BY DAVID ADUGE-ANI
The European Union (EU) said that it has spent over N105m on the newly constructed Federal Capital Territory (FCT) vaccines cold store facility located at Apo-Abuja.
Speaking when he handed over the facility to the FCT administration at the weekend, the leader of EU-Support for Immunization Governance in Nigeria (EU-SIGN) project, Dr. Isah Ibrahim explained that the cost of the building, including borehole stand at about N31m, which is different from the cost of the renovation.
“The building and the borehole alone cost about N31m, the cost of solar refrigerator system is different, the cost of the four-wheel vehicle is different, the cost of the renovation of the facilities is also different.
So if you put everything together including the computers, it is above N105m, but that is at about five years ago and if you put it at the current value, it is over N200m”, he said.
Ibrahim explained that immunization at the primary health care level has remained the major concerns of the EU, adding the cold store was meant to provide the required temperature for vaccines in the Federal Capital Territory.
He noted that the over 70 per cent of diseases that affect Nigerians can be prevented at the primary health care level, stating that the primary health care centres remain the backbone of health system in Nigeria.
Taking over the facility, acting secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat (FCT-HHSS), Mrs. Alice Odey-Achu pledged that the FCT administration would protect and take proper care of the facility to enable it serve the purpose it was meant.
Odey-Achu commended the EU for their effort in ensuring an effective primary health care system in the FCT through the provision of the Abuja vaccines cold store.
Also speaking, acting executive secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Board (FCT-PHCB), Dr. Matthew Ashikeni noted that the goal of EU-SGN project is to reduce childhood morbidity and mortality in Nigeria, due to preventable diseases.
Ashikeni added that the project also ensures that sustainable quality routine immunization services are permanently available through an effective primary health care system in 23 priority states and the FCT, and to support the interruption of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) in Nigeria.
He continued: What this project means is that we now have adequate vaccines during immunization and they are safe. This shows that if you are taking any vaccines from our facility, they are safe for both the mother and the child who is taking the vaccines, because they can now be stored at the right temperature.”