Home News Nigeria needs vaccines to close zero-dose children’s gap – WHO

Nigeria needs vaccines to close zero-dose children’s gap – WHO

by Haruna Gimba

By Asmau Ahmad

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative to Nigeria, Walter Mulombo, said Nigeria was in dire need of vaccines to close the gap of zero-dose children.

This is as he called for collaboration to strengthen the capacity for local vaccine production, noting that countries suffered injustice as a result of the COVID-19 vaccination.

He said this during the handover ceremony for pentavalent vaccine worth N1.5m, donated by the Indonesian government to Nigeria in Abuja.

He said, “Nigeria is in dire need of vaccines to close the gap of zero-dose children and we believe your contribution will go a long way as Nigeria is accelerating to close that gap.  It is very important to show we support the avenue of South-South collaboration.

“We have suffered injustice from COVID-19 vaccination for so long.  We hope beyond this gesture, there would be more collaboration to strengthen our capacity for the local production of vaccines in our respective countries.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, Dr Usra Harahap said a total of 1,580,000 vaccines were donated to the Federal Government.

He said the vaccines would contribute to reducing the burden of preventable diseases, especially among vulnerable populations such as new-borns and young children in Nigeria.

“These Pentavalent vaccines are produced by Indonesian manufacturer PT. Biofarma and a total of 1,580,000 doses of the vaccines were delivered to Nigeria through the Indonesian Aid Agency.

“One of the most significant developments in public health is the pentavalent vaccine to guard against diseases including diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B, and Hemophilus influenzae type B, it includes five critical vaccines.

“The burden of these preventable diseases will be greatly lessened as a result of this thorough immunization, especially among the most vulnerable populations, such as new-borns and young children,” Harahap said.

He, however, urged the government to distribute and administer the vaccines effectively.

The Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, said the agency is committed to maximizing the impact of these vaccines by ensuring equitable distribution and accessibility throughout all segments of society.

He gave an assurance that special attention would be given to vulnerable populations, marginalised communities, and remote areas with limited healthcare access.

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