Nigeria has fully vaccinated a total of 21,236,404 of its eligible population with COVID-19 vaccine. Executive Director of the National Primary HealthCare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this at a ministerial briefing, yesterday, in Abuja, observed that from available statistics, it was clear that Nigeria is still far from achieving the set target of vaccinating 70 per cent of its eligible population.
The NPHCDA boss said that more aggressive actions needed to be taken to fast-track the process to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 infections in the country.
He said: “As at 10:00p.m. on Sunday, June 19, of the 111,776,503 eligible Nigerian residents targeted 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 and 25.4 per cent respectively.”
Recall that the country, last week, experienced a consistent rise in number of fresh Coronavirus infections, as the NCDC announced that it recorded 240 infections between June 8 and 15.
The centre added that the infection toll has increased to 256,467, while the fatality toll now stands at 3,144. It also noted on its website that 3,123 people are currently down with the illness, while 250,154 people have been treated and discharged nationwide since the outbreak more than two years ago.
The breakdown of the cases shows that Lagos State, the epicentre of the disease, accounts for over 50 per cent of the recent surge in cases. The commercial city also topped the latest update with 50 cases, followed by Kano with 11 infections.
Shuaib, who was represented by Dr. Abdullahi Bulama Garba, noted that one of the strategies being adopted by the agency to achieve its objective was the introduction of the concept of mass vaccination across the country, which has been reinforced with the concept of service integration, where COVID-19 vaccines are given along with other high-impact health interventions such as routine immunsation.
He also said that another major strategy was “the expansion of the vaccination sites to include all the publicly-owned Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC), secondary and tertiary health facilities, public and private corporate bodies, selected private health facilities, including private laboratories, educational institutions as well as military and para-military formations. We have also created mass vaccination sites in stadia, shopping malls, markets, religious houses, motor packs and in carefully selected/trained pharmaceutical stores.”
The Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, who presented 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 boss said as of June 19, 41 confirmed Monkeypox cases and one death have 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, nor changes in its clinical manifestation documented in Nigeria (including symptoms, profile and virulence) as compared to other countries reporting cases.”
He said that globally, between January 1 and June 15, a cumulative total of 2,103 laboratory confirmed cases, one probable case, and one death were reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from 42 countries in five WHO regions.
He noted that with the commencement of hajj pilgrimage on June 9, NCDC is supporting the Port Health Services to ensure pilgrims meet 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 work with NYSC camps for safe reopening to minimise infection risk,” he said.
Adetifa said NCDC has been part of many conversations in recent weeks on Monkeypox and is pushing for the de-stigmatisation of the disease and renaming.
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.
He further said that NCDC has reviewed its National Strategic Plan for Cholera Control, adding that the collaborative efforts were meant to keep cholera on the public health agenda and achieve a 90 per cent reduction in cholera deaths by 2030.
The Director of the Department of Family Health, Dr. Salmat Ibrahim, who gave update on the present challenges posed by female genital mutilation in the country, said about two million Nigerians are still at risk of female genital mutilation, while 200 million persons face similar risk globally.