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USAID Awards For COVID-19 Vaccine Support.

USAID Awards: Cross River To Benefit From $5 Million USAID Awards For COVID-19 Vaccine Support

Cross River, FCT, Oyo, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Sokoto, Bayelsa, and Kano states have been listed among the states in Nigeria that will benefit from the $5m additional funds for the promotion of acceptance and uptake of the COVID-19 Vaccines in Nigeria as allocated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Deputy Project Director, Risk Communication, Breakthrough Action-Nigeria (BA-N), Dr. Olayinka Umar-Farouk made this known at the BA-N’s Workplan Development Workshop for the fiscal year 2023 held in Lagos.

Uma-Farouk stated that the funding will enable the organization to refine its approaches and address vaccine hesitancy across different states in Nigeria, with a key focus on people living with HIV and AIDS, health care workers, and persons with co-morbidity illnesses.

“BA-N has been supporting different areas of the Risk Communication Pillar largely around system strengthening. Nigeria is one of the countries that does have a National strategy for the control and prevention of Covid-19. In addition, one of the things, when there is a public health emergency, is the need for high-level collaboration and coordination amongst diverse stakeholders.”

“BA-N, through USAID Funding has been leading effort, supporting the National Risk Communication Technical Working Group which is made up of diverse ministries, departments, and agencies across different pillars to support Risk Communication efforts.”

“One of the key areas that we are currently working on is putting the people living with HIV at the front burner of this response. Another key population that we engage with is the healthcare workers. We know that they are a key audience when it comes to people who are trusted in the communities.”

“USAID continues to fund and put Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) on the front burner of any public health emergency. Currently, USAID is funding BA-N with over $5M to support the government of Nigeria’s effort in scaling up the optimized scale 2.0 strategy using the Global funding.”

“BA-N is going to continue to do this using multiple approaches to ensure that everyone gets the message that allows them to make an informed decision and protect themselves, their families, and community at large.” She added.

In furtherance of the government’s efforts to attain 70% vaccination coverage of all eligible adults by September 2022, BA-N has reached 741,791 persons with COVID-19 messages via mass vaccination activities between November 2021 – March 2022 across FCT, Oyo, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bauchi, Sokoto, Bayelsa and Kano states.

Through these activities, 415,376 persons have been vaccinated. Since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, COVID-19 has affected a total number of 257,290 persons in the country, causing the death of 3,144 persons (As of the time of filing this report).

However, 250,147 lives have been saved, having been treated and discharged from different health facilities across the nation.

Recall that a few months ago, BA-N in collaboration with the Cross River State Ministry of Health and the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency commenced a statewide mass vaccination campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate the potential damage that the further spread of the virus may cause and to increase the uptake of the vaccine in Akamkpa and Ikom Local Government Areas.

As of June 27, 2022, the Nigerian Government has been able to fully vaccinate 21 Million people, which indicates that only 10.2% of the entire eligible population have been fully vaccinated. With the announcement of the $5m additional funds, Nigeria will accelerate its efforts to vaccinate more Nigerians, save lives, and address some of the bottlenecks to COVID-19 vaccine uptake in the country.

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