New Incentive, an International Non-Governmental Organization, has received a grant of $29 million. The grant is for their project “All Babies Are Equal.” Its purpose is to reach over a million caregivers. They would enable them to immunize their babies against childhood killer diseases in Nigeria. The project will focus on four Northwest States in Nigeria. The states are; Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara.
Some of the diseases the project is tackling are tuberculosis, tetanus, and measles. Others include diphtheria, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type b. It would also tackle pneumococcal disease.
Nura Muhammad, the Stakeholder Relations Director, New Incentive – All Babies Are Equal, disclosed the information. This was during a meeting in Kano with stakeholders from the benefiting states. He stated that they would disburse the grant as a conditional cash transfer to support the caregivers. This is to ensure they avail their infants for Immunization.
The grant is set to last for the next three (3) years. It would cover expansion to 35 LGAs with continued operations through Dec 2023.
“The organization aims to reduce child mortality through cost-effective and evidence-based health interventions. In Nigeria, the organization operates as the All Babies Are Equal Initiative and implements the conditional cash transfers (CCT) for routine immunization (CCTs for RI) program.” He explained.
“The flagship CCTs for RI program operated by ABAE disburses cash incentives to caregivers conditional on infants receiving four vaccines: BCG (against tuberculosis), PENTA (against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b), PCV (against pneumococcal disease), and MCV (against measles). These vaccinations are part of the routine schedule for infant immunizations in Nigeria and are provided at no cost to the caregiver through government-supported clinics.
He mentioned that the cash transfers would compensate for transport, lost trading income, and waiting time. He explained that after confirmation of an infant’s vaccination, they would give the caregiver ₦500 for the first four routine immunization visits. The caregiver would receive ₦2,000 for the fifth visit.
“The CCTs for RI Program has been implemented in the states of Katsina, Zamfara, 2017 while Jigawa in 2018. To date, the program has enrolled over 390,000 infants whose caregivers have received over 1 billion Naira in conditional cash transfers.” He stated.
He also noted that the NI-ABAE had conducted an independent impact assessment of its CCTs for RI program (2017 – 2020). The assessment found that the program increases the likelihood that children would be fully immunized by 27%. It also increases rates of individual vaccinations by 14 to 21%. The assessment also showed that their impact was educational. The assessment found that they improved the knowledge about vaccinations among the caregivers.