‘Immunization, panacea for Primary Health Care system in Nigeria’
By Muhammad Auwal
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency( NPHCDA), says immunization is the foundation of Primary Health Care (PHC) system in the country.
The Executive Director NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib said this at the Expanded Interagency Coordination Conmittee (ICC) to review Nigeria’s Strategy on Immunization and Primary Health Care System Strengthening (NSIPSS) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Newsmen reports that the meeting was the first high-level gathering by GAVI Board and Alliance Gavi since the inception of NSIPPS accountability framework.
He disclosed that the President Mohammadu Buhari-led administration remains committed toward ensuring that primary healthcare was available to all citizens.
The NPHCDA boss highlighted Nigeria’s strong and improved collaboration with GAVI in its support to Nigeria’s vaccine coverage.
According to him, the NPHCDA is working with the Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in prevention and response to outbreaks of Vaccine Preventable Diseases.
“A major outbreak of an infectious disease can hugely affect our economy. That’s why NPHCDA is working closely with NCDC and other key stakeholders and partners to ensure disease outbreaks do not happen,” he said.
He said that the collaboration became necessary for a harmonised efforts and resources as well as to minimise duplication in the country.
The Director General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that workforce development was a critical component of the work they do at the centre.
Ihekweazu outlined the NCDC efforts to strengthen surveillance for vaccine preventable diseases in the country.
He reviewed the NCDC’s surveillance reporting and data management tools and protocols to ensure their validity, and the accuracy of disease reporting for improved response to infectious disease outbreaks in the country.
The NCDC boss linked some challenges to the delay in reception of reagents from global stock to non- integrated sample transportation systems point of collection of state as well as state to laboratory.
According to him, others are the need for an improved laboratory quality management system and human resource capacity in individual laboratories in the country.
Dr Ihekweazu disclosed that GAVI had continued to support the NCDC to strengthen surveillance Outbreak Response Management Analysis System (SORMAS).
Chief Executive Officer of Gavi, Dr Seth Berkley appreciated the Nigerian government for receiving the Gavi high level team to discuss how vaccines would work for all Nigerians as well as stregthening the primary health care system.
Berkley recognised the efforts of the Nigerian government through NCDC in improving the detection of vaccine preventable diseases.