About 15 months since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Wuhan, China, 117 million people have been infected and over 2.5 million deaths recorded globally.
Scientists have successfully developed effective vaccines against the virus and some countries have commenced COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
Nigeria on Friday commenced the vaccination of its citizens having received about four million doses of the COVID-19 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.
The vaccination campaign began with healthcare workers who are often at the risk of exposure to infections being the first responders to patients.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received jabs of the COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday to drive vaccine acceptance.
Here is a round-up of some of the health stories which made headlines last week.
COVID-19: Nigeria records lowest daily infections in seven months
Nigeria on Saturday reported 195 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest daily infections in about seven months as the country commences vaccination for the viral disease.
The 195 new cases is the lowest reported since August 31, 2020, when there were 138 new infections.
Nigeria receives COVID-19 vaccines
Nigeria received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Assess Facility, COVAX.
This makes Nigeria the third Africa country to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and Ivory Coast.
COVAX, an initiative co-led by the vaccine alliance, GAVI and the World Health Organisation (WHO), aims to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines by dividing about two billion doses across 92 low and middle-income countries.
Nigeria commences COVID-19 vaccination of citizens
Nigeria on Friday commenced the vaccination of its citizens against COVID-19, beginning with healthcare workers.
Healthcare workers are often at the risk of exposure to infections, including COVID-19, as they are the first responders to patients.
Cyprian Ngong, a medical doctor, became the first person to receive a jab of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines in Nigeria. Three other health workers also received jabs during the National flag-off of COVID-19 vaccination at the National hospital, Abuja, on Friday.
Ebola: Reps urge FG to monitor travellers from Congo, Guinea
The House of Representatives has urged the federal government to monitor people coming to Nigeria from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Guinea following reports of Ebola outbreak in the countries.
The resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by Unyime Idem from Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday during plenary.
Stunted children statistics worry CS-SUNN
Worried by the statistics that over 40 per cent of under-five children in Kaduna State are stunted, the Civil Society-scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has expressed fear over the calibre of leaders the state will be producing when these children reach adulthood.
Stunted children are the children whose brains are not well developed in the first five years of their life. Experts say while a malnourished child can be treated, a stunted child is immune to treatment, hence the need for prevention.
COVID-19 lockdowns threaten children’s mental health – UNICEF
The United Nations Children’s Fund warns that stay-at-home policies are threatening the mental health of 332 million children worldwide.
In a report released on Thursday, UNICEF said the affected children had been caged at home for at least nine months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the agency, 139 million children globally have lived under required nationwide stay-at-home orders since March 11, 2020, when COVID-19 was characterised as a pandemic.
USAID to empower two million adolescent Nigerians
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a new activity designed to empower no fewer than two million young Nigerians with life skills and resources to realise their future dreams.
The five-year $15 million Youth-powered Ecosystem to Advance Urban Adolescent Health Project (Adolescent Health) will help teenagers to have access to reproductive health services within a holistic context of youth empowerment.
Nigeria won’t spend N10 billion to distribute COVID-19 vaccines – Official
The Nigerian government says it has no plans to spend N10 billion to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, contrary to a newspaper report.
The Executive Secretary of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, stated the government’s position in Abuja on Saturday.
ECOWAS recommends compensation for side effects from COVID-19 vaccine
The ECOWAS Vaccines Taskforce has recommended compensation for persons who suffer any side effects as a result of the COVID-19 vaccination.
The Director-General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), Stanley Okolo, made this known at the 5th Regional Steering Committee meeting of the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement Programme (REDISSE) held virtually on Saturday.
Buhari, Osinbajo receive COVID-19 vaccines
President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday received jabs of the COVID-19 vaccines at the State House, Abuja.
The president’s chief physician, Suhayb Rafidadi, administered the vaccine at about 11.52 a.m. on the president. The vice president was also vaccinated by his physician, Nicholas Audifferen, immediately after the president received his dose.
Avoid playing politics with COVID-19 vaccines, Gbajabiamila warns
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has warned Nigerians against playing politics with the COVID-19 vaccines delivered to the country.
Mr Gbajabiamila while speaking at the commencement of COVID-19 vaccination at the National hospital, Abuja, on Friday, said this is the time for Nigerians to be united.
COVID-19: Nine things to know about Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arriving Nigeria
Nigeria received the first batch of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX, the global sharing programme designed to make vaccine access more equal.
With several concerns raised about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, here are nine things you should know about.
COVID-19: As Nigeria commences vaccination, many citizens remain sceptical
Daniel Ogala, an Abuja resident, said he will not take the COVID-19 vaccines that Nigeria recently acquired because he believes it is an orchestrated plan by the ‘Western world’ to monitor Africans.
“When they inject you with the vaccine, a chip will be implanted inside your body and will be used to monitor you,” Mr Ogala, a tailor, said.
Such conspiracy theories are common and thrive due to poor communication and enlightenment by relevant authorities, experts say.
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