NPHCDA Sets Wednesday To Begin Second Dose Of AstraZeneca Vaccine

A file photo of a syringe and a vial containing the COVID-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca. THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP

 

Those who have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will begin to receive the second dose from Wednesday, the Federal Government has said.

Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this on Tuesday at a briefing in Abuja.

He appealed to those who have taken the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to proceed to their vaccination sites for the second dose for maximum protection against the disease.

Shuaib also asked persons aged 18 years and above who have yet to be vaccinated to visit any of the sites to receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

READ ALSO: FG Has Made 15% Deposit For J&J Vaccines – NPHCDA

The NPHCDA boss explained why the Federal Government delayed the deployment of the Moderna vaccines to states after they were certified safe by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

He said the delay was due to the lack of proper coding for tracing and tracking, although 29 states have so far received their shipment of the vaccines.

According to Shuaib, the Johnson & Johnson will be available to persons in security-compromised, riverine, nomadic, and border settlements.

He urged Nigerians to continue to observe the existing protocols to curb the spread of the disease, even after vaccination until the country achieves herd immunity.

Read the text of the NPHCDA boss’ speech at the briefing below:

Distinguished members of the Press, it gives me great pleasure to once again welcome you to this weekly progress report on our efforts to protect Nigerians against the deadly COVID-19.

I have come to look forward to this regular interface with you as it aligns with our principle of transparency and accountability at NPHCDA and the partnership. I thank you for keeping faith with us as we strive to make Nigerians healthy.

In the last few days, our focus has been on distributing the range of COVID-19 vaccines – Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca to the states, as well as concluding the training of state and LGA personnel to ensure optimum vaccine utilisation.

So far, we have deployed Moderna vaccines to 29 States. It is pertinent to state that we could not deploy the vaccines immediately after NAFDAC certification because, unlike the AstraZeneca, the Moderna vaccine did not come with complete barcoding. And this is absolutely needed for us to be able to track and trace the vaccines.

As I told you in previous meetings, Nigeria was the first country to use Track and Trace, to monitor the movement and utilisation of the vaccine. At every point in time, we know where each vaccine vial is in the country. This takes a lot of time as it entails careful packaging, serialisation and follow up to the end user.

Furthermore, we want to ensure that any state we are sending the vaccine to, is fully ready to receive them. Readiness here means that the state’s ultra-cold chain equipment is fully functional and able to store the vaccines at the required temperatures.

Also, the states must have back-up storage facilities such as walk-in cold room, walk-in freezer or chest freezers with reliable 24-hour power supply. Additionally, we require that the states have trained health care workers who will monitor the equipment and the vaccines.

Now that the vaccines are in the states, we are counting on our Governors to continue to provide the needed oversight and resources to ensure that these vaccines are secured and maintained in the required temperatures and that all eligible persons are mobilised to access the vaccines to protect themselves, their families and their communities against COVID-19.

For Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a single dose, using the Geographical Information System (GIS), we have mapped out the hard-to-reach areas across all states, such as security-compromised, riverine, nomadic and border settlements where these vaccines will be deployed for targeted vaccination.

Again, as I mentioned previously, the reason for targeting these areas with the Johnson & Johnson is because of geographical constraints that make it difficult to reach the dwellers with the second dose after the first contact.

Secondly, it removes the additional logistic cost for going to these communities twice. We have developed the necessary protocols to guide the states and ensure compliance with the distribution guideline for the vaccine.

The AstraZeneca vaccine will be used as the second dose for those who received their first dose during the first phase to ensure they are fully vaccinated. Consequently, the administration of AstraZeneca Vaccine will commence on the 25th of August and will close on the 5th of September.

I, therefore, urge all those who received their first dose prior to July 8th to visit a designated vaccination site from 25th August to 5th September to receive their second dose and become fully protected against COVID-19. As we receive more supplies, we will then open it up for those who may wish to take their first dose.

You may recall that one of the initiatives we have introduced in this second phase of the vaccination rollout and subsequent phases is the primary health care services integration (PSI), also known as the “whole of family” approach.

This means that when you visit a health facility for your COVID-19 vaccination, you will be given health talks to improve your knowledge of the vaccine and vaccination, and if you are 40 years and above, you will have the opportunity to check your blood pressure and be assessed for the risk of diabetes.

Similarly, children aged zero to 12 months will be screened for malnutrition and vaccinated against childhood diseases such as measles, yellow fever, hepatitis and polio. If you need further medical attention, you will be referred to the appropriate hospital for additional analysis and treatment.

Distinguished ladies and Gentlemen, I want to wrap up by urging every person aged 18 years and above who has not been vaccinated to visit any of our vaccination sites to receive their first dose of Moderna vaccine.

Those who have received their first dose of AstraZeneca should also proceed to their vaccination sites for their second dose for maximum protection. And as I mentioned earlier, Johnson & Johnson will be available to persons in security-compromised, riverine, nomadic and border settlements.

Please remember that even after vaccination, we need to continue to observe the non-pharmaceutical measures such as wearing of facemask, observing hand hygiene physical distancing, and avoiding crowds and unnecessary travels until the country achieves herd immunity.

I would also like to congratulate Nigerians as we reach one year of being certified wild polio virus free on August 25th.

I thank you and will continue to count on your support for dissemination of true and accurate information to keep Nigerians informed and educated about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination.

God bless you!

God bless NPHCDA!!

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

Dr. Faisal Shuaib

ED/CEO NPHCDA

FG Has Made 15% Deposit For J&J Vaccines – NPHCDA

 

The Federal Government has made a 15 per cent deposit for the procurement of the 29 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines which costs $7, 50 cents per dose.

Chief Executive Officer for the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this on Tuesday at a briefing in Abuja.

According to him, the Ministry of Finance opted for the purchase of the J&J vaccines to cut down on multiple trips and save costs.

Speaking further, the NPHCD boss said Nigeria is expected to receive 176,000 doses of the J&J vaccine which is a single-shot vaccine.

He also confirmed Monday (August 16) as the new official rollout date for the second batch of the inoculation exercise.

The vaccines are expected to boost Nigeria’s COVID-19 fight with the deadlier Delta variant sparking fears of a third wave of the pandemic.

Read Also: Nigeria To Receive 176,000 J&J COVID-19 Vaccines On Wednesday

The second phase of the vaccination exercise had earlier been scheduled to begin on Tuesday, but it was postponed due to “unforeseen circumstances,” according to a spokesperson in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey.

With Nigeria gradually seeing a fresh spike in infections, the need for the rollout of the second batch of vaccines has become crucial.

As of Monday, 422 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the country, with five more deaths.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the infections were recorded in nine states. Lagos maintained the lead with 190 cases, followed by Rivers (86) and Ogun (85).

Others are Oyo (22), FCT (20), Kwara (7), Edo (5), Abia (4), and Bayelsa (3)

So far, a total of 178,508 cases have been confirmed, 165,983 patients have recovered and 2,192 deaths have been recorded in 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory.

2.53 million Nigerians have, however, taken the first dose of the vaccine, while 1.404 million have been fully vaccinated.

Second Phase Of Covid Vaccination To Begin August 16 – NPHCDA

A file photo showing a Nigerian taking the COVID-19 jab.

 

After one postponement, Nigeria is now scheduled to commence the second phase of its COVID-19 vaccination programme on August 16.

This is according to the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib.

The Federal Government had earlier scheduled the exercise to begin on Tuesday, but it was postponed due to “unforeseen circumstances,” according to a spokesperson in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey.

Speaking to Channels Television on Monday, Dr Shuaib suggested the postponement had been necessary for preparations to be finalised.

“The start date for the vaccination has been postponed to next week Monday,” he said.

“This is to enable NAFDAC finish its assessment and preparatory processes.”

The second phase of the vaccination programme was breathed into life after the US donated over four million doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Only about one percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, so far.

On Sunday, Nigeria recorded 471 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus as resident doctors across the country continue to strike over unpaid benefits.

The new cases were reported on Sunday from 13 states, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Nigeria has recently seen an uptick in new cases of COVID-19 as fears of a third wave continues to loom.

To prepare for the surge in new cases, the government has advised Nigerians to adhere to health protocols such as wearing of masks and social distancing, especially in indoor settings.

Vaccine Used In Nigeria Can Protect Against Indian COVID-19 Variant – NPHCDA

In this file photo, a vial containing the COVID-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca and a syringe are seen on a table. AFP
In this file photo, a vial containing the COVID-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca and a syringe are seen on a table. AFP

 

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency has called on Nigerians to continue to take the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Addressing reporters on Tuesday in Abuja, the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, stated that the vaccine was not only effective but was capable of protecting people against the Indian variant of the virus.

“Recent research from Public Health England (PHE) shows that the Indian (Delta) variant B.1.617.2 is 92% susceptible to Oxford/AstraZeneca,” he said at the briefing to update Nigerians on the status of COVID-19 vaccination.

Shuaib added, “It is, therefore, comforting to know that the vaccine used in Nigeria can protect against this variant that caused high morbidity and mortality in India. However, it underscores the need for us to ramp up our vaccination to more Nigerians.”

He announced that the Nigerian government has reopened the administration of the first dose of the vaccine effective from Tuesday, in response to requests by Nigerians to be vaccinated.

The NPHCDA boss noted that the vaccination for the first dose was officially closed on May 24 and appealed to persons of 18 years and above that were yet to take the jab to visit the nearest vaccination site for the first dose of the vaccine.

He explained that such persons would be due to receive their second dose of the jab in 12 weeks, noting that Nigeria would have received the next consignment of vaccines.

The NPHCDA boss said dedicated teams have continued to make strides in the vaccine rollout, working hand-in-hand with the local communities all across the country.

As of June 15, he revealed that the agency has administered 1,978,808 and 680,345 first and second doses of the vaccine respectively.

Shuaib called on all Nigerians who have received their first dose to check their vaccination cards for the date of their first dose.

He asked them to ensure that they receive the second dose between six and 12 weeks from the date they took the first dose, to gain full protection against the COVID-19 virus.

FG Reopens First Dose COVID-19 Vaccination, Says Second Dose To End June 25

NPHCDA Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaib, flanked by two men at a press briefing in Abuja on June 15, 2021.

 

The Nigerian government has reopened the administration of the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in various parts of the country.

This takes effect from Tuesday, according to the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib.

“Recall that we officially closed the vaccination for the first dose on May 24, 2021. Since then, we have been inundated with requests by Nigerians to be vaccinated,” he told reporters on Tuesday in Abuja at a briefing to update Nigerians on the status of COVID-19 vaccination.

Shuaib added, “In response, we have decided to reopen vaccination for the first dose from today.

“This means anyone 18 years and above who has not been vaccinated should visit the nearest vaccination site for the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Headline Inflation Drops To 17.93%, But Food Prices Rise

A file photo of a medical doctor receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at the National Hospital in Abuja on March 5, 2021.

 

He explained that such persons would be due to receive their second dose of the jab in 12 weeks, noting that Nigeria would have received the next consignment of vaccines.

The NPHCDA boss noted that dedicated teams have continued to make strides in the vaccine rollout, working hand-in-hand with the local communities all across the country.

As of June 15, he disclosed that the agency has administered 1,978,808 and 680,345 first and second doses of the vaccine respectively.

Shuaib called on all Nigerians who have received their first dose to check their vaccination cards for the date of their first dose.

 

He asked them to ensure that they receive the second dose between six and 12 weeks from the date they took the first dose, to gain full protection against the COVID-19 virus.

The NPHCDA boss stated that in some cases, the location of the second dose could be different from that of the first dose.

“I, therefore, urge all Nigerians who have received their first dose at least six weeks ago to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive their second dose, for full protection against COVID-19 on or before June 25 when we shall close the administration of the second dose,” he pleaded.

Over 4,600 People Have Taken Second Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine – NPHCDA

A file photo of a medical doctor receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at the National Hospital in Abuja on March 5, 2021.

 

The Federal Government has begun to administer the second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to eligible persons in the country.

A total of 4,683 people have taken the second jab, said Dr Faisal Shuaib who is the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

He made the disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja at a press conference to update Nigerians on the status of the vaccination exercise.

Shuaib noted that the agency has almost completed administering all first doses as of Monday.

According to him, 1,929,237 Nigerians have been captured so far, representing 96 per cent of the targeted population.

“We are advising that all Nigerians who have received their first dose should check their vaccination cards for the date of their second dose, and ensure that they receive the second dose to gain full protection against COVID-19,” he said.

The NPHCDA chief added, “As we transition to administering second doses, our teams have assessed the communication and mobilisation activities that have been undertaken thus far to create awareness for the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage uptake.

“We will be building on the work we have already done in these areas to ensure that Nigerians can easily access accurate information about COVID-19 vaccination.”

He explained that the objective was to do everything possible to educate, combat misinformation, and ensure confidence in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and ensure all Nigerians have clear information on how, where, and when to get the vaccine.

Shuaib gave the assurance that the agency would continue engagement and communication with communities across the country, noting that the success recorded with the first dose was the collective efforts of all stakeholders.

He, however, acknowledged the challenges of vaccine supply in the global community, hinting that Nigeria may receive the next consignment of vaccines by end of July or August, although the information has not been officially confirmed.

“When we are able to, we will provide an update regarding timelines and details of the next shipment. At present, we do not have that information available due to the wider context we are in. However, we can update you on some positive developments.

“Pfizer and BioNTech pledged on Friday of last week to provide one billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to low-and-middle-income countries by the end of 2021, and another one billion doses in 2022,” the NPHCDA chief disclosed.

Over 600,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Jabs Administered In Nigeria – NPHCDA

A file photo of a medical doctor receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at the National Hospital in Abuja on March 5, 2021.

 

A total of 638,291 eligible people have taken their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said on Tuesday.

In its latest update, the NPHCDA said more people have continued to receive the vaccine jabs across all states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), except in Kogi State where authorities have yet to commence vaccination.

The latest figure indicates that 124,665 more eligible people took the vaccine jabs in the last two days, following the 513,626 total figure that was reported on Sunday.

It also shows an increase of 6.2 per cent of the proportion vaccinated, compared with the 25.5 per cent earlier reported.

A further breakdown of the figure reveals that Lagos has the highest number of eligible people who have taken the vaccine jabs with a total of 122,714.

 

The south-west state, which is described as the epicentre of the pandemic in Nigeria, maintains its status as the only state to have surpassed the 100,000 mark.

Coming after Lagos as states with the highest number of people that have received the vaccine are Ogun, Kaduna, and Katsina States where 50,052; 43,601; and 36,075 eligible people have been vaccinated, respectively.

Other states are Bauchi – 33,157; Kwara – 28,681; Kano – 27,980; Ondo – 25,035; Jigawa – 23,424; FCT – 21,005; Osun – 18,160; Edo – 17,627; Yobe – 16,681; Ekiti – 15,291; and Adamawa – 15,156.

According to the NPHCDA, the figures were compiled from the system dashboard of the Electronic Management of Immunisation Data (EMID).

This comes four weeks after Nigeria received its first shipment of 3,924,000 doses of the vaccines from India.

 

The country commenced the vaccination exercise with the vaccination of four frontline healthcare workers in Abuja on March 5 – three days after the vaccines arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, state governors, as well as members of the Federal Executive Council, are among those who have received their first dose of the vaccine.

At the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 held on Monday last week, the PTF Chairman, Mr Boss Mustapha, had said the government took delivery of 300,000 additional doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.

122,410 People Have Received COVID-19 Vaccine Jabs – NPHCDA

A file photo of a health worker preparing an injection of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. ALAIN JOCARD / AFP

 

No fewer than 122,410 people have received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine across the country, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has said.

The NPHCDA Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaib, gave the figure on Monday at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He stated that no adverse effect has been recorded or any known severe side effect since the Federal Government launched the vaccination exercise.

Shuaib stressed that the vaccine only elicits mild pains and symptoms and called on those eligible to be inoculated to come forward for the vaccine jab.

According to him, the vaccination exercise has already commenced in 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The NPHCDA, however, noted that the exercise has yet to commence in four states – Kogi, Kebbi, Zamfara, and Oyo, as of the time of the briefing.

He informed reporters at the briefing that the government was aware of the report of alleged vaccine mismanagement at some sites and investigations have commenced.

A file photo of Dr Faisal Shuaib.

 

Shuaib warned that the government would not hesitate to deal with anyone found culpable of subverting the vaccination process, using stringent measures and appropriate sanctions.

He also gave an assurance that the government would ensure that the procurement of vaccines was transparently handled.

In his remarks, the PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, noted that over seven million people have been vaccinated in Africa.

He hinted that a platform would be created during the week to detail information regarding the management of vaccines and show pandemic trajectory.

The SGF also revealed that the PTF took delivery of 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from MTN Nigeria on Sunday.

The first shipment of 3,924,000 doses of the vaccines arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on March 2 via an Emirates airplane from India.

Three days later, Nigeria commenced the exercise with the vaccination of four frontline healthcare workers in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, state governors, as well as members of the Federal Executive Council, are among those who have received their first dose of the vaccine.

Insecurity Won’t Stop COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution In Rural Areas — Ogun Gov

We have installed a solar-powered cold chain for the #COVID19 vaccines – Dapo Abiodun

 

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun says security challenges will not stop those at the grassroots from getting COVID-19 vaccines.

The governor who disclosed this in a series of tweets on Thursday added that the state will soon launch the Western Security Network, codenamed Amotekun Corps, as a measure to address the challenges.

“At the meeting, we held with all Ogun State’s 20 Local Government Transition Chairmen earlier today, I disclosed this as I expressed confidence that the recent security challenges that is gradually phasing out will not stop the vaccine from getting to the grassroots.

READ ALSO: Buhari, Osinbajo To Take COVID-19 Vaccine On Saturday

“Specifically, two major measures are being put in place to address insecurity and access to remote areas.

“In addition to the Peace Committee, we will first launch the Amotekun security outfit in Yewa in the coming weeks. We will also rehabilitate the Papalanto-Ilaro Road, as well as construct link roads in other areas,” the governor said.

Abiodun also revealed the state’s readiness for the arrival of the vaccines, saying it has installed a solar-power cold chain.

“We have installed a solar-powered cold chain for the #COVID19 vaccines that have now arrived in Nigeria, and will be prioritising frontline healthcare workers in its administration.”

 

 

Two days after Nigeria received the first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said  the country will commence the vaccination against COVID-19 on Friday, March 5.

The Executive Director of NPHCDA Dr Faisal Shuaib announced this on Thursday at a presidential briefing held at the State House in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He revealed that the government would kick-off the exercise at the National Hospital in Abuja where the frontline health workers there would be the first set of people to be vaccinated.

Shuaib also hinted that the President, Muhammadu Buhari, and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, would also take their vaccine shots a day after the health workers were administered the vaccines.

‘A Glorious Day For Nigeria’, FG Lauds Polio Eradication Certification

A file photo of the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at a press conference in Abuja. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Federal Government has lauded the historic certification of Nigeria and Africa as a polio-free country and continent, respectively.

In a statement on Tuesday, the government welcomed the development as “a glorious day for Nigeria” and fulfilment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise.

It noted that the President had given the assurance that his administration would provide the necessary resources to strengthen the health system, routine immunisation, and ensure the country was certified polio-free.

Reacting to the feat recorded, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, described it as the fulfilment of President Buhari’s promise and the resilient spirit of Nigerians, especially frontline health workers who gave Nigeria the pride of place in the comity of nations.

“It is indeed one of the greatest dividends of the present administration,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by Mohammad Ohitoto who is the Head of Public Relations Unit at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

The Executive Director and Chief Executive of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, could not agree less with the minister on polio eradication in Nigeria.

“It is one classical example of human resilience, wherein the face of adversity, in spite of numerous setbacks, over the course of almost three decades, Nigerians came together, relentlessly worked hard with our donors and development partners to eradicate polio,” he stated.

Polio, Cross River
A file photo of a child with a deformed leg.

 

The NPHCDA boss added that the history of polio eradication in Nigeria was evidence of how the health system could work collaboratively with the community and religious leaders to eradicate any disease.

He stressed that the use of the polio eradication strategy contributed immensely to the rapid control of the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014.

Shuaib, who coordinated the Ebola outbreak response, revealed that the lessons learned from the success of polio eradication “is exactly what we’re using with the COVID-19 outbreak response.”

He said the recent feat did not come easy as it has been a long and arduous journey, with great efforts and investment from the government, donors, as well as local and international partners.

The NPHCDA boss listed them to include Rotary International, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Aliko Dangote Foundation, WHO, Unicef, CDC, USAID, Gavi, EU, Global Affairs Canada, DFID, World Bank, JICA, KfW, and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, to mention a few.

He pointed out that the major problem the programme faced was insecurity, saying it affected the effort at achieving polio eradication.

Shuaib, however, believes the polio programme was able to surmount this problem and others through the establishment of the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication, the Polio Emergency Operation Centers (EOC), the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Polio Eradication led by the Sultan of Sokoto, among others.

He attributed the achievement to the leadership provided by President Buhari, Ehanire, traditional and religious leaders, local and international partners, all health workers, and the Nigerian populace.

The NPHCDA also dedicated the certification to the memory of all those who lost their lives in the cause of polio eradication, describing them as Polio Heroes.

Maternal/Child Deaths: NPHCDA To Engage 100,000 Community Health Workers

Maternal/Child Deaths: NPHCDA To Deploy 100,000 Community Health Workers
This file photo shows a mother breastfeeding her child

 

The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) has revealed plans to engage at least 100,000 health workers under the Community Health Influencers, Promoters and Services (CHIPS) programme.

The Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this on Tuesday in Kaduna State, said the plan was aimed at reducing the high rate of maternal and child deaths in the country.

Addressing a meeting of the Northern Traditional Leaders’ Committee on Primary Healthcare Delivery, he stressed that the deployment of healthcare agents to rural communities became necessary as Nigeria loses about one million women and children to preventable medical conditions annually.

Dr Shuaib blamed the deaths on the absence of trained medical personnel and adequate facilities in the affected communities.

The meeting was convened to review the progress made in the reduction of child and maternal deaths in 2017, and to develop high priority intervention in rural communities in 2018.

Part of the strategies agreed at the gathering was to adopt a community-based programme where individuals with basic criteria would be trained and deployed to attend to basic medical needs of the people in their communities.

The NPHCDA boss informed the committee that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that the programme should be held in every state of the federation.

“We have a total of almost 10,000 wards in Nigeria and by calculations, we would be getting nearly 200,000 CHIP agents spread across Nigeria and this would be the largest aggregations of community health workers anywhere in Africa,” he said.

“Every year, up to a million women and children under five (years) die from the totally preventable cause; our women die during pregnancy and our kids are dying from preventable courses such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea and these deaths happen before individuals get to the clinic or any health facility.

“These CHIP agents will be living and working in these communities to find out how community members are doing and where people are found to be sick, they can diagnose and give free medication to the community members,” he added.

On his part, the deputy chairman of the committee Mr Samila Mera decried the high rate of maternal and newborn deaths as a national tragedy which requires concerted effort to tackle.

He, however, assured Dr Shuaib that the traditional institution would key into the government’s initiative, in order to reduce the burden of such avoidable calamities on their people.

FG To Revitalise National Primary Healthcare

FG To Revitalise National Primary HealthcareThe Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to repositioning the health sector through the revitalisation of the primary healthcare system.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, stated this on Saturday at the launch of the National Primary Healthcare Supply Chain in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Professor Isaac Adewole said the revitalisation of the nation’s primary healthcare system was the only way for the Federal Government to deliver on its election campaign promise of affordable and accessible healthcare for all.

“The revitalisation exercise signifies a major commitment of Mr President to provide leadership in an effort to reposition the nation’s health system.

“Many of us who have been actively involved with the health system recognise that what we’ve practiced hitherto was an inverted pyramid with the tertiary healthcare system at the tip and the primary at the base.

“When the pyramid is inverted, it is not a stable pyramid and most Nigerians will access help by visiting the next or the most available tertiary institution and I did mention that this cannot stand.

“As part of efforts to revitalise the nation’s health system, we recognise clearly that repositioning the primary healthcare system is the way forward.

“It also enables us to translate the agenda of the APC administration; that manifesto simply stated accessible healthcare system within three to five kilometres radius with affordable healthcare to the people.

The Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, on his part commended the Federal Government’s plan.

Dr. Shuaib expressed optimism that the programme would accelerate the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage.