The Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire says there is a need to strengthen the development, local production, efficient and rational use of vaccines in Nigeria to achieve vaccine security.
Dr. Ehanire said this on Thursday at the launching of the maiden edition of the Nigeria Vaccine Policy and the Launch of 3rd Edition of the National Drug Policy in Abuja.
The Minister who said the first edition and second edition of the Policy was in 1990 and in 2005 respectively however said many of the expectations of that edition were unrealized due to lack of political will by past governments and the absence of a well-structured monitoring system.
He said the revised edition hopefully has taken care of those identified lapses adding that the launching of this edition is against the backdrop of the overall Health Sector Reform (HSR) Programme of the Ministry.
He said the goals of the National Drug Policy is to make available at all times to the Nigerian populace adequate supplies of drugs that are effective, affordable, safe and of good quality; to ensure the rational use of such drugs; and to stimulate increased local production of essential drugs.
He said vaccines are biological products that can be used to safely induce an immune response to confer protection against an infection and/or disease on subsequent exposure to a specific pathogen.
He said it is the most cost-effective intervention in public health and has created a significant impact on the reduction of diseases globally.
Dr. Ehanire expressed hope that the launching of the third edition of the National Drug Policy will further increase the vibrancy of the pharmaceutical sector for the overall improvement of people’s health.