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Written Answers - Departmental Funding

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 464.  Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  his views on the correspondence from the Meningitis Trust dated 17 April 2012 regarding the closure of the trust due to lack of funding; if he will meet the daily cost of the trust of €216 per day in view of the important service that it provides; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23732/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly My Department administers a National Lottery Discretionary Fund from which grants are paid to community and voluntary organisations providing a range of health related services. Meningitis Trust Ireland received lottery funding from my Department in 2009 and 2010 and also from the HSE in 2009, 2010 and 2011. It must be stressed that lottery funding is once-off discretionary funding and is not intended to provide a source of ongoing revenue funding. In the current economic climate it is not possible to provide additional funding to charities.

The HSE National Immunisation Office has responsibility for the implementation of the childhood immunisation programme in Ireland. Immunisation protects against many illnesses including meningitis and a number of vaccines in the current schedule protect against certain forms of meningitis e.g. Hib, MMR, MenC and PCV. Through the ongoing endeavours of the HSE, targeted media campaigns and interventions in specific areas, vaccination rates have increased. During 2011, for the first time, a 95% uptake rate, the target set by WHO has been achieved for 6 in 1 vaccinations. This means that more children than ever will be protected.

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