The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) has enjoined the Federal Government to establish vaccine factories for production of vaccine range meant for routine under-five children immunization programmes.
The National Publicity Secretary of the association, Casmir Ifeanyi, gave the advice during a press briefing at the AMLSN 196th National Executive Council meeting held in Enugu.
According to Ifeanyi, “If we must get it right in the combat against communicable diseases especially the vaccine preventable types, the Nigerian Government must ensure the establishment of vaccine factories particularly for the production of the vaccine range used in the National Immunization Programmes, especially those for children under five.”
But he lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the recent reconstitution and inauguration of the governing boards of all the tertiary hospitals and some agencies under the Federal Ministry of Health.
He said: “Also, the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria applauds the two chambers of the 8th National Assembly under the leadership of Senator Bukola Saraki and Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara for the expeditious passage of the establishment bill for the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
“It is our hope that the NCDC establishment bill, when assented to, will help in repositioning the NCDC and enable her deliver on its core mandate and hence redeem the nation from the looming plague of emerging and re-emerging diseases and non-communicable diseases.”
He further said: “We are all aware that we are still within the lower rungs of the ladder occupying ingloriously the 48th position in Africa, in the 2017 Mo Ibrahim ranking of healthcare services amongst African countries.”
He said: “As major stakeholders in the healthcare service industry, it is our candid opinion that this is largely due to the defective health administrative system in Nigeria, and lack of good governance structure in the delivery of healthcare services.
“In the early days of this country, we produced yellow fever and other human vaccines to meet in-country needs for vaccines and exported same to very many countries within the African region.
“Today, our government has failed in this aspect and has continued to pay lip service to the issue of vaccine preventable diseases such as the ones enumerated above.
“Nigeria has become a dumping ground for all sorts of vaccines produced using alien microbial strains coming from countries that were trailing behind Nigeria at independence.
“The continuous deployment of these alien microbial based vaccines amongst our population, poses a serious challenge as it has been evidenced that many of these alien microbial based vaccines have failed to elicit the requisite immunogenicity and the recipient therefore remains vulnerable even after vaccination.