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New Incentives runs a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program in North West Nigeria (Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara) which 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.
By incentivizing these four vaccines (BCG, PENTA, PCV, MCV), New Incentives is able to indirectly promote all vaccines that are part of the routine immunization schedule in Nigeria.
Conditional cash transfer programmes (CCTs) give money to low-income households in return for fulfilling specific behavioural conditions. These conditions include for example children's school attendance, up-to-date vaccinations or regular visits to a health care facility by pregnant women. CCTs have a direct effect on poverty by providing an immediate additional income for the poor. They can make their own choices as to how to spend or save this money. (Source)
New Incentives is a pioneer in a growing movement of giving small incentives to caregivers whose infants get immunized, while increasing awareness of the health benefits of childhood vaccinations.
The program is conducted with the approval of and in close collaboration with the Governments of Katsina, Zamfara and Jigawa State in North West Nigeria. According to the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, North West Nigeria is the region with the lowest vaccination coverage in Nigeria with only around one quarter of the infants getting fully immunized, leaving a large population of infants vulnerable to disease outbreaks.
New Incentives offers conditional cash transfers (CCTs) to incentivize infant vaccination in North West Nigeria. There is strong evidence that expanding vaccination reduces illness and death among young children. CCTs could plausibly be a cost-effective way to increase vaccination rates among children in areas like North West Nigeria where vaccine supply is adequate but uptake is low.
I think Conditional Cash Transfer programs are as close as you can come to a magic bullet in development. They are creating an incentive for families to invest in their own children’s futures. Every decade or so, we see something that can really make a difference, and this is one of those things.