Reps Probe NPHCDA, COVID-19 Vaccination Centres, Database Funds

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The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to overhaul the operations of the Port Health Services and equip it to a world-class standard.

The House also urged the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to work towards creating the required synergy between its vaccine operations and the Port Health Services to ensure online real-time access to vaccination records of travelers from the database provided for such purpose.

Furthermore, the House has mandated its Committee on Healthcare Services to “investigate the activities of the COVID-19 vaccination units, especially as it relates to their records of vaccinations to ensure that such records are duly kept in the approved database; the issuance of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards; and the funds spent on maintaining a national database of COVID-19 vaccination and the inability of key government agencies to have real-time access to the COVID-19 vaccination database.”

The committee is to report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

These resolutions followed the unanimous adoption of the motion moved by a member of the House, Obinna Chidoka, at the plenary on Thursday, titled ‘Call to Investigate the COVID-19 Vaccine Database of Travelers.’

Moving the motion, Chidoka noted that it is a precondition for foreign travels to most countries that intending travelers must present their vaccination cards showing evidence of COVID-19 vaccination before such trips.

He also noted that records of COVID vaccination administered by the various units nationwide are expected to be uploaded in a database, which can be accessed by the COVID-19 units at the various entry and exit points in Nigeria, particularly at the international airports.

Chidoka said, “The House is concerned that the Ports Health Services at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, which has the primary responsibility of checking the vaccine and health status of travelers, do not have efficient synergy with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency that takes care of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, thereby creating embarrassing bottlenecks for travelers on a daily basis.

“The House is also concerned that the National Primary Health Development Agency, with all the resources at its disposal, cannot maintain effective and efficient handling of its database such that its website collapses frequently, rendering it mostly inaccessible.

“The House is worried that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, which is in charge of COVID-19 the vaccination database, has become a service provider for the airline business, and does not have a dedicated call centre for resolving travelers’ COVID-19 related inquiries.

“The House is also worried that the working environment of the Ports Health Services is shabby and grossly equipped.

“The House is determined to address the poor working environment of Port Health Services at the airports and improve synergy between the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, COVID-19 vaccination units nationwide, and the Ports Health Services.”

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