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Groundbreaking Nigeria summit results in major commitment to reduce child deaths
Date:4/23/2012

Abuja, Nigeria Nigeria's top government officials, civil society leaders and leaders of private industry resolved today to join forces to expand vaccine access nationwide, a major step in the fight to reduce child mortality in a country with the world's second highest number of child deaths. Among other commitments, the First Lady called for the creation of a fund to support the sustained introduction and scale-up of childhood vaccines as well as a biannual African Summit to assess progress, with the goal of achieving universal vaccine coverage for all Nigerian children by the year 2015.

"With over one million Nigerian children dying each hear from conditions that can easily be prevented by vaccination, we all would be failing in our duties as mothers, parents and leaders in the various segments of our society, if we don't take this advantage to do something concrete," said Dame Patience Jonathan, First Lady of Nigeria.

The discussions took place this week at Nigeria's first-ever national Vaccine Summit, which brought together leaders from across the nation to address the country's need to stem its precipitously high number of child deaths. Specific outcomes included a call to action for Nigerian policy makers and leaders from across traditional and religious sectors to commit to adopting and helping ensure excellence at primary health care facilities in their communities; a call to create the Nigerian Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (NAVI), a public-private partnership that would provide sustained vaccine financing from within the country's borders; and the announcement of the plan to convene a biannual African Vaccine Summit in order to measure progress against milestones set forth by the Decade of Vaccines.

Nigeria has taken important steps in recent years to address its child mortality burden, including increasing vaccine coverage rates for polio, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus vaccines in recent years and regional
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Contact: Julie Younkin
jbuss@jhsph.edu
410-340-9784
International Vaccine Access Center
Source:Eurekalert

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