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Nigerian lawmakers today resolved to make meningitis vaccine to be freely available at all public health facilities across the country.
But in order to protect over 22 million persons in the five states affected by Type C cerebrospinal meningitis disease outbreak, Nigeria will need $1.1 billion is required for vaccination.
At the last count, the disease has already claimed 328 lives in five states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina and Niger while 16 other states have recorded at least one case each of the disease.
But the Acting Director General of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Emmanuel Odu, who briefed the Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare and communicable Diseases on efforts being made to contain the outbreak, said each vaccine costs between $30 and $50.
According to him, the meningitis vaccine is not only expensive, he said it is also scarce.
Meanwhile, Senate President Bukola Saraki has assured the Ministry of Health of the Senate’s commitment to supporting all efforts to put an end to the outbreak of meningitis in the country.
Saraki also expressed the lawmakers’ willingness to support health-related legislations in the light of the various outbreaks.