|© UNICEF/Maria Ieroianni|
Nigeria’s immunization programme has experienced significant increases in activity over the past few years, and with it a greater need to address challenges such as accurate forecasting, customs clearance procedures, cold chain capacity, inventory management, staff capacity and effective distribution networks have been identified.
In order to address these issues and make vaccine delivery to Nigeria more efficient and effective, a workshop was hosted at UNICEF Supply Division on the 25-28 June, including the Country Office and high level participants from Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) who presented an ambitious plan to achieve 80 per cent immunization coverage by 2015. The delegation also shared specific areas where they required external expertise and support to address some of the supply and logistics related challenges.
During the workshop, fruitful discussions around vaccine markets, innovative financing, procurement and supply chain management strategies were covered. Nigeria was able to articulate the current in-country challenges, while UNICEF was able to provide insights and knowledge on how the organization could provide support.
Points of action were also discussed and next steps to help Nigeria achieve its goals were proposed, including different approaches to reporting that will align with and support the country’s national budgeting process, fine tuning of the forecast for 2014, the development of an alert process to avoid vaccines stock-outs, alternative shipping approaches to circumvent multiple deliveries and reduce the cost and frequency of clearance, planning for Nigeria’s upcoming graduation from LIC to MIC status, among many others.
The workshop addressed multiple concerns and set the stage for aligned strategies and stronger co-ordination and co-operation going forward.