COVID-19: WHO counsels Nigerians on the need to build on gains achieved by vaccination
By Gistflash News
Aug 11, 2021
The World Health Organization (WHO), has asked Nigeria to double down on the COVID-19 prevention measures and build on the fragile gains achieved given that less than two percent of the total population had been fully vaccinated.
The WHO country Representative, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, told a press briefing on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Mulombo added that Nigerians must be mindful of discontinuing public health and social measures such as maintaining physical distance, avoiding crowded places and always observing hand hygiene.
“Relaxing them too early could see us losing some of the gains that vaccines have enabled us to make,” he said.
To boost the uptake of vaccines, government, traditional and religious institutions as well as community influencers need to scale up operations, investments on operational costs and step up sensitization efforts to address vaccine hesitancy, Mulombo added.
He noted that as Nigeria anticipates use of multiple vaccine types, it was important to draw up strategies that would ensure vaccine doses were efficiently administered, with rollout plans aiming for a high uptake in priority population groups and providing equitable access to achieve significant vaccination coverage.
Mulombo added that countries deploying multiple vaccines like Nigeria had provided useful lessons as to how to administer them by rolling out vaccines with a shorter shelf life first.
“Rollout Pfizer/Moderna in capital city where there is ultra-cold chain storage and other vaccines that can last longer in fridges, in districts, collaborate with private sector to enhance rollout.
“Use Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (one doses ) for hard-to-reach populations in districts and two-dose vaccines in fixed sites in the centre,” he stated of the other lessons learnt from such countries.
He reminded the media of their responsibility, saying that they still had a huge social responsibility to the COVID-19 pandemic response in the country.
“Reporting public health issues translates into your surveillance function in the society. With society still grappling with conspiracy theories and infodemics, the credible information that you provide will enhance knowledge and understanding.
“It will, undoubtedly give individuals the power and confidence to engage as partners with their health service providers when not clear about vaccine safety or efficacy,” Mulombo said.
He stated that the WHO would continue to support the Nigerian government to implement measures that would maximize the impact of the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination, including simplifying the rollout at local levels as well as minimizing wastage.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the latest data available for WHO Africa Region showed that weekly COVID-19 deaths in Africa reached a record peak in the week of Aug. 1, marking the highest seven-day toll since the onset of the pandemic on the continent.
Africa is presently in the throes of its third wave, recording more cases than any earlier peak, according to WHO.
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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