By Joy Odor
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has affirmed that there are 220 confirmed cases of Monkeypox from 530 suspected victims and four deaths from 29 states in Nigeria as of August 14, 2022.
The Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Ifedayo made this known at the Ministerial Press briefing on COVID-19 Response and Development in the Health Sector in Abuja on Tuesday.
He explained that monkeypox vaccine may not be available until 2023, noting that the Center is looking into obtaining treatments as a key priority to offer people who are at the highest risk of severe disease, hospitalisation and deaths.
Dr. Adetifa said alot more doses will become available but because of challenges with manufacturing factories and unexpected uptick in monkeypox cases.
He opined that this means there is a need for coordinated and concerted international response given the unexpected and exponential rise in cases in countries that are not reporting monkeypox cases.
The NCDC Boss maintained that the Center is continuing it’s efforts to strengthen surveillance from the national and subnational levels to ensure that it actively conduct risk communication and community engagement.
“There are 220 confirmed cases from 530 suspected cases of Monkeypox and four deaths from 29 states in the country as of August 14, 2022.
“Since the first of January 2022, 96 countries in the world have reported more than a total of 40,000 confirmed monkeypox cases including 12 deaths.
“We are also looking into obtaining treatments as a key priority so that we have an option to offer people who are at the highest risk of severe disease, hospitalisation and deaths.
“As we know the situation with monkeypox vaccine access is very topical, but there are not enough doses of vaccines. But given our own local epidemiology, we believe that looking for therapeutic options is the way to go” he noted
Dr. Adetifa disclosed that there have state level trainings on going with state epidemiology teams involving infectious diseases experts as well as the representatives of both the National Infectious Diseases Society and National Association of Dermatologists.
On the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) report, Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib said Nigeria has vaccinated 41,235,148 of its eligible population with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of 23rd August 2022.
This, Dr Shuabi added that, represented 36.9 percent of the country’s eligible population.
NPHCDA ED said the number of eligible persons who had been fully vaccinated currently stands at 29,052,850, stressing that the proportion of the total eligible population that have been fully vaccinated in Nigeria was 26 percent.
He explained that it has also commenced execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Traditional Rulers from the South-West geopolitical zone as measures to improve primary healthcare delivery services for the people.
Dr Shuabi said the MoU 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.
NPHCDA ED 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.
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.
Dr Ehanire saw the collaboration as a good opportunity to drive the development and wellbeing of the people down to the grassroots.
“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” he noted.