By Zayamu Hassan
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has explained that Nigerians who may decide to go to private health hospitals to take COVID-19 vaccines should be ready to pay.
The Director of Research and Statistics at the NPHCDA, Dr Abdullahi Bulama Garba, disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja.
He, however, said that even though the vaccine is free at government facilities, but that the private facilities may charge ‘reasonable’ amount to cover for their overhead cost.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government has concluded plans to incorporate the private health facilities and allow them administer the COVID-19 vaccine to Nigerians.
“The private facilities have their documentation, when you go there, you will get their card, the person who is going to give you injection is not going to be paid by the government, the light and Air Condition (AC) you will enjoy is not being paid by the government, therefore, facilities may charge. But it has to be reasonable.
“That is why we developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) so that the private facilities will sign with their respective states so that the charge will be very reasonable.
“But when you look at it in another angle, if you have a PHC facility near you that is providing the services free at and you decide to go to the private facility, it is now a choice. Whatever you are charged, be ready to pay because you took yourself there,” Bulama said.
He, therefore, advised Nigerians to go to the nearest health facility either government or public to receive the vaccines and get the vaccination card.
Bulama, however, warned that the NPHCDA has formed a Joint Task Force which, according to him, comprised of people from the NPHCDA, the DSS and the ICPC together with traditional leaders in every state.
“Therefore, we are warning that any health worker that is planning or engaging in vaccine racketeering will definitely fall into our net and will be arrested and prosecuted.
“Our vaccination card very credible, anywhere you go in the world, you can scan the card.
“Therefore, we advise, anytime you are given the card, take the photo and save it in your phone. In case the card gets lost, that photo can be scanned and it can be found anywhere you find yourself. You will not have problem with travels. You can photocopy the card and keep.”
Speaking earlier, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has disclosed why people still die of COVID-19 complications even after they have received the vaccination against the disease.
The inability of scientists across the world to understanding fully the working and nature of the disease is the main reason.
He, however, insisted that the use of the face masks, hand sanitisers and avoiding crowded places are the only known interventions of preventing people from being infected by the disease.
Ehanire disclosed this when responding to a question on why people still die of COVID-19 complications even after being vaccinated, at a media briefing in Abuja.
According to him, the shocking thing about the virus is that some people have not been vaccinated but their bodies have been able to develop antibodies to fight the disease and prevent it from having any impact on them.
He, however, said that some people, despite being vaccinated, their bodies could not develop the needed antibodies to suppress the Coronavirus and prevent it from having any impact on them.
Ehanire, however, called on Nigerians to get the COVID-19 vaccine so that it will build their immune system to be able to fight the virus and prevent it from making any considerable impact on their bodies.