Vaccine Production: DELSUTH Partners Merck Biopharmaceutical Company

“The programme is financed by a US$ 500,000,000 International Development Association credit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria over a period of four years with each state receiving US$1,500,000.” –Dr. Nicholas Azinge

Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –: 

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa (right) with Dr. Nicholas Azinge

The Delta State Government has initiated a project for the development of Vaccine Production Facility in Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH), Oghara.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, who stated this during the 2017 World Malaria Day broadcast in Asaba, said the project was championed by the Ministry of Health which initiated collaboration between DELSUTH and Merck Biopharmaceutical Company.

Azinge, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Minnie Oseji, noted that the project, in line with Governor Okowa administration’s SMART Agenda, will create job opportunities and generate income for the state, once it was actualised.

He also disclosed that the project will further provide an enabling environment to attract researchers to Nigeria for the development of new vaccines.

While calling on local and international investors to contribute to the venture, he revealed that Ghana, Kenya and Malawi have been selected to pilot the world’s first malaria vaccine (Mosquirix) from 2018.

Azinge disclosed that through the timely intervention of Governor Okowa, the state became a beneficiary of the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results, a programme initiated by the Federal Government on maternal and child health, supported by the World Bank.

According to him, “The programme is financed by a US$ 500,000,000 International Development Association credit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria over a period of four years with each state receiving US$1,500,000.

He said that malaria control was one of the six pillars the programme was expected to address, adding that it will provide for strengthening community participation in distribution of long lasting insecticide treated nets with the use of trained community volunteers, who will distribute, install and conduct house to house sensitisation on the use of the nets.

The Commissioner said that the programme will also ensure the provision of long lasting insecticide treated nets to all pregnant women and children under-five who attend Ante-natal and Child Welfare Clinics, as well as collaborate with Private Health providers for wider distribution of the long lasting insecticide treated nets.

He called on the general public to cooperate with the health ministry and ensure judicious utilisation of the nets to enable the state score high enough and attract more funds when the programme is evaluated.

“This is also in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3 which aims to end the epidemic of Malaria and other communicable diseases by the year 2030,” he said.

Vaccine production facility

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