• Gbajabiamila tasks President on mandatory health insurance for Nigerians
Nigeria is to receive 3,930,910 doses of Pfizer-Bio-N Tech COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX facility donated by the United States next month.
Another 3,577,860 doses of the vaccine are expected in the third quarter from the COVAX facility as well as 29,850,000 jabs of Johnson & Johnson (Jassen) vaccine by the end of September that would arrive in batches from the African Union Commission.
These are in addition to 3,924,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca being awaited by the end of the month or early August from the COVAX facility.
Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, who briefed journalists, yesterday, in Abuja on the progress of COVID-19 vaccination in the country, pointed out that the agency was putting in place all necessary logistics for storage, distribution, security and accountability for the incoming vaccines.
He said the Federal Government had procured 60 units of U701 ultra cold chain equipment, adding that about 37 of them have been deployed to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to receive the doses that would require ultra-cold temperature of below 40 to 85 degrees.
Shuaib stated that with the detection of the Delta variant of the virus in the country, it was important that Nigerians continue to observe non-pharmaceutical or public health measures such as wearing of facemasks, social distancing and hand hygiene to check the transmission of the disease.
He clarified that anyone from 18 years and above was eligible for the vaccination, including pregnant and lactating women.
The NPHCDA boss urged all qualified Nigerians to register and ensure that they make themselves available for the exercise at the due time.
ALSO yesterday, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign into law the National Health Insurance Amendment Bill seeking to make health insurance compulsory for all Nigerians, where every citizen could have a minimum health insurance package geared at improving the nation’s health indices.
This is even as the lower legislative chamber is to anytime soon consider amendment of the National Health Act that provides the basic framework upon which healthcare policy in the country is developed and would recommend the increase of the Basic Healthcare Provisions Fund (BHCPF) from one to two per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Addressing the scientific conference of the West African College of Physicians in Abuja, Gbajabiamila said the National Assembly had legislated for access to affordable and quality healthcare by Nigerians through the NHIS Amendment Bill, believing that the President would give his seal to make the dream of a mandatory health insurance scheme in the country a reality.
He observed that the BHCPF came with basic minimum package for emergency preparedness and would also consider the Infectious Disease Control Bill that equally supports same move.