Nigeria Health Watch

Top Ten News Items on Health out of Nigeria

Channels Television, 01 December 2016
FG launches Guidelines For HIV/AIDS Prevention

The Nigerian government has launched a national guideline for the treatment, prevention and care for people living with HIV/Aids in Nigeria as part of the activities to mark the 2016 World Aids Day. The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole at a conference in Abuja, stated that the new guideline will provide the needed guide for government and development partners towards eliminating new infections. For four days, representatives of the federal government, development partners in the health sector and networks of people living with HIV and Aids converged to celebrate the 2016 World Aids Day in the FCT. The Minister of Health who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, gave the assurance that government would give more commitment to funding HIV prevention efforts while appealing for prudent use of resources. “I am aware of the challenges that have risen in the last few years with regards to the delivery of HIV services in the country. I hereby reaffirm our commitment and ensure accountability and transparency in the HIV sector,” he stated.

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Leadership, 01 December 2016
World AIDS Day: US donates $400m, urges FG to invest in health 

In the spirit of the celebration of the World Aids Day, the United States yesterday advised the Nigerian government to get committed to providing quality healthcare services to its people. The U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington said this while addressing Newsmen and Stakeholders at the embassy. He said it was necessary for the federal government to own up and invest in its health sector as no one could do it better. Symington added that, it is one way to stop millions of people from being infected with the HIV/Aids. However, Coordinator, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Ms. Shirley Dady disclosed that the United States has booked a budget of $400 million to support the HIV/Aids intervention programme. “We are expecting our funding in Nigeria to be constant, this year we have a budget of $400 million and we are looking at ways where we can be more efficient with the resources so that we can increase the number of people we place on treatment every year”, she added. Urging the Nigerian government to contribute and increase funds to eliminate the disease, she explained that the US is willing to work with the Nigerian government and Stakeholders to achieve the 90-90-90 targets.

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ThisDay, 01 December 2016
800 Nigerians die daily from malaria, says SFH

Not less than 800 Nigerians die every day in the country due to malaria, the Director, Malaria Project, Society for Family Health, Dr. Ernest Nwokolo, has said. He likened the deaths to the crashing of two Boeing 747 aircraft everyday in the country, adding that if it were plane crashes that were killing 800 Nigerians everyday, by now there would have been a national emergency, not only from the government, but from the citizens in addressing the issue as quickly as possible. Stating this during a meeting with journalists in Lagos recently, Nwokolo said the number of deaths experienced by the scourge can be reduced drastically if Nigerians no longer embrace malaria as part of their lifestyle or refer to it as ordinary malaria. “When Nigerians imbibe all preventive measures against the scourge, including keeping their environment clean, removing stagnant water from the environment, consistent use of long lasting insecticide treated nets and proper diagnosis before treatment, it would go a long way in curbing the burden of malaria in the country,” Nwokolo noted. 

Daily Trust, 28 November 2016
900 doctors fight for 40 slots at National Hospital

Nearly 900 newly graduated doctors turned up at National Hospital to interview for some 40 housemanship positions, Daily Trust has learnt. That’s a ratio of nearly 23 doctors for each available slot. House officers practice a year after graduation on a temporary licence, before going on national service and thereafter acquiring full licence from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. The interview began Monday, and candidates are spread randomly through a couple of centres on the hospital premises, one candidate confirmed. Another noted he had knowledge that up to 900 candidates were vying for only slots at National Hospital, all without guarantees of any placement. “You can apply to 50 different hospitals at once, but that doesn’t give you any guarantee of getting taken at any one of them,” the candidate said anonymously. National Hospital officials could not be reached for comment immediately. Slots for house officers have become contentious in recent years, with accusations that teaching hospitals cut down the number of slots to save costs or to accommodate the inadequate infrastructure at their disposal. 

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Guardian, 02 December 2016
Brain drain hits LUTH, 20 doctors resign in a year 
The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) chapter has raised the alarm over the brain drain in the institution due to poor welfare. Speaking in Lagos yesterday, the association’s president, Dr. Akinkunmi Afolabi, disclosed that about 20 doctors of the LUTH branch have left the nation’s foremost teaching hospital in the last one year. According to him, lots of other doctors are processing their exit from the teaching hospital. “As I speak people are in different stages of the processes of leaving the hospital,” he said. Afolabi regretted that more than half of doctors in some departments of the institution have left for greener pastures either in the United Kingdom or the United States. The Guardian, however, learnt that resident doctors in LUTH have only been paid part of their salaries since January 2014, while resident doctors at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos have been receiving their full pay.
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PM News, 29 November 2016
Lagos shuts 13 hospitals over quackery

The Lagos State Government on Monday said it has shut 13 health facilities across the state over quackery. The government also vowed to clampdown on more hospitals in order to guarantee safety of lives of the residents. Speaking at the 8th stakeholders meeting of the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency, HEFAMAA activities, held at the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa, in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Monday, Executive Secretary of HEFAMAA, Dr Mabel Adjekughele, said that out of the 463 health facilities inspected by the agency recently, 13 of them were shut over non-compliance with the regulatory standard. According to her, the number of petitions received by the agency had also increased to 22, attributing the rise in the petitions to the increased awareness among the residents and the demand for quality health services by the health care providers. Adjekughele urged residents to assist the government by exposing other substandard facilities, saying that the facilities were shut as a result of quack practice, use of unqualified and uncertified personnel, and practicing beyond schedule. 
Premium Times, 30 November 2016
Nigerian govt., Unilever sign MOU on oral health programme

Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with UNILEVER to re-introduce and ensure sustainability of the Schools Oral Health Programme. The programme had been launched in 2013 in Bwari Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory. A press statement by the ministry disclosed that the memorandum was signed at the commemoration of the 6th Edition of the National Oral Health Week in Abuja on Tuesday. Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said while oral health is paramount to achieving general health, oral diseases and disorders not only affect the victim’s quality of life, but also the well-being of the community at large. He disclosed that the ministry was working with development partners to ensure sustainability of the schools oral health programme. Mr. Adewole, a professor of medicine, said that Colgate-Palmolive Nigeria was planning one of such global oral health initiatives, “Bright Smiles, Bright Future”, targeted at school children across the country from the ages of 6 to 8 years.

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Punch, 21 November 2016
FG pledges support for anti-tobacco legislation

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has reiterated the current administration’s commitment to fast track regulations for the implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act. Adewole said at a meeting with members of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in Abuja, on Tuesday. According to him, the harmful effect of smoking made it incumbent on all to do everything possible to stop Nigerians from indulging in the unhealthy practice. He also gave an insight into some of the measures government was taking to ensure that this objective is achieved. The Minister said, “I have personal and official reasons for fighting tobacco and will do anything to make our people stop smoking. “Among measures we are considering, we have to look for a way to tax tobacco. When taxes make the prices of tobacco high, those who still want to smoke will have to work hard to be able to pay for it. “We must be prepared for this battle because it is a battle for the long haul."

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Leadership, 29 November 2016
USAID/SHOPS counts gains of family planning/maternal child health services in Nigeria

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported program in Nigeria; Strengthening Health Outcomes Through Private Sectors (ShOPS) said it has improve the quality and sustainability of family planning and maternal and child health services in Nigeria through the private sector participation. The Chief of party, SHOPS Nigeria, Mrs Ayodele Iroko, who disclosed this in Benin, Edo state, said with the training of over 140 health providers and reach out or 361 public health facilities in the Edo state alone and other five states, it has been able to strengthen the capacity and retraining of private health providers. According to Ayodele, “The project conducted a large-scale census of private sector clinics, hospital, medical centers, and nursing homes across six states in Nigeria: Abia, Benue, Edo, Kaduna, Lagos and Nasarawa”. Mrs Iroko who spoke at a press briefing preluding a workshop held at the Best Western hotel, Benin city, yesterday, disclosed that USAID braced the storm of the private health sector in 2007 when they started looking at the different avenue on growing the capacity in the private sector to improve health outcome in the country.

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Nigeria Health Watch, 24 November 2016
Re-Positioning the NHIS for Success: A To-Do List for the Executive Secretary

Nigeria has the second largest burden of HIV on the African continent, with an estimated 3.5 million Recently, the National Health Insurance Scheme has been in the news with the new CEO/Executive Secretary, Prof Yusuf Usman, making statements regarding the rot in the system and the need to ensure integrity and a fraud-free NHIS. We applaud his courage in speaking out on the challenges of the Scheme, and look forward to the concrete steps he plans to take to change the system. It is not inconceivable that some persons, groups of persons, or advocacy groups may at some point bring legal action against the NHIS on the basis of its mandate. Some analyses of the Scheme have identified several challenges. These range from a conflation of the regulatory functions, payer, risk-bearer, and policymaker functions, the non-mandatory status of the Scheme, to the lack of awareness, and more recently, the inability of the Agency to provide data on the breadth of coverage.


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