Strengthening immunization was one of the foremost activities of EC in Nigeria. Polio was supported by a budget of €33,340,000. Routine immunisation in 6 states with a budget of €38,180,000 was implemented jointly by EPOS Health Management and the Ministry of Finance represented by the National Programme of Immunisation (now NPHCDA) and had initially been planned for a period of 5 years.
Following the initial success of outcomes in most of the 6 focal PRIME states in strengthening routine immunization services through capacity building of health care workers and support in infrastructure until 2008, a substantial extension of the project was replicating such successes in additional 17 states for another 1.5 years, with a budget of additional € 20 millions. The intervention aimed at ultimately contributing to the overall PRIME objective of reducing the burden of vaccine preventable diseases including polio in Nigeria.
The project’s strategy consisted in developing and strengthening management capacity on immunisation services at local government area, state, and federal levels leading to a progressive increase of funds allocation and utilisation.
The experts were responsible for the Management of the over 40 million Euros allocated to the Programme (planning and execution of the operational programme estimates) and for advice to the Ministries of Health on issues related to financing, planning, budgeting, training and programming, and on all matters having an incidence on the economic sustainability of routine vaccination services. This included management of the procurement of goods worth around €14 millions as well as the procurement and management of services worth around € 24 millions, visibility and communication (around € 1 million); the change agents programme (around € 1million); training and workshops (around € 7.5 millions); and support to the immunisation recurrent budget (€ around 4.5 millions) according to EDF guidelines. Health service management guidelines had been reviewed and promoted, as well as technical guidelines on immunisation, safe injection, disposal, cold chain operation, maintenance and vaccine delivery. In cooperation with national management training institutions as contractual partners, the training team provides training packages on routine immunisation and coordinate implementation, and they participated as resource in the training of trainers. A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework for PRIME was implemented, including a record system on costs. The PRIME Change Agent Programme had been successfully established to achieve a community based monitoring of quality and immunisation services with the involvement of traditional authorities.