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NSSF restates call for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines

By Eniola Daniel (Lagos) and Murtala Adewale (Kano)
12 November 2021   |   4:03 am
The Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF) has reiterated call for fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines to fast-track the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) target of vaccinating 70 per cent of the global population by mid-2022.

General Manager, Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF), Fejiro Chinye-Nwoko (left); Personal Assistant/Administration Officer, Chioma Orji and Marketing/Communications Manager, Adebola Adeyinka during their courtesy visit to The Guardian in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

• Plans N2b support for youths, unveils photography contest
• How to manage impact of pandemic, by experts

The Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF) has reiterated call for fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines to fast-track the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) target of vaccinating 70 per cent of the global population by mid-2022.

The Fund will also channel N2 billion yearly into reskilling Nigerian youths to reduce unemployment in the country.

NSSF General Manager, Dr. Fejiro Chinye-Nwoko, disclosed this, yesterday, when she paid a visit to The Guardian, accompanied by Marketing/Communications Manager, Adebola Adeyinka, and Personal Assistant/Administration Officer, Chioma Orji.

She said NSSF scaled down its corporate priority for 2021 to support the government in tackling the twin challenges of vaccine inequity and hesitancy.

Stressing that the Fund has “so far, raised N1,058,209,226.95,” Nwoko said: “At the NSSF, we recognise we cannot leave the fight to end the pandemic to the government alone. Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) are needed if the country is to succeed in the fight against the pandemic and restore social and economic normalcy within the quickest time possible.”

According to her, “just above one per cent of the Nigerian population is vaccinated.” She said in a bid to improve vaccine equity and boost COVID-19 vaccine access to vulnerable Nigerians, NSSF signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

She explained that the partnership seeks to provide funding to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines by administering one million doses in six selected states – Ogun, Adamawa, Edo, Imo, Katsina, and Nasarawa.

“The collaboration between the NPHCDA and NSSF will not only ensure equitable distribution and application of the vaccinations programme across the country but also promote adequate education and awareness about the benefits of getting vaccinated,” she said.

Nwoko added that NSSF would, on November 29, 2021, begin its ‘Visions of Nigeria’ photography competition tagged, ‘WENAIJA’.

“This campaign is an initiative to tell, through photography, Nigerian stories, by Nigerians, on how Nigerians are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. It would tell the COVID-19 story through the eyes of the youths/public using compelling photography,” she said.

MEANWHILE, medical experts have advocated alternative measures to manage the impact of COVID-19 in Nigeria. They canvassed the development of a strategic framework on post-pandemic recovery that would alleviate the pains of citizens.

They spoke at the opening of the fifth National Conference of the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano.

The theme was: ‘Addressing Challenges of COVID-19 Pandemic through Social and Management Sciences Research’.

In a keynote address, Provost, College of Health Sciences in the institution, Prof. Mohammad Kabir, stressed: “The pandemic and related challenges go beyond medical and health problem because of the impact. It has affected all facets of human existence. If we must handle the challenge holistically, we must shift attention to management of the impact.”