By Joy Odor
The Executive Director of the National Primary HealthCare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib has affirmed that Nigeria is still far in achieving its set target of vaccinating 70 per cent of her eligible population with COVID-19 vaccine by September 2022.
Dr. Shuaib who gave the affirmation during the ministerial press briefing organised by the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja on Monday regretted that of the 111,776,503 eligible Nigerian residents target for the entire vaccination cycle, only 21,236,404 of Nigerians have been fully vaccinated with mix of COVID-19 vaccine.
Represented the Director of Planning and Research Dr. Abdullahi Bulama Garba, the ED of NPHCDA also informed that from the 21,236,404 Nigerians fully vaccinated, 28,426,564 people were partially vaccinated, indicating 19.05 per cent and 25.4 per cent respectively.
“As at 10pm yesterday, the 19th of June 202, of the 111,776,503 eligible Nigerian residents target for the entire vaccination cycle, a total of 21,236,404 people were fully vaccinated with different mix of COVID-19 vaccines while 28,426,564 people were partially vaccinated, indicating 19.05 per cent and 25.4 per cent respectively” he said.
Dr Shuaib therefore lamented that aggressive actions needed to be taken to fast-track the process to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 infection in Nigeria, nothing that this is why the agency introduced concept of mass vaccination exercise across the country strategies being adopted to achieve the objective.
According to him, the concept is been further reinforced with concept of service integration where COVID-19 vaccines are given along with other high impact health interventions like routine immunisation, among others.
“Another major strategies was the expansion of the vaccination sites to include all the publicly owned PHC, secondary and tertiary health facilities, public, private corporate bodies and selected private health facilities. We have also created mass vaccinations sites in stadium, shopping malls, markets, religious houses, motor packs and in careful selected/trained pharmaceutical stores” he said.
On her own contribution, the Head and Director Family Health Department, Dr. Salma Ibrahim Anas who gave update on the present challenges posed by Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the country said about two million Nigerians are still at risk of female genital mutilation, while 200 million persons face similar risk globally.
According to her, the partnership with the Ministry of Health and United Nations in five States aimed at awareness creation on the hazards of FGM and ways to reduce the practices and ensure inclusion of FGM in cases, into the National Health Management information Systems.
She said achievement were made and part of the achievements were targeted at young girls and over 3,700 girls were saved from fertility FGM as a result of the awareness that took place in the states, while 730,000 men and religious leaders are trained on the negative impact of the FGM.
“Moving now to another aspect where progress was made. Nigeria remains committed to the provision of quality access to family planning commodities and services to women of reproductive age group, adolescent and including men to ensure that we have the right number of sides for our families. We also have healthy living.
” I called on Nigerians to join hands and work together with the ministry of Health at the national level. Of course, we will collaborate with the state primary health care agencies and ensure that we provide up to more services and more awareness on the protection of the health of women included questions” she said.
However, the Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa in his update said the centre was making efforts to keep the various infectious disease outbreaks at bay.
Speaking on Monkeypox infection in the country, the NCDC DG said as of June 19, 2022, 41 confirmed Monkeypox cases and one death had been reported.
He said among the 41 cases reported in 2022 so far, “there has been no evidence of any new or unusual transmission of the virus (such as spreading among the MSM group), nor changes in its clinical manifestation documented in Nigeria (including symptoms, profile and virulence) as compared to other countries in the global north reporting cases.”
He said globally, between the January 1 and June 15, 2022, a cumulative total of 2,103 laboratory confirmed cases, one probable case, and one death were reported to WHO from 42 countries in five WHO Regions.
He said with the commencement of the Hajj Pilgrimage on June 9, the NCDC supported the Port Health Services to ensure pilgrims met the health protocol requirements.
“We continue to strengthen diagnostic capacity by adding new laboratories to the COVID-19 network. We continue to engage with states to ensure regular reporting and response continuity.
“We have ensured continued working with NYSC camps for safe reopening to minimise infection risk,” he said.
Dr Adetif said the NCDC has been part of many conversations in recent weeks on monkeypox and was pushing for the de-stigmatisation of the disease and renaming.