. FCT gets 227, 480 Covid-19 doses, records 19, 429 infections, 154 deaths
By Taofeek LAWAL, Abuja
The minister of the FCT, Mallam Muhammad Bello, was conspicuously absent at the official flag off of the Covid-19 vaccines in Abuja, the nation’s capital. The event held at the Asokoro District Hospital on Monday was witnessed by the crème de la crème in the Federal Capital Territory.
The minister of State, FCT, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, who described the event as the single largest vaccination in the history of the FCT, said the act has demonstrated government’s resolve to place a premium on the health of Nigerians no matter the cost involved. She said although the FCT constitutes only two percent of Nigerian population, it has been one of the most affected in terms of infection and fatalities as far as Covid-19 pandemic is concerned.
According to the minister, the FCT has recorded 19, 429 infections and 154 deaths but added that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has not relented in its efforts in reaching to the grassroots through the assistance of religious and traditional leaders saying the government will not be involved in anything that will endanger the lives of the citizens. She said the 227, 480 doses of the vaccine allocated to the FCT will be judiciously administered and accounted for.
Tijjani Aliyu stated that in readiness for the COVID-19 vaccination, the FCT, through the FCT Primary Healthcare Board and partners, completed a Cold Chain Preparedness assessment and trained all members of the 65 vaccination teams. She added that the FCT can safely store, deliver and administer the vaccines required to immunise all residents in this first phase of COVID-19 vaccination.
Aliyu noted that the FCT had in the past led the way in several vaccination campaigns against diseases such as polio, measles and meningitis, while assuring that this vaccination exercise would not be different as the administration was committed to ensuring that the FCT serves as an example to other states in surpassing all COVID-19 vaccination targets.
“The FCTA will resolutely enforce all the National Guidelines and ensure that all stages of the vaccine roll-out are equitably and fairly implemented and all the 227,480 doses received are accounted for. For a start, vaccination roll-out is expected from today for frontline health and non-health workers in all private and public COVID-19 isolation centres, treatment and laboratory centres, in the FCT. Other health workers, strategic leaders, military and paramilitary, as well as FCTA/FCDA personnel will continue to receive theirs over the next 10-day work period. We may consider an extension of time for catch-up for those who may miss their appointments,” the minister said.
The Acting Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), Dr Mohammed Kawu, said the FCT has met all the prescribed requirements for deployment of vaccines which marked an important milestone in the Covid-19 response in the FCT. He added a vaccination pillar has been established at the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to drive vaccination activities in the FCT and ensure its successful completion.
The Ona of Abaji and Chairman FCT Council of Chiefs, Alhaji (Dr) Adamu Baba Yunusa, promised to take the message of the vaccination to the residents and implored the FCTA to make the vaccines available to the citizens.
The vaccine approved by the World Health Organization and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) was administered on frontline health workers, journalists and dignitaries among who are the Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Bashir Mai-Bornu; FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola; FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Chiroma; Acting Secretary, HHSS, Dr Mohammed Kawu; the Ona of Abaji.
The vaccines, which will be administered in the FCT between Monday, March 15, 2021 and Thursday, March 25, 2021 at designated health facilities/centres across the six Area Councils of the FCT, are expected to revive social and economic activities in the nation’s capital.