Nigeria Launches 3-Hub Project Construction for Vaccine.

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  • The Minister said each of the hubs will be centralized to serve geopolitical zones

To massively expand vaccine storage capacity at the national level, the Nigerian government has commenced the construction of standard vaccine hub projects in Abuja, Lagos, and Kano states. The Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire said this during the ground-breaking ceremony in Abuja on Thursday. 

The minister noted that each hub was centralized to serve two geopolitical locations and decentralized to respond to increasing vaccine demands. He explained that Nigeria is a large country with a continuously increasing population coupled with the introduction of new and essential vaccines. He said to this end, the country requires sufficient storage space for vaccines and injection materials for efficient implementation of its immunization programme.

Challenges

Mr. Ehanire stated that the supply chain challenges highlighted by the COVID-19 vaccination effort also underline the need for the massive expansion of storage space which “will confer a measure of resilience in the system”.

He said, “In recognition of the need for resilience in the system, the country, following detailed analysis, decided on a system redesign which includes the construction of three mega stores at the national level, deployment of optimized cold chain equipment at the health facilities, an efficient distribution system and the deployment of an electronic logistics management information system to provide visibility across the supply chain.”

He also explained that the ground-breaking ceremony is a key milestone of the system redesign journey. “I consider it a privilege that I have the duty to break ground for the construction of this vital piece of infrastructure for the country’s immunization programme.” The 3-Hub project led by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) will accommodate needed vaccines through 2035.

Enhancing Immunization

During the groundbreaking, Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director of NPHCDA disclosed that the hub would improve the immunization logistics network and vaccine storage capacity in the country, adding that the construction of the hubs in Abuja, Lagos, and Kano (the 3-Hub project) was strategically designed to address the challenges in the immunization supply chain.

Mr. Shuaib revealed there was a delay in the construction of the hubs due to the lack of adequate resources. “Fully cognisant of the necessity for the implementation of these planned activities, we made funding provision for the Lagos Hub within a World Bank IDA Credit facility for polio eradication support”. He said the Abuja and Kano Hub is being funded by the Gavi Alliance within the country’s Health System strengthening (HSS) support.

He bemoaned that the road to get here had been long and difficult, with delays brought on by the need to keep updating the design in response to changing circumstances, with the necessary funding approvals from the Gavi Alliance, and with the procedures necessary for the effective selection of the construction company to handle the project.

“Here I must acknowledge the technical support of the UNICEF Supply Division in reviewing the designs of the Hubs as well as in the provision of procurement services support,” he said.

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