Welcome to Nigeria. At 186 million, the most populous country in Africa and the 7th most populous country in the world. And after India and China, home to the third-largest youth population in the world with almost 50% of the population under the age of 18. Inhabited by 250 ethnic groups speaking 250 languages and spanning a wide variety of cultures, Nigeria is also Africa’s largest economy (and the world’s 20th largest economy) with a nominal GDP in excess of $500 billion.

Nigeria has been identified as a regional power in Africa and an emerging global power and is classified as an emerging market by the World Bank.

However, Nigeria has a very low Human Development Index (HDI), ranking only 157 in the UN’s 2018 Human Development Index, below many of her neighbours like Cameroon, Angola, Kenya to name a few.

Among other factors dragging down Nigeria’s HDI is the fact that Nigeria has the third highest infant mortality rate in the world. And that Nigeria has the largest number of unvaccinated children in the world. In fact, Nigeria’s coverage for Diphtheria, Tetanus toxoids and Pertussis – DTP3 was only 49% in 2016.

Nigeria imports all of her vaccines, spending between four to six billion Naira annually to purchase vaccines through UNICEF. Till now, this purchase has been supported by the GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) program. Started with a $750 million pledge from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, GAVI was created to ensure access to vaccines for children in the world’s poorest countries. With the rapid growth in Nigeria’s economy, Nigeria has surpassed the criteria set by GAVI for access to free supplies, meaning over the next few years funding support from GAVI may totally stop.

Nigeria now has an advanced national immunization schedule with most the contemporary and essential vaccines either already introduced or scheduled to be soon introduced into her Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI). Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) and Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) have already been introduced, while Rotavirus Vaccine (RVV) and Human Papilloma Virus Vaccines (HPV) are likely to be introduced soon. The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) estimates that the annual requirement to sustain the immunization program will be around USD 327 million by 2020.

With funding support winding down and the high cost of continued import of vaccines and the urgent need to maintain the vaccination program, local vaccines manufacturing became the need of the hour to ensure affordability & availability of essential and contemporary vaccines at home and in surrounding regions. Reduction in the cost of manufacturing vaccines can not only enable affordable, equitable and sustainable immunization on a national, regional and global scale, it will also enable manufacturers to develop sustainable and viable business models around the business of vaccines.

This confluence of circumstances gave birth to our clients, BioVaccines Nigeria Ltd (BVNL), a joint venture between May & Baker Nigeria and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Our mandate as strategic advisors to BVNL in their mission to indigenize vaccine manufacturing was to draft a comprehensive master project plan and strategy to prioritise vaccines and enable indigenous manufacturing in Nigeria. Our brief also involved facilitating funding for the project and assistance in creating strategic regional and global alliances.

We drafted a NICE (Nigeria immunization Coverage Enhancement-Initiative) strategy to further BVNL’s mission. Our five-pronged approach involved:

  1. Infrastructure for capacity building for local manufacturing of essential vaccines
  2. Infrastructure for development of novel vaccines critical for the region
  3. Institution to support in enhancing awareness and coverage of EPI vaccines in Nigeria
  4. Support in setting up an NCL & strengthening the NRA to make it fully functional.
  5. Forum to nurture and develop local technical talent to support the capacity building initiative

We’ve completed Stage 1 of the assignment, creating a comprehensive plan with three strategic options covering business viability while meeting Nigeria’s needs in terms of self-sufficiency for essential vaccines. The NICE initiative, focussed on Capacity Building, is expected to have a significant impact on vaccine access in Nigeria. BVNL has solicited the support of UN healthcare agencies and NGOs in amplifying their efforts to in synergy with ongoing initiatives in preventive healthcare in Nigeria and the neighbouring region.

How we can help you

We offer our expertise and support to companies and organisations of all sizes as well as lifesciences investors and select academia. By working with us you will benefit from our incomparable domain knowledge and proven experience coupled with innovative strategies to ensure timely success for your initiative.

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