120 outbreaks of vaccine-derived polio reported in Nigeria
By Gistflash News
Sept 6, 2021
The Representative of the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria, Dr Peter Hawkins, has disclosed that a massive outbreak of vaccine-derived polio has been reported in Nigeria.
Hawkins disclosed this in his remarks at the third Quarter Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Primary Health Cares (PHC) review meeting on Monday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Vaccine-derived cases are rare, and they differ from wild cases. There are two kinds of polio cases; Wild cases of polio are caused by poliovirus that is circulating naturally in the environment.
Vaccine-derived polioviruses are extremely rare and exist under specific circumstances. Oral polio vaccine contains live virus that is weakened so that it will prompt the body’s immune response without causing paralysis.
He noted that that vaccine is ingested, and the weakened virus replicates in the child’s gut and is then excreted.
“In areas with poor sanitation, this excreted vaccine virus can spread to other children. This can actually be good because it then immunizes them. When the strain no longer finds susceptible children, it dies out,” he added.
Hawkins warned against the dangers of undermining routine immunization.
“The problem occurs in areas of low vaccination. There, such vaccine-derived strains of the virus can continue to circulate as long as they continue to find unvaccinated or otherwise susceptible children.
“While they continue to circulate, they mutate. Eventually, if they are allowed to circulate long enough, at least 12 months, they can mutate into strains that are strong enough to cause paralysis.,” he explained.
He assured that the oral polio vaccine had reduced the number of polio cases by 99.9 percent. Noting that the risk posed by wild poliovirus was far greater than the risk of an outbreak caused by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus:
The Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed that the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; (Ọjájá II), is providing leadership in the systematic engagement of the Traditional leaders in the SouthWest with the Southwest Traditional Leaders’ Committee on PHC delivery that was inaugurated by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, on Sept. 2, 2021, at his Imperial Majesty’s palace, Ile-Ife.
“This shows that our traditional leaders have the interest of their community at heart and are collaborating with the Government in ensuring basic healthcare services are available to the people,” he said.
Shuaib noted that with the different disease outbreaks that the country is currently contending with, it was imperative that the approach becomes more integrated.
“This is because they are all interwoven. Amidst COVID-19, we have Cholera, CVDPV2 which is as a result of suboptimal routine immunization in some parts of the country.
“As we conduct outbreak response campaigns, we need to find a way to integrate our responses for efficient utilization of available resources and to enhance confidence in our people,” he added.
The NPHCDA noted that the Integration would also enhance the agency’s determination to continue to safeguard the wild polio virus free status.
“Consequently, Your Highnesses, mobilization, sensitization, advocacy and role modelling efforts should target multiple interventions simultaneously.
“It is in the spirit of integration that we have adopted what we call the PSI (primary health care services integration) or ‘the whole of family approach’ for this second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination.
“It entails checking the blood pressure and assessing the diabetes risk status of clients 40 years and above and screening children 0 to 12 months for malnutrition and routine immunization status,” he explained.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative, Dr Kofi Boateng, EPI Focal Point, Universal Health Coverage (UHC), said that the meeting was in the right direction, noting that the role traditional institutions played in the eradication of diseases such as polio was achieved due to lead position they played in the society.
Boateny stressed that in the delivery of quality PHC and the attainment of UHC, health security and routine immunization by the traditional leaders were crucial.
“Traditional leaders are needed for monitoring and accountability in the implementation of health policy to ensure health security,” he added.
Also speaking, Alhaji Samala Muhammadu Mera, the Emir of Argungu, assured that the committee is working to ensure that all eligible Nigerians take the COVID-19 vaccines as they become available.
Mera said the committee working with traditional and religious leaders is taking steps to educate citizens in their community on the safety of the vaccines and the danger of not taking it.
He said that nearly all village and District heads have taken the vaccine as a ways of setting example for others to follow.
He said, “What we intend to do as a committee is that we want to lead by example. I have taken my two shots and I believe every member of the committee has taken. We have also advised and guided our councillors and members to also take it.
FG converts National Blood Service to commission
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
The Federal Government has established the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) to replace the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) to coordinate, regulate and ensure the provision of safe, quality blood transfusion services.
This is contained in a statement by Abdullahi Haruna, the commission’s Head of Media and Publicity on Saturday, in Abuja.
It explained that the NBTS was formerly a unit under the Department of Hospital Services in the Federal Ministry of Health, which was passed by the National Assembly and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It also disclosed that Dr Omale Joseph-Amedu, the National Coordinator, would serve as the Acting Director-General of the commission in line with the provisions of the Act establishing the commission.
“Commission which has the statutory mandate to coordinate, regulate and ensure the provision of safe, quality blood transfusion services on a country- wide basis within the national health plan.
“Therefore, the commission is legally mandated to ensure proper compliance with the National Blood Service Guidelines and standards.
“It will also maintain a system of quality assurance at all levels of service, encourage research in all aspects of blood transfusion services and promote the rational use of blood, blood products and alternatives to blood where appropriate.
“The commission which takes effect immediately as National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) has communicated that its new name and status more aptly reflects the mandate of ensuring the availability of safe, quality and adequate blood services to all Nigerians,” it stated
UK donates 1.2m COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria – Envoy
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
COVID-19: 4, 680,000 Nigerians vaccinated – NPHCDA
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says 4,680,000 Nigerians have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19 .
The Executive Director /Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this during the South South zonal town hall meeting on COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday in Benin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the town hall meeting was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, in collaboration with NPHCDA and the Edo government.
Shuaib noted that out of the 4,680,000 million vaccinated Nigerians, about 1,865,127 were fully vaccinated with the two doses.
He stated that the figure was below the nation’s target ,adding that the threats posed by the virus could prevent the country from returning to normal living.
“I will like to encourage us to use our good offices to encourage eligible members of our community to visit the nearest designated health facility to receive the vaccine.
“All the vaccines are currently available in designated vaccination sites across the country and are safe and effective,” he said.
According to him, in the course of the next few weeks, NPHCDA plans to gradually involve the private sector as sites for COVID-19 vaccination.
Shuaib, however, disclosed that the Federal Government had set up a Joint Task Force on COVID-19 vaccine for monitoring and accountability in collaboration with the security agencies.
Earlier, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the town hall was organised to discuss COVID-19 vaccination, address mutual concerns and reach a consensus to ensure citizens were safe and protected against the deadly coronavirus.
Ehanire, said Nigeria had so far lost 2000 of her citizens to COVID-19, adding that the virus had also affected the nation’s GDP.
According to him ,the government needs to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population to effectively curb the spread of the virus.
“The way out off this is to get vaccinated because those who have taken the vaccine have full protection while the unvaccinated are exposed to danger,” he said
He disclosed that the Federal Government was working with the private sector for the production of vaccine in the country.
According to the minister, records have shown that over 90 per cent of deaths recorded from COVID-19 are from unvaccinated persons.
Also speaking, Gov. Godwin Obaseki said the state had so far vaccinated over 130,000 residents against the virus.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Osaigbovo Iyokha, Obaseki said the state target was to vaccinate 60 per cent of the population.
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