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31.07.2021 news REPORT: Most of Nigerian Health Centres Lack Capacity to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines

Published 31st Jul, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi

Field research conducted by the Connected Development (CODE), a non-governmental organization tracking government’s expenditure, has shown that 80 percent of primary healthcare centres in 15 states of Nigeria lack the capacity to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

In March, Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), had announced the arrival of 3.92 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, being the first batch of the expected 16 million doses.

But CODE, through its social accountability initiative, Follow The Money,  found out that PHCs in Cross River, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, Abia, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kebbi and Osun are not prepared to preserve and administer the vaccines to Nigerians. 

READ ALSO: BREAKING: UNILAG Shuts Down over Third Wave of COVID-19

“After three months of fieldwork and data analysis, Follow The Money discovered that at least 80 percent of the 90 healthcare centres fall below the minimum PHC standard set by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), with their grossly dilapidated infrastructure, poor and inadequate staffing, and incapacity to administer vaccines,” the report partly read. 

The report revealed that two of every 10 PHCs in the 15 states do not even have any form of electricity, leaving them with only natural light, lanterns, or torchlight during operation. 

“Thirty percent have no access to clean water, thus relying on water from sources like wells and rain water, stored in tanks,” it reads.

“With regards to vaccine storage and administration, only 56 out of the 90 PHCS assessed have the recommended pharmaceutical fridge to host vaccines.

“Our research also found that a number of the PHCS received less than 10 vials of COVID-19 vaccine, which brought to question the checklist that informed such numbers for a facility that serves a community of nothing less than one thousand (1000) people.”

In mid-July, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 under Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), placed six states and the Federal Capital Territory on red alert amidst over an impending COVID-19 third wave.

The six states were Lagos, Oyo, Rivers, Kaduna, Kano and Plateau.

Published 31st Jul, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi

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