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10 Apr 2017

Meningitis Vaccination Is Free – Federal Government

The Federal Government on Friday said vaccination for meningitis is free throughout the
country and asked Nigerians not to pay for it.

The Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Faisal
Shuaib, in a statement on Friday advised Nigerians to report any health centre or health
worker who extorts money for the on-going meningitis immunisation to the nearest law
enforcement agency.

He said the attention of the agency had been drawn to a report of sharp practices by some health workers and Civil Society Organisations
extorting money unsuspecting and desperate citizens.

He added that some health workers were
alleged to have extorted money and other forms
of incentives from members of the public before being vaccinated against Cerebro Spinal Meningitis.

Shuaib said that the vaccination against CSM, like other vaccination in the National
Immunization schedule, is free by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“The Federal Government had spent billions of Naira to procure, store,
maintain and distribute such vaccines to
all parts of the country.
“Under no circumstances should any health worker demand for money from
members of the public for such
services,’’ he warned.

According to him, the vaccines’ preventable diseases are covered free-of-charge under the
National Immunisation schedule which includes Bacillus Calmette Guerin – (BCG), Poliomyelitis and Hepatitis B.

Others are Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus
toxoid -(Pentavelent vaccines), Haemophilus
influenza type B, Pneumococcal vaccines, Inactivated Polio virus vaccines, Measles,
Yellow Fever and of course, Meningitis vaccines.

Following the outbreak of meningitis in some
parts of the country, the federal government had made available 500,000 doses of meningitis
vaccines.

The government is still expecting the delivery of
additional 823,000 doses to curtail the outbreak.

Residents of Kubwa, FCT-Abuja, have alleged that they were being charged N500 by
vaccinators per person before receiving the CSM vaccine.

Some residents said that they did not understand the rationale behind the fee, when the federal government had announced that the immunisation was free.
(NAN)

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