'Nigeria ready to ensure vaccine equity' – NCDC
NCDC, DG stated that Nigeria has confronted numerous public health challenges and had seen the devastating consequences of diseases like polio, measles, and Ebola.
The Director-General, NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, July 21, 2023 in Abuja, on the sidelines of Canada’s Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE) launched in Nigeria.
Adetifa said that through the CanGIVE initiative, Nigeria aimed at enhancing vaccine provision, coverage, and delivery across our nation.
“We will work hand in hand with our valued international partners, such as Canada, to address the logistics, supply chain, and financial barriers that hinder equitable access to vaccines.
“We recognize that no one should be left behind or denied the opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones from vaccine-preventable diseases,” he said.
The NCDC boss said that the agency’s approach would focus on strengthening the primary healthcare system, ensuring adequate training for healthcare workers, enhancing surveillance, and leveraging data-driven strategies.
“By doing so, we can identify and overcome geographical, socioeconomic, and cultural barriers that hinder vaccine accessibility and utilisation,” he said.
Adetifa said that, additionally, the agency was committed to building and nurturing strong partnerships with community leaders, civil society organisations, and advocacy groups.
He said that this collaboration would enable targeted engagement in vaccine education and address misconceptions or vaccine hesitancy, ensuring that accurate information was disseminated to the public.
“But as we embark on this ambitious journey, let us not forget the importance of manufacturing capacity and technology transfer.
“This initiative must not only focus on the immediate challenges of vaccine distribution, but also on building sustainable infrastructure that supports local production and increases self-reliance.
“We acknowledge the significant support provided by Canada in advancing vaccine technology in Africa, and we encourage further collaboration in this regard,” he said.
The NCDC boss noted that CanGIVE was a beacon of hope for those who had been marginalised and neglected.
“It is a testament to the power of genuine partnerships and collective action.
“By coming together, we can forge a brighter and more equitable future, where access to vaccines is a fundamental right for all.
“Let’s dedicate ourselves to working tirelessly towards our shared vision. By launching this initiative, we aim to ignite a transformative change that ensures no one is left behind.
“We want every individual, regardless of their background or circumstances, to be able to benefit from the protection that vaccines offer,’’ he said.
Adetifa added that in a world that had been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the country was painfully reminded of the societal and health inequities that persisted.
“While some countries have made significant progress in vaccinating their populations, others continue to face barriers in accessing these life-saving interventions.
“It is our collective obligation to address this disparity and bridge the gap between those who have access and those who do not,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria, as a nation, has confronted numerous public health challenges and had seen the devastating consequences of diseases like polio, measles, and Ebola.
The NCDC boss, however, assured that through resilience, collaboration, and unwavering commitment, it had made significant strides in strengthening the healthcare system and disease control efforts.
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