The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Health, on Monday 10th January 2022, received a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Greece, His Excellency, Nikolaos Dendias intimating the Minister of the donation of 907,200 doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 Vaccines by the Government of the People's Republic of Greece to the Nigeria Government.
The Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora who received the letter at the Federal Ministry of Health, Headquarters in Abuja appreciated the kind gesture and stated that vaccines remains the most important and effective way to manage the global COVID-19 scourge.
Dr. Mamora informed that they were protocols for receiving vaccines, first being certification and routine checks by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), then the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) which takes the lead in vaccine administration in Nigeria and will only be accepted after due diligence.
"We want to be sure that our Agencies are looking at all the necessary indices, we have to ensure the cold chain, the storage, the distribution and the capacity of personnel that will be involved in carrying out the vaccination. We also look at the expiry date of the vaccines to ensure that we are in a position to manage and get the populace vaccinated within the period." There is need to make sure, that we are all on the same page in terms of readiness, and all that it takes before we go ahead to accepting vaccines, the Minister stated.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Mahmuda Mamman appreciated the kind gesture of the Greece Government and assured that the Ministry and the Federal Government will judiciously utilize the vaccines in the interest of the people of Nigeria. Whilst thanking them for the bilateral relationship the country enjoys from the Government of Greece.
The Greece Foreign Affairs Minister, His Excellency Nikolaos Dendias revealed that the vaccines, which will go through the COVAX gate way, should not been seen as a gesture or donation but rather, serving a moral obligation. "Unless the whole world is safe, nobody is safe." He revealed that the Greece Government is ready to offer help to Nigeria in the mechanism and software of administering the vaccines.
Accompanying, the Greece Foreign Affairs Minister on the visit were the Nigerian Ambassador to Greece, Her Excellency Ambassador Opunimi Akinkugbe, the Ambassador of Greece to Nigeria, His Excellency Ioannis Plotas and other top officials of the Greece High Commission in Nigeria. Also present at the event were representatives of NAFDAC; NPHCDA; Senior Technical Assistant to the Honourable Minister, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu ; Senior Technical Assistant to the Honourable Minister of State, Dr. David Atuwo; Director, Food & Drug Services, Pharm Ologun Joseph among others.
By Blessing Efem.
Nwokiki Brendan (Head Media & Public Relations)