The Minister Of State For Health, Dr.(Sen.) Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora, has announced that the ministry and the country at large was more prepared for future pandemics judging from experiences gathered from the covid-19 pandemic.
Mamora made the announcement on Thursday, October 7,2021 in Ibadan while giving a lecture at the University of Ibadan annual Physiology Students Association Week.
TheFact Nigeria noted that with the onset of covid-19 vaccines, the country has let down it’s guards with regards to non pharmaceutical methods of preventing the pandemic like washing of hands and social distancing.
Dr. Mamora recalled how the country’s healthcare system got better with previous epidemics, notable among them was the Ebola outbreak which Nigeria recieved global recognition for swiftly defeating.
He also revealed that the first set of laboratories that began to test for Covid-19 in Nigeria had been established between 2017 and 2019 to test for Lassa fever.
In retrospect, the minister of state for health expressed confidence in the birth of a stronger healthcare system in Nigeria post covid.
He hinted some major steps the government had taken to this effect:
“You will agree with me that we must do better in investing in health security and the Federal Government of Nigeria has begun to work on this, such as through the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, a provision in the National Health Act of 2014, where NCDC will be provided with 2.5% of the 5% of the funds earmarked for health emergencies.
“The pandemic has created a sense of urgency around vaccine development and manufacturing in the African region. In Nigeria, we are taking advantage of this opportunity to fully establish our capacity for vaccine manufacturing. We have been working closely with Biovaccines Nigeria Limited, a joint venture between the Federal Government of Nigeria, and May & Baker Nigeria Plc.
“We are strongly aligned with the Africa CDC’s target that by 2040, Africa should move from manufacturing 1% of the vaccines it uses to manufacturing at least 60% of its vaccine needs. Our country has the market size and the commitment required for this.
” In about one year, NCDC has established at least one molecular laboratory in every State in Nigeria, completely digitised our infectious disease surveillance system, scaled up the establishment of State Public Health Emergency Operations Centres in nearly all States, started the establishment of about 12 standard infectious disease treatment centres across the States of the Federation, in December 2020, with six of these completed and fully equipped.
“Apparently, when we are better prepared, we will be able to do things differently and do it better – we are learning from COVID-19 pandemic to build back better,” he said.
The minister of state for health further charged his listeners to sustain the victory over the diseases and urged them to use their networks and skills to share the right information about it.