The Federal Government has said that it is collaborating with community pharmacies to ensure that vaccination and immunisation activities get to the grassroots.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, while speaking on the rollout of the vaccination in community pharmacies, said, “We aim to collaborate with community pharmacists to improve COVID-19 vaccination coverage.
“The whole essence of collaboration with community pharmacists is to ensure that vaccination and immunisation activities are brought down to the grassroots level for 24 hours per day.
“Community pharmacies are one of the most easily accessible and frequently consulted points of care for healthcare service delivery by the public sector, especially in underserved populations due to their interconnectedness with the communities.
“In Nigeria, for example, community pharmacies’ involvement in differentiated care and administration of antiretroviral medicines for HIV care has been shown to improve retention on treatment, adherence to medication, and overall better treatment outcomes,” he said.
Shuaib also noted that community pharmacists contributed greatly during the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic through ensuring the availability and distribution of personal protective equipment and hand sanitisers.
“It is as part of this laudable initiative that we are here today to officially launch this exciting collaboration between the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria and the NPHCDA.
“This synergy will enhance the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programme and help us achieve herd immunity while strengthening the healthcare system and contributing to health security.
“With over 6,000 community pharmacies spread across the country, coupled with the ease of access and long operating hours, I believe this will contribute to rapidly increasing vaccination coverage. I am excited about this collaboration and I believe it will add zest to the country’s effort to attain the national target of 70% vaccination coverage that is necessary to achieve herd immunity,” he said.
Speaking further, Shuaib said, “The Federal Ministry of Health and the presidential steering committee had launched the S.C.A.L.E.S 2.0 as one of the national strategies for COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
He explained that the strategy entailed the expansion of vaccination sites beyond government health facilities to include private health facilities and community pharmacies in line with global best practices.
The Director of the Primary Healthcare Board in the Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Yakubu Mohammed, who was also present at the event, charged members of the Association of Community Pharmacies of Nigeria to see the programme as an opportunity to help spread the message of vaccination to the rural populace and improve on the immunisation coverage in the country.
He said, “The government is working with the World Health Organisation and the United States Centre for Disease Control to see how Nigeria can access the global stockpile of monkeypox vaccination to arrest the outbreak of the disease.
This move came just as the NPHCDA said that it had vaccinated 30,327,550 persons with the first dose.
It said that the figure for the first dose vaccination represented 23.9 percent of the country’s eligible population, while 14,629,451 persons had received their second dose.
According to the agency, 18,291,072 were fully vaccinated, which represented 16.4 percent of Nigeria’s eligible population, while 1,229,909 persons have received their booster doses.
Kindly like us on Facebook