Nigeria To receive 9 million doses of cholera Vaccine  

Nigeria To receive 9 million doses of cholera Vaccine  

  • Over 1.7 million persons already vaccinated in four states

The Minister of health Osagie Ehanire, the WHO Country Rep, Walter K Mulombo, and cross section of participants at the event.             (WHO)

Nigeria is expected to receive about nine million doses of Oral cholera vaccines, OCV, to tackle the spate of cholera outbreak in the country.  Country Representative Dr Walter Mulombo

The country representative, World Health Organization, WHO. Dr Walter Mulombo made this known at the opening ceremony of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC) training on in Abuja.

The training organised by WHO aims to integrate OCV into the emergency and preventive measures of cholera in Nigeria.

According to Mr Mulombo, the expected vaccines will ensure the implementation of two campaigns in 14 LGAs across nine states, including the Federal Capital Territory.

He said this would significantly mitigate the risk of an upsurge of cholera cases, especially during the rainy season.

However he explained that over 1.7 million persons have already been vaccinated with two doses of OCV across seven LGAs in four states; Bauchi, Jigawa, Yobe and Zamfara.

He advised that all vaccination campaigns be used to specifically target areas with huge zero doses and ensure children are not only offered OCV but all routine vaccination.

The WHO country representative highlighted some challenges identified at the 2021 annual GTFCC stakeholder meeting to include poor-quality reactive and preventative OCV campaign, lack of OCV use as an outbreak response in some settings and inadequate monitoring and evaluation of OCV campaigns.

All these challenges he said must be urgently addressed for countries to win the fight against cholera.

The minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, in his speech, described the  training as a welcome development and a prelude to equitable access to the OCV vaccine and another step towards the goal of better health for all. 

Dr Ehanire, while appreciating WHO for the initiative, implored participants to make the best use of the opportunity and put in their best to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to use the vaccine to eliminate cholera as a recurrent health problem in Africa.

The minister said that while traditional measures for cholera prevention and control have been to provide potable water and improve hygiene and sanitation, science has, however, over the years, risen to the task, with the development of the oral cholera vaccine, now certified as effective enough to be recommended for disease prevention and control

“I commend WHO for this laudable and desirable initiative, a tool for prevention and control of cholera outbreaks, which has for some time now, become a recurrent seasonal public health challenge in many Low and lower-middle-income countries, like ours, despite efforts to control it, he said.

The five-day workshop is being organized for public health officials to strengthen the capacities to integrate oral cholera vaccination (OCV) into the emergency and preventive measures in some Anglophone Cholera Priority countries in Africa. 

With participants from six countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, South Sudan, Uganda and the host country, Nigeria – the training aligns with ‘Ending Cholera: A Global Road Map to 2030; and is intended for individuals that will be involved in the planning and implementation of OCV campaigns.

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