• Nigeria to become a hub for vaccine production, says Buhari
About 1,437 children have been affected by measles in Bida Council of Niger State, leaving 18 dead in eight months.
UNICEF Measles Consultant, Abari Hassan Musa, gave the hint during a meeting with stakeholders from the media and education sector on their roles in the campaign against measles in Minna, on Monday.
He said: “Records obtained from Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Bida indicated that out of about 1,347 children affected by measles,18 died between January and August 2022, the figure is disturbing.”
According to Abari, Niger State Primary Health Care Development Agency, in collaboration with UNICEF, has concluded arrangements to commence a campaign against measles, targeting 1,146,572 children for vaccination.
The first phase of the campaign, he said, would commence on October 31.
MEANWHILE, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the health sector.
Chairman of, the Ondo State chapter of NMA Dr. Omosehin Adeyemi-Osowe, made the appeal, yesterday, in Akure while addressing newsmen as part of activities marking the 2022 Physician’s Week.
“Nigeria has the third highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK after India and Pakistan,” he said, lamenting that the country is being ravaged by “Lassa viral hemorrhagic fever, malaria, COVID-19, ebola, Marburg, among others.”
“Furthermore, let me inform you all that the Nigerian doctor is poorly paid, overworked, lacks necessary work tools and has become a target for kidnap. We, as Nigerian doctors have been taken from the lofty heights of nobility to nothingness by the neglect and possible disdain for the health sector by successive governments,” he added.
Adeyemi-Osowe urged the government to declare emergency action in Nigeria’s health sector for the sake of citizens and expressed the need to do more for the security of lives and properties.
AMIDST the call for a state of emergency, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, in Seoul, South Korea, stated Nigeria’s readiness to become a global hub for sustainable manufacturing and distribution of vaccines and biological pharmaceuticals to support initiatives towards safe mankind.
The President also called for the speedy take-off of local production of mRNA vaccines, following the selection of Nigeria by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of six African countries to receive the technology needed to produce the vaccines.
Addressing the World Bio Summit 2022, the Nigerian leader pledged commitment to the global response to known or emerging pathogens, including the global vaccine assurance ecosystem and equitable access for all.
He told the meeting jointly convened by the Government of South Korea and WHO to discuss the future of vaccines and Bio-Health across the globe, that Nigeria would continue to explore bilateral, multilateral and other opportunities for cutting-edge technology as a centre of excellence for vaccine manufacturing and distribution.
‘’As the mRNA technology allows science to shift attention to yet unknown disease threats, we see opportunities to address diseases that have plagued sub-Saharan Africa and third world countries for centuries,” he said.
On Nigeria’s quest to revive local vaccine production, the President recalled that the Federal Government had ratified a Joint Venture Agreement with a leading Nigerian Pharma Company for a Public-Private Enterprise.