Meningitis Senate urges Health Ministry to make vaccines free

Pulse checks reveal that the vaccine is currently being administered at N5,000 in some public healthcare centres and N15,000 in private clinics.

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The Nigerian Senate has urged the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to make meningitis vaccinations free in public healthcare facilities across the country.

The resolution followed a motion titled: “Outbreak of Meningitis and the Urgent Need to Curb its Spread & Stop Further Deaths” sponsored by Senator Gbenga Ashafa and 16 others.

Pulse checks revealed that the vaccine is currently being administered at N5,000 in public healthcare centres and N15,000 in private clinics.

The Senate noted the outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis in five States, while also stressing the need for an increase in the budget of the Federal Ministry of Health, in order to ensure that the Ministry and its parastatals are able to better fund healthcare-related activities in the country.

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The Senators also resolved that meningitis vaccinations should be made free across the country, citing the need for agencies of the federal government to continue to collaborate with the World Health Organization and UNICEF to make the scarce inoculations against meningitis readily available.

Senate President Bukola Saraki noted that with Lassa Fever, Cholera and Meningitis outbreak in parts of the country, there was a need for increased coordination and funding for regular and specialized healthcare in the 2017 budget. 

He assured Nigerians that the Senate is prepared to promptly pass any supplemental appropriation request to combat disease outbreaks.