BY CHIOMA OBINNA
THE Director- General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, yesterday, said the country was set to begin local production of routine immunisation vaccines for tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis/whooping cough (DPT), polio, measles and yellow fever.
At present, Nigeria depends 100 per cent on United Nation Children’s Fund, UNICEF, for vaccine supplies, which according to the Federal Ministry of Health, stands at over N648 billion ($4 billion) annually.
Disclosing this during the official opening of the Health Canada-NAFDAC Mentorship Launch aimed at building the Agency’s capacity in the area of vaccine regulation, the DG said the workshop was part of plans to set the vaccine production in motion.
According to Orhii, Health Canada has come to mentor NAFDAC, especially in the area of vaccines and biological regulations.
His words: “We want to start manufacturing vaccines. We are starting on a right footing of vaccine production in Nigeria by beginning with capacity building of NAFDAC officers.”
Orhii noted that vaccines were very important in a country such as Nigeria, with a heavy disease burden, especially considering the fact that many of the diseases could be prevented by effective vaccination.