By Mary Jalingo
The Niger State Government has been urged to provide regular funding for the cold chain order to ensure vaccine potency.
A consultant with the World Health Organizations (WHO), Pharmacist Joseph Obute, made the call last week Tuesday in Minna, the state capital, where he hinted that the state could save cost on health care by improving on its immunization coverage.
Pharmacist Obute said despite the challenges faced with electricity where LIOs had to make personal sacrifice to fuel their generators in order to keep the cold chain working, efforts are on at making sure that children are given vaccines that are potent with the aid of a technology known as Vaccine Vial Monitor (VVM).
He said as far as Routine Immunization activities are concerned, no Local Government Areas in the state have less than 90 per cent coverage as at the end of July and therefore commended the LIOs for their efforts at making sure that the vaccines are properly stored.
Also speaking on the issue of vaccine storage, the State Immunization Officer, Dr. Jiya Samuel, said the state spent not less than N50, 000 weekly to buy diesel that was used to power the generator for the state cold chain.
Dr. Jiya Samuel said to solve the problem, there was need for the government to provide regular funds for the state cold chain, procurement of inverter and solar equipment for each of the LGAs store as back up, “especially now that the state was officially a Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PVC) state.”