Report of Two-Day Conference on COVID19 Vaccination Interventions at State Levels

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from MacArthur Foundation organized a two-day conference on 16th and 17th February in Abuja. The conference which took place at K-Class Hotel Abuja was attended by Commissioners of Health from Sokoto, Taraba, Bauchi, Adamawa and Katsina states, Executive Secretaries of Primary Health Care Development Agencies of 19 northern states, representative of Minister of Health and project partners from the six focal states.

The Executive Director (ED) CITAD, Dr. YZ Ya’u began his opening remarks by welcoming the participants to conference and expressed gratitude for honoring our invitation to be at the conference to share their ideas and experience in the field as critical stakeholders in the field in addressing the COVID 19 challenge. 

Dr. YZ Ya’u noted that the project started a year ago and the main objective then was to work with different stakeholders and partners to support effort to get more people or everybody to be vaccinated and to sensitize people about the importance of the vaccinations, to dispel rumors and misinformation about the vaccine itself and ensure citizens that the vaccine is safe, efficacious and can be used by all.

Over the year, this project has been implemented, and of course the COVID 19 is over and a lot of people have done some work, hence it is important to seat down and reflect on what has been done. So in essence according to Dr. YZ the workshop was primarily aimed at understanding the lessons that all of us particularly those of us at the frontline had gathered, what lessons have you learnt or are you learning in terms of addressing the public challenge that can be used in the future to address other challenges in the health sector that may come and what lessons we learnt that we can carry forward in terms of transforming the health sector in general. What can we do collectively, discuss and find solution to them. 

It is hoped that the conference will harvest lessons, ideas and progress that have been made and specific subventions that can be reflected and apply in other similar situation in the health sector. These ideas and experiences will later be distill and possibly produce a policy brief document out of them and shared with stakeholders in the sector. In the last few months we have had some cases of emergencies and outbreaks. So learning from the way we have confronted COVID 19 how are we prepared to deal with those emergencies that may be found in the future. He further noted that we know you have done quite a lot work; you have also experienced a lot of challenges, you have developed innovative ideas. It is our hope that you will share with us those ideas, lessons and innovations that you have implemented in your respective states and in doing so you will be benefited from each other. However, documenting these experiences and ideas will help in transmitting the experiences for posterity.     

He concluded his opening remarks by appreciating the participants for honoring CITAD’s invitation, for good work that participants have done and of course for agreeing to share their ideas and experiences on the COVID 19 vaccine intervention as critical stakeholders. He wished the participants very productive and engaging workshop that will be useful to all.         

Goodwill Messages from Commissioners of Health of Sokoto, Bauchi, Taraba, Adamawa, Katsina

Sokoto State Commissioner of Health

In his goodwill message the Sokoto State Commissioner of Health Alhaji Lema Abubakar thanked CITAD for organizing the conference. According him COVID 19 was a pandemic that shocked the whole world for this it is important to reflect on its history. At beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic there was as fear that everybody is going to die this was based on the historical experiences that humanity had of notorious pandemic that in some cases decimate some societies in the past. For this reasons this conference to share our experiences on how COVID 19 was overcome and nipped in the bud within a very short period of time with the help of technology so that posterity will have their resilience to face this type calamities that periodically replete the world. He finally commended the organizers of the conference and wished the participants a successful deliberation. 

Commissioner of Taraba State Ministry of Health 

The commissioner was represented by Dr. Abey Agbu appreciated CITAD for organizing the conference. He observed that initially when people heard about the pandemic everybody was shivering and thinking that it was the end for Africa and Nigeria and that was informed by the way people see how devastating the pandemic was even on developed countries. But for the interventions by Federal Ministry of Health and other partners like CITAD we are able to defeat COVID. He observed that it will be good indeed to be here to discuss our efforts at various corners that culminated to our victory against COVID 19. He further noted that other virus such as monkey fox had been discovered in our neighboring countries so we need to know what we have done very well so that we will be able to face what comes away in the future. For all these reasons conference was important, he challenged participants to put their best to make we understand each other and take all positive that will help us protect ourselves and our country against any disease that will be coming. He concluded his remarks by appreciating both the participants and the organizers of the conference as an opportunity to share knowledge.

Commissioner of Adamawa State Ministry of Health

The commissioner was ably represented by Dr. Bulus K.Z. Dr. Bulus thanked the organizers of the conference saying that it is timely though that was his first time of attending any of the CITAD’s engagement in this project. He noted that the conference would a learning avenue for participants will hear from the work experiences of each other from the field.   

 Commissioner of Katsina State Ministry of Health

The commissioner of Health Katsina State was represented by Dr. Mu’awiya Aliyu, the Director of Public Health at the ministry. In his remarks, Dr. Mu’awiya started by drawing the attention of the participants to the fact that it is all about the COVID 19 is over, but to the fact that there a large number people that are unvaccinated and this population really draw us back. According to him, this attitude by people who refused to take the vaccines was probably informed by the rumors and misinformation that went viral during the initial outbreak of the virus. He observed that this conference will give opportunity to participants to share their experiences especially the states that were able to vaccinate their targeted population. Katsina has been quite unfortunate in meeting its target in this for the state target was 3 million people out which they were able to vaccinate 2.3 million with first dose, but they could not get such number to take the second dose and eventually take booster dose, he related. This conference will give opportunity for participants to know how those states that were able to reached their target populations vaccinated. On finally note he thanked CITAD for organizing the conference and wished the participants fruitful deliberations. 

Commissioner of Bauchi State Ministry of Health

The commissioner of Health Bauchi State was represented by the Executive Chairman of Bauchi State PHDA Dr. Rilwanu Muhammed who started by noting the fact that when COVID 19 came the first known victim of the virus was in the country was Bauchi state governor, then his chief of staff. Other victims were the deputy governor, secretary to the state government and the chief of judge of Bauchi state. He related how rumor about the vaccine was trending that when you take the vaccine you are going to die in the next few years. Of course there are some concern about the vaccine in some countries, but in Nigeria there is no evidence that shows a single case of a person fully vaccinated and get infected of the virus, he declared. He further noted that Bauchi state was able to only achieved 40% coverage of the target. So for this a lot has to be done, more effort has to be put in place and a lot of stakeholders such as the traditional rulers have to be contacted. He concluded by commending CITAD on what it is doing in this regards.  

COVID19 Vaccination Intervention: The Experience of Borno  State by Dr. Mala Abdulhamid, DD PHC, PM SERICC/SEMCHIC, BOSPHCDA

Dr. Mala’s presentation began by highlighting that Borno state has 27 LGAs some are accessible and some not accessible a situation conditioned by the state peculiarities in terms of geography and of course the security situation. According to Dr. Mala Primary Health Care (PHC) is one of the indicators of SDGs that aims to achieve the Universal Health Coverage (UHC), it is the entry point and the lowest level of health care service delivery. In Borno state, the service delivery is implemented across 3 categories of settlements on the basis of accessibility; the fully accessible, the partially accessible and inaccessible settlements. Accessible settlements are those that can be reached without any security support. These settlements can be utilized as fixed sessions or outreach sessions depending on the distance from the health facility. For the accessible settlements the following approaches were used by Borno PHCDA during the interventions; mobile sessions comprising teams going to hard-to-reach areas deliver immunizations, integrated PHC service delivery, integrated campaigns and RI intensification activities. 

On the partially accessible settlements Dr. Mala noted that these places are reached with least of CJTF and little military support. Two approaches were used in this regards; mobile RI/Hit and run strategy and integrated fixed post strategy. In case of inaccessible settlements such places are reached with full security personnel and in some case military personnel were trained on how to administer vaccines and conduct basic AFP surveillance activities in inaccessible settlements. However, generally various lessons were learnt during vaccine administration strategies; high cost of implementing RIC/RES strategy, knowledge gap for data and services rendered during RIC implementation, duplication of services for RI intensification and PHC outreaches and lack of direct oversight on the RIC implementation activities due to inaccessibility for civilians due to the security compromised setting.

The following challenges that hindered vaccines uptake in Borno state thus; limited financial resources, dynamic security situation within the region, lack of human resource for health, inadequate infrastructure, for services non-compliance and difficulties in vaccine and cold chain management. On the final note, the paper recommended that to achieve more success in vaccines general and in COVID 19 particularly there is a need for increased political will on PHC services support across all levels, intensify demand generation activities, addressing human perennial human gaps across all levels. In addition to the above mentioned recommendations regular capacity building of managerial and services providers and intensification supportive and mentoring supervisions are very critical.  

COVID19 Vaccination Interventions: The Experience of Yobe State by Dr. Babagana Kundi Machina, FWACP

The presentation began by highlighting how critical traditional and religious leaders’ engagements were for the Yobe State PHCDA (YOPHCDA) through the instrumentality of the Yobe Emirate Councils Committee on Health (YECCOH) in helping the agency in overcoming hesitancy especially in the case of COVID 19 across the 14 emirates in the 17 LGAs. Other market unions, Keke operators and NURTW etc were engaged. Below table shows the trend of COVID 19 vaccine in Yobe State from January to July, 2022. It shows a level of increase in the number of vaccinated people in the state.   

One critical approach employed by the state which recorded quite a huge success was the integration COVID 19 vaccine with other primary health care services. Other critical issues were engagement of additional COVID 19 vaccination teams and of course intensification of the state team members. The presentation also highlights on some best practices that probably informed the little success made in the state. Dr. Machina noted that bi-weekly review meetings, these meetings provided avenue for close monitoring, feedback and recommendation. During such meetings action points are generated and tracked. However, the agency employed a live radio call-in programmes, performance-based incentives in which scorecard was developed and LGAs and wards were ranked. All this was in addition to the active mobilization by the relevant stakeholders among the religious and traditional leaders as noted earlier. In terms of accessibility all the LGAs of Yobe state are accessible only 17 communities in 8 wards that are partially inaccessible. It is also noteworthy that as at December, 2022 there was not single IDP camp in the state. In dealing with the case of mobile population such as the nomadic Fulani who are always on move their movement was strategically tied down to vaccine certificate presentation to officials and that helped a lot improving coverage. 

The paper concludes by making the following recommendation that there is need ensure timely payment of vaccination team members and of course proper coordination of all COVID-19 vaccination activities of all organizations to improve efficiency, reduce duplications or wastages, and ensure equity.  

COVID19 Vaccination Interventions: The Experience of Plateau State by Dr. Miakwap  Livinus, Executive Secretary, Plateau State Primary Health Care Development Agency

In his presentation Dr. Livinus noted that at the beginning Plateau state recorded a very low performance. By March 2022 only 13,380 people were vaccinated through the state-wide Covid 19 mass vaccination campaign. However, following the scale 2.0 national strategy the number of the vaccinated people in the state reached 44,283 as at April, 2022. In fact up to this time there was not quite much success that has been recorded and that might have been due to some challenges among other; 90 % of COVID 19 personnel in the state are ad-hoc staff, payment of personnel only for work done on weekends, most health facility selected as vaccination site are far for clients, nonpayment of transport logistics to teams to cover settlement not close to the HF, suboptimal supervision by supervisors, poor social mobilization activities and some team members not been paid due to account number issue.

To ameliorate the above problems, the state and UNICEF teams came up with the new strategy of intensification of vaccination in 3 LGAs with highest number of unvaccinated clients. Teams were pay regularly and on daily basis throughout the 10 days of the intensification exercise. During this exercise National Orientation Agency (NOA) and interfaith groups were actively engaged and they helped in no small measure in social mobilization. This initiative produced some impressive results of 50,806 (1st,2nd and booster) people who were vaccinated by the teams. As a results of this success the strategy was employed too in other 8 LGAs that further jacked up the number of the vaccinated people to 108,158. However following this success, other partners key in to this strategy and the overall impact was the movement of the state Plateau state from 25th Position at 11th May, 2022 before the intensification to 8th position at 18thAugust, 2022 after intensification in the selected LGAs. 

COVID19 Vaccination Interventions: The Experience of Katsina State by Dr. Muhammed Kaiya Ibrahim 

In his presentation Dr. Muhammed highlighted that one important strategy adopted in the state was order given that each civil servant should be given and accept COVID 19 vaccine. These according to him help improving the number of the vaccinated people in the state. Other issues worthy of note was the level of political commitment on the part of the critical stakeholders; emirs and government. Also other government workers such as the DSS and Custom officers were vaccinated during the mass vaccination exercise. 

In Katsina the agency also employed a sustained media engagement via call-in live radio program. At the beginning of the vaccination exercise there was a growing concern among the young traders who are operating in the southern part of the country that their movement to the southern part of Nigeria might be tie down to the presentation of vaccine certificates, hence acceptance of the COVID 19 by many young traders. 

Hesitancy among the even the health workers was one of the clog that slowed down the success of the COVID 19 vaccine exercise in the state. This is in addition to many other challenges such as; rumor and misinformation peddling on the social media, cases of assault and harassment on vaccine teams, difficulty in payment of vaccinators and of course a problem of vaccine card racketeering.

To handle cases of place with problem of insecurity, the agency identified individuals among health workers that are accepted by the bandits. These individuals were used to deliver the vaccines to these bandits infested areas. 

General Discussion and Blueprint Development by Prof. Nusirat Elelu, Executive Secretary, Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency

This session was anchored by Prof. Nusirat who led the discussion. It has been observed that generally the experiences of individual states cut across majority of the state this is especially in the area of challenges of insecurity. In course of the discussions, several issues were highlighted with the hope that such will serve as a guide for the stakeholders in dealing with similar challenges as the ones posed by COVID 19 thus;

  • There is a need to come up with a general strategy for serving the inaccessible areas, this should be accompanied by action plan which can be short or long term 
  • Funding problem seems to be a general issue across states which must be addressed if future intervention programs must be successful  
  • Stakeholder engagement on how to mobilize funds is very critical for present and future endeavors 
  • There should be commissioned researchers that will make an in-depth research into the insecurity challenge and COVID 19 intervention to understand the nature and extent of the impact of the problems and other possible future intervention 
  • There should be commissioned researchers that will make an in-depth research into the health workers attitude towards COVID 19 vaccines and why some behave the way they did 
  • That COVID 19 helped in improving other vaccination programs through integration
  • Generally, at both national and subnational levels COVID 19 led to increase in budgetary allocation. For example, 2020 budget was superb and unprecedentedly high than years before it, but unfortunately that did not continue
  • COVID 19 experience brought about intensive use of technology in an exclusively analogue system. The introduction of EMID was particularly spectacular in this regards 
  • Virtual meetings or the so-called “zoom revolution” was utilized by practitioners in the fields and was used extensively for tracking and reporting 
  • Political will is very critical, stakeholders engagement is key this may include engagement with philanthropists such as BUA Foundation, Dangote Foundation, TY Danjuma Foundation etc
  • Partnership is very important and still there is a need to help those state with low coverage to reach the desirable 70% to have a safer national clime 
  • The issue of hesitancy among health workers has been underestimated, thus there is a need further engagement of health workers on this. Health workers too need education and training 
  • COVID 19 not only exposed the weakness in our health system but rather it made it visible hence easy to be addressed   
  • COVID 19 experience exposed the fact that there is discrepancies in what our political do and say 
  • That achieving 70% coverage is a responsibility for all of us


  • Despite the availability of COVID 19 vaccines there are large number of unvaccinated population in many states
  • Rumors, misinformation and fake news about COVID 19 are still thriving and determine the attitude of many people towards COVID 19 vaccine acceptance 
  • There is a single known case of a person who infected with COVID 19 after fully vaccinated 
  • PHC is an indicator of SDGs that aims to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC)
  • Using health workers that are resident very close to the communities with security challenges has been helping and rewarding in improving penetration 
  • Vaccine card racketeering posed very serious challenge to achieving target of reaching out to the unvaccinated population 
  • The delay payment of vaccine teams had negatively affected the COVID 19 intervention in many states 
  • Rumors on social media platform were more damaging than those on other platforms 
  • Engaging students unions in the campaign via the Campus Ambassadors was very effective in some states 
  • States that tied down nomadic movement to COVID 19 vaccine certificate were able to track nomadic movement and get many of them vaccinated
  • There have been cases of hesitancy among health workers in many states. In some states such as Bauchi threat of stopping salaries and stagnation of promotion of some health workers who refused to be vaccinated had proved effective in getting many vaccinated 
  • Giving inceptives helped a lot in achieving some level of progress in many states


  • A lot of enlightenment and awareness creation should be done to get those large number of unvaccinated persons vaccinated 
  • That training the military to administer vaccines is a very serious issue that may cause some problems, that the best way to engage military is the infiltration of the military by the health workers 
  • Social media influencers’ engagement to dispel rumor and misinformation on COVID 19 shoud be intensified 
  • There is a need to conduct survey/research on behavior or attitude of some health workers rejecting COVID 19 vaccines  
  • There should be a sustained advocacy to critical stakeholders (e.g. religious and traditional leaders) to challenge and counter the rumor/misinformation being peddled about the vaccine 
  • For the sake of safety of lives of health workers it is not good and indeed unprofessional to continue using the so-called accepted health workers by the bandits in order to reach out to the communities infested by such elements 

Communiqué Issued at the end of a Two Days Training Workshop for COVID-19 Vaccine Champions in Kano state

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from
MacArthur Foundation organized a two-day training workshop for eighteen COVID-19 Vaccine
Champions selected from Plateau, Bauchi, Borno, Kogi, Kaduna and Kano states. The training
was held on 13 th and 14 th of December, 2021 in Kano state. The training was organized to prepare
the participants to enlighten the public on COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and counter fake
narratives and misconceptions around the virus and its vaccine. Some of the areas the
participants were trained on included the following: Understanding COVID-19 Pandemic:
National and Global Perspectives, Understanding Fake Narratives around COVID-19,
Understanding Social Media-Based Campaign: Deploying the Right Tools, Understanding the
Functions and Variations of the Vaccines, Crafting the Message, Understanding Vaccine Safety
and Efficacy, Monitoring and Countering Misinformation, Disinformation and Fake News
around Vaccines, How Best to Counter Misconceptions around COVID: Leveraging the Medical
Justifications, etc.
During the workshop, numerous hindrances to COVID-19 vaccine administration in northern
Nigeria were generated and deliberated upon. Prominent among the hindrances and challenges
highlighted as stated as follows:
1. Low of awareness on the COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and safety
2. Lack of information on COVID-19 vaccine accessibility
3. Misconception on fear of adverse effects related to the vaccine
4. Circulation of fake narratives around COVID-19 and the vaccine
5. Lack of trust between the Government and the citizenry
6. Limited information on the different types of vaccine and their functions
7. People’s negative perception on the COVID-19 vaccine
In order to address the challenges and hindrances to COVID-19 administration in northern
Nigeria and ensure uptake of the virus, the umbrella of the COVID-19 Vaccine Champions
recommends the following:
1. Mass public enlightenment on the vaccine
2. Provision of sufficient information on vaccine administration spots
3. Use of local language in enlightening the public on the vaccine
4. Door to door campaigns to sensitize individuals at grassroot levels

5. Public awareness campaign through all forms of media
6. Educating the public on fake narratives about the vaccine
7. Countering social media-based misconceptions on COIVD and the vaccine
8. Engaging stakeholders on sensitization at various levels using different approaches
COVID-19 vaccine is real. Doubts and fake news being circulated on the vaccine can only
increase infections and worsen situation. We therefore want to end by kindly advising people
who are yet to take vaccine to go and get vaccinated as getting vaccinated is a step towards
staying safe.
Hamza Ibrahim-Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)
Hauwa Kabir Lawal-Plateau State
Jamila Musa-Kano State
Abdullahi Barau Azare-Bauchi
Bishop Joseph Aturu-Kogi State
Abdulkadir Ashafa-Kaduna State
Kwaplki Peter Uba Borno State

Text of Press Conference on the Need for People to Take COVID Vaccine Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) 8 th December, 2021

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the press, we want to thank you most sincerely for
coming to cover this briefing. At the Centre for Information Technology and Development
(CITAD) we implement the Public Education on COVID Vaccine project. The project which is
supported by MacArthur Foundation is aimed to educating and enlightening the public on the
role and relevance of COVID vaccine. We work with 18 partners across six northern states,
namely: Bauchi, Borno, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi and Plateau. We are therefore going to address you
on issues relating to vaccination.

COVID outbreak is no doubt one of the pandemics the world has witnessed recently. Deaths
have been recorded in towns and villages, movements have been restricted, lockdowns imposed,
gatherings banned, etc people have really felt the consequences of the pandemic greatly, these
measures were laudably taken to address the pandemic.
Therefore standing against COVID should not be the role of governments at different levels,
civil society or private sector-led initiatives, rather the larger members of the society have a
crucial role to play. Efforts no matter how carefully tailored cannot alone succeed in addressing

the virus if members of the society do not support and cooperate with the initiatives, taking the
vaccine is surely one way to prevent ourselves from the virus.
COVID Vaccine Administration Situation from States
The data we at CITAD gathered from researches and engagements conducted by our 18 partners
across six states of the north has given us a broader perspective on the hindrances and challenges
of the COVID vaccination in those states. The hindrances and challenges differ from state to
state as can be seen below.
For example in Borno state there are 87 vaccination spots across the 27 local governments of the
state. But the main challenge of getting as people as possible vaccinated are as follows:
1. Lack of COVID certificate seal or barcode in 70% of the vaccination spots
2. Nonpayment of COVID vaccine administrators
3. Misconception on vaccine amongst government officials
4. Lack of sufficient information on where and how to be vaccinated
The above problems are creating serious hindrances to COVID vaccine administration in the
state. As established by our partners, more than 70% of the vaccination centres had ran out of
seal to place on the vaccine certificates of the vaccinated people. We therefore appeal to Borno
state government to immediately access the seals for smooth vaccination exercise to take place in
the state. Another critical challenge is in the area of nonpayment of the health workers involved
in the vaccine administration. Lack of that motivation has further made some of the staff to be
completely absent at the vaccination spots or close before time. This situation has made people
who want to be vaccinated not to access the vaccine. There are also misconceptions and
conspiracy theories around the vaccine that some government officials in the state have which
has also been a serious problem to getting people vaccinated, this has not only demoralized many
people, but it has also reinforced their disbelief and rejection of the vaccine.
In Plateau state, while there is information on where and how people can get vaccinated, the
major hindrances are however stated as follows:
1. Fear of Future of Consequences of the Vaccine
2. Conspiracy Theories of Opinion Leaders

While there is information on vaccination spots in the state, the major challenge as found by our
partners in the state is the fear that many people have on the vaccine, believing that it has future
consequences on the people that accept the vaccine. Rumour circulating on the vaccine remains a
critical hindrance. To complement the earlier negative narrative, some opinion leaders in the
state hold strong negative views about the virus and its vaccination, that is a major problem to
getting more people accept the vaccine despite considerable information flow on accessing the
vaccine. We urge the state government to look into that and address those problems.

In Kogi state more people are accepting the vaccine and that is largely due to role of elites,
federal and state civil servants in accepting the vaccine. That has be an encouraging factor to
many people accepting the vaccine. For example 75 people were vaccinated in two days in
Adankolo Primary Health Centre Lokoja. However, that is not to say there are no challenges
regarding vaccination exercise in the state as people speculate that taking the vaccine makes one
In Kano state, findings indicate that teachers in Tsangaya schools reject the vaccine because
according to them their numerous problems have been left unattended to and unaddressed as
well. Some of them feel the vaccine is not as important as other critical problems they have. This
is a major hindrance to vaccinating not only the teachers but the hundreds of thousands of their
students. It is therefore recommended that authorities work closely with them to proffer solutions
to issues around them and get them vaccinated as they form a considerable number in the
population of Kano state.
Our Concerns
It is unfortunate that despite the difficult moment COVID has pushed people into, vaccination
against the virus in the country is still very low. Premium Times Newspaper reported on 4 th
December, 2021 that only 3% of Nigerians are vaccinated, this is disturbing at a time when
Omicron variant is surfacing.
What is happening in countries such as South Africa, United Kingdom, Czech, U.S.A,
Netherlands, Columbia, etc should serve as a lesson to Nigeria and Nigerians that COVID is not
gone yet. And with Omicron variant making waves we must urge that efforts to curb the spread
of the virus be taken more seriously.
1. As a matter of urgency we appeal to all unvaccinated Nigerians to quickly go and take the
2. We urge stakeholders and opinion leaders in Plateau state to work together to address
misconception theories on COVID and its vaccination as well as enlighten the public on
the relevance of the vaccine.
3. We urge authorities in Borno state to ensure the provision of sufficient seals to the
vaccination spots and motivate vaccination staff by paying their allowances
4. We urge people to disregard fake narratives around the vaccine as the narratives were not
scientifically proven. Reputable health agencies have confirmed the efficiency of the
vaccine as such people should disregard the rumours
5. Health authorities in various states should prioritize information sharing on how and
where people can get the vaccine.

6. To this end we would like to strongly appeal to traditional and religious leaders, the
media, community associations and opinion leaders in the society to join us in the
campaign to enlighten people on the relevance of the vaccine and taking it.
7. We want traditional leaders to use their chain of leadership to emphasize the role of the
vaccine and taking it, we equally want religious leaders to sensitize their members and
followers in various fora on taking the vaccine.
8. We want to urge all and sundry in the society to corporate with authorities in their quest
to curbing the spread of the virus by adhering to all measures being put in place.
9. COVID is not over yet, therefore measures such as putting on face masks and avoiding
crowd or maintaining social distancing where necessary should still be observed.
10. If you are not vaccinated, quickly and get vaccinated!
Hamza Ibrahim,
Project Manager,
Public Education Vaccine Project.
Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD).

Text of a Press Conference on the State of COVID-19 Vaccine Exercise in Bauchi, Borno, Plateau, Kogi, Kaduna and Kano states

Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) Bauchi Office

Thursday 3 rd February, 2022

Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the press, on behalf of the Centre for Information
Technology and Development (CITAD) I would like to thank you honoring our invitation and
coming to cover this press conference. We are indeed grateful to you for your continued support
on our work. The essence of this press conference is to share with you some of the key
hindrances to COVID-19 vaccination exercise we have identified in six states of our project
The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from
MacArthur Foundation is implementing a “Public Education on COVID-19 Vaccine” in six
states of the north. The states are Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kogi, Kano and Plateau. The project
is aimed at creating awareness around COVID-19 vaccine with a view to getting acceptance and
uptake of the vaccine by people. In all the six states CITAD works with partners from different
backgrounds and professions to enlighten people on the need to take the vaccine.
Hindrances to Vaccine Administration in the Project States
Having monitored COVID-19 vaccine administration in the six project states for the last two
months, we are displeased to note that we have identified both general and specific issues that
are hindering uptake of the vaccine thereby further risking the efforts at addressing the
pandemic. This we must say is unfortunate particularly at a time when new variants of the virus
are emerging. While we noticed that misinformation about COVID-19 vaccine is still prevalent,
we also regret to note here that state governments are in some way aiding non acceptance of the
vaccine by not fully supporting the vaccination exercise where people who want to be vaccinated
are required by the vaccination officials to make payments for their details to be captured and
uploaded online on the national register, this we particularly found happening in Kogi state.
The issue of requesting people to make payments to be vaccinated will not only hamper the
vaccination exercise but will make people to stay away from taking the vaccine, and this
potentially renders more people insecure.
Our observation also discovered a serious lack of coordination in the vaccine distribution by
agencies responsible within the healthcare chain. While in Borno state people going for second
doses for Astrazeneca and Moderna were told the vaccines are not available, in Plateau state
45,288 doses of Pfizer had to be recalled after distribution to local communities for nearing
expiration. Again visits to some vaccination spots in Plateau indicate unavailability of the

vaccines. The lack of proper coordination is causing delay in accessing the vaccine by the
vaccination spots, for example in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, State Primary Health
Development Agency supplies the vaccination centres with the vaccines without the involvement
of the local government concerned, on exhaustion of the vaccines the centres usually are forced
into confusion as local government usually makes a case that they are supplied the vaccines by
the SPHCDA therefore they should not request from it. This effect of improper coordination put
people on hold unnecessarily.
The problems we have identified are no doubt hindrances to the COVID-19 vaccine uptake. The
identified challenges if not addressed quickly will reinforce the misconception and fake news in
circulation about the vaccine, and that will sabotage the efforts geared towards containing the
virus and addressing the pandemic in general.
1. Vaccine administrators demand data payment from people who want to get vaccinated to
upload their details on the online national register
2. Lack of will from top government officials-that further reinforces negative impression
people have on the vaccine
3. Lack of proper coordination in vaccine administration and distribution
4. Absence of vaccination spots at gathering places such as Mosques, churches, banks
5. Vaccination spots mounted at distant locations
6. Lack of support of opinion leaders
7. Fear of expired vaccines in use
8. Inaccessibility of the vaccines in rural communities
9. Nonpayment of vaccine administrators’ allowances
10. Closure of some vaccination spots due to nonpayment of vaccine administrators
11. Lack cold storage facilities in remote communities
12. Lack of political will
13. Unavailability of vaccines at some vaccination spots
14. Circulation false narratives around the vaccine

Having identified series of avoidable challenges and problems, we would like to strongly
recommend that the following actions be taken to salvage the vaccination exercise:
1. We appeal to Kogi state governor to immediately put a stop to “pay to get vaccinated” by
providing data and other form of supports vaccine administrators in the state
2. Call on the state governors concerned to as a matter of urgency work to address the
problems we have identified
3. They should as examine the vaccination channel in their separate states to have a broader
view of the identified problems and other and deploy the needed mechanisms

4. We urge the public to disregard misconceptions and false narratives around COVID-19
and to get vaccinated
5. We appeal to State Primary Healthcare Development Agencies in the six states to review
their operation manual to ensure proper coordination for effective vaccination exercise
Hamza Ibrahim,
Public Education on COVID-19 Vaccine Project,
Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)

CITAD Sub-Grantees Produced Locally Made Hand Sanitizers and Face Masks

In the month of April, 2020 the Centre for information Technology and Development (CITAD) got a grant from International Institute of Education and MacArthur Foundation to help in addressing the issue of COVID-19 in Kano State by creating awareness on how the virus was spreading among the people in the State, engaging of young people to help in propagating the knowledge on the need for social distancing, wearing of Face masks and regular hand washing, and creating awareness through the use of conventional and social media.

The trained youth who were selected from different communities in Kano State carried out different activities in their respective communities which helped in creating awareness about the virus in the state. During the training, CITAD was able to mobilize over 120 youths who were trained by experts on the areas of health, communication, social media and community mobilization virtually. These rigorous training sessions equipped the youth with better understating on how to engage their communities both online and offline.

Following the training, CITAD invited the participants to submit application for mini projects to be carried out in their communities. Following a rigorous evaluation of the applications, 44 were given mini grants to carry out various interventions to promote public awareness and understanding about COVID 19 in their communities and to provide support in terms of linking communities to health authorities and agencies should the need arise such when individuals need testing.

In the course of conducting their mini projects which were supported by CITAD some of the youths went extra miles to initiate activities around protective measures of COVID-19. Some of the fascinating ideas exhibited were the production of locally made hand sanitizers by 3 beneficiaries, Face masks by 9 beneficiaries; Ado Sunusi Sabongida, Ahmad Abbas Dalhatu, Aina’u Sarki, Zahra’u Waya, Basira Lawal, Fadil Muhammad, Hauwa Kassim Ahmad, Sale Bidillaji and Sumayya Dalhatu, and fliers in Hausa, Fulfulde and English and distributed to their community members. For the production of hand sanitizers, three of the sub-grantees produced different types of hand sanitizers, these hands sanitizers were distributed during the sensitization campaigns carried out by the sub-grantees. The production of Face masks was in addition to helping with this protective measures and also to draw the attention of youth to potential business opportunities.

The distribution of the hand sanitizers to the communities helped in accepting the campaigns by many as some people in the state do not believe in the existence of the virus before the sensitization campaigns and also many did not have money to buy either hand sanitizers to wash their hands or buy Face masks that they would be using to protect themselves. Many of the beneficiaries of the sensitization campaigns carried out by the sub-grantees had expressed their joy over the distributions of the hand sanitizers and the Face masks.

At Gyadi-Gyadi community of Tarauni Local Government where Aina’u Sarki, a beneficiary of CITAD mini grant who is also a community youth activist and community mobilizer conducted her sensitization campaign in her community, the community members were overjoyed on how they were given free locally made hand sanitizers after the training. One of the beneficiaries of the sensitization campaign, Malama Fatima Abdullahi of Gyadi-Gyadi community said she was very happy to receive the training, she continued to say that the training has helped her to understand the pandemic more and dispelled her previous stand denying the existence of the virus. She also thanked the organizer of the sensitization and CITAD for the hand sanitizers and Face masks given to her. Other beneficiaries that produced the locally handmade hand sanitizers were Ahmad Abbas Dalhatu, Mr. Ahmad is a youth activist and the co-founder of Rijiyar Zaki Progressive Association working on the area of improving the lives of the most vulnerable people in their community and Hauwa Kassim Ahmad, Mss. Hauwa is a women advocate working in the area of improving the lives of women in her community.


16th Twitter Chat on the Impact of Covid19 Global Pandemic on the Management & Control of Other Deadly Diseases: Steps Health Care Facilities Can Take To Prevent & Control the Spread of Covi19 from Unidentified Patients to Other Patients via Health Providers

In continuation of its educative programs on Covid19 in Nigeria, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) held a twitter chat on the 2nd of June, 2020. The guest was Dr. Abdullahi Lawal Kazaure who is a Medical Doctor, he discussed on the impact of COVID-19 Global Pandemic, the Management and Control of other deadly diseases: Steps other Health Care Facilities can take to prevent and control the spread of COVID 19 from unidentifiable patients to other patients via health care providers. Doctor Kazaure made it clear that the Pandemic is real and highly infectious and contagious.


Explaining the situation, Doctor Kazaure said “looking at how critical the situation is, government are now easing the lockdown which there is need to put all preventive measures in place”. He emphasized on the need for government to ramp up the health care systems and enforce policies which will further limit the spread of the virus.

In the course of the discussion, he made some recommendation to government and health workers. Stating that there is need for government to provide functional Health care system, essential humanitarian materials and maintain water sanitation facilities at strategic locations. Also. Medical Professionals should pay attention to other deadly diseases and they should ensure to make diagnosis before administering medications.

He further went ahead to advise citizens to build their immune systems and always ensure all the preventive measures are taken into consideration.




Doctor @AKazaure what do you think we need to know about this pandemic; its consequences and danger associated with it as some states and even the FG started easing lockdown in their states? First and foremost we have to believe this pandemic is real, and very highly infectious and transmissible, It affects all people of all age groups and ethnicity, and even tho the mortality rates are lower than other pandemics recorded, it is still a danger Well Governments with easing lockdown is a measure for the country to move forward, because all over the world countries are easing and putting measures for their respective nations. This doesn’t mean it has been defeated, it is now the government’s responsibility to put in and enforce measures for prevention of the spread of this disease and also arming the health care system to be ready for the surge of this outbreak It is also our own responsibility to protect ourselves using measures such as social distancing, hand washing, and face masks while we continue our daily activities


But don’t you think this will set us back in this fight, because I have seen many articles by health experts saying that the time to reopen the country is not yet done? What is your take on this? Well this is important really, I believe this is not the right time for us to ease the lockdown, because the fight for this is far from over, but still from the government point of view they are thinking of their citizen livelihood So it is the duty of the Government to ramp up our health care systems and also enforce policies and guidelines which can further limit the spread of the virus, the vaccine is still in research and treatment is still vague, I believe a surge in amount of cases is still waiting


The COVID-19 pandemic is considered as the most crucial global health calamity of the century and the greatest challenge that the humankind faced since the 2nd World War


Doctor what steps do you think health facilities can take to ensure that Covid19 has not interfere with treatment of other deadly diseases in the country? Well it is the responsibility of Every doctor and every health official to have a high level of suspicion for every disease out, it is our responsibility not to only concentrate on Covid 19 but also keep an eye on other diseases, Health facilities should produce isolation rooms for patients, provide personal protective equipments, face masks, gloves, hand sanitizers to every health care professionals, provide lectures and screening procedures for patients, Liaisons with the appropriate agencies for prompt sample taking, patient transport,


The COVID-19 pandemic is considered as the most crucial global health calamity of the century and the greatest challenge that the humankind faced since the 2nd World War


The COVID -19 outbreak has already disrupted the global economy, and the demand for hospital care is exceeding the capacity of many nations’ health care systems


But we must not forget that other diseases of Public health importance are still out there such as Ebola, Lassa fever, Measles, Cholera, Cerebral Meningitis


These diseases you have mentioned, how do you think they can be controlled amidst this pandemic, don’t you think the over stressed of health facilities by the covid19 pandemic will lead to health facilities to neglect this diseases?


These diseases have to be still be in our minds, not only should we concentrate on Covid 19 but the other infectious diseases, Public enlightenment should continue on these other diseases, Health care facilities and professionals should not also forget to keep in their minds that this is not the only infectious disease we are having problem with, they should always have a broad mind in making diagnosis, and differentials, Even tho our health caste system is not optimum it is our duty to do our best from every perspective starting from the individual to the highest tier of the government Just yesterday there was a new wave of Ebola virus in DRC in which 4 patients died, there fore we most not relent in our active search for other diseases of public importance


Functioning health infrastructure is scarce, and the capacity to refer patients is extremely limited. With so many people already vulnerable to outbreaks of disease, essential humanitarian assistance must be maintained; water and sanitation facilities


Doctor (@AKazaure), what information do you have for people that are above the age of 60, patient with BP, Diabetes, pregnant women and other people with health problems that will make them more vulnerable to Covid19? In addition to them, the children, these are the immunocompromised patients, and have a higher rate of mortality when infected, these patient should absolutely follow the preventive measures and avoid public spaces, continue taking their medications, take on immune supplements Such as Vitamin C , fruits, leave a healthy life and not sedentary lifestyle, avoid smoke, and always be in touch with their respective specialists. Because they are the most vulnerable


In general, Doctor (@AKazaure), do you think our health facilities are capable of providing us with all the necessary support we need ? I have to say all healthcare professionals are trying their best to give you the support we can but we have a below par system, equipments are not enough for both the professionals and the patients, we are understaffed, our hospitals are not enough for the country And access to healthcare is not available to every individual to the community, for the rural communities health care is expensive to them, We don’t have enough doctors, nurses , technicians , but in general the available ones are trying their best to support


As the chat is ending in just 2 minutes, what general recommendations can you give based on the topic discussed


As the chat is ending in just 2 minutes, what general recommendations can you give based on the topic discussed? Individuals should follow the guidelines WHO have provided, Health care professionals should be proactive in recognizing and management of Not only Covid 19 but other diseases of public importance, and government to support all of us It is our duty as an Individual to protect ourselves and the duty of the Government to protect us, let us not be ignorant and try to help out each other to fight this war


We will be stopping shortly, we are wondering if you have more recommendations you want to share here, Dr. @AKazaure? All in General I want us to believe this pandemic is real, but it is not a death sentence when you are diagnosed, we should try as much as possible to exercise social distancing, wear our face masks, disinfectants should be used and pray for a cure or vaccine should be out soon It is also a wake up call for the government to improve our healthcare systems, because even the countries with the best health care systems were overpowered, and encourage more healthcare professionals.