Nigerian government partners with community pharmacies to expand vaccination coverage

The Nigerian government on Monday included community pharmacies in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign to enable greater access to vaccines among rural communities. The executive director of the National Agency for the Development of Primary Health Care (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, speaking at the time of the inauguration on Tuesday, said that this will ensure the availability of vaccines to combat the virus that has claimed millions of lives around the world. Mr. Shuaib said that with more than 6,000 community pharmacies spread across the country, the association will help increase vaccination coverage. He said that community pharmacies are some of the most widely accessed and consulted points of care for the provision of health care services by the public sector, especially in underserved populations. He explained that the involvement of pharmacies in differentiated care and the administration of antiretroviral drugs for HIV care have been shown to improve treatment retention, medication adherence and, in general, better treatment results. “In fact, community pharmacists have gone a long way during the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring the availability and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitizers, etc.,” he said. Participation of pharmacists Mr. Shuaib said that many countries around the world have licensed COVID-19 vaccination in community pharmacies and it has shown promise in countries such as South Africa, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. He stated that this synergy with pharmacies will improve the vaccination program against COVID-19 and help achieve the national goal of 70 percent vaccination coverage that is necessary to achieve herd immunity. He said that this will also strengthen the health system and contribute to the health security of the country. “I want to acknowledge the strong leadership and commitment of the Nigerian Pharmaceutical Society and the Nigerian Community Pharmacists Association for their tireless efforts to ensure that this collaboration becomes a reality,” he said. Vaccination so far Shuaib said that 30,327,550 people, representing 23.9 percent of the eligible population, received the first dose of the vaccine as of May 31, 2022. It said 14,629,451 people have received their second dose and 18,291,072 people, representing 16.4 percent of the eligible population, have been fully vaccinated against the virus. More than 1.2 million people have also received their booster doses. ALSO READ: Infectious diseases on the rise: Experts advocate for better adult vaccination campaign in Nigeria The executive director said that the association with pharmacies will improve vaccination rates in the shortest possible time. In his speech, ACPN National President Adewale Oladigbolu said the immunization agency has put people’s needs first and has worked tirelessly to make COVID-19 vaccination widely accessible. Oladigbolu said that this is a public health initiative that will improve access to vaccines as pharmacists are easily accessible. He said that pharmacists offer extended service hours; they are trusted health professionals and, as such, their inclusion in vaccination processes will reduce doubts about vaccination and greatly improve coverage. He said; “Nigeria, our beloved country; trains critical human resources for health and the work that the NPHCDA does on immunization, reducing maternal and child deaths, strengthening PHC to achieve Universal Health Coverage, and improving human capital development requires everyone to participate . “Community pharmacists are critical human resources for health, and we are always ready to replenish the wealth of our nation with the wealth of our experience and knowledge.” SEE: Governor Yahaya Bello’s roadmap to Hope 2023 Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; Nigerian government partners with community pharmacies to expand vaccination coverage