By Dan-Maryam Zayamu
The President, Guild of Medical Laboratory Directors (GMLD), Prince Elochukwu Adibo, has said that Nigeria has no business importing the COVID-19 vaccine and indeed, any other vaccine into the country.
He insisted that Nigeria has capacity, the man power and human resources to be self-sufficient in vaccine production. What is only needed, he reiterated is the political will.
Prince Adibo, stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Ona of Abaji and Chairman, FCT Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Adamu baba Yunusa, in Abaji.
The visit, according to Prince Adibo, was to invite the royal father to forthcoming National Scientific Conference organised by his group which will take place at the International Conference Centre, in Abuja.
The theme of the conference, he said, is: “Harnessing Awareness of Public Private Mix for the Production of Human Vaccine and in In—Vitro Diagnostics.”
This, he said, is to enable stakeholders find a final solution to producing local human vaccines in Nigeria.
According to Prince Adibo: “Nigeria has no business importing vaccines, we can produce any human vaccine in the country, we have the capacity, manpower and human resources to do so. Laboratory Scientists in Nigeria have done it in the past and can still do it today”.
He recalled that medical laboratory scientists in Nigeria produced Small Pox vaccine at the Yaba Vaccine Centre, supervised by World Health Organisation (WHO), some years ago.
The vaccine, he said, was exported to other countries in West African during the peak of the fight against Small Pox in the 60s up to the early 90s.
He regretted that: “Like every other institution of government in Nigeria then, the vaccine centre in Yaba, Lagos was mismanaged which led to its eventual collapsed.”
He, therefore, called on the federal government, to, as a matter of urgency, revive the vaccine centre in Yaba – Lagos, reiterating that any nation that depends on foreign vaccines, is toying with the health of its citizens.
“Global politics on vaccine production, availability and accessibility is not favourable to under-developed nations, as developed nations that produce the vaccines have discriminatory and protective tendencies against less privileged countries who cannot afford to produce human vaccines, because they want to make the vaccines available to their citizens before considering other nations”.
A statement by the media consultant of the GMLD, Jack Lampang Abia (Jnr), quoted that royal father as applauding medical laboratory scientists for saving lives silently in the medical laboratories through empirical laboratory diagnosis.
By Dan-Maryam Zayamu