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Nigeria Health Watch

Top Ten News Items on Health out of Nigeria

PM News, 07 October 2016
FG releases N9.8bn for polio eradication

Dr Emmanuel Odu, Acting Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said that the Federal Government has released N9.8 billion for polio eradication and immunisation programme. Odu made this known on Friday in Abuja during a news conference on the recent polio outbreak in the northeast. He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment and the timely release of the fund budgeted for polio eradication and immunisation programme. He said that the agency believed that similar arrangement would be repeated for 2017 to push toward delisting Nigeria as polio endemic country. Odu said the federal government has released the fund as part of its substantial investment in its determination to save lives, protect Nigeria children and pregnant women. According to him, after two years without wild polio virus in the country, Nigeria confirmed that three children were paralyzed by the disease in Borno.

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African News, 07 October 2016
WHO provides medical supplies to 15,000 Boko Haram victims

The World Health Organization, (WHO) reports that it has delivered emergency medical supplies to two main Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) camps in Borno State in north eastern Nigeria. Where are the two camps located? Mafa and Dikwa IDP camps, are located in the Boko Haram ravaged northeastern state of Borno. They fall within two of the 15 areas liberated this year and hosts more than 75,000 internally displaced persons (IDP). What is contained in the kits? The medical supplies are in form of Interagency Emergency Health Kit with enough drugs and medical supplies to treat 15,000 people for three months. Malaria and Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) kits were also provided. The supplies will be distributed to the existing health facilities in each camp and to mobile teams.

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AllAfrica, 03 October 2016
Children below one-year-old to get new pneumonia vaccine

Children under one year in the FCT can now benefit from the newly introduced vaccine against pneumonia called Pneumococacal Conjugate Vaccine or PCV10. The measure was aimed at preventing diseases caused by the bacteria. The Executive Secretary of the FCT Primary Health Care Development Board (FCTPHCDB), Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, revealed this at the ceremony to start the vaccine at the Family Health Clinic, Area 2, Abuja. He said that in August 2016, the vaccine was introduced into the EPI schedule to be taken by children under 1 year in the FCT and already the PCV had been introduced into the routine immunisation schedule in all the six area councils of the FCT. The acting Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat, represented by Mrs Alice Odey Achu, said that the introduction of the vaccine was done to reduce childhood deaths and protect children against childhood pneumonia and meningitis. 

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Punch, 05 October 2016
‘Nigeria needs $16m to boost reproductive health services’

The United Nations Population Fund says Nigeria requires about $16m annually to boost reproductive health services. The Executive Director of UNFPA, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, in a statement by the Deputy Regional Director, West and Central Africa Region, Ms. Beatrice Mutali, said that “Nigeria requires between US $12 million and US $16 million for the commodities it requires to go round the country annually”. Osotimehin was in Abuja recently for a three days official visit where he met with various high level stakeholders. He said, “This is a small amount in view of the return on investment, as nobody can place a value to life.’’ He said UNFPA is going to build on the business case for family planning until such a time that Nigeria’s budget could carry the responsibility of procuring these commodities. The executive director said that UNFPA would be glad if Nigeria could reach that stage quickly. Osotimehin, however, assured that the inability of Nigeria to provide sufficient funds to procure these commodities would not affect UNFPA’s contributions to the country. He said that UNFPA’s support has amounted to about $7m for commodities and lifesaving drugs in 2015. 

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Punch, 06 October 2016
Kano approves N48m to fight malaria
 
The Kano State Government has approved over N48 million for the purchase of drugs and equipment to combat the current Malaria scourge in the state. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Kabiru Getso, disclosed this on Thursday when he laid the foundation stone for the upgrading of Getso Primary Health Care Centre at Getso town. The commissioner said that the state government was determined to improve health care delivery to the people. He said the hospital was undergoing total renovation and upgrading, and that when completed, it would serve not only Getso community, but also the neighbouring local government areas. He said, “A part from the renovation, training and purchase of sophisticated equipment for the health facilities, the government has also been committed to creating awareness on the importance of keeping the environment clean and health.”
 
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Daily Trust, 04 Otcober 2016
Anambra govt to establish medical equipment centre

The Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, says his government will establish central medical equipment centre for the state. Obiano made this known while hosting the executive members of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Medical Students Association at the Governor's Lodge, Amawbia. He said that the centre, which would be set up under a public private sector partnership initiative, would possess hi-tech medical equipment. According to him, equipment at the centre would be made available for use to medical doctors in the state while arrangements were made to ensure that the state’s health insurance scheme rendered good services. 
 
PM News, 03 October 2016
Ebonyi to provide healthcare centre in 171 wards

The Ebonyi Government says it has concluded arrangements to provide one functional primary healthcare centre in each of the 171 wards in the state before December 2016. The Commissioner for Health, Dr Daniel Umezuruike, made the disclosure in Abakaliki on Thursday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Umezuruike said that the decision was to complement the Federal Government’s efforts to enhance healthcare delivery in the country. “Ebonyi today has fully perfected all arrangements to provide one functional primary health care centre per ward to complement what the Federal Government is doing. “Primary, secondary and tertiary health facilities have to be fully functional and equipped with facilities to achieve the aim of universal health coverage,” he said. The commissioner said that Gov. David Umahi had declared a state of emergency on the health sector in the state due to the weak system inherited from the past administration. According to him, the state has 430 primary healthcare centres and 13 general hospitals which will be upgraded to render quality services. 

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Leadership, 04 October 2016
Adamawa health workers lament non-payment of 2 years’ salaries

Health workers in Adamawa State numbering over 800 have called on Governor Muhamadu Jibrila Bindow to pay their two years salaries since 2014 when they are recruited into the state civil service. The workers made the plea through their spokesman , Mallam Ibrahim Auwal, yesterday in Yola. He said they had complained to Ministry of Health and a committee was set up but up till now there was nothing forth-coming. The spokesman lamented that about 836 of them were screened by a committee that was set up which retrieve their permanent and pensionable employment letter and replace it with temporary appointment by the present administration. The health workers comprising of cleaners, security men, drivers, record keepers, laboratory and theatre attendants had not been paid their salaries for two years since they were employed. “We are calling on the governor to intervene in the matter, we have not been paid for the past two years since when we were employed.

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Premium Times, 05 October 2016
NACA laments high rate of HIV in Nasarawa

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) on Wednesday decried the high rate of HIV/AIDS in Nasarawa State. Ezeokafor Chidiebere, the NACA’s Senior Programme Officer, who led the agency’s delegation to Lafia, said that the visit was sequel to the alarming rate of HIV/AIDS in the state. Mrs. Chidiebere said that the visit was aimed at seeking for more synergy with critical stakeholders on preventive measures and financial support from the state government to enable them to fight the scourge effectively. According to her, the 8.2 per cent prevalence of HIV in the state was worrisome, hence the need for collaboration among the stakeholders. Mrs. Chidiebere said that the World Bank Intervention project against the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country was solely driven by donor funding which was not enough to curtail its spread. “We are here on a supportive supervisory visit and will visit all the implementing areas. “We are here also to solicit for more funding because majority of the funding is donor-driven,” she said. 

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Premium Times, 05 October 2016
Nigeria’s near miss with Poliomyelitis – What is the elephant in the room? by Muhammad Ali Pate

There is no doubt that the poor security situation in the North-East, driven by the brutal North-East insurgency is a driver of the tragic resurgence of polio in Nigeria. For years the insurgents have destroyed healthcare infrastructure and targeted health workers, hindering the immunisation against preventable disease of two million children in the North-East and now Nigeria has had three confirmed polio cases. In August, a four year-old girl named Aisha from Jere district in Borno State became the first victim. This was crushing news for the thousands of dedicated men and women who have been at the frontlines of the multibillion-dollar effort to eradicate polio from the world. It has also forced Nigeria to speed up its massive and costly polio eradication effort, just one year after it was removed from list of polio endemic countries by the World Health Organisation (WHO). After two years of being polio-free Nigeria is likely to be seen as a polio endemic country once again. But while the NorthEast insurgency and attendant humanitarian crises are a major contributor to the resurgence of polio virus, this must not be used as a scapegoat for our weak public health system. 

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