Immunisation: Groups sign MoU on conditional cash transfer

THE National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) and New Incentives-All Babies Are Equal Initiative (NI-ABAE), both NGOs, have signed a Memorandum-of-Understanding (MoU) on enhancing routine immunisation coverage in the country.

NI-ABAE Coordinator, Dr Obinna Ebirim, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Sokoto on Monday, that the project would be carried out in Katsina, Zamfara and Jigawa states.

Ebirim said the National Coordinator of NASSCO, Mr Apera Lorwakwagh and NI-BAE, represented by him, signed the agreement for their organisations.

According to him, the agreement specifies that NASSCO, being an establishment that coordinates safety nets programme across Nigeria, will continue to support and provide guidance and technical support to NI-ABAE intervention at the national level.

“NI-ABAE, while implementing their Conditional Cash Transfer programme for increased routine immunisation coverage in the three states, will be opened to monitoring by NASSCO.

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“Match their beneficiaries with the National Social Registry (NSR) and share data in line with their data privacy policies and existing data privacy laws.

“NI-ABAE intervention helps in protecting infants against deadly diseases through increased immunisation coverage,” Ebrim said.

He added that his organisation was excited at the renewed partnership with NASSCO, which he expressed optimism would mutually benefit both organisations.

“We have maintained a cordial working relationship with NASSCO, which has seen us match our beneficiaries with those in the NSR, share data and information, and participate in each other’s events.

“This MoU formalises these cordial relations and we are excited. I commend the leadership of NASSCO for their effective coordination of various social safety nets programme in the country.

“The goal of the programme is to utilise a package of evidence-based interventions including community mobilisation, sensitisation, Conditional Cash Transfer, and defaulter tracking to increase demand for routine immunisation.

“As at Sept. 3, 2019, we have disbursed N431, 499, 000 to 163,853 caregivers of infants from the catchment areas of health facilities where we work and who got vaccinated in these health facilities.

“We are able to give you real-time figures because we ensure accountability and transparency in our programme implementation.”

He said the current MoU would run till Aug. 2021.

He said the first phase of intervention was designed as a study, while the second phase was to continue beyond 2021, depending on the study outcome.

Ebirim explained that the agreement would complement formal agreements with state governments, make NI-ABAE a member of NASSCO technical committee, and grant the NGO access to the NSR during scale-up.

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