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FG Seeks Pharmacists Support In Development Of Covid-19 Vaccines

Ebuka Daniel

The Federal Government is seeking the collaboration of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria to attract international opportunities for the development of Nigeria’s vaccine to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic.

It is also seeking the support of PSN in diagnostics and therapeutics manufacturing capacity to create a stronger future for health security.

The Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, made this call during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

According to him, the effort and input of professionals such as the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria had become imperative for the Nigeria government, as the world at large battles with the covid 19 pandemic.

He said, “During the calls to use unproven methods to treat COVID-19 cases, we heard very little from the professional science organisations to dispel these misconceptions and explain the principles of clinical trials, especially how decisions are made about therapeutic interventions.

“If we collectively understand and communicate how therapeutics work and its importance to the populace, we stand a chance to protect the integrity of the underlying science that is the foundation upon which our professions are built.”

Speaking further, the DG while citing India as a powerhouse in vaccine manufacturing, said that in building stronger pharmaceutical capacity, stakeholders must recognise that the opportunities were mutually dependent on each other.

According to him, NCDC in response to disease outbreak has made some progress in establishing the National Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, National Reference Laboratory in 2017 and the subsequent establishment of similar structures across all states in Nigeria.

He noted that emergency operations centres have been established in more than 30 states in Nigeria while molecular laboratories were also established in every state.

“Nigeria had experienced several disease outbreaks in the last five years including large outbreaks of cerebrospinal meningitis, Lassa fever, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“NCDC has made enormous progress over time including the digitisation of the national disease surveillance architecture across all states.

“Standard infectious disease treatment centres were also established by the NCDC,” he added.

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