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HoR tasks FG on production of local vaccines

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Healthcare Services, Health Institutions and Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria to invite the Minister of Health, the Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Executive Director, May and Baker Nigeria PLC to brief the Committees and deliberate on possible ways of getting the needed legislative support to fast track the production of vaccines in Nigeria.

This was sequel to a motion moved by a member, Mr chike Okafor on the Urgent Need to Speed Up Local Production of Vaccines in Nigeria.

Mr Okafor said in 2017, the Federal Government signed a partnership agreement with May and Baker Nigeria PLC to float a company named Biovaccine Limited for the commencement of local vaccine production in Nigeria, lamenting that the company is yet to commence the production of those live-saving vaccines.

The Lawmaker stated that presently African Countries like South Africa, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Senegal have functional laboratories for production and export of vaccines for use and export;

He observed that there is need for Nigeria to speed up the commencement of local Vaccine production for domestic use and export especially now the World is faced with the ravaging Corona Virus (COVID-19) and other terminal diseases.

According to him, Nigeria spends over Four (4) Billion Naira annually on the importation of vaccines, an amount which, if vaccines are locally produced will reduce the volume of monies spent on the importation, local delivery, insurance and handling charges.

Mr Okafor added that successful production of local vaccines will help the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health to effectively tackle outbreaks such as the recent outbreak of Gastroenteritis in Lagos which claimed lives and the current ravaging COVID-19.

IBRAHIM SHEHU

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