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Africa CDC commends Nigeria’s progress in routine immunisation

by Haruna Gimba
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By Iyemah David

Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has commended Nigeria’s progress in routine immunisation.

The Director-General of the centre, Dr Jean Kaseya, made the commendation on Friday in Abuja during the handover of Cold Chain Equipment (CCE) donated to Nigeria by Africa CDC, in collaboration with Mastercard Foundation under the Saving Lives and Livelihoods Initiative.

The cold chain equipment includes cold boxes, vaccine carriers and insulated boxes, essential in the transportation of vaccines.

Active cold chain system requires regular energy supply, while passive cold chain system depends on continuous cold sources like water ice, dry ice, or gel packs.

Kaseya said that the donation, valued at over 3.5 million dollars, aims to enhance Nigeria’s immunisation system, a crucial step in maintaining public health and combating infectious diseases.

He emphasised that the equipment would help to position Nigeria as leading nation in immunisation and public health.

He added that “it is not a dream. We can do that because it’s a reality. And, as you see, the donation is related to COVID-19.

“But today, we can say that COVID is over. We still have some cases though, but it’s not the pandemic that we had before.”

He expressed confidence in Nigeria’s direction after discussions with key health officials, including the two ministers of health.

Dr Kaseye said that the support provided by the Africa CDC and the Mastercard Foundation demonstrates their commitment to strengthening healthcare systems in Africa.

He also underlined the importance of collaboration in addressing global health challenges and ensuring vaccine equity for Africa.

Dr Rownak Khan, the acting Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, said the Cold Chain Equipment is essential in preserving vaccines and maintaining temperature-sensitive medical supplies.

Khan noted that the addition of freezers and refrigerators would enable states to store a wider range of vaccines, including those requiring ultra-low temperatures.

She added that “this expansion of cold chain storage is essential and will enable states to offer more comprehensive vaccination programmes.”

Dr Muyi Aina, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), received the equipment on behalf of Nigeria, saying “the support from Africa CDC aligns with Nigeria’s goal to have readily available life-saving vaccines and strengthened cold chain capacity.

“This donation aims to enhance vaccine storage capacity and extend outreach to more communities in the country.”

He highlighted the importance of vaccines in disease prevention and control and the role of Africa CDC’s leadership.

Dr Aina said a thorough assessment was conducted to identify gaps in cold chain facilities, ensuring the new equipment would be allocated effectively to maximise impact.

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