Nigeria Set To Commence Local Production Of Vaccines

vaccinesThe Nigerian government is set to commence local production of vaccines, as a deliberate effort to drastically reduce the rate of infant mortality.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, gave the indication on Wednesday while receiving a delegation from the National Immunisation Financing Task Force Team at his office in Abuja.

He said the ministry was determined to lead the way for the local production of vaccines, as there could not be any justification for Nigeria’s inability to do such.

“We used to produce and export vaccines in the past (but) today, we are struggling to be self-sufficient.

“We need to go back to those things that helped us in the past. We don’t want to continually remain a poor nation and rather being recipient of grants, we should be able to give grants to other countries.

“The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology will lead the way in making sure that vaccines are produced in the country to satisfy local needs and eventually for export to other African countries,” Onu said.

The minister commended the delegation for working in the common interest of Nigeria.

Gaps Vaccines’ Chain

In an earlier remark on Tuesday, Dr. Benson Anyene, who is the Chairman of the team, said that the main goal of the task force was to help Nigeria achieve Sustainable Immunisation Financing (SFI).

He explained further the SFI could be achieved by putting in place concrete effort to address gaps in the vaccines’ chain.

Dr. Anyene observed that if immediate actions were not taken, Nigeria might find itself in a position where it would no longer immunise children due to non-availability of vaccines.

He added that the task force would hold further talks with the Federal Government to ensure that there would be an increase in the budget on immunisation, establish an immunisation fund and get the states to contribute to immunisation procurement.

The immunisation official stated that 25% of Nigerian children die annually due to lack of immunisation, purporting that Nigeria was yet to produce any vaccine since 1991.

He stressed the need for policy documents and bankable business plan to shape the sector and solicited for the support of the ministry towards the realisation of the project.

Kaduna State Health Sector Gets Bill Gates, UK Supports

Kaduna, Health Care, MOU The Kaduna State health sector on Friday received a boost, as the government signs an agreement with the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and ‘Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation.

The State government is optimistic that the agreement will strengthen primary Healthcare in rural areas, to address the constant increase in mortality rates especially of mothers and children.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai signed the Memorandum Of understanding on behalf of the Kaduna State government, while the UK Minister of State for International Development, Mr James Wharton, signed on behalf of the UK government.

Technical And Financial Assistance

El-Rufai said the agreement underscored his administration’s commitment to improving access to affordable and qualitative healthcare services to the people as well as reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in the state.

Due to poor distribution of facilities across the state, to reduce out-of-pocket expenditures on health, there has been limited access as well as low citizen demand for healthcare services.

With the Health Centres the state government is looking to strengthen Primary Health Care systems, improve service delivery and reduce financial barriers.

The tripartite agreement will therefore support Kaduna State’s efforts to increase and sustain effective, equitable coverage of essential health services.

The content of the MOU as presented by the state Commissioner For Health read: “While Kaduna State government will show commitment in implementing the primary healthcare under one roof, DFID and Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, will provide both technical and financial assistance under the MOU”.

Support Through Bilateral Relations

Mr Wharton said that as part of the bilateral relations between Nigeria and the UK, his country’s government would commit £500 million annually for execution of people-oriented projects in Nigeria.

He also announced that the United Kingdom government would continue to partner with states that had a genuine commitment to boosting their healthcare systems.

The Director of Community Health Services at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Emmanuel Odu, expressed optimism that the MOU would strengthen primary health care programmes in the state.

He also commended the commitment and support of Kaduna State government for providing budgetary allocation for the reduction of maternal and infant mortality in Nigeria.

Effective primary care interventions and the health sector generally, in Nigeria are currently at low standards.

Issues such as poor management of staff, allocation of funds, resources and a general lack of accountability have been prominent in the sector.

The plan to strengthen the primary healthcare system in Kaduna state is therefore expected to enable increased coverage of essential quality health services to the people, especially those in rural communities who presently have no access to basic healthcare services.

Poor Healthcare System In Nigeria Causes Short Life Span – Ajimobi

The Oyo state governor, Abiola Ajimobi has said that lack of adequate attention for primary and secondary healthcare systems has resulted in disheartening statistics of life expectancy, infant mortality and other preventable diseases.

He said this while speaking at the 8th Biennial Conference of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), which was themed ‘Reviving primary and secondary healthcare delivery in Nigeria’.

Governor Ajimobi who declared the conference open, added that worrisome indices necessitated the need to strengthen the preventive aspect of the healthcare delivery system in Nigeria.

The immediate past president of MDCAN, Professor Amos Gadzama explained that the theme of the conference was carefully chosen because the collapse of both primary and secondary healthcare systems will spell doom for the country and must be salvaged by all means necessary.

The event was put together by stakeholders as part of their efforts in seeking ways of redress in all areas of default, by producing an actionable document to transform the sector.

State Of World’s Mother 2013: Reducing Maternal Mortality In Nigeria

Maternal deaths in Nigeria have been described in many quarters as unacceptably high. As Nigerians join the rest of the world in marking the state of women in 2013, Channels Television’s weekend programme, Sunrise examines the relationship between access to reproductive health in Nigeria and healthy population.

According to the International Conference on Population and Development Programme, reproduction health implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when, and ho3w often to do so.

The above assumption is a condition that can only be achieved if the women are informed and have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning and other reproductive services of their choice to regulate fertility which are not against the law and the right to access appropriate health care services that will enable them go safely through pregnancy and child birth.

The Senior Maternal and New Born Health Manager with the Save the Children foundation, Abimbola Williams and the Lagos State Commission for Health, Jide Idris, in this interview examines the components of reproductive health and how women in Nigeria have felt in this year.