Nigeria: Coronavirus Threat Not Over Yet - Osinbajo

16 March 2020

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has advised Nigerians to continue to observe hygiene advisories, saying the threat posed to Nigeria by the Coronavirus was not yet over.

Osinbajo gave the advice on Monday in Abuja while flagging off the free nationwide Integrated Medical Outreach Programme (I-MOP) at Bwari Area Council Primary Health Centre in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Vice President spoke on the issue while commenting on the efforts so far taken by the Federal Government to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.

He said: "... the threat is not over and as you know only a few days ago, Mr. President directed that a readiness review be undertaken covering both the economy and healthcare services and that report has been submitted to him. We are also examining the readiness of our healthcare facilities for whatever eventualities may arise."

Osinbajo, in a statement issued today by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said President Muhammadu Buhari's vision of taking 10 million Nigerians out poverty every year for the next 10 years was on course.

He said it would be "largely" actualized by the quantum leap in our human capacity development attainment, especially healthcare.

He said "the Integrated Medical Outreach Programme is a crucial feature of our overall human capacity development effort."

Osinbajo, who spoke on the significance of the programmes especially in impacting the population in the rural parts of the country, said "... despite our best efforts, there is a significant gap in bringing public health services to vulnerable populations especially in the rural, mountainous, riverine, peri-urban and other difficult to reach areas in the country."

He added: "So, today, here in Bwari, we flag-off the conduct of the first round of the Integrated Medical Outreach Programme (I-MOP) for the unreached, under-served and vulnerable communities in 409 selected LGAs in the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.

"The I-MOP intervention is aimed at strengthening and scaling up access to routine immunization and other primary healthcare (PHC) services in selected low performing LGAs."

He called on Nigerians including all residents of selected communities to take advantage of the programme.

Earlier in their separate remarks, the representative of the Senate President, Sen. Chukwuma Utazi; the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire; and the FCT Minister of State, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, commended the support and leadership provided by both President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo in improving Nigeria's healthcare system in the past few years.

Other dignitaries present at the event included the Senator representing FCT at the National Assembly, Sen. Philip Aduda and the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, the representative of the World Health Organisation, amongst others.

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