Health

Nigerian government to make coronavirus vaccination compulsory for civil servants

The Nigerian government has declared that ,coronavirus vaccination is now mandatory for civil servants, stressing that all levels of government must work together to achieve a greater impact in the health sector.

Pelican Brief

Penpushing reports that the Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), Boss Mustapha made this known on Thursday during a meeting of the Health Commissioners Forum with federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and health partners.

The Chairman, who doubles as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), explained that the meeting was primarily to discuss ways to strengthen the health system at the sub-national levels, with an overall objective of achieving the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

“You should, in the course of this meeting, deliberate on the challenges caused by vaccine hesitancy all over the country. It is expected that you will come with policy alternatives as solutions. Let me state, however, that federal government shall, very shortly, unveil its decision on mandatory vaccination for every employee in its service”, he emphasised

Penpushing further reports that, Mustapha disclosed that the country did not have sufficient vaccines at the moment and so will not institute the mandatory vaccination immediately, but gave assurance that vaccination will be compulsory for federal civil servants once vaccines are available for everyone,.

‘One of the reasons why we want to do that with the federal civil service is because they will be travelling on behalf of the nation. Assuming the American government said, you can’t come into their country unless you’re vaccinated? So you have to be vaccinated. It’s a sequential thing and we are taking one step at a time, because, we realize we don’t have sufficient vaccine in the country at the moment,” he said.

Penpushing also reports that, Mustapha pointed out that collaboration is key to the success of the national response to the pandemic which has infected almost 200,000 persons in the country, noting that the pandemic came with a storm and exposed the weaknesses in the country’s health system.

“Nigeria has a system of government, while you have the federal government, the state governments with their separate responsibilities with that of the local government. I’m so comfortable that the levels of government have their responsibilities assigned to them, he added.

“But unless you have a form of partnership between the two types of government, you will find yourself either replicating the same thing or duplicating efforts. And that would amount to a waste of resources, but if we are collaborating, you will know exactly what each segment is doing and you will be able to apportion resources proportionately, across the board in different responsibilities. The story would have been different in the country if not for the collaboration of states and partners,” he said.

The Country Director for Nigeria at Gate Foundation Africa, Jeremie Zoungrana in his remarks noted that the country’s response to the pandemic had shown that health is at the forefront of its development objective, explaining  that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would continue to support Nigeria to strengthen the health system.

Penpushing also reports that, the theme of the forum is “Building a stronger health sector in Nigeria through collaboration and strategic partnership”, while it is on record that, Nigeria has, so far, vaccinated less than three million people and has relied on donated vaccines for its citizens.

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