Japan has given N18.6 billion in loan to Nigeria to pay for vaccines to be bought through the United Nations Children’s Fund.
The loan, through Japan International Cooperation Agency, is expected repaid in 20 years, with seven years for grace period.
In talks with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency in Abuja, JICA’s chief in Nigeria, Tetsuo Seki said the loan’s agreement was signed last year by finance minister Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and JICA’s leadership.
Seki, who leaves his post in Nigeria late April, said JICA support for immunisation programme in Nigeria in the last 10 years has reached $100m.
NPHCDA executive director, Dr Ado Muhammad, said Nigeria remained grateful for Japan’s assistance in polio eradication and routine immunisation.
Meanwhile a steering committee in the agency is to help push a “holistic national primary health care policy” after it got express approval from the federal health ministry.
A forum of state’s Primary Health Care Boards has since been formed in attempts to “reinforce the thrust of the National Health System which recognized PHC as its cornerstone,” according to Ado.
The Executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ado Muhammad disclosed this today in Abuja during a courtesy visit by a new forum of States’ Primary Health Care Boards.
The forum, which has now 11 members, up from four states last year, is to meet every quarter for review, said its spokesman Dr. Joseph Kumba, director for public health at Benue state health ministry.
Some 30 states now have a board for primary health care.