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COVID-19: FG vows to make Nigeria vaccine manufacturing hub for West Africa consumption – Ehanire



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

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

He said there is the need to protect Nigerians and mitigate capital flight derived from the importation of vaccines by supporting the production capacities of indigenous medical industry.

He said: “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.

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“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.”

COVID-19 Vaccine

The event has the theme: “the Journey towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Applying lessons from COVID-19 pandemic to build a resilient health system.

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Speaking further, the Minister said Nigeria is still far from achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 3 by the United Nation.

Ehanire said that unless drastic measures are taken by all stakeholders, the health component of the SDG won’t be met, and that could be disastrous.

He however solicited the support of Council members who are mostly Commissioners of health in the states and other stakeholders to play their respective roles to support and help the federal government achieve the health-related SDG goals.

“The end term of the SDGs is barely nine years away and targets of the health-related SGDs, in particular SDG 3 are still far off.

“The National Strategic Health Development Plan2 2018-2022, that provided the medium-term health sector roadmap to attain the goals and objectives of the National policy and edge closer to the SDG targets is completing its life cycle.

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“We need to take stock and ensure the succeeding plan addresses emerging needs in a post pandemic era. While chances of meeting targets may now seem slim in the face of the challenges of the past year, the good news is that our nation can leverage lessons learnt from the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, nationally and globally, to make bold decisions to build a resilient health system.

“We must reflect critically on how to refocus, re-energise and reprogram the future of health, ensuring lessons from COVID-19 pandemic response are leveraged to develop statutes, strategies and frameworks that deliver continuously improving quality of health to our people while building back better.

“Above all, it ensures no one is left behind as we develop a resilient health system that ranks among the best, seeing to the needs of individuals and groups and withstand challenge” he added.


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