From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and development partners, notably, AFENET Nigeria, Gavi the vaccine alliance, have launched zero dose learning hub designed to encourage accurate monitoring of vaccine administration in Nigeria.
It was gathered that the project will be implemented in phases, starting with Phase one in the states of Sokoto, Kano, Bauchi, and Borno.
Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who launched the programme in Abuja, on Monday, expressed optimism that the hub will be a gain changer regarding the administration of vaccine in Nigeria.
He further explained that the hub is a framework for Nigeria to efficiently generate evidence-based strategies for identifying, measuring, monitoring, and reaching “zero dose” children and the communities they reside in.
He acknowledged the numerous challenges in establishing an effective routine immunization system in Nigeria. “Despite these challenges, strategies like Optimized Outreach Sessions (OOS), Optimized Integrated Routine Immunization Sessions (OIRIS), Routine Immunization Intensification, Quarterly Lot Quality Assurance Survey (LQAS), and others are gradually yielding positive outcomes.”
Dr. Shuaib expressed optimism about the hub’s potential, stating that Nigeria, in partnership with Gavi, stands as a pioneering nation in its implementation, with hope that it will not only drive positive change within Nigeria but also serve as a model for other countries, envisioning it as a cornerstone for progress.
During the event, Dr. Patrick Nguku, Regional Coordinator of AFENET, said they are committed to any cause that would herald improved vaccination and data in Nigeria.
He solicited the support of all stakeholders so the aim of the project can be realized even beyond expectations.
Dr. Heidi Raynolds, Senior Specialist in Evaluation and Learning at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, reaffirmed GAVI’s commitment to supporting Nigeria in improving its healthcare metrics.
She emphasized that the learning hub arrived at a crucial time when there is much to learn from Nigeria’s experiences in reaching zero dose children with life-saving vaccines and documenting best practices and challenges.
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