• Nigeria administers 17.5m

By Gabriel Olawale

The COVAX global vaccine-sharing programme has delivered one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses globally, however, supplies to poorer nations are limited because of lack of vaccines.

But in the last quarter shipments have exponentially increased, allowing COVAX to reach the milestone of 1 billion doses shipped to 144 countries, since it was launched in 2020 with the goal of delivering 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.

The programme began delivering vaccine doses in February 2021. About one-third have been donated by rich nations, despite COVAX’s initial plans to supply only jabs procured directly by the programme with a budget of over $10 billion in donors’ funds.

The change of strategy has led to delays, as donors have often requested to send doses to countries selected by them. Over 40 percent of the world’s population has not yet received a first dose.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: 4th dose of vaccine shows limited results with omicron ― Study

 COVAX hit  the one-billionth mark less than a year after delivering its first vaccine dose to Ghana.

The COVAX scheme aimed at equitable global access to Covid-19 vaccines hit a “key milestone” when it delivered its one billionth dose.

The COVAX facility was set up by the World Health Organisation, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to ensure that poorer countries can access the vaccines needed to battle the pandemic.

“Covax has delivered its first billionth dose of Covid-19 vaccines to 144 countries & territories across the world,” Gavi chief executive Seth Berkley tweeted.

“It’s a key milestone in the largest and most rapid global vaccine rollout in history.”

Berkley said that when the plane carrying the shipment with the one billionth dose had touched down in Kigali, Rwanda Saturday evening, “I felt proud but also humbled knowing how far we have to go to protect everyone and solve vaccine inequity”.

Meanwhile, Nigeria had administered over 17.5 million doses of  COVID 19 vaccine, as of 14 January according to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA,

Statistics released by the agency showed that  12.5 million people had received the first dose while 4.9 million

LASG seeks multisectoral approach for improved mental health services MENTAL healthcare is on the front burner in Nigeria and Lagos in particular as the  mental health conference themed: “Responding to the Mental Health Needs of a 21st Century Megacity”, opens today in Lagos.

Organised by the Lagos State Government through the State Ministry of Health,  the event is geared towards drawing attention to the importance of a multi-sectoral approach to improved mental health interventions for Lagosians.

It is also aimed at charting a positive and realistic course  for the mental and social health assets and infrastructure in the State.

Two keynote lectures titled: “Shaping the Future: The Impact of Urbanization on Mental Health”  and “Building and Sustaining Investments in Mental Health” will be presented to provide a current and professional perspective on the subject areas.

The lead speakers are Dr. Vincent Udenze, a UK-based Consultant Psychiatrist /CEO of Intersect Consortium in Nigeria, and Prof. Akinyinka Omigbodun, a Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology/Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist College of Medicine, University of Ibadan.

Abayomi harped on the need for improved mental health services in the country stressing that in recent years, the role of mental health in sustainable development has received greater recognition with the global public health crisis.

“With the growing incidence of substance abuse, which have significant mental health implications, and increasing self-awareness and demand for care, it becomes imperative to review the national approach to mental healthcare.

“For us as a State, this is important to ensure that every Lagosian has access to effective and sustainable mental health service delivery models that are robust and sustainable”, he said.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi said the event is an offshoot of the Livable City Conference held in 2013; which led to the drafting and enactment of the Mental Health Law of 2019 and the proposed establishment of a state-owned tertiary psychiatric hospital, amongst others.

Among objectives of the conference is highlighting the growing scourge of mental health issues in Lagos State and providing a forum for dialogue amongst academics, decision makers, policy implementers and the society, with a view to developing new policies, and redesigning existing one

Government will through the conference demonstrate to the international community, Lagos’ unequivocal commitment to Mental Healthcare and create a potential for global collaborations as well as allow all stakeholders develop a clearer understanding of the emerging issues towards developing short- and long-term improvement approaches for a more livable city and identify resource prospects required to achieve them.

“It is also intended that from the multi-stakeholder engagements, the State as a whole, with its partners in both the public and private sectors will collaborate and develop sustainable short- and long-term improvement approaches for a more livable city”, Abayomi said.

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