By Esther Atani, The Sight News
ABUJA: In a bid to improve access of people in hard- to-reach communities to vaccines and treatment, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has launched 13,000 Cold Chain Equipment.
The World Health Organisation 2019 report on vaccination in Nigeria estimates that over 51 million children were vaccinated during the annual national immunization campaigns.
Following this, partnerships with Non-Governmental Organisations and other stakeholders in the health sector led to introduction of new technologies such as the Cold Chain System—a system of storing and transporting vaccines at recommended temperatures from the point of manufacture to the point of use to ensure the potency of vaccines, and this has improved service and healthcare delivery in underserved areas.
However, the Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, at the launch of the Cold Chain Equipment (CCE) at Aleyita Primary Health Care Centre in Abuja on Wednesday, emphasized on the need for greater accountability in service delivery, to ensure that all zero dose communities receive total coverage in the dispensing of healthcare services.
Dr Shuaib expressed appreciation to Global Alliance For Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) for continued support in Nigeria’s primary healthcare sector, and lauded the N1 billion aid received from GAVI over the span of a decade that has led to the greater reach of immunization campaigns and primary healthcare delivery across the country.
While speaking on the collaboration between the Federal Government and GAVI, he called for financial accountability and transparency to be preserved in strategic partnerships in the health care sector.
He expressed hopes that the 13,000 cold chain equipment rolled out in the launch would improve access of people in hard-to-reach communities to vaccines and treatment.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of GAVI, Dr. Seth Berkley, urged the federal government to invest in the training and orientation of healthcare workers on proper care and maintenance of Cold Chain Equipment to ensure longevity.
While stressing the importance of vaccines and greater community response, he called for more involvement from the federal government in community immunization and awareness outreach efforts, as well as the establishment of primary healthcare centres in unreached areas of the country’s population.