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Nigeria’ll become vaccine hub for W’Africa – FG

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FEDERAL Government has announced that it is ramping up efforts to make Nigeria the vaccine hub for West Africa, especially because of the rude awakening of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, made this known yesterday during his address at the National Council on Health (NCH) meeting in Abuja.

  Holding with the theme: Towards sustainable development goals (SDGs): applying lessons from COVID-19 pandemic to build a resilient health system, Ehanire noted there is an urgent need to support the production capacities of the indigenous medical Industry, in order to protect Nigerian citizens and mitigate capital flight derived from the importation of all vaccines.

  “The Federal Government is working with an indigenous private pharmaceutical company to make Nigeria a vaccine manufacturing hub for West Africa and beyond. Government has 49 per cent stake in Bio Vaccines Nigeria Ltd (BVNL) a PPP venture to produce various vaccines in-country. This helps ensure the resilience we seek becomes reality to be celebrated in the quest for self-sufficiency, even in the face of surprises. Opportunities to benefit from Covid-19 pandemic include construction of a total of 50 oxygen plants by the Federal Government and Global Fund, and importation of thousands of oxygen cylinders to make oxygen available to all hospitals, including PHCs, within a short drive.    The Emergency Medical Treatment provided for in the National Health Act, is being realized with the setting up of the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System NEMSAS, an innovative care system that is to take Nigeria to the level of Developed Countries by making medical services available at the site of medical emergency with a phone call. It brings public and private ambulances and hospital assets together in a fee for service partnership that is at no cost to the user at point of care, and takes health care to a new level in Nigeria. A sophisticated operational software is to be procured with support from Global Fund at huge amounts,” Ehanire said.

  Similarly, Federal government is mulling on a policy of recruiting religious institutions in Nigeria as part of the country’s new vaccination strategy.

  This is coming few days after the country recorded its first cases of the omicron variant.

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