The Nigerian Government said 41,235,148 of its eligible population have successfully been vaccinated with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of 23rd August 2022.
The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) yesterday disclosed that it represented 36.9 percent of the country’s eligible population.
Speaking at the maiden Quarterly review meeting of the Southwest Traditional Leaders Committee on primary health care delivery (SWTLC) held in Abuja, the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib said: “As of 23rd August 2022, Nigeria has successfully vaccinated 41,235,148 of its eligible population with the first dose and this represents 36.9 percent of its eligible population.”
Shuaib added that the number of eligible persons who had been fully vaccinated currently stands at 29,052,850, adding that the proportion of the total eligible population that has been fully vaccinated in Nigeria was 26 percent.
He also said the government has commenced the execution of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with traditional rulers from the southwest geopolitical zone as part of measures to improve primary healthcare delivery services for the people.
He said the expectations were that the committee would, “adopt an operational guide for members support to PHC programs and interventions (COVID-19 vaccination, polio, measles, yellow fever, rotavirus, all other routine vaccinations, maternal, newborn, and childhood nutrition) in the areas of role modeling, community advocacy, mobilization and sensitization, resource mobilization and monitoring.”
According to him, a similar MoU would also be signed with traditional rulers from the Southeast and South-south geographical zones before the end of the year.
He said the agency in collaboration with donors and development partners has acquired new tools and resources to ensure that the importation of Wild Poliovirus into the country is averted.
Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of Health, earlier said the purpose of the MoU was to focus on primary healthcare delivery and to help serve as a platform for the delivery of medicine and vaccines for routine immunization across the country.
“The country’s poor health indices had become a source of embarrassment, the target of reversing the trend was being achieved, beginning with the meeting held with the royal fathers yesterday.
“So the whole emphasis is being placed on primary healthcare delivery and we are using this opportunity to rally the royal fathers to support the federal government in this direction.
“I understand that this meeting is to kick-start the implementation of the MoU on the systematic engagement of traditional leaders in the South-west zone between the federal government through NPHCDA and our esteemed Royal fathers.
“This is a step in the right direction. I want to commend your Majesties for agreeing to partner with the government on primary health care delivery and for your passion and commitment to ensuring the wellbeing of Nigerians, especially the people of the South-west zone.
“We are leveraging the respect our people have for tradition and culture and the influence of our traditional leaders, to improve the health and well-being of the people.
“The federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari holds in high esteem our traditional institution, thus this partnership which we are consolidating today is in fulfillment of that high regard and respect.
“Our traditional institution is pivotal to whatever we do in all sectors, especially in health and government is conscious of the fact that alone, it cannot effectively safeguard the health of the people without the support of our Royal fathers.”
“Our achievement of a wild poliovirus-free status in 2020 would not have been possible without the support of traditional leaders across the country.
“I look forward to this Committee intensifying our community mobilization efforts and advocating to our political leaders at all levels the unquantifiable benefits of investing in the health sector, particularly in primary health care, which is the closest to the people,” he added.
His Imperial Majesty, the Oni of Ife, and the Chairman of the South West Traditional Rulers Council, who spoke on behalf of all the traditional rulers from the South-west, commended the federal government and the NPHCDA for initiating the idea of setting up the committee.
“Traditional rulers have an important role of taking care of their people, as royal fathers, we should now look beyond expectations from the government to contribute our quota towards improving the health conditions of their people.
“So far so good the MoU is good and we are not just talking, we are working the talk.
“We have the Primary Health Unit under the Ministry of Health at the state level and they are working with us. We have seen that they are very serious, very responsible and their efforts have been very impactful, you can see the result through the zero polio in Nigeria and the fact incidence of female genital mutilation is going out of fashion,” Oni said.
Meanwhile, the Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa said the country has had 5,441,162 samples tested, 262,748 confirmed cases, 256,518 discharged cases, and 3,147 deaths.
He revealed that the top five states with the highest cumulative number of cases were Lagos, FCT, Rivers, Kaduna, and Oyo.
He further explained that in 2021, Nigeria had a high burden of COVID-19 cases compared to this year.
He, however, observed that in recent weeks, some states have recorded increases in confirmed cases, and explained that the agency was engaging partners to review the implementation roadmap for enhancing COVID-19 rapid tests and self-testing.
He added that NCDC teams are also liaising with states for disease surveillance reports, contact tracing, and other activities to prevent and respond to COVID-19.
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