COVID-19

Covid-19: Nigeria could miss September Immunization Coverage Target.

The Director Planning, Research & statistics at the national primary health care development agency (NPHCDA) Doctor Abdullahi Garba says Nigeria may miss the September seventy percent COVID-19 immunization target, as the country is very far from the goal.

Doctor Abdullahi stated this at the bi-weekly Ministerial Press briefing on control COVID-19

According to him out of the estimated over one hundred and eleven eligible population, only 21.2 million of this targeted population have been fully vaccinated, while 28.4 million have received one jab.

The figures represent 19.05 percent of fully vaccinated individuals and 25.4 percent of partially vaccinated People

The director is advocating for the need to be more aggressive in ramping up vaccination against the virus.

VACCINATED COVID-19

FG Release Updated Figures of Vaccinated Nigerians

The Federal Government says over 29 million eligible persons have received the 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccines noting that this represents 23.4% Nigeria’s eligible population.

It further said 14,179,966 persons have received the 2nd dose and 17,702,018 are fully vaccinated which represent 15.8% of its eligible population while 1,178,604 persons have received the booster dose.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency Dr. Faisal Shuaib disclosed this on Tuesday while receiving 4.4 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine donated by Spain to Nigeria.

According to him, these figures shows that Nigeria is a far cry from its target of 70% of its eligible population but however noted that these donations will help towards achieving its target.

Dr. Shuaib said if we keep up with vaccination, the likely scenario is that even though the virus continues to evolve, the severity of the disease will reduce over time, as the immunity increases due to vaccination.

Read: Covid-19 Vaccination: 55 million Nigerians to be Vaccinated by End of January 2022

He however said If majority of our eligible population in Nigeria and globally continue to remain unvaccinated, what we may see is that a more virulent and highly transmissible variant could emerge, sooner or later which would be worse than any variant seen.

He said striving to vaccinate 70% of the eligible population of every country remains essential for bringing the pandemic under control and Nigeria is working hard to ensure its citizens has access to the lifesaving vaccines.

He assured that they will continue to work with all stakeholders, partners and communities to ensure an inclusive COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Nigeria.

The Spain Ambassador to Nigeria Juan Ignatio Sell, in his remark, said there is need to protect, safeguard and invest in health and health workers, adding that this is the effort line that Spain is co-leading in the framework of the Global Action Plan.

He added that they have committed 300 million euros for further donations and projects to strengthen public health systems.

He also harped on the need to improve global mechanisms for technology transfer to decentralize the production of health products in all regions, Africa in particular.

Nobody is Safe From COVID-19 Until Everybody is Safe From COVID, FG Says

NPHCDA: We did not say 70% of PHC drugs are substandard

The National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHCDA) has refuted reports that its Executive Director, Dr. Shuaib Faisal said 70% of drugs dispensed in Primary Healthcare Centres were substandard.

A statement from the Agency and signed by its Head of Public Relations, Mohammad Ohitoto, argued that the public relations can authoritatively report that the Executive Director never made such a statement anywhere in his engagements.

“Furthermore, the Executive Director is aware that drug administration and monitoring is outside the Agency’s mandate, and it is incorrect to assert that 7 out of every 10 drugs in Nigeria is substandard.

“NPHCDA has re-examined all external materials and online platforms, and will ensure that this inaccurate information is not communicated by NPHCDA, to avoid any misunderstanding.”

The Agency also said it appreciates that the media’s intention is to report facts and dutifully inform the public, stressing that the NPHCDA is thankful for such efforts put in by the media.

GAVI

VACCINES ACCOUNTABILITY:
GAVI DELEGATION INSPECTS NIGERIA’S COLD CHAIN STORES

A HIGH-LEVEL DELEGATION OF THE GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR VACCINES AND IMMUNIZATION (gavi) IS IN NIGERIA TO EVALUATE HOW THE COUNTRY HAS ADMINISTERED DONATIONS FOR COVID-19 MANAGEMENT AS WELL AS FUNDING FOR ROUTINE IMMUNIZATION AND UPGRADE OF THE PRIMARY HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

THE TEAM VISITED ONE OF NIGERIA’S LARGEST COLD CHAIN STORES IN ABUJA TO EVALUATE STORAGE CONDITIONS AND USAGE OF ALL DONATED VACCINES, INCLUDING THE COVID-19 VACCINES.

GAVI HAD COMMITTED 1.03 BILLION DOLLARS TO FUND IMMUNIZATION IN ITS TEN-YEAR TRANSITION PLAN IN NIGERIA, COVERING 2018 TO 2028.

THE INSPECTION IS PART OF GAVI’S TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY FRAMEWORK, WHICH AIMS TO BENCHMARK VALUE FOR INVESTMENTS INTO THE HEALTH SECTOR

GAVI IS A GLOBAL HEALTH PARTNERSHIP OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR ORGANIZATIONS, DEDICATED TO IMMUNIZATION, AND HAS BEEN DONATING VACCINES INCLUDING COVID-19 VACCINES TO NIGERIA.

THIS EXPLAINS WHY THE DELEGATION IS INTERESTED IN THE STORAGE AND USAGE OF ALL THE VACCINES DONATED TO NIGERIA IN RECENT TIMES.

THE TEAM WHICH TOOK A TOUR OF THE COLD STORE, OPENING THE FREEZERS AT SOME POINTS, EXPRESSES SATISFACTION ON THE WAY VACCINES ARE MANAGED IN THE COUNTRY.

COVID-19 vaccines

Nigeria rejects COVID-19 vaccine with 6 months expiry date – NPHCDA

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has rejected COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to Nigeria because the vaccines will expire in less than six months.

READ: FG Destroys Over 1 Million Doses of Expired COVID-19 Vaccines

The Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this in Abuja, while presenting a paper on “Status of COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-Out, Delivery, Uptake, Challenges, and Potential Areas Where Advocacy is Needed.”

The occasion is a two-day Strategic Advocacy Retreat on COVID-19 and Health Security in Nigeria.

He added that the country has a standard of rejecting vaccines with expiration dates of less than six months.

Dr Shuaib, represented by the Director, Planning Research and Statistics at NPHCDA, Dr Abdullahi Bulama Garba, said the development is to further demonstrate the agency’s high standards in its operations within the country.

“The work that we do is the work that requires trust. It is a sacred trust that has been bestowed on us by Nigerians and we hold that trust to be true.

READ: NO COVID-19 VACCINE HAS EXPIRED IN NIGERIA SAYS DR FAISAL, NPHCDA

“We pride in that trust very jealously. This is why we did not accept the vaccine doses that had less than six months to expiration. The vaccines from Gavi were five months to their expiration date, so we can’t take such vaccines because they did not meet the country’s standard,” he stressed.

He said that the agency was working with partners to ensure that the country vaccinates 50 per cent of the eligible population by March 2022; and 70 per cent by June 2022, noting that it was also working to deliver vaccines to the states.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the NPHCDA, Federal Ministry of Health and partners, plans to achieve 50 per cent coverage of COVID-19 vaccination by the end of the first quarter of 2022; and vaccinate all eligible populations by end of 2022 to achieve herd immunity.

“Considering the high influx of vaccines expected in 2022, and the need to quickly protect the vulnerable population against COVID-19, the country has ramped-up COVID-19 vaccines uptake.

“The NPHCDA, working collaboratively with other Government MDAs and development partners, has deployed the S.C.A.L.E.S strategy to ensure that all COVID-19 vaccines received by the country are equitably distributed and efficiently used within the shortest time frame.

“The COVID-19 vaccination strategy team meets daily and has been proactive in taking immediate actions to ensure challenges are effectively mitigated. There is progressive improvement in the daily utilisation rates reporting, however, more is desired,” he explained.

He disclosed that over 62 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been received from various donors so far in the country, with 42 million expected to be received before the end of the second quarter of 2022.

READ: LATEST: 3.2 million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines From the US have over 6 months’ shelf life, -US Government

“Total doses of COVID-19 vaccine received from March 2021 till date is 16,230,960.

“Description of Quantity Expected 41,847,880 doses. The federal government has received a commitment for the supply of 6,962,400 doses of Moderna vaccines from the US Government/COVAX.

“This is being expected within the next one week. The government has received a commitment for the donation of 2,407,600 doses of AstraZeneca /Covishield vaccines. This is being expected within the next two weeks.

“13,392,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines procured by the Federal government will be shipped before the end of February 2022, while an additional 23 million doses of the J&J vaccines will be shipped to Nigeria in batches in the next few months.

“10,089,600 doses of J&J vaccines donated by the COVAX facility will be shipped to Nigeria before the end of the first quarter of 2022. The 62,270,980 in the country were: 16,230,960 – Moderna, 19,482,240 – AstraZeneca, 10,980,400 – J&J, and 15,577,380 – Pfizer,” he stated.

Dr Shuaib added that the incoming vaccines would come from COVAX or be procured by the government through the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team and AfreximBank facility.

“The majority of the vaccines were donated by the COVAX facilities and the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVAT),” he added.

The NPHCDA said that strategic approaches to reduce hesitancy and increase uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine were targeted towards advocacy, intensive media engagement, and community engagement.

Health Reporters

US to donate over one billion vaccine doses around the world by early 2022

US to Donate Over One Billion Vaccine Doses Around the World by Early 2022

NPHCDA Receives 2.5 million vaccine doses

The U.S. Embassy in Abuja says it has proudly welcomed the arrival of 2.5 million Pfizer vaccine doses in Abuja this week.

A statement from the Embassy reveals that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA) received the vaccines, ensuring they were taken to cold storage to prepare for distribution to over 3,000 health facilities across all 36 states and FCT-Abuja.

It was further noted that over the next several weeks, the vaccines will be available at major markets, shopping malls, event centers, motor parks, airports, places of employment, and religious institutions as part of Nigeria’s mass vaccination campaign.

To date, the United States has donated more than 13.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with COVAX, or bilaterally to Nigeria. Additionally, the United States has provided more than $119 million in COVID-19 related health assistance.

“This includes a 40-bed mobile field hospital, ventilators and related training for 88 hospitals, personal protective equipment, technical assistance for vaccine readiness, risk communication and demand generation for vaccines, conducting an epidemiological COVID-19 detection and vaccine hesitancy survey, setting up electronic record systems, rapid response teams, training for over 200,000 military and civilian personnel on COVID-19 control measures, and technology for virtual training.

“In addition, the United States leveraged the PEPFAR-supported National Integrated Specimen Referral Network (NiSRN) and laboratory investments to support expansion of the NCDC (153) molecular laboratory network nationwide.”

The statement referenced U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s remark earlier this month, where he said “The COVID-19 pandemic won’t end for any country until it ends for all countries. Otherwise, the virus will keep replicating around the world, people will keep getting sick and dying, and we won’t be able to safely reopen our economies or travel around the world for business and tourism the way we used to. That’s why the United States is committed to helping end the pandemic in Nigeria and everywhere.”

It was also reiterated that the United States is committed to donating more than one billion vaccine doses around the world, by early 2022, including African countries primarily through the COVAX initiative; stressing that improving equitable distribution remains a priority for the United States to prevent the emergence of new variants that threaten populations everywhere.

health informatics spike in COVID-19 infections get vaccinated

NPHCDA RAISES CONCERN ABOUT POSSIBLE SPIKE IN COVID-19 INFECTIONS DURING YULETIDE

The Executive Director, National primary Health Care Development, Dr Faisal Shuaib is worried that Nigeria could experience a spike in Covid-19 infections as the festive season approaches.

Doctor Faisal stated this at the official Flag off of the national mass vaccination campaign in ABUJA.

According to him, the total number of eligible persons who have received the first dose of the vaccine in Nigeria is 5,989,480 which represents only 5.4% of eligible population.

Shuaib also mentioned that almost six million Nigerians have received the COVID-19 vaccine, and none of the six million Nigerians have died as a result of COVID-19 vaccination.

He stresses that the conspiracy theories are falsehoods, crafted to distract Nigerians and undermine the global effort to protect people against COVID-19.

Aisha Buhari on Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis: Aisha Buhari Urges Stakeholders to Support FMoH Multi-stakeholders Strategy

Wife of President, Aisha Buhari has applauded the coordinated multi-stakeholder approach and ambitious plan to scale up access to Tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment, by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Represented by wife of Niger state governor, Amina Bello, Aisha who gave the commendation at the 2021 National Tuberculosis conference in Abuja, explained that the approach will help maintain the required focus to contain the spread of the disease.

While calling on all elected and appointed officials, development partners, the civil society, the academia, religious and traditional leaders among others to support the approach developed by the ministry, the Wife of the President Aisha Buhari pledge her continued support to the cause.

She also spoke on the need to involve affected communities and those living with Tuberculosis, in all strategies targeted at ending TB in Nigeria.

“COVID pandemic has reminded us that we cannot win the fight against Tuberculosis by working in isolation. It is also good to know that the Ministry has stepped up the Tuberculosis response through a coordinated multi-stakeholder approach and by developing an ambitious plan to scale up Tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment.

“These strategies are very important because we need to maintain very strong focus and attention towards fighting TB, the most infectious killer disease in the world.

“And though it has been over a year since we were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we do not lose sight of TB, which has been around much longer and continues to kill people in Nigeria at an alarming rate, despite being a preventable and curable disease.”

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire spoke on the challenges encountered during by the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact on active case finding, and innovative ways through which the challenges were surmounted, resulting in a 7 percent increase from the total number of TB cases detected in the whole of 2020.

“Nigeria recorded a 30 percent reduction in gene Xpert testing within that first week of the lockdown and the number of notified TB cases also dropped by 17 percent.

Now this challenge necessitated the conceptualization and implementation of innovative interventions, the implementation of which resulted in an eventual 15 percent increase across the country in the number of Tuberculosis cases notified, making us one of the few countries in the world that recorded an increase in TB notification during 2020, despite the pandemic.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am also delighted to let you all know that nine months into this year 2021, Nigeria has already surpassed the total number of TB cases notified throughout all of 2020 by 7 percent”.

The Global Director of KNCV TB Foundation, Dr. Gidado Mustapha expressed optimism that the spread of TB can end in Nigeria, only if government, partners and the media play their strategic roles, committedly.

“I am convinced that we can do it because we have done it before. The polio eradication in Nigeria despite all odds; the ebola virus disease containment despite all odds; the ongoing COVID-19 response in Nigeria despite all odds, have shown that we can do it.

“And I therefore say and make a request that if we have to end TB in Nigeria I put forward the following three requests; to the government – you have done it before, you can do it again, please do it for TB, Do it because TB still remains the second cause of death among all infectious diseases, do it again because TB has demonstrated the highest return on investment on a dollar.

“Second, my request goes to the partners. Get out of the comfort zone, engage other stakeholders. And my last request is to the media – you are the catalyzing factor, you are the facilitating factor for all these to happen. Come to the aid of TB.”

I interacted with two TB survivors, who spoke on the need for support groups for TB patients, massive information in the rural areas and good nutrition.

The theme for the 2021 TB Conference is “Sustaining a resilient TB response in Nigeria: Addressing the impact of COVID-19 and other dieases”.

Export of Kaolin

Nigeria to Generate Over 450 Million USD from Annual Export of Kaolin, Says Global Director, D-8 HSP, Dr. Ado Muhammad

The Global Director, Developing 8 (D-8) Organisation – Health and Social Protection (D-8 HSP) Programme and former Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr. Ado Muhammad says Nigerian states of Bauchi, Niger, Katsina and Plateau among others are sitting on huge untapped deposits of Kaolin – a vital pharmaceutical ingredient in the manufacturing of drugs by pharmaceutical giants.

Dr. Ado made the revelation during an exclusive interview with HealthInformatics.Africa while speaking on the mandates of D-8 support to member countries of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey with a combined population coverage of over 1.5 billion people.

D-8 Organisation Health and Social Protection (D-8 HSP) Programme is working with its member countries to support them and fast track attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1,2 and 3 which speak to poverty, hunger, and then health and wellbeing.

D-8 has identified three priority programmes through which it is supporting member countries, one of which includes Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by studying the activities of member countries that are doing well with their health coverage (e.g Turkey with a coverage of 90-91%) to see how their systems could be used adopted to help promote UHC in struggling countries like Nigeria which is barely able to make 5%.

“So what we are doing is to see how we can support Nigeria and other countries to see how we and improve and then come up with Universal Health Coverage in such a way that each and every citizen or each and every person that stays in Nigeria or within any D-8 countries get access to affordable, qualitative and then trusted healthcare at the point of need.

“We are working on that landscape and that is why we are pursuing a very potent, realistic but ambitious programme which has to do with Innovative Financing in which we are thinking out of the box to how we can support the government of Nigeria to have additional funding for the health system. Because Government alone cannot provide funding for the system.”

Dr. Ado also explained that the second priority programme is about trade in health. This he said is aimed at repositioning the health sector as an economic driver and not a drag sector as it is currently perceived in most of the D-8 countries.

According to the Global Director of D-8 HSP, over the years health has been viewed as just an expenditure and not an investment but D-8 HSP wants to change the narrative so that as solid minerals and other sectors are discussed, it will include health.

“We are working towards making sure that health is a major contributor to the economy. Let me give an example; there is a product called kaolin, it is being used in pharmaceutical industries all over the world and in Nigeria. But unfortunately, Nigeria does not have that refined Kaolin which is the pharmaceutical compliant version. So pharmaceutical industries import it.

“We have carried out a major research across the countries and we have found out that a member country which is Indonesia which is a major manufacturer of drugs in the world, imports it from China and they import 460 million Dollars’ worth of it annually.

“Now we are in a discussion between the Government of Nigeria, and we are brokering as well as facilitating, and we also in a discussion with pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria to support the government of Nigeria to be able to start exploring Kaolin and refining it to be pharmaceutically complaint so that such products will be exported to Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries. And we estimate that by the time we are done with that, Nigeria should be able to export at least about 450 million dollars of Kaolin to only Indonesia.

Speaking on the amount if Kaolin deposits in Nigeria, Dr. Ado said “There are huge deposits in Niger state, huge deposits in Katsina state, and then Plateau, there are all over. And these are untapped, and even when they are tapped they have not been converted into pharmaceutical compliant component that will be used.”

D-8 HSP is also supporting Nigeria and other member countries to develop a health system that is robustly supported by evidential data. It is described as a performance based data management system.

He explained that D-8 HSP is supporting the Government of Nigeria to use data to drive policy, “We are supporting the government of Nigeria to drive policy. You will agree with me that policy decisions are determined not by science but by sentiment and by other hidden interest and that is what has always obtained within the governance architecture over the years.

“But we are working with this administration now so that within the health landscape, that every we do will be driven by data. And the D-8 HSP has that capacity and competence to support the Government of Nigeria, using existing data in the National Bureau of Statistics, and also some in the Federal Ministry of Health, in such a way that we can use that to drive policy and also assess impact of intervention programmes so that policy decisions will be driven by statistics and science.

$200 Million Loan

NPHCDA Denies Advocating for $200 Million Loan for Mosquito Nets

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has denied allegation making the rounds in some online publication that its Executive Director Dr. Faisal Shuaibu advocated for a $200 million loan for the importation and local production of mosquitoes nets in the country.

The agency in a statement issued to newsmen on Wednesday and signed by the Head, Public Relations Unit Mohammad Ohitoto said the Malaria programme is the responsibility of the National Malaria Elimination Programme of the Federal Ministry of Health.

It has said the statement is not only untrue, but also a figment of the imagination of the writer as the CEO never discussed the malaria programme nor granted any interview on the malaria programme.

It therefore said the NPHCDA Chief Executive has no reason whatsoever to discuss or advocate for funding for such intervention adding that the news is outrightly unfounded and fake and should be disregarded by all well-meaning Nigerians