The Federal Government has locally produced hand sanitisers to curb scarcity and high demand for the product, as Nigerians grapple to maintain good hygiene habits since the first confirmed case of Coronavirus in the country.
The novel case of an Italian national still remains Nigeria’s only confirmed COVID-19, with results showing several others being negative.
At a briefing by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, on Friday, the new product was unveiled by the Director-General of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Dr. Obi Adigwe in Abuja.
Speaking about the new product, Dr Adigwe noted that due to the global fall-outs of the COVID-19 outbreak, it was necessary for the agency to put measures in place to help address shortages and supply chain disruptions.
“One of the global fall-outs of the recent outbreak has been the supply chain disruptions of various commodities that are relevant to controlling the outbreak.
“These disruptions have either been through panic buying or genuine shortages and this has been global; Nigeria has not been left out in this.
“It is with the sense of national pride and patriotism that I’m here to present to you, a hand sanitiser which has undergone pilot product development at NIPRD and which is of the highest quality in terms of ensuring activities against the spread of coronavirus,” he stated.
Dr Adigwe said that the development was due to the health minister’s mandate to NIPRD and other research agencies, to put in place various activities that will ensure the issue of shortages and supply chain disruptions are addressed.
He added that “Based on the mandate given, NIPRD went ahead to undertake research and product development activities.
“I am happy to inform you that based on the charge; NIPRD began a series of activities to address various challenges that are identified to our own situation.”
The NIPRD DG revealed that the agency has undertaken several other activities, including a database for local pharmaceutical manufacturers who have been licensed to produce hand sanitisers in Nigeria.
He added that the companies listed so far have certification from the World Health Organisation (W.H.O) and they are willing to share their excess capacity for contract manufacturing.
“We have also undertaken several other activities; we have opened up a database for local pharmaceutical manufacturers who have been licensed to produce hand sanitisers in Nigeria.
“Some of these companies do have excess capacity and the companies who have indicated interest are willing to share the excess capacity for contract manufacturing.”
Dr Ehanire, while commending the latest development, said the product will be presented to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.
“This product and other similar products will, of course, be presented to NAFDAC and certified as the laws prescribe and I hope NAFDAC will be able to do that as quickly as possible.