Postgraduate medical college flays FG for allegedly discouraging vaccines production
The West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS) has berated the Federal Government for failing to budget for acquisition of modern tools to aid production of vaccines in the country.
Its Registrar/ Secretary General, Dr. Godswill Okara, lamented that instead of upgrading the vaccine production laboratory in Yaba, the government reportedly allowed the facility to slip into a state of dilapidation.
Briefing journalists on the 2021 regional conference and induction of elected fellows of the college in Abuja, Okara noted that the nation, has before now, produced a number of human vaccines for small pox, rabies and yellow fever, stating: “But as we speak, yellow fever vaccine is being imported on a large scale into Nigeria.”
Okara, who observed that vaccines have been proven to be the most cost-effective way of checking epidemics like cholera, Lassa fever and meningitis, added: “Few weeks ago, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that a malaria vaccine has been introduced which shows you that in science, there is nothing impossible. What was considered impossible few years ago because of the heterogeneity of the antigenic nature of malaria, has in 2021, becomes a different story.”
The WAPCMLS chief executive hinted that 36 nations in the African Region have health human resources crises, with 10 of them experiencing critical shortages in skilled health workers.
“Human capacity development is critical in the provision of effective and efficient healthcare services. The achievement of the 2019-2023 WHO ‘Triple Billion Target’ can only be possible if the health workforce operates collaboratively and cooperates among themselves, as obtained in other parts of the developed world.”
He said his organisation envisioned governments and societies that prioritise, promote and protect people’s health and well-being, at both population and individual levels, through strong health systems, primary healthcare and health services that are qualitative, safe, comprehensive, integrated, accessible, available and affordable to all discharged compassionately by skilled and motivated professionals.
Okara said President Muhammadu Buhari would declare the event themed, ‘Improving Global Health by Strengthening Medical Laboratory Capacity,’ open, while the chairman is the Director General of West African Health Organisation, Prof. Stanley Okolo.
The keynote lecture would be delivered by foremost physician/infectious diseases specialist, Prof. Idris Mohammed. Other experts from the sub-region and the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are to also make presentations on subthemes of the conference.