By: Simon Ushie.
For optimal results to be achieved in the forth coming Covid-19 vaccination across Nigeria, experts says the need to have an effective, working and functional cold chain store cannot be over emphasized in order to maintain vaccines potency and guarantee it’s shelve life.
To this end, stakeholders in the health sector are calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria to as a matter of urgency fix up ,improve and restructure cold chain equipments across the country especially in states where it’s coldchain stores were destroyed during the last nationwide protest.
One of such voices is the Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong who made the call during an online meeting organized by the National primary Healthcare Development Agency for heads of all Primary Healthcare Agencies in the country and experts on how to achieve 100% results and compliance in their respective states.
Dr Ekpenyong who noted that, due to the perculiarity of the soon to be introduced vaccines, the need to maintain an environmentally friendly condition and vaccine potency should be placed top priorities especially now that many Nigerians have indicated interest in taking the vaccines.
She disclosed that, for the confidence of Nigerians to be gained, adequate preparations should be concluded and the quality of refrigerators storing vaccines be ascertained to avoid adverse effects which may result from improper storage and placing as experienced in some countries for different vaccine preventable diseases.
“We know that we are bringing in vaccines and some health Facilities cold chain equipments were vandalized in the last protest, also the state cold store wasn’t spared, hence the need for the Federal Government through the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency fast track supports to states to strengthen cold chain system to support the National and Regional stores where these vaccines will be preserved”.
On the area of capacity building for health workers in handling and administering the vaccines to patients, the DG urged the National Primary Healthcare Agency to ensure that front line health workers are trained on vaccine management and dosage Administration to meet best practices.
“Due to the technicality in handling the vaccines, I must appeal that whenever we actually start capacity building for our health workers ,we must pay details to training and ways of handling the vaccines and train health workers on how to handle and administer the Vaccines, since this vaccine requires different mode of preservation, handling and even administration to avoid wastage amongst other things”.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government had announced the purchase of about a 100,000 doses of Vaccines which are expected in the country in the forth coming weeks which targets of first administering to the Frontline Health Workers, aviation staff, security personnel,those with co-morbidity, aged above 50years and some opinion leaders.
Both the Phizer and Mordena vaccines require high level management with a storage temperature of around +2 degrees to -80 degree centigrade hence the need for proper storage equipment.