The Governor of Katsina State, Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, had during a recent visit by a team from the New Incentives – All Babies are Equal Initiative (NI-ABAE) to Katsina reiterated the state’s’ commitment to supporting NI –ABAE’s conditional cash transfers (CCTs) for Routine Immunization (RI) programme in Katsina state.
Governor Masari described routine immunization as being of utmost importance to the life of growing infants adding that the NI-ABAE’s ₦500 monetary incentive for mothers during each hospital visit was effective in mobilizing women at community level to bring forward their children for immunization. He therefore reaffirmed his support and that of the state’s ministry of health for the initiative adding that he would engage fellow governors of the North West region as well as the minister of health on the CCTs for RI initiative.
In his remarks, Dr. Obinna Ebirim, the National Coordinator of New Incentives, a nonprofit focused on leveraging evidence around conditional cash transfers to achieve development goals, applauded Governor Masari’s support for the programme, noting that immunization was saving about 3 million lives globally, every year
“Our program increases demand for routine childhood immunization through an evidence-based intervention that includes community mobilization, sensitization, conditional cash transfers, and defaulter tracking. An independent impact assessment of our program from 2017 to 2020 revealed that children in areas with New Incentives’ intervention in Katsina State were 15 to 28 percentage points more likely to have received vaccinations against deadly diseases such as Measles, Tuberculosis, and Diphtheria, than children in control areas,” Dr Ebirim explained.
NI -ABAE has been operating the conditional cash transfers for routine immunization program in Katsina State since 2017. Since its inception, the program has enrolled over 110,000 infants whose caregivers had received more than ₦320 million in verifiable direct cash disbursements across the state.
The program’s indirect investments in Katsina state’s economy, has seen over ₦160 million spent in 2020 on disbursements, salaries, engagement of community helpers, support to government health agencies, amongst others which had led to a significant increase chances of receiving vaccination against deadly diseases by between 15% to 28%, among children in areas where the programme operates, according to the national immunization schedule.
Also speaking at the meeting, Yakubu Nuhu Danja, the Katsina State Commissioner of Health, said New Incentives was playing a significant role in strengthening access to routine immunization and expanding immunization coverage in the State.
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