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Nigerian govt approves N8.6bn for construction of vaccine laboratory, others



The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N8.6 billion for the construction of vaccine laboratory, test kits for HIV/AIDS, and procurement of medical equipment.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said N3.06 billion would be spent on the construction of vaccine laboratory, N1.2 billion for laboratory equipment and N4.3 billion for procurement of test kits for HIV/AIDS and syphilis.

The minister said: “The Ministry of Health presented three memos, which were all approved. One of them was for the procurement of test kits for HIV/AIDS.

“As you all know, Nigeria has succeeded in driving down the HIV prevalence from 3 percent to 1.3 percent.”

He said with the nationality indicator and the impact survey carried out recently, the government was ready to conduct more tests, particularly of mothers who may be carrying HIV that could be passed on to their unborn children.

READ ALSO: WTO to establish vaccine production hub in Nigeria

Ehanire added: “That’s sort of called the prevention of mother to child transmission and also without routine tests that will be done on people who may have absolutely no symptom at all, but are carrying HIV virus.

“So, these test kits we are procuring and we are also including those test kits that can also detect syphilis.

“Syphilis as you all know is another sexually transmitted disease. So, this memo was presented today and passed by the Council.”

He revealed that the council approved two other memos from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

“One of them was a memo that was meant to buy equipment for six laboratories in the country and the memo was also passed without any question.

“It’s to update and upgrade the laboratories of NAFDAC,” he concluded.

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