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.
The National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) has commended the newly signed National Health Insurance Authority Act 2022.This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Omini Oden, Head, Corporate Affairs, Media and Publicity, NSCC, on Saturday in Abuja.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on May 19 signed into law, the National Health Insurance Authority Act 2022, repealing thereby, the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, Cap N42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.Announcing on his verified Twitter handle, Buhari said that the new law was part of his administration’s efforts to achieveUniversal Health Coverage for Nigerians.Buhari had said that a Vulnerable Group Fund would be set up to ensure coverage of 83 million poor Nigerians who could not afford to pay premiums as recommended by the Lancet Nigeria Commission.He said that the Authority would collaborate with states governments Health Insurance Schemes by empowering them (state governments) to accredit primary and secondary healthcare facilities and ensure the enrollment of Nigerians in the scheme.Oden quoted the Director-General of the NSCC, Dr Emem Omokaro, as saying that the new Act was a springboard and backbone to the National Senior Citizens Centre, NPHCDA and WHO-Nigeria MOU on mainstreaming Geriatric care into Primary HealthCare to ensure Integrated Care for Older Persons (ICOPE).“Dr Omokaro commends the foresightedness of President Muhammadu Buhari for actualising it, thus repealing the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Act which has been in existence since 2004.“Of particular note she said, is the concern for the vulnerable and creation of the Vulnerable Group Fund that will ensure that over eighty-three million Nigerians who cannot afford to pay health insurance premiums are catered for.“The new National Health Insurance Authority will collaborate with state governments to accredit primary and secondary healthcare facilities as well as ensure the enrollment of Nigerians.“The NSCC recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency on achieving Integrated Care for Older Persons, mainstreaming Geriatric Care and Geriatric Home Help into Pprimary care system in Nigeria.“This is an outcome of a two-day national workshop on Integrated Care for Older Persons organised by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA)in collaboration with NSCC, with support from the WHO,” he said.(NAN)
Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development
Agency (NPHCDA), says Nigeria has aligned itself with global push for universal access to quality and
Shuaib made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday
while reacting to the signing of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act 2022 by President
Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.
NAN reports that Buhari signed the new health insurance law to end the old National Health Insurance Scheme
(NHIS), saying “as part of our healthcare reforms, I have signed into law the recently passed National
Health Insurance Authority Bill 2022, which repeals the National Health Insurance Scheme Act.
“We will ensure the full implementation of the new Act to provide coverage for all Nigerians,” Buhari said.
According to the President, the new law will work in line with state governments health insurance schemes
by empowering them to accredit primary and secondary healthcare facilities and ensure the enrollment of Nigerians.
The NPHCDA boss, therefore, said that with the signing of the law, the president had once again shown unwavering
commitment to the health reform agenda of his administration.
He said “the NHIA Act will ensure Universal Health Coverage (UHC), aimed at making sure that all citizens access
quality health services.
“This will also help to safeguard Nigerians from public health risks and to protect them from impoverishment due
to illness, whether from out-of-pocket payments for healthcare or loss of income when a household member falls sick .
“The president is committed to ensuring this and has proven beyond doubt with the new act.”
NAN reports that some highlights of the NHIA Act 2022, which repeals the NHIS, include compulsory enrollment of all
eligible citizens, creation of vulnerable peoples’ fund and creation of NHIA Fund.
Other highlights include a well defined sharing formula for Basic Health Care Provision Fund, investment of NHIA funds,
use of telecommunication tax as source of income, while the head of the authority is director-general,
not an executive secretary.
The Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), says that Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration, within three years, has set up and operationalized 10 type-3 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in Enugu State.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that type-3 PHC centres, which is part of the concept of Primary Health Care Under one Roof (PHCUoR), is a centre with full complement of medical staff, equipment and structure painted green and white.
The Executive Secretary of ENS-PHCDA, Dr George Ugwu, told NAN in Enugu on Thursday that the government first revitalized three of the existing PHC centres to type-3 PHC standard in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) within three senatorial zones.
Ugwu said that the first three revitalized type-3 PHC are situated in Abakpa PHC in Enugu East LGA (Enugu East Senatorial zone); Basic PHC in Oji River LGA (Enugu West Senatorial Zone) and Obollo Afor PHC in Udenu LGA (Enugu North Senatorial Zone).
According to him, the remaining newly-built seven type-3 PHCs are located in Uzo Uwani, Isiuzo, Udenu, Igbo-etiti, Igboeze South, Ezeagu and Nkanu East (Nara community) council areas of the state.
“The type-3 PHC centres are brand new and functional healthcare delivery buildings as recommended by PHCUoR guidelines with professional medical staff, drugs, medical equipment and medical consumables.
“Ten of the type-3 PHC facilities have a full complement of medical staff needed in a PHC facility and run daily services every week (247) like in other major hospitals in the state.
“The massive investment in rural healthcare in the state is in line with Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s rural development and empowerment drive.
“These type-3 PHCs and others still under construction have reduced the health burden of the rural people, delivered easily accessible and affordable healthcare to them.
“The functional type-3 PHCs and other PHCs, totaling 518 PHC centres in the state, have also stopped the vast majority of our rural dwellers travelling for hours and added stress to major metropolises to access health except on referral basis,” he said.
The ENS-PHCDA boss said that the Agency had continued to ensure regular supportive supervision and guidance to the staff of the PHCs in order to ensure that they deliver quality healthcare daily to the people, especially the rural residents.
“Our supportive supervision and guidance on a regular basis have ensured that these PHC centres deliver on their mandates to our people and our people get the best from these facilities,” he said.
Ugwu said that the state government had set up Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) centres to ensure that no child in the state suffers from malnutrition by providing therapy for them.
He said that the CMAM centres are located within the three senatorial zones in Abakpa PHC in Enugu East LGA,, Basic PHC in Oji River LGA and Obollo Afor PHC in Udenu LGA.
Ugwu also noted that Gov. Ugwuanyi enacted the Health Sector Reform Law that established the ENS-PHCDA as a semi-autonomous and self-accounting agency in order to respond to health emergencies especially containing outbreak of diseases.
“Today, the ENS-PHCDA has one of the most befitting headquarters offices in the state, which has further attracted national and international health partners to work with the state and hold important meetings in the ENS-PHCDA headquarters.
NAN recalls that major international health partners – WHO and UNICEF – had continued to laud the state government for its giant stride in totally revamping the PHC services and vaccination programmes offered to work for the teeming population in the state.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) commended Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi over outstanding 100 per cent performance of Enugu State in the National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDS) campaign held between February 5 and 9.
The commendation is contained in a letter signed by the Executive Executive Officer of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib. (
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has commended Dr George Ugwu, Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA) for his contributions towards Primary Health Care (PHC) growth.The NPHCDA noted that Ugwu had worked hard in improving PHC routine and intervention vaccination programmes as well as PHC’s general services and infrastructural development in Enugu State and the country.The commendation is contained in a Letter of Appreciation signed by Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Executive Officer of NPHCDA, made available to newsmen in Enugu on Wednesday.According to the letter, we sincerely appreciate you (Ugwu) once again for your unflinching support and contributions towards the health and wellbeing of Nigerians.It said that the Federal Ministry of Health and the NPHCDA were also grateful for Ugwu’s support and acknowledged his contributions towards the just concluded PHC Summit 2022.“We realise that critical to achieving the Universal Health Coverage and, indeed, the Sustainable development Goals is to leverage past gains and build back better and stronger especially in this trying time of the COVID-19 pandemic.“We needed to develop a resilient and functional PHC system that serves as a veritable platform to achieve our national and global health goals.“Accordingly, the PHC Summit themed: “Re-imagining PHC in Nigeria” brought stakeholders across the globe to align and pledge their support for our national PHC transformation initiative.“I am grateful and excited about your commitment to the PHC course, and particularly for gracing the event despite being encompassed with so many obligations,” it said.(NAN)
The Enugu State Government says it has commenced massive sensitisation and awareness of residents of the state on numerous benefits in actively participating in vaccination.
Dr George Ugwu, the Executive Secretary, Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), disclosed this at a press briefing to commemorate the World Immunisation Week in the state on Friday in Enugu.
The theme of 2022 World Immunisation Week is: ‘Long Life for All”.
Ugwu said the Agency, its parent ministry, health development partners and others have embarked on far-reaching awareness using various avenues to propagate the “good gospel of vaccination acceptance and its overwhelming benefits to the health of all”.
He said that the Agency and its partners embarked on road shows to sensitise residents on benefits of vaccination.
Ugwu also revealed that the Agency have made advocacy visits to strategic leaders and taken slots in the mass media (radio and television) to herald numerous benefits of vaccination.
He said: “The essence of this statewide and multiple platforms sensitization is meant to reawaken the consciousness of the residents to the benefits of subscribing to numerous vaccination programmes ongoing in the state.
“Vaccination or immunization remains the most cost effective way of ensuring health for all and long life for all.
“It is also the ideal way for effective disease prevention and reducing the overall health burden of the state, community and family.
“It is effective, safe and secured; we have trained and retrained health workers that are professionals in administering these vaccines.
“We also receive the vaccine in a safe way, highly regulated by NAFDAC, have high-power solar refrigerators to store them and have ideal vaccine cool-packs to move them to all nooks and crannies during the period of mass vaccination in the state”.
He lauded Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for supporting the Agency all the way leading to resounding successes in all its vaccination programmes and the Agency not missing any intervention or routine vaccination exercise in the country and state.
“We have got tremendous support from our health-loving governor for all our vaccination programmes. Recently in March, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) sent the governor a commendation letter for a huge success of the vaccination in February.
“Apart from the routine mobile immunisation; the over 600 immunisation points in the state have been running without hitch and fulfilling the vaccination needs of residents even to the remotest neighbourhood in the state.
“The state has ensured that its routine vaccination is ongoing; helped to kick out polio as well as ensuring regular suspected outbreak responses so that we continue to remain polio-free in the state and country.
“We have successfully added more vaccines in the number of our routine vaccines, which includes; Meningitis A vaccine and 2nd dose measles vaccine to give additional and rounded protection to all children within the state.
“ln March, 2021, we rolled out COVID-19 vaccination and we are pushing ahead with it without a hitch and the vaccine has not had any adverse effect on any one in the state,” he said.
Ugwu thanked the NPHCDA, UNICEF, WHO, state ministry of Education, leaders, the media, parents, mothers and caregivers for the support given to ENS-PHCDA that ensured continued vaccination successes in the state.
The World Immunisation Week started on April 24 and would run till April 30. The ENSPHCDA is planning to further extend its massive awareness on vaccination to additional two weeks. (
Early in the morning of September 24, 2013, Rukayat Yunsa went into labor and was rushed to the Primary Health Care Center (PHC), located near her home in the Kuchingoro community, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Abuja.
Rukayat, who is currently seven months into her third pregnancy, said she was not worried about the health center where she would deliver her baby because the PHC in her area is functional and works 24 hours.
“The PHC is good and they provide 24-hour service. I gave birth to my two children here, and I will give birth to this baby here too. My family uses this health center for other health services such as routine immunizations and treatment of illnesses. Health workers are always on duty whenever you arrive here. The service is good, but we need a machine for pregnancy scans as it would reduce the stress of looking for a place to have a pregnancy scan,” she said.
Primary Health Care Centers (PHCs) play a vital role in the health care system and were introduced worldwide after the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1978, and its reaffirmation with the Astana Declaration in 2018, world leaders in health care established to meet the goal of better health for all. The PHC is a grassroots management approach to providing health care services to communities.
In accordance with the five guiding principles (accessibility, community participation, health promotion, use of appropriate technology, and intersectoral cooperation) of PHC in the Declaration of Alma-Ata and the quest to achieve universal health coverage for Nigeria, the The federal government and partners have been making efforts to reposition PHCs to function properly across the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that for every human being to enjoy the “highest attainable level of health”, functional PHC addresses most of a person's health needs throughout their life.
Residents of Kuchingor0 and surrounding areas have been relying on the health center for healthcare services.
In the case of Hope Ihemeje, 56, she prefers to travel about 25 minutes from her residence, boarding bicycles, cars and crossing a busy road to seek medical care at the PHC located in Kuchingoro.
“It's not that there are no PHCs in my area in Lugbe, but I prefer the services provided in Kuchingoro, and the service is affordable. You can be sure that you are receiving quality health services, but the only problem is the medications. Patients have to buy the medicine not available in a pharmacy,” she said.
Despite the services provided at Kichingoro PHC, community leader and Ward Health Committee (WHC) Vice Chairman Oba Abdulrazaq Oyewole said the center still faces some challenges that prevent it from operating at full capacity.
“The facility provides quality, timely and affordable health services to the community. However, it is short-staffed and is constantly running out of medication. As a WHC, we support daily activities and encourage community members (pregnant women and children) to use the PHC because of its proximity to the community, she said.
PHC engine for UHC
“The role of a functional PHC in the community can never be overemphasized because the clinic should be the first point of call for people. With a functional PHC in every ward across the country, Nigerians (women, children and men) would be able to access timely quality health services,” said Dr. Udak Archibong, Physician at Kuchingoro PHC.
“When people in a community can access quality health care services locally, at an affordable cost and on time, they will enable early detection and reporting of infectious diseases, reduce maternal and infant mortality, and improve immunization coverage. in all the country. PHCs are essential to achieving UHC. WHO has been a supportive partner in helping us fulfill our duties, especially in terms of routine immunization and capacity building of health workers,” he said.
Meanwhile, at the recently concluded PHC summit organized by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA to reposition PHCs across the country, WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that health care is a critical aspect of the economy.
He said that the Alma-Ata declaration identified PHC as key to achieving health for all, since adequate financing of public health will reduce out-of-pocket costs and improve access to health services.
Similarly, NPHCDA Executive Director Dr. Faisal Shuaib said that Nigeria has a four-point PHC agenda to implement. The four point agenda is about implementing strategies that work and thinking about those strategies that will drive increased service delivery and revitalization of our primary health care sectors in Nigeria. Everyone has a role to play in changing the current state of our PHCs, he said.
A functional PHC is the backbone of any health care system. It includes measures of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases and conditions, medical rehabilitation, monitoring of the course of pregnancy, formation of a healthy lifestyle and health and hygiene education of the population.
Connected Development (CODE) and BudgIT, civil society organizations (CSOs) have called on the federal government to seek sustainable funding for primary health care systems in Nigeria.The CSOs made the call at a meeting to drive accountability in healthcare organized by BudgIT with support from the Conrad Hilton Foundation and the Skoll Foundation in Abuja.The meeting that was part of the implementation activities of the second phase of the Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP) COVID-19 had the objective of tracking all the funds and donations made in support of the intervention of the Federal Government COVID-19.BudgIT Deputy Manager Iyanuoluwa Bolarinwa, speaking on "Strengthening Great Partnerships for Accountability," the group in the course of their work noted that most primary health care facilities need a facelift.“These centers are the first point of call for an average Nigerian where they go first to access care before they can be referred to general hospitals.“So when you go on your first call and it's not well equipped, it doesn't put you in an advantageous position, it slows you down more.“Therefore, we recommend that the centers be renovated and we also hope that the federal government can put more funds into research and development.“At the end of the day, we also need to understand that without proper research, we will only be absorbing what has been concluded in the other climates."We need to be able to put our foot down as the giant of Africa that we are."Bolarinwa also called for more investment in the health sector and the need to implement the Abuja declaration by committing 15 percent of the budget to health care.He urged the government to address the problem of brain drain of personnel to stay in the country serving the citizens.Also speaking, Mr. Hamza Lawal, Founder of Follow the Money and Executive Director of CODE, said that the COVID-19 pandemic showed that Nigeria's fiscal responsibility mechanism was not that strong.Lawal said the group has started monitoring the N38 billion raised at the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), a private sector-led organization set up to help the government fight the coronavirus disease.“Today, we are having an important conversation with civil society and media partners to galvanize action around COVID-19.“This time, however, we are more focused on how Nigeria and Africa can prepare for the next pandemic because COVID-19 has literally brought us to our knees.“We want to make sure that, first, we can establish a fiscally responsible framework, second, we can also invest in primary health care because we know that the centers play a fundamental role when we experience a pandemic. ''Lawal added that the goal of the group's work was also to educate citizens about COVID-19 and encourage them to get vaccinated.This, he said, was because many citizens were not taking the hits due to mistrust, misinformation and disinformation.“I think this conversation with the media and civil society partners would help set the pace for how we can get involved, how we can get the necessary funding and investment for primary health care facilities."It will set the pace for how Nigeria can lead other African countries to prepare for another pandemic because another pandemic is just around the corner," he said.Mr. Busayo Morakinyo, Director of Community Participation of CODE, evaluated the performance of the intervention of the Federal Government in the Primary Health Centers (PHC).“The Finding the Money initiative in communities indicated that most centers were below the minimum standard of primary health care.“The findings also revealed that lacking electricity, 30 percent of PHCs do not have access to clean water.“ Interviews with some of the indigenous people in the community show that they depend on rainwater and well water stored in tanks."Fifty-six of the 90 PHCs evaluated have the recommended pharmaceutical refrigerator to house vaccines, while some of the PHCs received less than 10 vials of the Covid-19 vaccine."Morakinyo said that NPHCDA recently outlined plans for the transformation of PHCs to provide services aligned with the basic needs of the community, link people to PHC services, maintain and transmit records.However, he said that most of the things on the ground that were observed in the course of the report did not reflect the plan.The Nigerian News Agency reports that Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), had testified at a different event to the fact that the infrastructure and staff poor were hampering PHC's operations. Shuaib had therefore said that the Agency had plans to transform the centers.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has identified poor infrastructure and poor staffing as obstacles to the operations of Primary Health Care Centers (PHCs) across the country.
The agency's Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, made this known by signing the Memorandum of Understanding with Connected Development (CODE) under the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP).
“More than 70 per cent of primary health care facilities in Nigeria do not have all the necessary praise from health workers.
“Over 70 per cent of primary health care centers in Nigeria still do not have the proper infrastructure, the right equipment, the right medicines and the right utilities to operate the centers.
“However, primary health care workers are doing the best they can in very difficult circumstances.
“So collaborations like this will not only give civil society organizations (CSOs) the opportunity to access the data and realities that people face in primary health care settings.
“It's also an opportunity for them to advocate for more resources at the state and local government level to strengthen primary health care,” he said.
Shuaib said the center was working to transform PHC because it had been neglected for so long due to funding.
“We want to transform PHC, we look at it holistically so that its available human resources are not focused on one disease or another.
“It will position itself for prevention, promotion, and protection of citizens, not just cure, and we hope that post-COVID, PHC will be strengthened especially through collaborations with CSOs and other stakeholders.”
Shuaib praised CODE for taking steps to promote transparency and accountability in the health sector.
He said that this partnership with CODE was a giant step towards transparency and openness in the NPHCDA and an opportunity to reach out to the rural unreached, the vulnerable, and others.
He said the MoU would create an opportunity to openly demonstrate the center's transparency.
“We welcome this collaboration because it is also an opportunity to listen to the people we serve. It is an opportunity to get feedback on the services that will be delivered,” he said.
In response, Mr. Hamzat Lawal, Executive Director of CODE, said that the MoU was a vital step towards monitoring and evaluating PHC throughout the country.
Lawal said this was to inform his advocacy in seeking better primary health care infrastructure and service delivery.
“In July 2021, using the FollowTheMoney social responsibility tool, CODE tracked 90 Primary Health Care Centers (PHCs) in 15 states across the country.
”Eighty percent of PHCs were found to be non-compliant and unsuitable for effectively storing and administering COVID-19 vaccines, a situation that has made it difficult to access and equitably distribute vaccines to the masses. Nigerian population.
“CODE, through the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP), is committed to tracking all resources from the public sector, private, multilateral and bilateral donors committed to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of establish sustainable accountability in the health sector. . “
Lawal said that NPHCDA, by agreeing with CODE, ensured a path to uncover gaps in the health care system and introduce best practices in Nigeria's health sector.
This, he said, was the first step towards a better health system in Africa, especially by identifying and offering solutions to the gaps that currently exist in the system.
“Large numbers of Nigerians, especially those living in remote communities, rely on PHCs for their health problems.
“There are a myriad of challenges within the PHC system that we are working to uncover with the goal of identifying solutions that will improve service delivery and improve the health care system in Nigeria and across Africa.”
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has integrated childhood vaccination at COVID-19 vaccination points for children 0-23 months.
This is to ensure that preventable childhood illnesses are not neglected in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, revealed this at the national weekly briefing on COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday, in Abuja.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that this was part of the first meeting for 2022 to give an update on the progress of the country's COVID-19 vaccination process.
According to him, the integration of childhood immunization is part of the Federal Government's plan to involve childhood immunization in its ongoing campaign train against COVID-19.
“In this phase of mass vaccination against COVID-19, the campaign would be integrated with child immunization and other primary health care services.
“What this simply means is that along with COVID-19 vaccines, childhood vaccines will also be available at COVID-19 vaccination centers.
“Accordingly, parents or guardians with children aged zero to 23 months are urged to bring them to vaccination sites,” he said.
Calling on Nigerians to use the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaign across the country, Shuaib said that the holiday season has come with an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
The NPHCDA chief said a number of unvaccinated people were migrating from cities to rural areas and back to cities.
“Globally, we saw the emergence of new variants, such as the IHU variant in France, which is said to have 46 mutations, Deltacron in Cyprus, and the Omicron variant that remains highly infectious with a rapidly spreading BA.2 subvariant.
“More of our citizens were contracting the infection. Fortunately for our vaccinated population, those who contracted COVID-19 infection had mild symptoms that they managed at home due to the immunity provided by the vaccine.
“If they weren't vaccinated, we can't predict how these cases would have turned out. Vaccination prevents you from serious illness, hospitalization and death,” he said.
He added that the reason for the emergence of these variants was because there was still a large proportion of the eligible population to be vaccinated.
According to him, this gives the virus time to mutate and fight back.
“It is important that we protect ourselves and our loved ones jab. Our vaccination exercise has been expanded to allow easier access for all eligible individuals.
“All vaccination sites are open to eligible individuals 18 years of age and older for the first, second, and booster doses. We call on Nigerians to take advantage of this opportunity in the ongoing mass vaccination exercise to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” she said.
Meanwhile, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Peter Hawkins, revealed that the government had used $298 million for the procurement of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine totaling approximately 30 million doses.
Hawkins noted that this was a compromise and that the recall occurs as it becomes available and required.
“Nigeria so far, but the actual figure received was 51,014,140 doses. There are 10 million that are being stockpiled ready to go into Nigeria,” she said.Keep reading