Chris Steven, Abuja
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has called on Nigerian communities to embrace preventive healthcare strategies like immunization, in order to prevent the outbreak of preventable diseases.
Saraki gave the charge while speaking to reporters at the National Assembly Clinic, where he led the Senate leadership to administer Oral Polio Vaccine, OPV and Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, PCV on babies as part of activities to mark this year’s World Immunization Day, in Abuja.
The Senate President, who is a medical doctor by training, stated that in order to reduce the burden on the nation’s healthcare system, Nigeria must begin to push for preventive strategies to curb the spread of diseases and to stop citizens from falling sick.
“Vaccination is a key strategy to containing many diseases that currently exist in the country. These include diseases like polio, as well as meningitis that has killed up to 745 Nigerians in the past few months,” the Senate President said, “We need to encourage more families and communities to embrace vaccination against preventable diseases that are experiencing resurgence. Here in the National Assembly, we are ready to provide funding for vaccines — meningitis especially.”
The Senate President also said that greater awareness for immunization must be undertaken by governments across all levels to ensure that the nation’s healthcare system is not overburdened.
“In order to reduce the burden on our healthcare system, Nigeria must begin to push for preventive strategies to curb the spread of diseases, any healthcare reform in Nigeria must start with an emphasis on prevention, rather than cure,” he said.
“And as you can see from the vaccinations I have just administered here, it is not something that is too difficult to carry out, the purpose of being here is to show that we in the National Assembly are already pushing for this,” the Senate President added.