N5bn Polio Vaccines, Destroyed in Gombe Medical Store Fire

Fire has razed medical equipment, including Maternal and Child care equipment and two million doses of poliovirus vaccine at the Gombe State Medical Store located around Kasuwa-Katako of the state.

The incident occurred around 2 am on Monday.

Other items gutted by the inferno were consumables.

The state governor, Muhammadu Yahaya, who visited the scene described the incident as unfortunate.

The governor disclosed that measures were being put in place to unravel the cause and prevent future occurrences.

He said, “Maternal and Child care equipment and also two million doses of poliovirus vaccines which are very difficult to come by were burnt and this store serves not only Gombe but the entire North-East. This is because of the essential commodities but it’s the wish of God, there is nothing we can do.

“We have directed the fire service to come and give an assessment of what caused it so that we can mitigate against such thing happening in the future.

“Nonetheless, we will urge all stakeholders especially donor and development partners especially UNICEF, WHO and so on to intervene immediately since we are already hitting the first quarter. We need a vaccine for meningitis, there is onset of cholera we need to do a lot.”

Speaking further about the government’s efforts, Yahaya added, “I have directed the Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport to immediately see what measures we need to take to prevent such from happening in the future.”

On his part, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Habu Dahiru, said “The commodities are not only vaccines. We also received motorcycles, and maternal and child health equipment that are in the store, they were given to us by Rotary International, and we also have equipment from the Primary Health Care Development Agency that is being distributed to maternities and PHCs to improve service delivery in those areas then we have public health commodities like family planning, nutrition immunisation.

He added, “The cost implication is about N5 billion. If you see the naira exchange rate now, you can imagine how much one dollar of polio MOPV for that matter that is the most potent polio vaccine is very costly if you convert it from dollar to naira the equipment too.

“This is just a rough estimate a committee has been instituted to take inventory and itemise them not only that I have also instituted a fire service department to give us the immediate cause of the incident and what measures to prevent further occurrence.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *