The Federal Government has received a 9.3 million Canadian dollars grant from the Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE), to boost COVID-19 vaccine delivery and strengthen the broader health system in the country.
The Canadian High Commissioner, Amb. Jamie Christoff, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja, during the launch of CanGIVE in Nigeria.
The event was hosted by the Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NpHCDA), and Nigeria Centre For Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), supported by World Health Organization (WHO).
Chrisoff said that Nigeria, amongst six other countries, would benefit from the global initiative of $317 million (Canadian) by Canada.
He said that as the world moved beyond emergency pandemic response, continued access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments would remain critical for high-risk groups.
“In some low and lower-middle-income countries, vaccination rates remain low and health systems have been overstretched by the pandemic.
“This poses significant challenges to long-term COVID-19 management and recovery efforts,” he said.
Christoff said that under the CanGIVE, WHO projects would be implemented in seven countries, with Nigeria receiving the greatest share.
“Nigeria was also amongst the first countries to receive COVID-19 aid from Canada in September 2021.
“This important project is another important example of Canadian historical institutional relationship with the support of Nigeria in the critical work for preventing diseases and protecting those most at risk in the country,” he said.
He said that countries required support to integrate COVID-19 vaccination into ongoing immunization programmes and primary health services in a way that strengthened the broader health system and reverses the backsliding trend in routine immunisation over the pandemic.
“Canada is contributing to these efforts, building on Canada’s long-standing commitment to investing in and supporting health systems worldwide.
“Through CanGIVE, Canada will continue to support vaccination for high-risk groups where vaccination coverage remains low, particularly in humanitarian contexts and hard-to-reach places,” he said.