FG, Kwara spend N1bn on vaccines, equipment

Dr Michael Oguntoye, the Director, Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency, on Saturday said the Federal and Kwara State Governments had spent N1 billion on vaccines and equipment.

Oguntoye said in Ilorin that the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI) was also involved in the procurement of the vaccines equipment.

The director said that vaccines cold chain equipment that would be operating on solar direct drive in Kwara had been installed across  the 117 electoral wards in the state.

“This 117 is just the first tranche of the cold chain equipment, another tranche is coming as the second batch.

“By the time the second tranche comes before the year runs out, all the other wards that don’t have cold chain equipment will have.

“So the strategy is that in every ward, across the state, there should be at least one functional cold chain equipment that can be used to store vaccines.

“This is to make vaccines available and make potent and efficacious vaccines available to the end users,” he said.

According to him, the  vaccines equipment has been deployed to primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities in wards.

Oguntoye said that the equipment would offer solutions to challenges of insufficient vaccines as well as gap in supply chain, and make vaccines readily available to children and communities in the state.

“This will in turn help prevention of vaccines preventable diseases and by extension reduce out of pocket expenditures on the part of parents and caregivers,” he said.

The expert in epidemic diseases said that the state government and  its partners had found the need to increase performance, efficiency and coverage in reaching every eligible child for immunisation.

He added that apart from the normal vaccines, new vaccines were being introduced, which had additional challenges on the existing cold chain capacity.

Oguntoye said that new vaccines needed to be properly stored under ideal condition, adding the storage had to do with specialised equipment powered by electricity.

According to him, electricity in the country is a challenge, coupled with the fact that cold chain equipment are very expensive, not readily available and required a lot for maintenance.

“This is the reason why the state government and partners procured the equipment, in order to equip primary healthcare centres and wards including secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities,” he said. (NAN)