The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, has described the World Health Organisation as a veritable partner in achieving Nigeria’s polio-free status.
The NPCDA executive director said this in a statement posted on the website of the WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville.
According to the statement, Shuaib made the assertion when he received the new WHO Nigeria Country Representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo in his office at Abuja.
Mulombo was in Shuaib’s office as part of familiarisation tour to government parastatals and agencies under the Federal Ministry of Health.
Shuaib said WHO had been the government’s strongest partner in the fight against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases in Nigeria.
On June 18, 2020, the independent African Regional Certification Commission for Poliomyelitis Eradication reviewed and accepted the complete national documentation of Nigeria, granting the country wild poliovirus-free status.
The determination was based on field verification visits to the country over the past year, with the final visit to Nigeria conducted in March 2020.
During the visits, the ARCC conducted a thorough analysis of Nigeria’s documentation and field visits to states to validate programme key aspects, including polio surveillance, immunisation and laboratory capacity.
The executive director then assured the WHO Representative that Nigeria would not rest on its oars until high coverage for all vaccine-preventable diseases is addressed.
He informed him that Nigeria recently achieved 70 per cent coverage in routine immunisation (RI) based on the 2019 SMART survey result, an indication that the priority of the agency to strengthen RI is on the right path to achieving success.
He also alluded that the feat would not have been possible without WHO’s technical support and leadership.
In his response, Mulombo acknowledged the strong collaboration between WHO and NPHCDA, which enabled WHO to provide the needed technical support toward the overall achievement of setting priorities.
He restated that:
“The government’s vision and priorities for the revitalisation of Primary Healthcare Centres toward Universal Health Coverage aligns perfectively with WHO’s role.”
The WHO Representative also mentioned that generally, Nigeria’s priorities were in tandem with those of WHO Thirteenth General Programme of Work and its triple billions of targets.
“It was a pleasant coincidence that I arrived on the day of the acceptance of Nigeria’s documentation for polio-free status.
“I assure you that we’ll sustain the gains and further build on the achievements; for this to happen, we’ll rely on NPHCDA’s support.”
Kwara records eight new cases of COVID-19
Kwara has recorded eight new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as at 11.45p.m on Monday, Aug 10.
The state now has a total of 865 confirmed cases of the virus, while one patient was discharged.
Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor and Spokesman of the Technical Committee on COVID-19, made this known in a statement on Tuesday day in Ilorin.
According to him, out of the 865 confirmed cases, 516 patients were discharged leaving 330 active cases in the state.
Ajakaye said 19 deaths have been recorded out of the 3, 853 people tested for the virus.
He added that 2, 922 tested negative for coronavirus with 66 tests being awaited.
US gifts Nigeria 200 ventilators [Photos]
The United States has handed over 200 ventilators to Nigeria in fulfilment of the promise made by US President Donald Trump during a telephone conversation with the President, Maj Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in April 2020.
The medical equipment were handed over to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard at a ceremony in Abuja this morning.
President Trump while making the promise said the US would support Nigeria during the pandemic.
Speaking while accepting the ventilators, Ehanire said
“We shall be taking delivery these ventilators to shore up our intensive care response capability courtesy of the President of the United States and the US people.
“It is my pleasure to be here at the Premier Medical Warehouse Abuja at the invitation of USAID Nigeria on behalf of the
USA government to receive valuable medical equipment that will support the Nigerian government in their fight against the COVID19 pandemic.”
“This donation consists of 200 ventilators which are critical components of the response strategy that will help to save the lives of persons who have been severely impacted by #COVID19. These ventilators will be of great benefit to the people of Nigeria.”
Russia develops COVID-19 vaccine
President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess.
The development paves the way for the mass inoculation of the Russian population, even as the final stage of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue.
The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out its vaccine highlights its determination to win the global race for an effective product but has stirred concerns that it may be putting national prestige before sound science and safety.
Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been administered to one of his daughters.
“I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks,” said Putin.
He said he hoped the country would soon start mass-producing the vaccine.
Its approval by the health ministry foreshadows the start of a larger trial involving thousands of participants, commonly known as a Phase III trial.
Such trials, which require a certain rate of participants catching the virus to observe the vaccine’s effect, are normally considered essential precursors for a vaccine to receive regulatory approval.
Regulators around the world have insisted that the rush to develop COVID-19 vaccines will not compromise safety. But recent surveys show growing public distrust in governments’ efforts to rapidly-produce such a vaccine.
Russian health workers treating COVID-19 patients will be offered the chance of volunteering to be vaccinated soon after the vaccine’s approval, a source told Reuters last month.
More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to WHO data.
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