Immunization, foundation of Primary Health Care system in Nigeria

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Faisal Shuaib
Faisal Shuaib

THE National Primary Health Care Development Agency( NPHCDA), says immunization is the foundation of Primary Health Care (PHC) system in the country.

Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director NPHCDA said this at the Expanded Interagency Coordination Conmittee (ICC) to review Nigeria’s Strategy on Immunization and Primary Health Care System Strengthening (NSIPSS) on Tuesday in Abuja.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that meeting was the first high-level gathering by GAVI Board and Alliance Gavi since the inception of NSIPPS accountability framework.

Shuaib said that immunization was also a key tracer of PHC performance, while emphasising the importance of routine immunization in the fight against any disease outbreak.

He disclosed that the President Mohammadu Buhari-led administration remains committed toward ensuring that primary healthcare was available to all citizens.

The NPHCDA boss highlighted Nigeria’s strong and improved collaboration with GAVI in its support to Nigeria’s vaccine coverage.

According to Shuaib,  the NPHCDA is working with the Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in prevention and response to outbreaks of Vaccine Preventable Diseases.

“A major outbreak of an infectious disease can hugely affect our economy. That’s why NPHCDA is working closely with NCDC and other key stakeholders and partners to ensure disease outbreaks do not happen,” he said.

He said that the collaboration became necessary for a harmonised efforts and resources as well as to minimise duplication in the country.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the director-general, NCDC said that workforce development was a critical component of the work they do at the centre.

Ihekweazu outlined the NCDC efforts to strengthen surveillance for vaccine preventable diseases in the country.

He reviewed the NCDC’s surveillance reporting and data management tools and protocols to ensure their validity, and the accuracy of disease reporting for improved response to infectious disease outbreaks in the country.

The NCDC boss linked some challenges to the delay in reception of reagents from global stock to non- integrated sample transportation systems point of collection of state as well as state to laboratory.

According to him, others are the need for an improved laboratory quality management system and human resource capacity in individual laboratories in the country.

Ihekweazu disclosed that GAVI had continued to support the NCDC to strengthen surveillance Outbreak Response Management Analysis System (SORMAS).

He said that NCDC was working with GAVI to improve supply chain of measles, yellow fever and rubella test kits, expand diagnostics capacity for measles, yellow fever and rubella for network laboratory.

He disclosed that GAVI was also working with NCDC to build capacity of surveillance officers in the states and to expand sentinel sites for Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS).

Earlier, Dr Seth Berkley, the Chief Executive Officer of Gavi, appreciated the Nigerian government for receiving the Gavi high level team to discuss how vaccines would work for all Nigerians as well as stregthening the primary health care system.

Berkley recognised the efforts of the Nigerian government through NCDC in improving the detection of vaccine preventable diseases. (NAN)

– Dec. 18, 2019 @ 10:09 GMT

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