COVID-19: Population increase necessitates vaccine storage expansion — FG

The Federal Government has said the supply chain highlighted by COVID-19 vaccination effort and continuously increasing population necessitated the expansion of vaccine storage capacity across the country.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Abuja Hub at the National Strategic Cold store said, in recognition of the need for resilience in the system, the country following detailed analysis decided on a system redesign which includes construction of three mega stores at the national level, deployment of optimised cold chain equipment at the health facilities, an efficient distribution system and the deployment of an electronic logistics management information system to provide visibility across the supply chain.

The Minister said the ground-breaking ceremony is a significant milestone of the system redesign journey and the GAVI’s support in funding the construction of two of the three mega stores Abuja and Kano hubs is therefore much appreciated.

“The commencement of the Abuja hub, one of the three mega stores planned for Abuja, Lagos and Kano for the purpose of massively expanding vaccine storage capacity at the national level in Nigeria”.

Also speaking, the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib disclosed that the agency made funding provision for the Lagos Hub within a World Bank IDA Credit facility for Polio Eradication support.

He said work has commenced in earnest on the construction of the Lagos Hub with the World Bank also supporting oversight of the construction process.

“Funding for the Abuja Hub and the Kano Hub are being provided by the Gavi Alliance within the country’s Health System strengthening (HSS) support.

“The journey to this point has been a long and arduous one. We had delays occasioned by the need to keep upgrading the design in response to prevailing realities, with the necessary funding approvals from the Gavi alliance and the processes required for the efficient procurement of the construction firm to handle the project”.

“Here, I must acknowledge the technical support of the UNICEF Supply Division in reviewing the designs of the Hubs as well as in provision of procurement services support.

“The procurement processes for the engagement of competent vendors for the Kano Hub project have commenced, and we expect to break ground on that project too in a short while.

“Meanwhile, the deployment of the eLMIS system is ongoing as expected. The country’s supply chain system redesign is progressing satisfactorily, again with the strong political support from the highest level of government and the untiring support of our implementing and donor partners. All support, technical and funding are highly appreciated,” he said.

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