Covid-19: Refugee Commission, others begin mass vaccination for IDPs 

Covid-19: Refugee Commission, others begin mass vaccination for IDPs 

The National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons in collaboration with the National Primary Health-care Development Agency in Nigerian has flagged off Mass Vaccination exercise for IDPs in Abuja, Nigeria.

The exercise was held at the Waru IDPs camp, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Federal Commissioner, Imaan Sulaiman Ibrahim who co-flagged the exercise said the mass vaccination for the Persons of Concern in Nigeria was to make vaccines accessible to them on an equitable basis, to limit the spread of the virus.

He said “the Covid-19 Pandemic has had a profound effect on nearly every aspect of our lives, it has stalled world economies, altered the way we work and communicate with our loved ones, and strained healthcare systems to their breaking point.

“Governments throughout the World have been obliged to impose severe limits on human activity, to halt the virus’s spread, particularly at the wake of the recent Omicron variant of the virus.

Nigeria as a country should be commended for the resilience of our government institutions and healthcare agencies such as the National Primary Health Care Development Agency in fighting the Covid-19 spread.

Increase in displacementsAccording to the Commissioner, UNHCR reveals that between 2020 till date, there has been a sharp increase in the number of displacements by about a million, bringing the total number of internal displaced persons to about three million residing in camps and host communities across the country.

Ibrahim stated that “there are also about 73,000 registered refugees from over 23 countries residing in Nigeria.

These statistics signifies a 1.

7% value of the nation’s population yet to be vaccinated.

“These Persons of Concern have had their livelihoods eroded by both man-made and natural disasters such as protracted fighting, insecurity, communal clashes, and the consequences of climate change, leaving them more vulnerable to the Covid-19 Pandemic larger impact.

“The majority of them lack access to an adequate health care system and are stigmatized as a result of their situation.

This is why the Commission is collaborating with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to ensure that Covid Vaccines reach these vulnerable Persons of Concern,” he explained.

Distribution of food and household itemsThe Refugee Commission in collaboration with the Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association, DAPOWA distributed food and household items to 150 IDPs in the camp as a way of giving them succour.

The Executive Director, National Primary Health-care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shu’aib said the exercise was another opportunity for the IDPs to be further protected.

Dr Shu’aib said “I therefore urge all those who have taken the right decision to be fully vaccinated, to walk into the nearest vaccination site for their booster dose as from tomorrow.

“I want to re-assure everyone that Covid-19 vaccines are safe and efficacious.

We have in place the required measures and precautions to ensure vaccine monitoring and accountability.

We are committed to ensure that our vaccination teams will be available on site here and in other camps daily until every eligible person has received their vaccines.

I therefore urge camp leaders to take responsibility and ensure all members are fully vaccinated,” he stated.

Dr Shu’aib urged the leadership of the camp to demand for the vaccines if the teams stop coming and there are still unvaccinated persons in the camp.

He said “it is your right to get vaccinated.

Vaccine is not just an act of self-protection but also a civic duty to curtail the spread of the virus in the camp and in Nigeria.

Every one of us has a critical role to play in mobilising our friends, families, and camp mates to the vaccination site”.

Dr Shu’aib further enjoined them to continue to wear their face masks, wash their hands frequently, observe physical distancing and avoid large gatherings until Nigeria achieves full vaccination of all its eligible population.

Also present at the event was the Representative of the UNHCR, Mr Roland Schoenbauer who said that the UN Refugee Agency was elated to be part of the exercise.

Mr Schoenbauer urged the IDPs to make themselves available for the vaccine stating that the vaccine was safe and efficacious.

“Remember, no one is safe until everyone is safe,” he said.

Nneka Ukachukwu
Covid-19: Refugee Commission, others begin mass vaccination for IDPs 

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