By Muhammad Abdullahi
The Federal Capital Territory Administration(FCTA), has flagged off mass vaccination campaign against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, targeting over 1.5 million residents in the next 50 days across the six area councils.
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, while performing the exercise at the Old Parade ground in Abuja, noted that the rapid spread of the virus emphasizes the need for an aggressive response and improved efforts to contain the infection and protect residents of the territory.
The minister assured residents that the Administration was taking up the challenge of improving on routine immunization, diseases surveillance, outbreak preparedness and response services as well as strengthening the primary Health Care scheme implementation in the FCT.
Aliyu revealed that with the receipt of donated high quality medical equipment worth over 700,000 USD, the equipment would contribute immensely to improve quality of healthcare services in the primary and secondary health facilities with better health outcomes in the territory.
She also added that financing primary healthcare has improved steadily in the Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Act from 2019 to 2021, with over 30 percent increase on the previous year (2020) funding provision.
“The rapid spread emphasizes the need for an aggressive response and improved efforts to contain the infection and protect citizens in all countries of the world. Unfortunately, the disease continues to spread worldwide at an alarming rate, demanding decisive and stringent actions to curb the scourge. However, vaccination with safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is a critical part of FCT strategy to control the COVID-19 pandemic”, Aliyu said.
The minister commended the continued support of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), and other partners for their collective responsibility, while pledging that the FCT Administration would continue to work with partners to improve the reach and sustain COVID-19 vaccination in the FCT.
FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, in his remarks reiterated that the Administration would continue to enforce the ‘no mask no entry’ restrictions at public places and regular hand washing campaign or the use of hand sanitizers, with not less than 70 percent alcohol base in all public places, including worship places.
Represented by the Director, Operations, Planning and Strategy, Mr. Samuel Atang, the Permanent Secretary called on all staff and residents of the territory to take this campaign very seriously by making themselves available, including their family members, friends to take the COVID-19 vaccination.
“The vaccine has been certified by WHO to be safe. I therefore urge residents to disregard all negative perceptions about the vaccine”, he stressed.
Also speaking, the Executive Director National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, for his unrelenting commitment to the course of COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria, which has been ranked by the World Health Organisation as the best in Africa and 4th best in the world.