Nigeria’s federal government on Monday said the country has been able to fully vaccinate 21,236,404 of its eligible population with COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking at a ministerial press briefing organised by the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja, Monday, the Executive Director of the National Primary HealthCare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib said: “As at 10pm yesterday, the 19th of June 202, of the 111,776,503 eligible Nigerian residents target for the entire vaccination cycle, a total of 21,236,404 people were fully vaccinated with different mix of COVID-19 vaccines while 28,426,564 people were partially vaccinated, indicating 19.05 per cent and 25.4 per cent respectively.”
Shuaib who was represented by Dr. Abdullahi Bulama Garba, said from the above statistics, it was clear that Nigeria was still far in achieving its set target of vaccinating 70 per cent of her eligible population.
He said more aggressive actions needed to be taken to fast-track the process to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 infection in Nigeria
Shuaib said one the major strategies being adopted by the agency to achieve the objective was the introduction of the concept of mass vaccination exercise across the country. This concept, he said, had been further reinforced with concept of service integration where COVID-19 vaccines are given along with other high impact health interventions like routine immunisation, among others.
He also said another major strategy was, “the expansion of the vaccination sites to include all the publicly owned PHC, secondary and tertiary health facilities, public, private corporate bodies and selected private health facilities. We have also created mass vaccinations sites in stadium, shopping malls, markets, religious houses, motor packs and in careful selected/trained pharmaceutical stores.”
The Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, who presented an update on the state of affairs with epidemics in the country, said the centre was making efforts to keep the various infectious disease outbreaks at bay.
While giving updates on Monkeypox infection in the country, the NCDC DG said as of June 19, 2022, 41 confirmed Monkeypox cases and one death had been reported.
He said among the 41 cases reported in 2022 so far, “there has been no evidence of any new or unusual transmission of the virus (such as spreading among the MSM group), nor changes in its clinical manifestation documented in Nigeria (including symptoms, profile and virulence) as compared to other countries in the global north reporting cases.”
He said globally, between the January 1 and June 15, 2022, a cumulative total of 2,103 laboratory confirmed cases, one probable case, and one death were reported to WHO from 42 countries in five WHO Regions.
He said with the commencement of the Hajj Pilgrimage on June 9, the NCDC supported the Port Health Services to ensure pilgrims met the health protocol requirements.
“We continue to strengthen diagnostic capacity by adding new laboratories to the COVID-19 network. We continue to engage with states to ensure regular reporting and response continuity.
“We have ensured continued working with NYSC camps for safe reopening to minimise infection risk,” he said.
Adetifa said the NCDC has been part of many conversations in recent weeks on monkeypox and was pushing for the de-stigmatisation of the disease and renaming.
“Global reports report the disease in men aged 0 – 65 with a median age of 37; most self-identify as men who have sex with men,” he added.
According to him, NCDC in collaboration with the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom (NVRI), and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), have conducted animal surveillance in Adamawa State to investigate the possible role of rodents in the transmission of the virus.
The Director of the Department of Family Health, Dr. Salmat Ibrahim gave update on the present challenges posed by female genital mutilation in the country.
She said about two million Nigerians were still at risk of female genital mutilation, while 200 million persons face similar risk globally.