Premium Times, 18 August 2016 Lassa fever kills doctor, 2 others in Anambra
A medical doctor and two persons have died of Lassa fever in Anambra State, the director of Public Health, Anambra Ministry of Health, Emmanuel Okafor, said on Thursday. The director confirmed the report at a one-day workshop on Lassa fever organised by the ministry to sensitise health professionals in the state on the disease in Awka. He however said the outbreak was not yet at an epidemic proportion in the state. Mr. Okafor said the workshop was aimed at training the health professionals who would go to the grassroots to educate the people on the prevention of the disease. “In Anambra, we don’t know the number of cases of the disease but we have three confirmed deaths,’’ he said. He urged health workers to exercise high standard of professionalism in handling Lassa fever cases. Mr. Okafor said the state government had put in place measures to handle the scourge.
Leadership, 18 August 2016 FG releases N9.8bn to tackle polio outbreak
The federal government has approved the release of N9.8bn to fight wild polio resurgence in the country, especially in the North East. The minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, said the money would be released by Monday. This is just as he said Nigerian pilgrims going on hajj to Saudi Arabia were expected to undergo “compulsory immunisation against polio as one of the conditions for entering the holy land.” Prof. Adewole added that adequate supplies of vaccines had been provided at different international port health locations and airports in line with the international health regulations. He further disclosed that the new response plan would inlcude five rounds of polio campaigns, three of which would be focused on 18 Northern states and two to be conducted nationwide.
Punch, 18 August 2016 Drug scarcity hits Aso Rock clinic despite N3.87bn budget
Despite the N3.87bn allocated to it in the 2016 Appropriation Act, lack of drugs and other essential medical items have crippled operations at the State House Medical Centre, The PUNCH has learnt. The centre provides medical services to the President, Vice-President and their families, aides, members of staff of the State House and other entitled public servants. It is also a training facility for house officers and other medical personnel. Investigations by our correspondent showed that the centre located in Asokoro, a highbrow area of the Federal Capital Territory, is gradually becoming a shadow of its old self. A cross-section of the centre’s patients told The PUNCH that patients were now being asked to go and buy drugs from outside as they were no longer available in the centre. Most hit, it was further learnt, are patients with kidney problems who are currently undergoing dialysis in the facility.
Vanguard, 16 August 2016 Important drugs disappearing from market, pharmacists cry out
In the wake of the current shortage of foreign exchange in the country, experts have observed that most important drugs in the country are gradually going into extinction while prices of available ones have sky-rocketed out of the reach of Nigerians. The experts under the auspices of Association of Community Pharmacists, ACPN, Lagos State branch, said persistence of the problem may endanger the health of Nigerians. They also called on the Federal government to activate the Pharmaceutical Intervention Fund, PIF, to boost local production of medicines. Making these revelations during the ACPN Day held in Lagos, Chairman of the Lagos ACPN, Pharm.Biola Paul-Ozieh, noted that the high foreign exchange rate and the consequent high cost of purchase and importation of medicines were discouraging importers as they are unable to get their funds back when they sell their products in the country.
Vanguard, 16 August 2016 Nigeria makes slow progress against paediatric HIV infection
At 15 percent and 23 percent reduction respectively in AIDS-related paediatric deaths over a six-year period, Angola and Nigeria have made the least progress in recent times. Data from the new UNAIDS report entitled “On The Fast Track To An AIDS Free Generation”, revealed that Nigeria has the largest number of newly infected children with 41,000 cases, equivalent to the numbers of the next eight countries combined. The report indicated that without Nigeria, the remaining 20 of the 21 Global Plan countries, would have reduced new HIV infections among children by 69 per cent. The report said at the end of 2015 Nigeria and other 20 Global Plan focus countries in sub-Saharan Africa had reduced new infections among children by 60 per cent (compared with a reduction of only 24 per cent between 2000 and 2008), indicating that the years since the launch of the Global Plan have seen the proportionate decline almost triple.
AllAfrica, 15 August 2016 7,000 infants live with HIV in Kaduna
The Deputy Director of Public Health in the Kaduna State Ministry of Health and Human Services, Malam Lawal Abubakar has said that estimated 7,175 infants live with HIV in the state. Abubakar who disclosed this at the unveiling of the National Acceleration Plan for HIV Treatment and Care in Kaduna, said only 6.6 percent of the 7,175 infants were currently accessing anti-retroviral (ART) treatment in the state. Abubakar who also doubles as the state's Focal Person on Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT), explained that the development had left the state with an unmet infant HIV treatment burden of almost 90 percent. He added that between January and June, out of the 826 children from ages 0 to 14 that newly enrolled into the ART programme, only 402 were retained and placed on ART. Adopting the plan, he said, was aimed at effectively reaching out to all HIV infected children in the state.
Leadership, 18 August 2016 El-Rufai tasks FG on mainstreaming NHIS for accessible health care
Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has called on the Federal Government to mainstream the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to enable Nigerians particularly the poor and vulnerable have access to affordable health care. This is just as he maintained that the issue of finding ways to fund health care for the poorest of the poor has remained a big challenge, which he said has resulted in preventable deaths in most cases. El-Rufai stated this at the operationalization of the Saving One Million Lives – Programme for Results in Kaduna on Thursday. As part of the state government efforts at making health care accessible to people at the grassroots, he said that the state has embarked on renovation, equipping and staffing of one Primary Health Care Centre per ward in the state. “We are working on 255 PHCs and 23 comprehensive health centre in each Local Government headquarter across the State. We have awarded contract to a company to equip all the PHCs with the necessary equipment. we are also working towards improving the secondary facilities,” he said.
All Africa, 15 August 2016 Abia health workers protest over unpaid six months salaries
Abia State health workers have locked the gate leading into their premises to protest the non payment of their six months' salaries by the state government on Friday. Speaking with newsmen in Umuahia, the Secretary Joint Action Committee of all Labour Unions, Mbanefo Ifeanyi, said that the state government was owing health workers in the state six months' salaries. Ifeanyi said that the union had written to the state Commissioner for Health over the issue, including the inability of the government to pay the stipulated minimum wage and Consolidated Health Salary Structure [CONHESS]. He also said that the present administration has refused to look into the disparity in the salary structure. He said, "We also want the state government to restore the night allowances which has been stopped for a long time now." Ifeanyi said that they want the state government to also pay the arrears of their CONHESS which had been approved by the immediate past administration and "has been wasting away on the desk of the health commissioner."
Channels, 15 August 2016 Outstanding salaries: ABUTH doctors threaten to begin indefinite strike
The Association of Resident Doctors at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria in Kaduna State has threatened to embark on an indefinite strike if their outstanding salaries are not paid by the end of August 2016. They are also asking the government to address what they referred to as ‘deplorable state of facilities’ at the hospital. At a meeting held after a peaceful protest on Monday, the President of the Association, Dr Waziri Aliyu, accused the hospital’s management of short-changing doctors of their rightful entitlements and victimising some of their members. He also expresses displeasure over the poor environmental sanitation at the hospital. The union said the doctors’ salaries had not been paid in full since 2013. Marching from one department to another, the group appealed to the management to re-instate their sacked colleagues and immediately commence payment of all outstanding courses and examination allowances, fix the leaking sewages and clear all the grasses among others.
Nigeria Health Watch, 16 August 2016 Is it time for alumni to lead the Resuscitation of Nigerian Teaching Hospitals? – the Enugu Example
A few weeks ago, the alumni of a single graduating set from the College of Medicine of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital in Enugu, the 1995 class, pulled together N20m which they had raised to support their alma mater, to mark the occasion of their 20th anniversary of graduating. (Full disclosure- our co-founder and former curator Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu is a member of this class.) There are many challenges with medical education in Nigeria, and not all of these can be solved with money, but it is still amazing what N20m can do. With this amount, the 1995 class renovated a dilapidated lecture hall at the Ituku Ozalla campus, changing the leaking roof and ceiling boards, replacing broken windows, changing faulty electrical connections, replacing fans, repainting the entire building in and out, and installing an overhead water tank so that the toilets in the building can be flushed. In addition, a new 40KVA solar power system was installed in the student’s hostel, enough to power streetlights from the hostel to the classroom.
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