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Pate: FG working to manufacture Lassa fever vaccine in Nigeria

Pate: FG working to manufacture Lassa fever vaccine in Nigeria
February 28
16:39 2024

Muhammad Ali Pate, coordinating minister of health and social welfare, says the federal government is working to develop a vaccine against Lassa fever in the country.

Pate spoke in Abuja on Wednesday during the third edition of the ministerial press briefing series (MPBS).

The minister said a special task force comprising the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and foreign partners are already conducting studies on the disease.

“We launched a task force to start working towards a Lassa fever vaccine in Nigeria chaired by the NCDC, NAFDAC DG, and our foreign partners to start conducting studies on Lassa fever,” he said.

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“So when the vaccines are developed, they are manufactured in Nigeria.

“That task force is doing its work so that currently in the future when we have Lassa fever, people can take the vaccines and we don’t have to dose people everywhere.”

The minister said health insurance is a priority of the Bola Tinubu administration.

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“So his mandate in health insurance is a key priority of this administration. In the last several months more than 750,000 thousand Nigerians have been enrolled,” he said.

Pate said Nigeria had a successful coverage of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.

“Since the launch of the HPV vaccine in October 2023 across 15 states plus the FCT, we have successfully vaccinated more than 4,95 million eligible girls aged 9-14 years representing 80% of eligible girls,” he said.

“The Phase 2 introduction is scheduled for May 2024 in Anambra, Borno, Cross-river, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kwara, Kogi, Ondo, Rivers, Oyo, Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Yobe, Plateau and Zamfara.

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“Pre-implementation activities have commenced to ensure a successful phase 2 introduction, a crucial milestone in our ongoing efforts to combat cervical cancer.”

Earlier, Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national orientation, said direct payments of N25,000 to 12 million households under the national social investment programme (NSIP) “will resume immediately”.

He added that the government is equally tackling insecurity headlong noting “more success stories are coming in on daily basis”.

“Without any doubt, we are winning the war against insecurity,” the minister said.

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Speaking on the implementation of the Oronsaye report, Idris said President Tinubu aims to achieve significant cost savings by eliminating duplication of functions, streamlining administrative processes, and optimizing resource allocation.

“Only two days ago, the president approved a revolutionary approach towards reducing the cost of governance through the implementation of the much-talked-about Oronsaye Report – 12 years after the report was submitted to the then President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan,” he said.

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“This is a clear demonstration of Mr. President’s unwavering commitment to fiscal prudence and responsible governance by championing a comprehensive review of the government‘s commissions, agencies, and parastatals.”

The minister said all hands would have to be on deck to achieve the reforms of the federal government.

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