COVID-19 vaccination: NPHCDA boss commends Nigerian media, religious leaders for roles played
*As Nigeria vaccinates 53% eligible population, 63% receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
The Executive Director of, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, has commended the Nigerian media, state governors and religious leaders for their roles in creating the demand for COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
He stated that Nigeria has been able to fully vaccinate 53 per cent of the eligible population while 63 per cent of the eligible population has received their first dose.
Shuaib said that the agency will also rely on partnerships with the media to provide the right information to educate our community members about the usefulness of routine immunization.
Speaking at the COVID-19 Performance Review meeting yesterday in Abuja, Shuaib noted that the agency has exceeded expectations in the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination due to the leadership provided by Mr President, Vice President, the governors, traditional leaders and the media, who have provided the right information about COVID-19.
Shuaib observed that Nigeria has been able to achieve fantastic coverage when it comes to COVID-19 vaccination especially given the fact that the country has inadequate human resources, but has seen frontline health workers, cross rivers, and climb mountains just to get vaccines across to Nigerians.
He said, “We had told Nigerians that by December 2022, we would be able to cover 70 per cent of the eligible population.
So if you look at the maths, we are doing very, very well as actually, we did not expect that we would be able to achieve this. Again, when you put the kinds of infrastructure, the number of human resources that we have side by side with you know, the number of people that who have vaccinated I think we have to bring it down to the leadership provided by Mr President, the Vice President, the governors, our traditional leaders, who have, you know, provided the right information about COVID-19.
“We have seen it in a number of states, where the governors are mobilizing traditional leaders, mobilizing religious leaders and giving the correct information about immunization, not just COVID-19 vaccination, but also routine immunization. This is why despite the pandemic, we’ve seen that Nigeria is only one of four countries globally, where routine immunization actually improved despite setbacks due to the pandemic”, he added.
“So all of the misinformation and disinformation, you know, that was out there, we had our traditional leaders or religious leaders actually countering them. Of course, the media has been very, very powerful in making sure that the right information was disseminated. But we also realize that people need to get the right information about routine immunization. Kids need to be taken to the health facilities, the primary health care centers to get all their shots. So that we can finally you know, eradicate diseases such as tuberculosis, you know, tetanus we need to continue to do that”.