Nigeria: 41,235,148 Nigerians Have Received Covid-19 Vaccines – NPHCDA

The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) yesterday disclosed that the country has successfully vaccinated 41,235,148 of its eligible population with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of 23rd August 2022.

This represented 36.9 percent of the country’s eligible population.

Also yesterday, the federal government said it has commenced execution of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with traditional rulers from the south-west geopolitical zone as part measures to improve primary healthcare delivery services for the people.

This was just as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) revealed that the country has so far recorded 220 confirmed cases of Monkey Pox and four casualties in 29 states.

Speaking at the maiden Quarterly review meeting of the Southwest Traditional Leaders Committee on primary health care delivery (SWTLC) held in Abuja, the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib said: “As of 23rd August 2022, Nigeria has successfully vaccinated 41,235,148 of its eligible population with the first dose and this represents 36.9 percent of its eligible population.”

He also said the number of eligible persons who had been fully vaccinated currently stands at 29,052,850, adding that the proportion of the total eligible population that have been fully vaccinated in Nigeria was 26 percent.

On the MoU, he said the expectations were that the committee would, “adopt an operational guide for members support to PHC programs and interventions (COVID-19 vaccination, polio, measles, yellow fever, rotavirus, all other routine vaccinations, maternal, newborn, and childhood nutrition) in the areas of role modeling, community advocacy, mobilisation and sensitisation, resource mobilisation and monitoring.”

While welcoming the traditional rulers, he said similar MoU would also be signed with traditional rulers from the South-east and South-south geographical zones before the end of the year.

He said the agency in collaboration with donors and development partners has acquired new tools and resources to ensure that the importation of Wild Poliovirus into the country is averted.

Earlier, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said the purpose of the MoU was to focus on primary healthcare delivery and to help serve as a platform for the delivery of medicine and vaccines for the routine immunisation across the country.

“So the whole emphasis is being placed on primary healthcare delivery and we are using this opportunity rally the royal fathers to support the federal government in this direction,” he added.

The minister who lamented that the country’s poor health indices had become a source of embarrassment, said the target of reversing the trend was being achieved, beginning with the meeting held with the royal fathers yesterday.

“I understand that this meeting is to kick-start the implementation of the MoU on the systematic engagement of traditional leaders in the South-west zone between the federal government through NPHCDA and our esteemed Royal fathers.

“This is a step in the right direction. I want to commend your Majesties for agreeing to partner with the government on primary health care delivery and for your passion and commitment to ensuring the wellbeing of Nigerians, especially the people of the South-west zone,” he said.

While justifying the synergy with traditional rulers, Ehanire saw the collaboration as a good opportunity to drive the development and wellbeing of the people down to the grassroots.

“We are leveraging the respect our people have for tradition and culture and the influence of our traditional leaders, to improve the health and well-being of the people.

“The federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari holds in high esteem our traditional institution, thus this partnership which we are consolidating today is in fulfilment of that high regard and respect.

“Our traditional institution is pivotal to whatever we do in all sectors, especially in health and government is conscious of the fact that alone, it cannot effectively safeguard the health of the people without the support of our Royal fathers.”

“Our achievement of a wild polio virus free status in 2020 would not have been possible without the support of traditional leaders across the country.

“I look forward to this Committee intensifying our community mobilisation efforts and advocating to our political leaders at all levels the unquantifiable benefits of investing in the health sector, particularly in primary health care, which is the closest to the people,” he added.

The Chairman of the South West Traditional Rulers Council, His Imperial Majesty, the Oni of Ife who spoke on behalf of all the traditional rulers from the South-west, commended the federal government and the NPHCDA for initiating the idea of setting up the committee.

He said the traditional rulers have an important role of taking care of their people, adding the royal fathers should now look beyond expectations from the government to contributing their quota towards improving the health conditions of their people.

When asked to assess the state of primary healthcare in his area, the Oni said: ” So far so good the MoU is good and we are not just talking, we are working the talk.

“We have the Primary Health Unit under the Ministry of Health at the state level and they are working with us. We have seen that they are very serious, very responsible and their efforts have been very impactful, you can see the result through the zero polio in Nigeria and the fact incidence of female genital mutilation is actually going out of fashion.”

Nigeria Records 220 Cases of Monkey Pox Disease, Four Deaths, Says NCDC

Meanwhile, the NCDC has revealed that the country has so far recorded 220 confirmed cases of Monkey Pox and four casualties in 29 states.

It stated that, “from January 1 to August 14, 2022, there have been 530 suspected cases, 220 confirmed cases and four deaths reported from 29 states.”

While presenting an update on infectious disease prevalance in Nigeria at a special monthly briefing by the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja, yesterday, the Director General of the NCDC, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa also said Nigeria has recorded a total of 3,610 suspected cases of Cholera including 91 deaths from 31 states in 2022.

According to the DG, out of the suspected cases of Cholera since the beginning of the year, the age group of five years was the most affected for male and female.

He assured that NCDC was intensifying surveillance and risk communication efforts in addition to plans to review the National Cholera Plan.

On the COVID-19 update, Adetifa said Nigeria has had 5,441,162 samples tested, 262,748 confirmed cases, 256,518 discharged cases and 3,147 deaths.

He revealed that the top five states with the highest cumulative number of cases were Lagos, FCT, Rivers, Kaduna, and Oyo.

He further explained that in 2021, Nigeria had a high burden of COVID-19 cases compared to this year.

He, however, observed that in recent weeks, some states have recorded increases in confirmed cases.

The NCDC boss said his agency was engaging partners to review the implementation roadmap for enhancing COVID-19 rapid tests and self-testing.

He added that NCDC teams are also liaising with states for disease surveillance reports, contact tracing and other activities to prevent and respond to COVID-19.

Adetifa maintained that the NCDC was focusing efforts on effective public health response to stop transmission and contain disease outbreak

With regard to the threat posed by the outbreak of Marburg disease in Ghana, Adetifa said the NCDC-led multi-sectoral National Emerging Viral Haemorrhagic Diseases Working Group (EVHDWG) had been set up to coordinate preparedness efforts for MVD, and other emerging viral haemorrhagic diseases conducted a rapid risk assessment to guide in-country preparedness activities last month

However, he said that available data suggested that the overall risk of the disease on the Nigerian population is moderate.

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