Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has granted PROMETRA (International organization for the promotion of traditional medicine) US$ 1.
5 million to carry out the immunization of children in Benin, Nigeria and Senegal, according to a statement issued by the NGO and copied to PANA Wednesday.
"This funding is for the project titled Advocacy in immunization: Saving the lives of African children," the Senegal-based organization said.
The project will focus on the understanding of traditional healers and their involvement in the immunization programmes.
The organization PROMETRA United States will provide technical assistance to the project.
According to the statement, the project aims to develop and execute a study on public health education over a period of three years as well as on immunization in Benin, Nigeria and Senegal.
The chair of PROMETRA International, Dr.
Erick Gbodossou, said his organization would seek to conduct research and advocacy in the field of immunization of children in the three African countries.
Gbodossou said special emphasis would be put on the role of the African traditional healers and leaders of grassroots communities.
He said the study would have a measurable impact on immunization programmes meant for children by informing governments, donors and the scientific world on the role played by traditional medicine, religious leaders and grassroots communities in using immunization programmes.
The PROMETRA branches in Benin, Nigeria and Senegal will establish a partnership with associations of traditional medicine, ministries and vaccination programmes, Rotary International's National PolioPlus Committees, religious organizations and indigenous groups to execute the project.
For its part, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, based on serious and reliable studies, that nearly 80% of the population in sub-Sahara Africa had recourse to traditional practitioners to get educated in the health field and to deal with their health problems.