Nigeria Health Watch

Top Ten News Items on Health out of Nigeria

Guardian, 05 September 2016
Nigeria reports third polio case in Borno

Nigeria has reported its third polio case in the northeastern state of Borno, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday, warning more cases could appear in a major health setback. Two other polio cases were reported in August. Nigeria was on track to be certified free of the virus next year. “A third child has been paralyzed by wild poliovirus type one (WPV1) in Borno state,” WHO said in a statement. “It’s all linked to the same outbreak,” WHO said, adding: “detection of new cases is not unexpected and can be anticipated, particularly as disease surveillance is being strengthened including by conducting retrospective case searches.” The three cases appear to come from the same strain of the disease circulating in the northeast for years, said Stephanie Mucznik, spokesperson for Rotary International, which is working with the Nigerian government to eradicate polio. Mucznik said the latest case concerned a two-year-old boy suffering from the onset of paralysis on August 6 in the Monguno area.

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Channels, 08 September 2016
Nigeria’s Health Council to approve National Health Policy

The National Council on Health is considering for approval, the National Health Policy 2016 towards a successful implementation of the recently enacted National Health Act 2014 and the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria. The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said that the focus was to ensure speedy approval of the policy towards strategic inclusion in the 2017 budget for effective implementation. He explained that its development became necessary following the trend of global health epidemics such as the Ebola virus and Nigeria’s continued need to attain a universal health coverage and accessible healthcare. The National Health Policy, when approved, will mandate the revamping and construction of primary healthcare centres in each of the 10,000 political wards in the country over the next three years.

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Sahara Reporters, 07 September 2016
Government confirms Lassa Fever outbreak in Ondo State

The Ondo State government has confirmed an outbreak of Lassa fever in two Local Government Areas (LGA) of the State. Dayo Adeyanju, the Commissioner for Health in the State, confirmed this on Wednesday in a telephone chat with a SaharaReporters correspondent in Akure. Mr. Adeyanju said the deadly fever was discovered in Akure North and Owo LGAs of the State. He told our correspondent that the first case was identified in Eyin Ogbe in Owo LGA while the second case was identified in Ayede-Ogbese in Akure North LGA, Ondo State. The Health Commissioner said that the State government has set up surveillance and containment machinery to prevent a spread of the disease in the State. Mr. Adeyanju, who confirmed that he had earlier briefed journalists over the outbreak, said there is no cause for alarm in the State.

The Eagle Online, 05 September 2016
Health minister inaugurates Ebonyi’s N350m Lassa fever centre

The N350 million Lassa Fever Virology Diagnostic and Treatment Centre built by the Ebonyi State Government has been inaugurated by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole. Adewole, who was in company with his Agriculture counterpart, Chief Audu Ogbeh, and Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, during the ceremony, said he was excited that a state government could embark on such a life-saving centre without any prompting by theFederal Government. He said the Federal Government would run the facility in partnership with the state to ensure its success, adding that the centre would be converted to South East Diagnostic and Treatment centre. He said: “I am actually short of words. “I am yet to recover from shock over this giant stride. “This actually surpasses my expectations and I must say clearly that we should see this as a partnership.

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Channels, 02 September 2016
Kaduna State health sector gets Bill Gates, UK support
The Kaduna State health sector on Friday received a boost, as the government signs an agreement with the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and ‘Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation. The State government is optimistic that the agreement will strengthen primary Healthcare in rural areas, to address the constant increase in mortality rates especially of mothers and children. Governor Nasir El-Rufai signed the Memorandum Of understanding on behalf of the Kaduna State government, while the UK Minister of State for International Development, Mr James Wharton, signed on behalf of the UK government. El-Rufai said the agreement underscored his administration’s commitment to improving access to affordable and qualitative healthcare services to the people as well as reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in the state.
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The Nation, 08 September 2016
Masari to establish teaching hospital

Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, has expressed disgust over the refusal of the Federal Ministry of Health to allow the state government acquire and convert the Federal Medical Centre to serve as a Teaching Hospital for Umar Musa Yar’Adua University. The development, Masari fears, might slow down his administration’s plan to develop the health sector. Masari, who spoke to reporters over his two-week business trip to China and India, revealed that his administration has commenced a programme that will at the end of the day, ensure that the state gets a deserving teaching hospital that will serve the state-owned university to offer courses in Medicine. According to him, over 600 medical staff will soon be recruited to serve in the health facilities that are already being put in place in the state.
The Guardian, 07 September 2016
Cross River declares free medical care for taxable adults

Cross River State government has declared free medical care for residents. Officials say the programme is embedded in the state’s “Health Insurance Scheme,” which was signed into law yesterday by Governor Ben Ayade. Giving details on the scheme, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor/Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Christian Ita, said: “Every taxable adult will be required to make a N1,000 payment in a month, which allows access to a free medicare.” Ita, who stated that in a year, a taxable adult will pay N12,000, before getting free medicare in any government hospital, said the governor had paid N10 million to the fund managers who would manage the fund for the scheme. According to him: “We will use whatever money we are able to raise to build first-class hospitals across the state and people will have free medicare once they pay that initial amount of N1,000 per month. You will just walk in for free treatment and nobody will ask you for money.”

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PM News, 04 September 2016
Lagos shuts 37 illegal pharmacies, chemist shops

The Lagos State Government has shut 37 illegal pharmacies and chemist shops in Ikorodu area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria. Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga disclosed this at thee weekend, saying that the government was determined to rid the state off fake drugs, and stem the proliferation of illegal pharmaceutical outlets shops operating in the State in order to avert the danger posed by the activities of the illegal operators. Onanuga said the operation was carried out by the State Task force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods in conjunction with the representatives of National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria Federal Taskforce and Officers of the State Rapid Respond Squad (RRS). 

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Premium Times, 05 September 2016
ABUTH resident doctors postpone strike to September 15

Resident Doctors of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, ABUTH, on Monday said they would proceed on total and indefinite strike on September15, unless the management address issues of infrastructure decay at the facility. Waziri Aliyu-Dahiru, the President of the hospital’s resident doctors association, said at a news conference in Zaria, Kaduna State, that the strike would have started this Monday, but was postponed due to intervention by elders. According to him, prominent Nigerians, including Senators Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central) and Suleiman Hunkuyi (Kaduna North), prevailed on the doctors to extend their ultimatum by two weeks. “Considering the antecedents and reputation of Prof. Abdulmuminu Rafindadi, (former CMD), the integrity of members of his committee, the ongoing efforts by the Federal Ministry of Health and other distinguished Nigerians, we hereby extend the ultimatum to September 15, 2016. “This is to give enough time for amicable resolution of the problem and for the management to do the needful.

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Nigeria Health Watch, 06 September 2016
Perspectives on medical law in Nigeria, an account from the World Congress on Medical Law

Medical malpractice lawsuits are a global phenomenon and Nigeria as a country is slowly but surely catching up with the reality of increasing patients’ awareness of their rights and expectations in relation to healthcare. This is becoming evident in the rising number of allegations and lawsuits against Nigerian healthcare workers practising in both private and public hospitals; in some instances, successful lawsuits against doctors has led to huge compensatory payments to patients and families of patients; and sometimes with severe sanctions such as suspension from medical practice or in extreme cases, removal from the register of doctors. Relatively speaking, there are few medical and legal practitioners who specialize in medical law, but Nigeria was well represented at the recently concluded 22nd World Congress on Medical Law, which took place in Los Angeles, California from 7th to 11th August 2016.


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