NIDS urges FG to increase budget for medical consumables, local production
The Nigerian Infectious Diseases Society (NIDS) has charged Federal Government to commit sufficient fund to the promotion of local manufacturing of medical consumables in the country, including therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the 10th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the NIDS in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the society noted that the country still faces the challenge of inadequate investment in health security and largely depends on foreign aid for health interventions.
The document, jointly signed by the President, Prof. Dimie Ogoina, and Secretary, Dr. Uche Unigwe, also observed poor multi-sectoral collaboration and untapped private sector investment in response to infectious diseases threats as some of the major factors militating against effective control and management of infectious diseases in the country.
It noted: “Infectious diseases are significant causes of disease morbidity and mortality in Nigeria, but there are still considerable gaps in the country’s capacity to detect, prevent and control various infectious diseases.
“We implore the government, at all levels, to increase budgetary allocation to primary healthcare and health security, and call for investments in infectious diseases surveillance, diagnostics, research, risk communication and community engagement.
“The Federal Government should also commit sufficient resources to promote local manufacturing of medical counter-measures, including therapeutics and vaccines for relevant infectious diseases.”
NIDS expressed concern at the unavailability of Monkeypox vaccines in the country, since resurgence of the disease, and appealed to the government to embark on the provision of Mpox-related therapeutics and vaccines.
It said: “We call on the international community and developed countries to promote equitable and non-prohibitive access to Mpox vaccines and therapeutics to all affected African countries, including Nigeria.
“We call for reappraisal of all previously established COVID-19 molecular laboratories across Nigeria to optimise utilisation, and for investments in rapid diagnostic tests for Lassa fever, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and other infectious diseases. We recommend the upgrade and designation of, at least, one public health laboratory per state for AMR diagnosis.”