaccines, oral rehydration sachets (for treating diarrhoeal dehydration), deworming tablets and drugs for malaria prevention in pregnant women.
In addition, nearly 159,500 long-lasting insecticide nets will be procured for malaria control, complementing the nearly 522,000 nets already procured in the last two years with funding from the Government of Japan.
These nets will be distributed to pregnant women in rural areas. As an incentive to boost immunization, they will also be given to children who complete their scheduled vaccinations.
Since 2000, the Government of Japan has contributed about $44.24 million for the prevention of infectious diseases in Nigeria through the Programme of Cooperation between UNICEF and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
"I earnestly hope that this project will foster the welfare of Nigerian children," said, Mr. Uesawa. "I expect Nigerians to take action to accomplish the Millennium Development Goals."