President Muhammadu Buhari says increasing the capacity for in-country production of vaccines and medical supplies has become a matter of not just urgency, but of national security.
Therefore, he directed the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, to submit a progress report by the end of May 2022 on the indigenous production of vaccines in the country.
Buhari gave the directive in a statement signed on Wednesday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
The statement is titled ‘submit a progress report on local vaccine production next month, President Buhari directs the Minister of Health.’
The statement reads: ‘‘At the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria was quick to respond to what seemed an existential threat, by strengthening the health system’s capacity to handle the pandemic – an initiative that continues till today in collaboration with the state government, private sector, and international partners.
‘‘Key lessons of the pandemic are that nations can be brought to their knees by disease outbreaks that cripple national and international trade, and that countries must be able to look inwards for sustenance in food and medical supplies. The benefit of this Administration’s early investment in agriculture came to light during this global turbulence.
‘‘However, we cannot say the same for essential medicines, health supplies, and most importantly, vaccines to protect our citizens. Increasing the capacity for in-country production of vaccines and medical supplies has therefore become a matter of not just urgency, but of national security.”
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