Nigerians will benefit from vaccine, says Minister
Dr Osagie Ehanire, the Minister for Health has stated that anytime a potent vaccine is found or developed as a solution to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerians will not be left out.
This statement was made by the health minister, Ehanire while speaking at a two-day multi-sectoral conference on the COVID-19 with the theme: “Building back better, with resilience”.
Ehanire said there are arrangements by the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that Nigerians get the vaccine immediately it comes out.
The minister, who was represented by the Minister of State, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, said: “The Federal Ministry of Health, just last week, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure that when the vaccines, wherever they come from – that has been established to be effective for COVID-19 – we will not be left behind.”
He said there was a need to prioritise health, if any gains were to be made in the sector.
“We must prioritise and the first thing we need to prioritise is the issue of health. I have always held the view that we need a nationally-shared vision and in that vision, we take it as health comes first. And if we appreciate that, the allocation in terms of budget for health will be much more than what it is at the moment.
“The next thing is giving priority to primary healthcare. What we were told in medical school is that ‘common things occur commonly’. And that is why malaria remains one of the biggest killers, because it is something that is common and it is with us.
“The figures that we have in infant mortality and in maternal mortality, a lot of the issues related can be handled at the primary care level, if we have functional primary health centres, where all the basic services can be rendered and where all basic services in terms of infrastructure are available – water and electricity supply.
“That is why the ministry has designed a prototype structure of primary health centres. We are working towards having functional primary health centres that all the basic services will be available, from immunisation to anti-natal care, to WASH programme and health education.”
Idris Wase, the Deputy Speaker who represented the speaker of the House of Representatives said “the emergence of COVID-19 on our shores and across the world may very well be the most significant global development of all our lifetimes. Across the world, economic and commercial projections, social expectations and political permutations have all fallen to the reality of a disease that nobody foresaw and none of us was prepared for.
“This conference provides an opportunity for those of us in parliament to further deliberate on the individual and collective role we can and must play in the conversations about nation-building in the post-Covid-19 world. Following from that, it is also an opportunity for us to gird ourselves and each other in preparation for the hard choices and difficult bargains that are the price of nation-building in a time of global crises. I am confident that together, we will achieve all that the Nigerian people expect of us.”
The Executive Director Solina Health, Dr. Muyi Aina who was the keynote speaker, noted that the pandemic has brought new challenges
The conference meant for legislators from the national and state levels and to bolster an enhanced home-grown legislative mechanism for building back the post-pandemic Nigeria, was put together by the Zakari Yau Galadima-headed House Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Haruna Msheila-led House ad hoc committee on COVID-19.
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