Healthcare Federation urges private participation in vaccine roll out
The Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN) has implored the Federal Government to consider harnessing the expertise and resources within the Nigerian private sector for a successful rollout of COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
President of HFN, Dr. Pamela Ajayi, who spoke recently on behalf of the Federation appealed to the government to consider the benefits of private sector participation in the enormous task of getting the vaccines to millions of Nigerians that need it.
She argued that private sector involvement would ensure smooth and effective procurement and roll out of the vaccines while reducing the cost to government.
HFN has been instrumental in providing critical support during the first phase of the pandemic, especially in mobilising the private sector response, which led to the setup of isolation centres, increased access to PCR testing and supporting state responses.
The group is currently organising a Private Sector Roundtable, bringing both the private healthcare and private sector together, and its members have pledged their commitment to support the Federal and State governments in fighting the pandemic.
According to her, HFN members, who cut across all facets of healthcare, are keen to support governments at all levels in areas of supply, provision of critical infrastructure and all other aspects of the vaccine distribution.
She said: “Our members can provide training, information dissemination and provision of facilities to facilitate last mile administration. The private sector aims to absorb and cushion the complexities involved in such huge operations. The private sector could provide innovative financing.”
She also assured that stakeholders, including individuals and corporate organisations are willing to pay for the vaccines, as the second wave of COVID-19 may continue to rise.
Ajayi lauded efforts of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), especially its response to the outbreak of the virus in Nigeria, and the critical role of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency in ensuring that vaccines are prioritised and distributed to those who need it the most, including the frontline workers.
The Healthcare Federation and its coalition of partners, she noted, are poised to assist government agencies and public sector by providing a coordinated private sector response that works to curtail, contain and terminate the effect of the coronavirus in Nigeria.
“Healthcare Federation of Nigeria as an umbrella body for private sector healthcare business organisations in Nigeria supported by the IFC-World Bank, PharmAccess and other multilateral organisations, has all cadres of healthcare professionals in its network. Based on this robust composition, HFN has a wide reach in the healthcare industry, and the Federation has the enormous advantage of being able to mobilize and deploy human resources and critical equipment needed for early detection of symptoms and effective containment of infectious diseases to prevent further spread,” she stated.
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