Nigeria Health Watch

Top Ten News Items on Health out of Nigeria

Premium Times, 10 January 2017
Nigeria flags off scheme to revive 10,000 primary health care centres

The Federal Government has flagged off a scheme to revitalise over 10,000 healthcare centers across Nigeria. The scheme is to avail poor Nigerians with qualitative and affordable health services, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said on Tuesday at the commissioning of the Model Primary Health Care Centre, Kuchigoro in Abuja, to begin the scheme. Under the National Primary Healthcare Revitalization Initiative, Nigeria, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, and the Federal Ministry of Health, wants to make at least one primary health care centre fully functional to deliver a number of services in each of the wards across the country. “The health system in the country has only favored the rich”, Mr. Adewole lamented at the event. “But under the present administration, we are focusing on ensuring that the poor have access to qualitative and affordable health care services. “The goal of revitalizing the Primary Health Care Centres is to ensure that quality basic health care services are delivered to majority of Nigerians, irrespective of their location in the country,” he said. Mr. Adewole reiterated that the initiative would provide qualitative and affordable health services for the people, basically the poor.  

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World Health Organization, January 2017
Millions of children to receive measles vaccine in north-eastern Nigeria

A mass vaccination campaign to protect more than 4 million children (4 766 214) against a measles outbreak in conflict-affected states in north-eastern Nigeria is planned to start this week. The two-week campaign, which starts on 13 January, will target all children aged from 6 months to 10 years in accessible areas in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States. "This measles vaccination campaign is an emergency intervention to protect more than 4 million children against a highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease," says Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, WHO Representative in Nigeria. "Massive disruption to health services in conflict-affected areas for many years has deprived these children of essential childhood vaccinations. In addition, many of them have severe malnutrition, making them extremely vulnerable to serious complications and death from measles." WHO is supporting the 3 state Primary Healthcare Development Agencies to prepare for the campaign; working with partners including UNICEF, the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other health nongovernmental organizations.

Read more ..., 12 January 2017
President Buhari appoints Dr. Faisal Shuaib to head National Primary Healthcare Development Agency

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday approved the appointment of Dr. Faisal Shuaib as the Executive Secretary of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). Dr. Shuaib, a medical doctor, and public health specialist, is currently a Senior Program Officer (Africa) for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) at Seattle, USA. At the BMGF, Dr. Shuaib is responsible for developing and implementing strategies on polio outbreak response activities in Africa. Prior to joining the foundation, Dr. Shuaib coordinated Nigeria’s successful response to the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) as the Incident Manager of the Ebola Emergency Operations Centre in 2014. He was also a member of the six-man panel established to assess the response of the World Health Organization (WHO) to the global Ebola outbreak in 2014 and provided technical advice to the Federal Ministry of Health and NPHCDA in areas of immunization and polio eradication activities between 2012 and 2015.

Sun News Online, 11 January 2017
Dangote asks Kano gov to audit 2016 polio immunization account

Billionaire businessman and Chairman of Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has asked the government of Kano State to employ the services of external assessors to audit the 2016 account of the polio immunization exercise in the state. The Kano-born businessman spoke during a teleconference Monday night, January 9, featuring partners in the polio immunization exercise, namely himself, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Kano state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. Also present at the teleconference was Mallam Nasir el Rufai, the Kaduna State Governor, who last year signed a similar tripartite arrangement with Dangote Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In the televised conference at Government House, attended by stakeholders and donor agencies such as UNICEF, the Clinton Health Access initiative and WHO, Alhaji Dangote requested the state government to submit the audited account to the partners by March 31st 2017. Dangote reiterated the position of many speakers at the conference who had faulted the quality of data collated by officials of the immunization exercise, while charging the participating states to scale up the quality of the data collection process by their field officers. 

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News Agency of Nigeria, 12 January 2017
Health: FG to adopt new financing model

The Federal Government is to adopt a new financing model as part of efforts to strengthen the national health system. Vice President Yemi Osibanjo disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting to bring in private innovations in the health sector on Thursday in Abuja. Osibanjo said that the government hopes to pay particular attention to North East Nigeria as part of efforts to ensure Universal Health Coverage (UHC). He added that the meeting was designed to get private sector support for government’s initiative. The vice president said that the continuous partnership with private sector players was to ensure adequate finance and deliver the UHC. “It is also an opportunity for Nigeria’s health authorities to highlight some of the challenges in the sector. The Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, restated government drive towards strengthening the national health system for effective, accessible and affordable delivery of basic primary healthcare services. Ehanire said that despite the considerable progress recorded in the country, under nutrition continues to hamper the attainment of national goals with 37 per cent of children under five years of age stunted. 

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Channels, 06 January 2017
Nigeria to construct mental health clinics in South East senatorial districts
The Nigerian government has awarded contract for the construction of a mental health clinic in each of the Senatorial Districts in the South East geo-political zone. The clinic will stimulate fast recovery of psychiatric and mentally derailed patients. A Medical Director in the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu (FNHE), Dr. Jojo Onwukwe, made the statement during a sensitisation programme and inaugural zonal meeting of community mental health project officers. The meeting was held in Owerri, the Imo state capital in south east Nigeria, and it had officers from the South East zone in attendance. Dr. Onwukwe revealed that records showed that over 9,000 psychiatric patients were recorded in the institution within the last five years and about 2,000 patients were brought to the facility annually for treatment. He noted that it would be more cost effective and easy to adapt the environment and reduce stress if patients were brought to a health facility that was closer to them.
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PM News, 09 January 2017
No going back on implementation of Health Insurance Scheme-LASG 
The Lagos State Government says there is no going back on the planned implementation of the Health Insurance Scheme, HIS, in the state this year. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris disclosed this in an interview in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, saying that government would soon begin sensitization of the HIS among the populace, adding that for residents to subscribed to the scheme, they must possess the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) card. According to Idris, the HIS is compulsory for all residents of Lagos State in a bid to bring affordable healthcare scheme to the people, especially the less privileged in the society. The commissioner explained that government had realized that if it was to continue to provide free healthcare in basic areas, it would cost government about N8 billion annually, saying that the HIS would easily addressed this. “The Health Insurance Scheme will address equity and the poor will benefit,” he said, adding that private health facilities would be drafted into the scheme, but noted that they must meet the stipulated standard set by the government. 
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The Nation, 12 January 2017
Resident doctors say LASUTH faces shortage of doctors

Dr Adeola Badmus, Chairman, Association of Resident Doctors, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, says shortage of resident doctors has affected efficiency and productivity at the hospital. Badmus made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos. “There is severe shortage of resident doctors in LASUTH, because there has not been any direct employment of residents since 2011 “The marked shortage in residents’ number due to government’s refusal of employment of resident doctors has significantly affected health care delivery negatively. “Because, when a doctor is doing the work of five or more doctors, you can never get the best out of that doctor, thereby affecting efficiency and productivity,’’ he said. The president also said that the issue of non-payment of corrected Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and some infrastructural decay in the hospital needed to be addressed. Badmus said that the hospital’s ARD was in support of the National Association of Resident Doctor’s (NARD) impending strike as the health sector had progressively decayed due to little attempt by the Federal Government to resuscitate the sector.
Premium Times, 11 January 2017
Medical doctors in Ogun set for strike

The Ogun State branch of the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, on Wednesday announced it would join the strike being planned by the national leadership of the association. The association had warned that its members would go on the strike unless the Federal Government addressed issues relating to their practice and welfare, including provision of adequate medical equipment in public hospitals. At a joint press conference in Abeokuta, medical doctors at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu and Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Abeokuta, declared support for the impending strike. The conference was attended by leaders of the association in the various institutions. They include Taiwo Babajide (FMC), Akintola Akintunde (OOUTH) and Oluyemi Akinmolayan (Neuro-psychiatric Hospital). Also at the event, the South-west coordinator of the association, Oluseyi Aderinwale, said doctors in the zone would participate fully if the national body declared the strike. Mr. Babajide of the FMC, who spoke on behalf of the doctors, lamented that government was not giving the health sector the attention it deserves. 

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Nigeria Health Watch, 11 January 2017
Nigeria Health Watch: Stronger Together in 2017

As 2017 dawns, we at Nigeria Health Watch continue our advocacy for the health sector of Nigeria’s dreams with a deep sense of resolve and excitement to build on the momentum that we felt in 2016. We continue to strive to put health not only on the political agenda but also on the social agenda, to ensure that the Nigerian people, who are at the heart of our efforts, can look forward to a better health sector for themselves and their children. n 2016, we were witnesses to several key moments in the Nigerian health sector. No doubt the hearts of many health advocates sank to see the re-emergence of polio in the country, after being declared polio-free just the year before. The quick response of the Ministry of Health towards tackling the re-emergence was a small victory for the health sector. In addition to polio, Lassa Fever continued to affect Nigerians, with a renewed call for people to take better sanitation measures in their homes and environment. On the global health and finance front, 2016 saw the exposure of the corruption scandal that rocked the Global Fund and the HIV community. The GAVI scandal, which had already begun in 2014, was reopened after President Buhari came into power with a few arrests made.


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