Nigeria Health Watch

Top Ten News Items on Health out of Nigeria

Aidspan, 27 April 2016
Global Fund wrestles with concerns about grant performance and risks in the Nigeria portfolio

As happens at many Board meetings, a topic that was not on the official agenda was prominent in corridor discussions. Last meeting it was the allocations methodology. This meeting it was concerns about the performance of grants to Nigeria. The Office of the Inspector General recently completed an audit on HIV, TB, and malaria grants to Nigeria. A copy of the report was circulated to Board members in last March. Many members requested additional information and further clarification about the audit. Thus, the report has not yet been made public. However, based on sources within Nigeria, we can report that disbursements for the HIV and malaria grants were suspended a couple of weeks ago, and The Global Fund sent a letter to the President of Nigeria so advising him.

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Today, 26 April 2016
No Nigerian will die from malaria related illness from 2020 – Minister

Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole Folorunsho, has disclosed that efforts is on top gear to ensure that no citizen of the country dies from malaria or malaria-related illness from 2020. The Minster said adequate measures was being taken towards ensuring that, malaria is completely exterminated from Nigeria by 2025 ahead of the global target of 2030, advised that all hands must be on deck towards realizing this target. Sokoto state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who spoke at one of the occasion to mark World Malaria Day, divulged that the state has received trachoma drug donation worth over 3bn from both the federal government and other partners, governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal disclosed.

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Bella Naija, 27 April 2016
“Malaria – Are we winning the war?” – The HealthZone hosted an interactive roundtable discussion on World Malaria Day

The HealthZone, Africa’s pre-eminent television health show, in partnership with The Private Sector Healthcare Alliance of Nigeria and St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos hosted a Healthcare Roundtable to commemorate the World Malaria Day on Monday, April 25, 2016. Titled “Malaria – Are we winning the war?“, the panelists included Dr Jide Idris, Honorable Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Executive Director, Nigeria Health Watch, Dr Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, CEO, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, Dr Orode Doherty, Country Director Africare Nigeria, and Dr. Ebun Bamgboye, Clinical Director, St. Nicholas Hospital.

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The Cable, 28 April 2016
El-Rufai orders hospitals to treat gunshot victims before police report 

Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, has directed all hospitals in the state to start treating persons with gunshot wounds and accident victims before demanding police report. Samuel Aruwan, the governor’s spokesman, disclosed this in a statement, saying the directive was part of the agreement reached during the 15th session of the state security council meeting. The statement noted that saving lives was more critical than waiting for a formal police report and warned that any hospital that failed to abide by the decision would be held for criminal neglect. “Lives must be saved first, before the formalities of demanding police reports from victims,” the statement read.

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The Guardian, 26 April 2016
Nigeria finalises plans to produce Yellow fever vaccines locally
As part of activities to mark the World Immunisation Week, April 24 to 30, the Federal Government has advanced plans to locally produce essential vaccines in the country and refurbish the moribund in Yaba, Lagos. Also, Nigeria has began the ‘switch’ from using trivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (tOPV) to bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (bOPV) in the routine immunization programme. The National Switch Committee commenced the historic switch in Nigeria on April 19, 2016, and is expected to complete the process and submit report to the World Health Organisation on May 2, 2016. Also, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a statement ahead of the World Immunisation Week, noted: “Immunization averts two to three million deaths annually; however, an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global vaccination coverage improves. Today, an estimated 18.7 million infants – nearly one in five children – worldwide are still missing routine immunizations for preventable diseases, such as diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus.”
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Punch, 27 April 2016
No allowance for officials on foreign medical treatment – FG

The Federal Government has said it would not provide funds to any government official to travel abroad for medical treatment unless the case cannot be handled in Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari made this known on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the 56th Annual General Conference and delegates meeting of the Nigerian Medical Association held in Sokoto. The President who was represented by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said the government would not encourage medical tourism with the nation’s resources. “While this administration will not deny anyone of his or her fundamental human rights, we will certainly not encourage expending Nigerian hard earned resources on any government official seeking medical care abroad, when such can be handled in Nigeria,” Buhari said, according to a statement by the Director, Media and Public Relations, Ministry of Health, Mrs. Boade Akinola.

Read more ..., 28 April 2016
Minister says FG will provide school children with balanced diet

The Federal Government says it will embark on a free school feeding programme for the development of the children in school age. The Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja. "Government as you know is also embarking on school feeding programme to help the development of young children of school age by giving them a balance diet. "Not that they don’t eat at home but they probably don’t eat the correct thing, the balanced food. "So, they will get the balanced one meal a day minimum to develop better manpower for Nigeria. That is the purpose.

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Premium Times, 25 April 2016
Nigeria health experts demand 15% budgetary allocation to healthcare

Health experts at the launch of the “Make Naija Stronger” campaign in Lagos on Monday painted a pathetic picture of the state of healthcare in Nigeria and unanimously agreed that the country has no public health system. The “Make Naija Strong” is an initiative of the anti-poverty organisations and other partners such as the Africa Health, Human and Social Development (Afri-Dev) to demand that the Nigerian government fulfils its promise of allocating 15 per cent of its budget to health during the Abuja Declaration 15 years ago. On April 25, 2001 governments of African countries met in Abuja, the Nigeria capital, and agreed to increase health spending to 15 per cent of their national budgets.According to One Campaign, an international advocacy organization fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, the programme is also intended to make government allocate adequate funding toward the actualisation of the 2014 National Health Act.

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Vanguard, 27 April 2016
Lassa fever is a national tragedy

Health experts in Nigeria have said that the recurrent Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria is akin to a national embarrassment and that it will be no exagerration to describe it as a national tragedy. Expressing dissatisfaction, the Chairman, Lassa Fever Control Committee in Nigeria, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, who is President of the Nigeria Academic of Science, NAS, observed that Lassa fever that has been claiming lives over the past 47 years without concrete strategies to bring it under control, can only be referred to as a continuous national tragedy. Tomori, who spoke on Monday at a symposium on Lassa fever organised by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, Yaba, Lagos, said the break down in disease surveillance did not make the country notice that Lassa fever has consistently brought sorrow, pains and agony to several homes. “If you are not hearing of new cases, it is not that the disease is not occurring, but because our disease surveillance is not up to par."

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Nigeria Health Watch, 27 April 2016
Stronger together – increasing effectiveness of advocacy in the Nigerian health sector

The room was almost full at 8 a.m., as advocates, leaders of civil society organisations and senior government officials gathered in Abuja to learn from each other how to increase the effectiveness of their advocacy efforts. Nigeria Health Watch, the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria and ONE Campaign convened the event as part of a new dialogue series on health issues in Nigeria. It began with a screening of two short films that set the tone for the rest of the day. The first film was a TEDxEuston talk by Vuyiseka Dubula, one of the founding members of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). We listened as she shared her journey of how she educated herself about HIV, after she found out that she was infected. Then, from a position of knowledge, she joined the leadership of TAC to become one of the strongest and most effective advocates for life-saving anti-retrovirals in South Africa. The advocacy work done by TAC, and similar organisations over many years, is one of the main reasons people living with HIV on the continent now have access to ARVs.

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