In line with the vision of the Government of Nigeria to integrate all Primary Health Care (PHC) services under one plan, one team and one budget to optimize resources and deliver all services efficiently for one team, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) is integrating COVID-19 vaccination with Polio Supplemental Immunization Activities (NPSIA) campaigns, Routine Immunization Services (RI) and vitamin A supplementation.
Integrated campaigns started in 3 states (e.g. Lagos, Ogun, Gombe) in June 2022. Also, recognizing that many children were left out of RI, NPHCDA, World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF , Gavi and its partners collaborated with the States to roll out a Zero Dose (Children Who Never Received a Vaccine) Drop Operational Planning (ZDROP).
In Lagos state, the immunization campaign aims to reach more than 5.4 million children aged 0 to 59 months with oral polio vaccine (bOPV), more than 4 million children aged 9 to 59 months against measles and almost 5 million with vitamin A, while to those over 18 years old millions of people over 18 for COVID-19 vaccines.
Ms. Ope A, 39, a mother of three residing in the Alimosho Local Government Area (LGA), is passionate about children's health and was grateful that all vaccines were available and could be administered during the campaign.
Seeing the vaccinators, she called other mothers in the neighborhood to get their children vaccinated.
“Bringing all vaccines to our doors is a good strategy since parents will no longer have excuses for not showing their children to be vaccinated.
I have met many mothers who have not taken their children to the clinic to be vaccinated, and I always advise them that vaccination keeps the child healthy,” he said.
In addition to providing IR to children, the team distributed COVID-19 vaccines to those over 18 years of age.
For example, Mr. Oluwademilade, a father of two residing in Yaba LGA, Lagos State, was one of the parents who took advantage of the integrated campaign and received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“My wife and I had no excuse because the vaccinators brought the COVID-19 vaccine along with other essential childhood vaccines,” he said.
Similarly, Ms Favour, a mother of two residing in Kosofe LGA, Lagos State, said: “I like that they have brought us the COVID-19 vaccine this time with the vaccination of the children because, in previous years , only children were considered. .
Having received all full doses of the COVID-19 vaccine prior to the campaign, Ms. Favor said the initiative would encourage adults who have not yet received their vaccinations to do so.
Reinforcing the importance of effective immunization activities throughout the state, Ms. Shagari, an official with the NPHCDA, said that “the reason for integration is to reach all communities and hard-to-reach areas and offer them the best services in terms of immunization for both adults and children. The goal of integration is being achieved as the records and data collected during the campaign, especially on vaccination against COVID-19, indicated that many novices were being vaccinated,” she said.
Keeping polio at bay
While the focus of the campaign is measles, an opportunity arose to administer polio vaccines to eligible children in every state, to contain the spread of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2).
As of December 2021, Nigeria had recorded a total of 1,028 confirmed cVPV2s from different sources in 31 states. This represented more than 70% of cases in the African Region.
In Gombe state, the immunization campaign aims to reach more than 700,000 children aged 0-59 months with bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV), more than 700,000 children aged 6 months to 59 months with measles and vitamins A and 2 million people ages 18 and older for COVID-19 vaccines.
Mr. Musa Muhammed, a resident of Funakaye LGA, Gombe State, and a father of five, praised the tenacity of the government and partners in keeping children safe in his locality.
“Vaccination teams visit our community regularly as they were also here less than two months ago. Carrying out vaccination of children with the COVID-19 vaccine is also a welcome intervention because it will encourage those who have not yet received the vaccine to accept it,” he said.
“Integrating NPSIAs (eg measles, yellow fever, meningitis) with PHC and other services, including COVID-19, will allow us to use one activity to capture a wide range of the population, says Executive Secretary, Gombe State. Primary Health Care Development Agency (GSPHCDA)”, Dr. AbdulRahman Shuaibu.
Dr. Shuaibu also highlighted that the innovative approach will maximize the cost of running the campaign.
Furthermore, Dr. Adamu Haruna Ismaila, WHO Northeast Zonal Coordinator, explained that the integrated approach “is essential as the country must ensure that all eligible children are vaccinated in accordance with the Gavi-funded ZDROP through the WHO.
The implementation of ZDROP
As part of the process to address equity issues and linkage to Gavi 5.0 and the Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030), the campaign focused on the use of SIA to reach children with zero dose. ZDROP has been integrated into these campaigns to further improve vaccination reach, especially in 313 low-performing, underserved and hard-to-reach settlements in 59 districts in 13 LGAs in Lagos, Gombe and Ogun states. A total of 39,659; 49,633; and 91,699 zero-dose children received bOPV, measles vaccine, and yellow fever vaccine, respectively, in the 3 states between June 17 and July 6, 2022.
WHO supported planning activities by conducting trainings at both the national and state levels, and by overseeing implementation activities.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, says the COVID-19 vaccine trains the immune system to create antibodies.
Shuaib told News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja, that the COVID-19 vaccines helped the immune system to make antibodies which serve as proteins that fight off infections and diseases.
“If you get vaccinated and then come in contact with the particular bacteria or virus that causes the disease of which you are vaccinated against, your immune system will recognise it and will offer you some level of protection by producing the right antibodies.
“The COVID-19 vaccination offers partial protection within two weeks of the first dose. This is why it is recommended that all doses of the vaccine are taken for longer-term protection against the virus,” he said.
According to the NPHCDA boss, the spike protein on the COVID-19 vaccine allows it to enter the human cells, which helps the body make antibodies that recognise this spike protein in the virus and fight it off.
“This means that if you choose to take a vaccine, you are less likely to get severely sick if you encounter the virus,” he said.
According to him, it is safer to gain protection against the disease by taking the COVID-19 vaccine because the vaccines do not contain a live virus and cannot cause disease.
The NPHCDA boss said that choosing to get the COVID-19 vaccine was good for all eligible Nigerians and their loved ones.
According to him, as more eligible Nigerians take the vaccine, fewer people would become sick and there would be reduction in the progression of the disease.
He said that this would help to protect everyone in the community who cannot take a vaccine, like children and other vulnerable people.
“This is called herd immunity or herd protection,” he said.
He said that, as with all vaccines, some side effects might occurred after the COVID-19 vaccine.
“This does not mean that the vaccine is not safe. Common side effects can affect at least one in 10 people who take the vaccine.
“These reactions are usually mild and last only a day or two. They are part of the body’s normal immune response to a vaccine.
“Not everyone will experience side effects after the vaccine. If you do not have any side effects, the vaccine is still working,” he said.
He said that the COVID-19 vaccine was free, safe and effective, adding that the country had four brands of COVID-19 vaccines received from the COVAX Facility and the African Union.
“They are AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines.
“A booster dose is the additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine taken after the full dose of any brand of the vaccine for further protection against the virus.
“For a two-dose vaccine, the booster dose will be the third dose while for a single-dose vaccine, the booster dose will be the second dose.
“You need a booster dose because as the COVID-19 virus keeps mutating, a booster dose is recommended to enhance your immunity and provide you further protection against the emerging variants,” he said.
He said that the vaccine neither affected one’s fertility nor altered the DNA.
“It is available and accessible to all eligible Nigerians,” he said.
Shuaib said that the agency had implemented strategies aimed at ensuring that COVID-19 vaccines reached the last far-flung places.
“The strategies are supported by partners to achieve the desired coverage across the country.
“Places in armed conflict, and hard-to-reach locations have also been prioritised by NPHCDA and partners, and will never be forgotten during this pandemic,” he said.
He said that, to ensure the actualisation of the agency’s strategies, the COVID-19 vaccination programme was leveraging on the PHC revitalisation objectives.
“The current approach for delivery of COVID-19 vaccines known as optimised SCALES 2.0 strategy, entails the integration of COVID-19 Vaccines with PHC services.
“This means that parents and caregivers with children or wards aged zero to two years are encouraged to bring their children along to the COVID-19 vaccination site where childhood vaccines are available.
“While the adult receives COVID-19 vaccines, the children are assessed and are given the required antigens. This makes the vaccination exercise more family friendly.
“We believe this will further motivate eligible persons, including pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” he said.
He urged Nigerians to visit the nearest PHC to inquire about the immunisation schedule.
He, however, urged Health care workers to provide accurate information about the benefits of immunisation and immunisation schedule to parents and caregivers.
Meanwhile as of July 4, about 23,627,968 of total eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination, in the country had been fully vaccinated.
A total of 11,948,229 eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination, were partially vaccinated in 36 states and the FCT.
According to the data, over 21 per cent of eligible persons have been fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Osun state emerged one of the four states to consistently vaccinate above its daily targeted number of eligible persons.
At least seven million eligible persons have been vaccinated monthly for the past three months in the country.
The data also stated that Nassarawa, Jigawa, Kano, Kwara and Kaduna States were the best performing states in the ongoing COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign across the country. .
The fears, distresses that followed the contagious epidemic – Coronavirus which practically crumbled the world economy cannot be forgotten in a hurry. The pandemic led to shutdown of all businesses, schools, religious worship centres and leisure spots except essential services.An unimaginable, unprecedented global lockdown that apart from members of nuclear families, everyone isolated, restricted closeness with other persons for fear of infection. Sneezing became like a taboo let alone coughing. Wearing of face masks, compulsory hand-washing and use of hand-sanitizer suddenly became a norm. Governments and financial institutions across the globe operated skeletally with only management staff, and mostly from home digitally. The masses living on daily incomes without huge deposits in the banks were worse hit. These incidents cannot be forgotten in a hurry. It was hitherto unbelievable.To confront the quandary squarely, nations across the globe synergized with sturdy policies, imposed travel bans on international tours, shut down airspaces, and set up jab centres for COVID vaccines. Although the concerted energies confronted severe conspiracy theories from some quarters, the fight against the pandemic was sustained. However, amid the dilemma, many people lost their lives even in the developed nations with functional primary healthcare systems including USA, Europe, among others.Strangely, these developed nations recorded the highest casualties in the COVID deaths despite their huge commitments to the primary healthcare (PHC) compared to Africa particularly Nigeria with meagre attention to the health sector.In fact, some estimates at the WHO believe that COVID-19 deaths have been undercounted across the globe and that the worldwide tally of nearly 6.3million deaths may actually be two times higher. Last month, May 2022, in the United States alone, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported that America has aggregately surpassed one million deaths attributed to the disease.One could only but imagine what would have happened if the epidemic had its way at the same rate in the developing countries in deficit vis-à-vis primary healthcare. For example, all public officeholders and the affluent class in Nigeria depend on the western world for their healthcare and nuclear families.The healthcare in Nigeria is literally left in miserable conditions for the helpless masses except private hospitals, hence the tradition for government officials to always queue for foreign medical trips, sadly from tax-payers’ coffers. Nonetheless, the pandemic created some emergency interventions to primary healthcare in Nigeria including setting up COVID vaccination centres by governments.Now, in this post-COVID pandemic, revitalizing the primary healthcare (PHC) in the country should be given a priority by the authorities as what happened during the pandemic should be an eye-opener. PHC, an ‘essential health care’ that is based on scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology is the first level of contact for individuals, family and the community with the national health system, and addresses the main health problems in the community, providing health promotion, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services accordingly.Amongst its scope are routine medical checkups, screening for common health issues, prescribing necessary medications, treatment of minor illnesses and injuries, managing chronic conditions, and management of acute health conditions. Health, it is held, is wealth. Thus, revitalizing primary healthcare will impel economic recovery in post-COVID pandemic.The second reason is the alarming WHO records which reveals that about 3,000 children die each day of preventable diseases resulting from lack of primary healthcare. Bringing it home, Nigeria from the said data represents 1 in 7 of the global maternal deaths, expressed in 119 preventable maternal deaths daily, and the impact this has on family health and child survival in general cannot be underrated.Furthermore, Nigeria is the top country in the world in terms of number of zero dose children (children who never received any single dose of vaccine since they were born). This is precarious. Necessarily, it is incumbent on the authorities to give the ‘one PHC centre per ward policy’ utmost commitment, alongside sensitization on child immunization.In Lagos state recently, Mrs. Muyiwa Idowu-Olaleye, a resident in a ward in Ifelodun LCDA narrated how an emergency call to a health worker in a PHC centre saved the life of her 6year old kid, Sidikat from Cholera infection which began at midnight and almost dried up the child by strained vomiting and stooling in the middle of the night. She wondered what could have happened if she didn’t get anticipated attention from the health worker. The above story suggests that revitalizing Primary Healthcare in every ward with efficient services is essential.Arguably, the ‘one PHC centre per ward policy’ in Lagos is rapidly gathering momentum. For instance, Lagos presently, has no fewer than 392 PHC centres spread across its 377 wards – (245 wards created by federal government and 132 wards created by the state from its 37 LCDAs) and strategic places, and progressively being boosted with needed workforce. According to the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Primary Health Care Board (LSPHCB), Dr. Ibrahim Mustafa, the state government employed 925 health workers in its recent recruitment drive including medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses, community health extension workers, laboratory scientists and technicians, environmental officers and health information management officers. This should be a template for other states for replication.Furthermore, through funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and support from CHAI, a development partner, Lagos reportedly has in place an effective and efficient data monitoring system. MTN Foundation had also donated six Mobile clinics to the state. Avid donors like USAID, European Union and other partners to the national body, NPHCDA deserve credits. More corporate organizations should key in as a social responsibility. The ‘one PHC centre per ward’ policy is a desideratum and should be jauntily implemented across the nation.Above all, sensitizing the rural communities on the importance of PHC is necessary particularly the worth of jabs against vaccines-preventable childhood diseases. Also, regular hand-washing for hygiene and hand-sanitizing embraced during the pandemic need to be sustained. These chores will no doubt boost PHC delivery.Umegboro, ACIArb, a public affairs analyst and social advocate writes via email@example.com
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), has urged state governments to take advantage of the COVID-19 and Yellow fever vaccines dispatched to the states as Nigerians are preparing for the main Hajj operations.
Dr Bulama Garuba, NPHCDA’s Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, made the call on Monday in Abuja at the bi-weekly Ministerial Press briefing on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Hajj 2022, the first in two years, is a Hajj with many peculiarities. Ordinarily, Hajj arrangements would have reached a climax in Nigeria around this time, only waiting for appropriate stages of execution.
The first batch of 510 pilgrims from Borno State departed for Madinah and Mecca to commence the main Hajj rituals.
The pilgrims were transported in compliance with the COVID-19 and other diseases protocols.
Garuba said that this was done in accordance with the COVID-19 and other disease protocols of the Saudi government, which is a mandatory COVID-19 card and the yellow fever card for fully vaccinated citizens, while a mandatory Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is required for those not fully vaccinated.
According to him, as of June 19, 2022, in the 36 States and the FCT about 28,427,564 of the eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination, were partially vaccinated while 21,236,404 of eligible persons were fully vaccinated.
He said that the proportion vaccinated was 25.4 per cent of the total eligible persons targeted in the country.
He said that striving to vaccinate 70 per cent of the eligible population of every country remains essential for bringing the pandemic under control and Nigeria is working hard to ensure that its citizens have access to the life-saving vaccines.
According to him, “We will continue to work with all stakeholders, partners and communities to ensure an inclusive COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Nigeria.”
He said to improve access, the agency has integrated COVID-19 vaccination with routine immunization and other Primary Health Care (PHC) services.
“This means that parents and caregivers can take along their children when going for their COVID-19 vaccination as childhood vaccines have been prepositioned for vaccination of children against childhood killer diseases at health facilities and other COVID-19 vaccination sites.
“Also, PHC services such as blood pressure checks and assessment for diabetes are available for adults,” he said.
Garuba assured Nigerians that the vaccines administered by the Federal Government through NPHCDA under the guidance of the ministry were safe and effective against all variants of COVID-19, including the Omicron variants.
He, therefore, called on all eligible Nigerians, aged 18 years and above, to visit the nearest vaccination site, take their jabs and even revisit for a booster dose after six months after the second dose of AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer as the case may be, but after two months following the Johnson and Johnson vaccination.
“The Johnson and Johnson single-dose vaccine is available in all COVID-19 Vaccination Sites and designated Primary Health Care Centres. If you are 18 years and above and are yet to get vaccinated, visit vacsitefinder.nphcda.gov.ng to locate the nearest vaccination site to you,” he said.
By Fabian Ekeruche, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) describes the COVID-19 pandemic as a defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge faced since World War II.The UN agency argues that since COVID-19’s emergence in Asia in 2019, the virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica.It says the pandemic is infact much more than a health crisis taking into consideration its unprecedented socio-economic impact.Stressing every one of the countries it touches, it has the potential to create devastating social, economic and political effects that will leave deep and longstanding scars, UNDP says.Countries have diverse shares of the devastating impact of the pandemic, no matter its scale, with many yet struggling to recover or stabilise from its multidimensional impact.For these reasons, in Nigeria, the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF) was established in 2020 to intervene in the nation’s health sector and bridge the gap that exists therein.The NSSF’s identifies some of the challenges of the health sector to include over stretched healthcare facilities, inadequate budget allocation for health and insufficient support base for individuals and businesses, among others.The fund believes that the government alone cannot shoulder all these responsibilities hence the need for support from individuals and corporate organisations.Consequently, it defines its priority areas to include supporting vulnerable groups, re-skilling and re- tooling Nigerians and the strengthening of primary healthcare system.Achieving this goal requires funding from individuals and corporate entities who believe in its social re- engineering agenda and sustainability goals.No wonder, the fund set aside June 9 to honour and recognise these individuals and corporate entities who supported the NSSF to bring succour to Nigerians during the pandemic.The General Manger/ Chief Executive Officer of NSSF, Dr Fejiro Chinye-Nwoko, says the fund is poised to see the recovery of Nigeria’s health sector beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.Chinye-Nwoko tells the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on the sidelines of the award and recognition ceremony that the NSSF’s vision is to champion a healthier Nigeria.According to her, several hands are on deck to strengthen the healthcare systems through building resilience and providing support for the most vulnerable in our communities.She says from the inception of the fund, the goal has always been to complement what the Federal Government is doing in the country’s health care management value chain.She says the fund is vested with the task of sensitisation and creating awareness of its functions, vision and goals.The CEO says it is necessary to get more Nigerians, both individuals and corporate organisations, to sign up and join the effort to contribute to national development.According to her, the fund is in need of committed citizens in a sustainable basis who will support it in fulfilling its mission of transforming health outcomes in Nigeria.“No doubt, the NSSF is an organisation set up by Nigerians for Nigerians as a movement of citizens participating in development.“Our goal is to reach 500,000 citizens to make contributions, both those in the country and those in the Diaspora.“The Fund looks to support and fund impactful initiatives that provide critical intervention in Nigeria’s healthcare sector and upscaling available capacity and resources in the fight against COVID-19.“The focus would be to support urgent aspects of the healthcare system and provide humanitarian support to those people whose lives are disrupted by COVID-19 while working closely with the public institutions and private sector actors,” Chinye Nwoko says.She also says the NSSF is mapping out plans to strengthen the health system, beyond vaccination.“Naturally, out of all the sectors that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the health sector tops the list.“So, it is a priority for NSSF to see the health sector recover from the assault of the pandemic even as it pursues efforts to re-skill the youths to help jumpstart economic recovery , post-COVID-19,” Chinye Nwoko says.The CEO underscores the importance of providing support and assistance to Nigerians by drawing on practical lessons learned globally and focusing on creating awareness and healthcare systems and infrastructure.She emphasises that the government cannot do this alone and calls for support.“It needs support from all well-meaning citizens and organisations.“ Everyone can contribute.“Everyone can join,’’ Chinye- Nwoko said.She says every planned action in NSSF is geared toward set objectives to help transform the lives of vulnerable Nigerians, strengthen healthcare systems, and reskill the Nigerian workforce.The CEO appeals to philanthropists, corporate organisations, Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora, public sector institutions and international donor agencies to join hands and support the Fund which has been created by Nigerians for the benefit of Nigerians.“In truth, the biggest problems can be solved with collective effort.“We are building a new narrative of a healthier Nigeria and an approach toward a strengthened economy.“We are grateful to all our donors and partner organisations who have worked tirelessly with us on this journey to create the impact needed to solve our healthcare problems.“We, however, need more partners, NSSF’s objectives cannot be achieved in silos.“We need to establish increased partnerships and drive this change through collaboration,” Chinye-Nwoko tells NAN.The CEO says the Fund is excited by the number of donors it already has but that it is still keen to onboard even more donors.On some of the achievements of the Fund, the Chairman of the NSSF, Mr Tunde Folawiyo, says the Fund has been able to achieve most of its objectives so far.Folawiyo says the NSSF vaccinated no fewer than 1.6 million Nigerians within four months, instead of the projected six months.According to him, one of the major objective of NSSF is to strengthen the health care systems in Nigeria, and to assist the most vulnerable Nigerians to recover from the effects of the ravages of the COVID pandemic.“And of course, the third pillar is to reskill and re-tool Nigerian youths.’’He says the Fund has also been able to make make good strides on all set objectives, led by the GM/CEO, Chinye-Nwoko.The chairman says the fund assisted the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to roll out vaccination in the six geopolitical zones faster and quicker than NPHCDA could have done.“And it was a fantastic collaboration. And that’s what we’re talking about strengthening.“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We’re not trying to do anything super new.“We’re just trying to strengthen what we have on ground and help them achieve their objectives.“So, that was a perfect example of what collaboration can be where people are already on ground doing great work.“And then, we can just add value and make it faster and more effective and beyond,” Folawiyo says.On the re-scaling re-tooling objectives, the chairman says the Fund organised a photography competition for Nigerian youths.“The competition, which involved the use of camera phones, saw the youths unleashing their creativity.“ You will be amazed at how much creativity we found amongst Nigerian youths.“We were alarmed in a nice way.“The winner of the competition was a young Nigerian of probably 23 or 24 years of age.“He had fantastic sharp pictures and strong images.“We have one of the big auction houses auction those photographs,” Folawiyo says.For Mr Pattison Boleigha, Group Chief Conduct and Compliance Officer for Access Bank, the bank is proud to collaborate with NSSF because of its sustainability agenda.Boleigha says the bank is happy with NSSF’s drive in its sustainability goals towards human capital improvement.He says that globally, there has been a clarion call for some level of inclusiveness and for people to come together to pursue sustainable goals.He says that the re- tooling and re-scaling drive of NSSF is commendable as it builds self-esteem in people to believe in themselves to do things sustainably, and to bring out the best in them.“And so events like this actually helps to promote those kinds of behaviours and different positive vibes into the system.“This brings the whole society to understand that life is actually much more valuable than we see today.’’The banker says his job as Chief Conduct and Compliance Officer, enables him to ensure fairness, equity, justice and fair play in the system,” Boleigha says.Some personalities have got awards for their support to the fund and they include the Tengen Family Office, NSSF Corporate Sponsor Award; Mr Tunde Folawiyo, NSSF Sponsor Award and Mr Anthony Oputa, NSSF Ambassador Award.Others include Olaniwun Ajayi LP, NSSF Corporate Partner Award and Dr Ajoritsedere Awosika for the NSSF Female Sponsor Award.In summary, it is worthy to note that while the initial ravage of the pandemic has reduced drastically, the need for social reengineering in consolidation on the reforms and interventions in the healthcare value chain remains germane.It is pertinent that Public Private Sector partnerships will engender the much needed impact in bridging the gap in Nigeria’s healthcare value chain.Source: NAN
Mr Soji Taiwo, a Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says the sum of N120million is required to build a single healthcare facility in any community in the country. Taiwo said this on Wednesday, at a stakeholders’ engagement on improving service delivery in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the engagement was organised by Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), an NGO, in reaction to the poorly funded primary health care centres in the FCT.Taiwo advised National Assembly members interested in community projects, especially Primary Health Care Centres, to budget N120million for a standard centres instead of N40million that hardly equipped them.“We had Primary Health Center (PHC) summit and we decided that all PHCs in Nigeria are standardised.“A budget for a full fledged PHC is about N120 million with facilities such as solar, water or borehole, and a staff quarters because we cannot afford to have facilities without quarters.“So, if you want to build for your community this is the amount you should budget. ” To the community members, they hold their representatives accountable,” he said. He said that the Federal Government cannot do it alone because of inadequate funds.“We are trying our best as NPHCDA to ensure that in the next five to 10 years the story of PHC will change. “Partners are coming, many are interested already, Dangote, former Managing Director Access Bank, MTN and foreign partners among others just to make the PHC in Nigeria up to standard,” he said.Earlier, Ms Kiema Ogunlana, Programme Director, Sam Empowerment Foundation, who was one of the monitors within Gwarinpa, said the PHC there lacked some amenities.Ogunlana said that she visited the PHC and the Junior Secondary School, both in Gwarinpa. She said the facility, which was newly built, was short-staffed and lacked laboratory oxygen.She also urged the government, particularly, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to bring a sensitisation programme to the community to curtail drug abuse.Meanwhile, she decried poor infrastructure in the school, adding that the students were exposed to open defecation as a result of lack of toilet facilities.“The school looked well managed but it had some challenges.“The ceiling boards are bad, the number of students are more than the number of desks they have in the school, the windows and wall are cracked.“The worst of it all is that they do not have a functional toilet. Students practice open defecation. “The girls do not have a safe space for privacy, they either go into nearby uncompleted or abandoned buildings,” she said.She added that the environment was almost inhabitable.“If there is anything the government can do about this it will be fine,” she said.Ms Margaret Lawrence, Programme Manager, PPDC, said the programme provided insights on how best to participate and take actions to improve the quality of projects delivered within the FCT communities.“This engagement will provide insights on how best to participate and take actions to improve the quality of projects delivered within communities.“It is to also know how we can leverage social platforms, positions, civic rights, and actions to improve service delivery within the Area councils,” she said.(NAN)
The Kogi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KSPHCDA) has commenced the disbursement of funds to 220 selected and verified primary health care centres across 21 local government areas of the state.
This is contained in a statement by Dr Abubakar Yakubu, the Executive Director of KSPHCDA on Thursday in Lokoja.
According to Yakubu, Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) is a Federal Government health intervention geared toward ensuring Direct Facility Funding (DFF) to the selected and verified primary health care centres.
He said this was to help to revitalise primary health care delivery in the country.
Yakubu explained that the funds were sent directly from a pool to the health facilities, to support in ensuring minor face lift, recruitment of ad hoc staff, purchase of drugs and other required commodities, among others.
He further disclosed that a total of 220 facilities would receive N132,330,000 as Direct Facility Funding (DFF) for the second and third quarter disbursement for the year 2022.
“The agency appreciates the State Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, for playing significant role in ensuring that the state was qualified to be selected to benefit from this intervention.
“His Excellency had ensured that funds were released for the baseline assessment, state training of trainers; cascade training at the local government and verification exercise.
“In addition approved the counterpart funds for the intervention to be possible,” he said.
He added that the state had constituted a robust supervision, monitoring and evaluation team, which would move into action immediately to monitor the utilisation of the funds by the benefitting facilities.
“It is with hope that the selected Health facilities will utilise the resources according to the approved Quarterly Business plans and by extension the Annual Quality improvement plans,” Yakubu said.
He appreciated the teams from the National Primary Health Care development Agency (NPHCDA), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Kogi team members
and development partners for their support through the processes.
The Spanish Embassy in Nigeria says it has donated 4.4 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines to the federal government towards containing the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
This is contained in a statement signed by the embassy in Abuja on Wednesday.
The embassy titled the statement: “No one will be safe until we are all safe”.
It said that in line with the Spainsh government’s unconditional defence of fair, equitable, and universal access to vaccines against COVID-19, it donated a batch of 4.4 million doses of
Johnson & Johnson jabs to Nigeria.
The mission explained that the ceremony to hand over the vaccines took place on the premises of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), with the support of UNICEF.
According to the embassy that the donation makes Spain the third donor of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria.
It said the was the largest Spain had given to a single country in Africa so far.
The donation also positions Spain as the seventh-largest donor of vaccines in the world, with 70 million doses delivered so far.
“Spain is fully committed to multilateral efforts.
“Consequently, this donation, and more than 90 per cent of Spanish donations, has been made through the COVAX mechanism.
“Additionally, this donation constitutes one more action of “Team Europe” in Nigeria, integrated by the EU and its member states.
“Altogether, the EU and EU countries have donated 30 million vaccines to Nigeria so far.
The embassy said that at the handover ceremony, Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Chief Executive Officer of NPHCDA had urged Nigerian citizens to ensure that they received the jabs.
The embassy further said that the Spanish Ambassador, Juan Sell underscored the importance of reaching every Nigerian citizen and every remote corner of the world if the pandemic were to be contained.
“We have to strengthen primary health systems and we must improve global mechanisms for technology transfer to decentralise the production of health products in all regions, particularly in Africa.
“In that sense, the President of the Government of Spain announced at the recent Global Summit against COVID-19 that Spain will donate 300 million dollars for an additional 30 million COVID-19 vaccines and for the strengthening of public health systems.
This will be done “through projects related to COVID-19, which will be implemented by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.
“Spain has also joined the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Technology Access Group and is part of the Team Europe initiative on manufacturing and access to vaccines that the Ambassador of the EU to Nigeria presented.
“This initiative will help create an enabling environment for local vaccine manufacturing in Africa and tackle barriers on both supply and
demand sides, backed by 1 billion euros from the EU budget and the European development finance institutions such as the European Investment Bank (EIB).”
The Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA) says it has succeeded in reducing disease burden in the rural and urban settlements in the state.
The Executive Secretary of the agency, Dr George Ugwu, said this during an interactive session with newsmen in Enugu on Tuesday.
Ugwu also said that the agency recorded extensive improvement in primary healthcare services and various vaccine administration and reach within the state.
He attributed the positive development to Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s proactive health policies and programmes.
He said the full implementation of the Basic health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) approved by the Federal Government had commenced in the state with the massive support of the governor.
Ugwu said: “Under the BHCPF, at least one Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in every ward in the state is currently receiving serious attention and improved funding. “Initial funding support of over N600,000 has been sent directly to the selected PHCs.
“This is to improve the infrastructure, provide basic equipment and drugs to ensure better service delivery.
“The traditional rulers and other community leaders are working with the ENS-PHCDA to ensure effective implementation of this new programme in the state.
“The special type-3 PHC system in several council areas of the state that has been built and equipped by the governor are now fully functional.
“Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers were recently employed to power these new and historic facilities.
“Over 100 nurses, midwives and health promoters are to be engaged on ad-hoc basis through the NPHCDA gateway of the BHCPF as the implementation continues.”
The ENS-PHCD boss said that virtually all routine and newly added vaccination administered in the state had secured 100 per cent success rate in terms of target and reach.
According to him, we have successfully introduced new vaccines into the existing routine immunization schedule.
“These included Meningitis A, Measles-Containing-Vaccine Second-dose and Inactivated Polio Vaccine,” he said.
He said that the state had always met its vaccination target of over 1.2 million children under five years and over two million women of child bearing age for routine immunization and supplemental immunisation campaigns.
“Apart from the exemplary performance in routine and newly added vaccines, as a proactive agency ably supported by government, we have used vaccination to deter and contain disease outbreaks in the state.
“In 2021, the agency effectively controlled and prevented yellow fever outbreaks in some communities in three council areas in the state through reactive mass vaccination,” he said.
Ugwu further said that the agency had continued to successfully implement other key PHC programmes at rural and urban areas.
He listed such programmes as family planning, nutrition, integrated management of all childhood illnesses, breastfeeding and Maternal, Nursing Mothers and Child Week.
He said that at least 300,000 residents of the state had received their COVID-19 vaccines without any casualty in the state.
Ugwu said that more people were taking advantage of the multiple outlets in different parts of the state to get vaccinated against the deadly disease.
Meanwhile, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency has commended the state government for attaining over 100 per cent performance in the National Immunisation Plus Days campaign held between Feb. 5 and Feb. 9.
The commendation was contained in a letter signed by the Executive Executive Officer of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, and made available to NAN. (
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says there is no quick-fix cure for COVID-19 except to get vaccinated and avoid the prospects of long COVID-19 infection.
Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director, NPHCDA, said this on Tuesday during the handover of 4.4 million doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria, donated by the Government of Spain.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Long COVID is a condition characterised by long-term consequences persisting or appearing after the typical convalescence period of COVID-19.
It is also known as post-COVID-19 syndrome, post-COVID-19 condition, post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, or chronic COVID syndrome.
According to Shuaib, ”for those who feel they can easily recover from COVID-19 they contracted, yes, this is possible, but, for some who get this virus, they may recover from the acute phase of the infection, but still have long-term side effects of this disease.
“Long COVID can affect nearly every organ system, with sequelae including respiratory system disorders, nervous system and neurocognitive disorders.
”Others are: Mental health disorders, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, musculoskeletal pain, and anemia.
“A wide range of symptoms are commonly reported, including fatigue, malaise, headaches, shortness of breath, anosmia, parosmia, muscle weakness, low fever and cognitive dysfunction.”
The NPHCDA boss said that the functional impairment associated with long COVID has significant social, psychological and economic effect on individuals and the communities.
He said, ”in addition, management of this syndrome is likely to continue to be an additional burden on the already heavily strained healthcare systems.”
Shuaib said that as at Tuesday, 29,651,708 eligible persons had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, representing 23.4 per cent of the country’s eligible population.
“Some 14,179,966 persons had received the second dose and 17,702,018 are fully vaccinated.
”This represents 15.8 per cent of our eligible population. And 1,178,604 persons had received the booster dose,” he said.
Shuaib added that the donation came when it was most needed as the country was rapidly ramping up its full vaccination coverage.
“The single-dose regimen of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will enable us to move rapidly towards achieving herd immunity,” he said.
Shuaib said the figures show that the country is a far cry from its target of 70 per cent of its eligible population.
“However, these donations will help towards achieving our target.
“If we keep up with vaccination, the likely scenario is that, even though the virus continues to evolve, the severity of the disease will reduce over time, as immunity increases due to vaccination.
“But, if majority of our eligible population in Nigeria and globally continue to remain unvaccinated, what we may see is that a more virulent and highly transmissible variant could emerge.
”This can be sooner or later, which would be worse than any variant seen,” he cautioned.
According to Shuaib, new estimates from WHO show that the full death toll associated directly or indirectly with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is described as excess mortality, between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 globally, was approximately 15 million.
“This means that we lost about 15 million persons globally within two years as a result of the pandemic. This is heart-wrenching,” he said.
He disclosed that a few weeks back, a country which had closed its borders and had refused to accept international assistance finally announced to the world that they were having about 200,000 cases of COVID-19 per day.
“We all know that a number of these cases could have been avoided if the vaccines were made available to its citizens.
”We would like all Nigerians to know that the COVID-19 vaccines are available, they are free and they are effective.
“Vaccines don’t save lives, vaccinations save lives! A vaccine is of no benefit if it sits on the shelf.
”It is also useless if it does not actually get deployed or if the arms of the eligible population are not available for vaccination.
“I therefore urge all persons, aged 18 years and above, including pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers who are yet to receive their COVID-19 vaccines or who are due for their second or booster doses to visit the nearest health facility and get vaccinated,” he appealed.
Shuaib said that striving to vaccinate 70 per cent of the eligible population of every country remains essential.
This, he stated, helps to bring the pandemic under control and Nigeria is working hard to ensure its citizens have access to the life-saving vaccines.
According to him: ”We will continue to work with all stakeholders, partners and communities to ensure an inclusive COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Nigeria.
”To improve access, the agency had integrated COVID-19 vaccination with routine immunization and other Primary Health Care (PHC) services.
“This means that parents and caregivers can take their children along when going for their COVID-19 vaccination.
”This is as childhood vaccines had been prepositioned for vaccination of children against childhood killer diseases at health facilities and other COVID-19 vaccination sites.
“Also, PHC services such as blood pressure checks and assessment for diabetes are available for adults,” he said.
The NPHCDA boss commended the Government of Spain and the European Union for their support to Nigeria as they collectively work towards a world without COVID-19.
“We thank our partners and donors for their sustained support,” Shuaib added.