*Says 26m vaccines in stock for use

By Joseph Erunke

ABUJA–THE federal government has said COVID-19 vaccines in its strategic cold store were intact and not affected by recent collapse of national grid, which plunged the country into darkneas for some hours.

The government equally said a total of 28 million vaccines were in stock just as it said it was still expecting donation of vaccines from foreign donors.

The Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency,NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, spoke through his representative and the agency’s Director of Community Health Services,Dr Nneka Onwu,at a bi-weekly media conference in Abuja, hosted by the Minister of Health,Dr Osagie Ehanire.

The conference organised by the Federal Ministry of Health,was meant to bring relevant agencies of the ministry to update the nation on their activities, especially regarding some diseases being tackled by the federal government.

Dr Faisal Shuaib,who also spoke on the positive impact of last weeks summit of hosted by his agency, said the country was beginning to benefit from it as it has begun to yield fruits. Açcording to him,some private entities had begun to key into the recommendations made.

Speaking also at the event where the minister,Dr Osagie Ehanire, announced creation of new department of the Public-Private Partnership Diaspora Unit, headed by Lawal Bala to oversee the knowledge and skill repatriation from Nigerian medical practitioners in foreign nations, Dr Chukwuma Anyeike, the Coordinator of National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme,NTBLCP,  harped on the need for increase investment on diagnostics area, saying embracing such would  improve case findings.

On its part,the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control,NCDC, through its

Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, 

said the country has since 2022, recorded 120 deaths from Lassa fever.

Dr Adetifa said,“As of last week, we had 659 confirmed cases of Lassa fever in over 23 states and sadly with a case fatality rate of 19 p[er cent, which is about 120 deaths so far. We also recorded about 2 cases and further deaths in healthcare workers which continues to be a form of distress to the response team.”

Noting that NCDC release public health advisories on Lassa Fever through its website,Dr Adetifa said the country had recorded 659 confirmed cases of Lassa Fever in over 23 states, with a case fatality rate  of 18.7 per cent.

Açcording to him,”This warranted the activation of the National Lassa Fever EOC to Level 2 and a multi-sectoral National Rapid Response Team deployed to FCT, Nasarawa, Edo, Oyo, Ondo, Bauchi, Benue, Taraba, Ebonyi, response commodities.”

Speaking further,he said, “Currently, the agency has increased Rapid Diagnosis Test (RDT ) due to an ongoing surge testing project in Ekiti, Sokoto, Kebbi, Abia, Kwara, Akwa Ibom, Edo and Ondo states.”

Hear him:“Data had continued to inform the agency’s decision-making and it would continue to keep Nigerians informed, noting that “there are changes, including what the agency has done with the new COVID-19 travel protocol guidelines.”

The  Coordinator, National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme,NTBLCP, Dr Chukwuma Anyaike,said the capacities of paediatricians and medical officers were being built in the country to improve early diagnosis and quick treatment of childhood TB.

Anyaike blamed the difficulty in the control of TB in children to. peculiarities of children and the disease in them.

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