Media brief for the 2-day Workshop by IVAC on Strengthening Advocacy through Data (SAID) Value of Immunization Compendium of Evidence (VOICE)
IVAC welcomes you to this two-day workshop to introduce the Value of Immunization Compendium of Evidence (VOICE) which contains key messages on the health, economic and social benefits of vaccines. This online resource is a product of the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC). It was developed under the Strengthening Advocacy for Immunization through Data (SAID) project which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The SAID project, being implemented at the global and country (Nigeria and Indonesia) levels, aims to strengthen advocacy for immunization by increasing advocate’s awareness and use of evidence that support investments in routine immunization. Prior to this time, there have been series of consultations with immunization stakeholders and advocates, health professionals, health-based civil society organizations and the media to understand their data needs for immunization advocacy in Nigeria. These needs were analysed and the responses to these data needs, in addition to needs from similar consultations held at the global level and in Indonesia, have been fed into the evidence compendium which will be introduced to stakeholders at this workshop.
Some of these evidence-based benefits included this compendium are:
- Vaccines are estimated to avert significant death and disability through their routine use[i]. Increases in access and coverage of care for mothers and children, that included vaccines, have averted a considerable number of childhood deaths[ii]
- The interactions of childhood diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition contribute to a vicious cycle of poor health and delayed growth and development[iii]. Immunization can help promote healthy growth and development[iv].
- Vaccines are most cost-effective in low-income groups and regions[v]. Vaccination can help improve the health equity of immune-compromised children, such as those who are HIV+[vi]. Also, Leveraging infrastructure, personnel and expertise stemming from polio eradication allowed Nigeria to quickly halt the spread of Ebola in 2014[vii].
These enormous benefits of immunization buttress the need for the Government of Nigeria (federal and states) to ensure appropriation of adequate funds for the routine immunization program the annual budgets. There is a funding gap for immunization program in Nigeria due to increasing birth cohort, introduction of new vaccines and the five-year accelerated transition out of Gavi funding support for new vaccines starting from 2017. Bridging this gap will require evidence-based advocacy and it is our expectation that Nigerian advocates will also find this compendium useful in making a case for sustainable immunization financing in Nigeria.
The Day 1 (4th October, 2016) of this workshop brings together key stakeholders on Routine Immunization in Nigeria. They include senior officers of the Federal Ministry of Health, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, pharmaceutical companies and other partners. On the Day 2 (5th October, 2016), over 30 immunization advocates drawn from civil society organizations across the country will be trained on the use of the SAID Value of Immunization Compendium of Evidence (VOICE). There will be live tweets of the workshop using the hashtags #SAIDatIVAC and #NigFundVaccines. The workshop is being organized by the Direct Consulting and Logistics (DCL) – management consultant for IVAC projects in Nigeria.
Finally, IVAC and DCL are grateful to the media for their continuous support and collaboration in our advocacy activities. We are equal stakeholders in ensuring that our immunization programs in Nigeria is strengthened, all Nigerians have access to required vaccines and deaths from vaccine preventable diseases are averted. We hope that this collaboration continues. Thank you.
Additional Messages from SAID VOICE
- Cognitive impairment is caused by vaccine preventable diseases such as pneumococcal meningitis[viii] and otitis media[ix]. Immunization benefits cognitive development in children[x]. Childhood vaccination can increase educational attainment, which results in a more productive workforce[xi].
- Families and caretakers may experience acute or lasting loss of wages associated with caring for a child ill with or permanently disabled by a vaccine-preventable disease[xii]. Immunization can offer some financial protection against significant illness treatment costs among the poor[xiii]. Averting illness through immunization has the potential to increase productivity[xiv]. Investing in immunization programs is estimated to yield 16-44 times return on investment[xv].
- Immunization programs provide opportunities for cost-sharing and external funding when used alongside other health interventions[xvi]. Vaccination programs can improve health care infrastructure and supply chains that could also be used for other public health interventions[xvii]. While immunization program can help increase access to health care system services[xviii], it can also decrease hospital admissions, thus alleviating pressure on overburdened health systems[xix].
- Vaccine-preventable diseases during pregnancy can have devastating consequences for babies[xx] and maternal immunization offers an opportunity to protect the mother and foetus, but also passes this protection on to the infant after birth[xxi].