Nigeria is to begin the production of vaccines in order to prevent the death of more than one million children across the country.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu disclosed this recently when he received the Nigerian Immunization Financing Task Force Team in the ministry.
In the statement signed by the Deputy Director (Press), Taye Akinyemi,the minister pledged that his ministry will lead the way in making sure that vaccines are produced in the country to satisfy local needs and also for export to other African countries.
“We used to produced and export vaccines in the past, today we are struggling to be self-sufficient, we need to go back to those things that help us in the past, we don’t want to continually remain a poor nation, and rather being recipient of grants, we should be able to give grants to other countries” he said
Onu, who commended the team for working in the common interest of the nation, also urged its members to continue to work hard to save lives, especially that of children in the country.
Earlier, the leader of the team, Dr. Benson Anyene explained that the main goal of the Team is to help Nigeria achieve Sustainable Immunization Financing (SFI) by putting in place concrete effort that will address gaps in the vaccines chain.
He expressed fear that if immediate actions are not taken by Nigeria to produce vaccines, it may find itself in a position where it would no longer immunizes children due to non-availability of vaccines.
He lamented that 25 per cent of Nigerian children die annually as a result of lack of immunisation because Nigeria has not produce any vaccine since 1991 and stressed the need for policy documents and bankable business plan that will shape the sector.