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Nigeria Health Watch

Top Ten News Items on Health out of Nigeria

Today, 09 May 2016
Global Fund has not suspended funding for Nigeria – NACA

The Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, Prof. John Idoko, has stated that Global Fund has not suspended its HIV, tuberculosis and malaria grants to Nigeria The DG, who stated this on Monday in a chat with the media, said what has been suspended by the body was the quarterly disbursement of funds, adding that various intervention grants were on-going. Idoko, who was reacting to an alleged fraud in the Global Fund grant, disclosed that the EFCC was already investigating this matter, adding that the issue on ground was directed at the DPRS in the Federal Ministry of Health. According to him, “NACA does not implement, it is the Sub-Recipients that implement and there are weaknesses in the system which we are trying to strengthen. Part of the weaknesses is that the Primary Health Centres are not working.

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The Guardian, 12 May 2016
Nigeria disagrees with Global Fund over grants’ misapplication claim

The principal recipients of the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) grants to Nigeria – the National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) and the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) –have faulted the findings by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the donor agency alleging misappropriation of $3.82 million of the funds by the relevant Nigerian agencies. They said contrary to reports in the media, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had been notified of the alleged fraud by the Department of Health Planning, Research and Statistics of the Federal Ministry of Health (DPRS-FMoH) even before the publication of the findings by GFATM, adding that the commission had since swung into action.

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Premium Times, 10 May 2016
FACT-CHECK: VP Osinbajo’s claim not true: State House Clinic not for all Nigerians

Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, is well regarded across the country as a stickler for truth and integrity. But PREMIUM TIMES can authoritatively report that the nation’s number two citizen did not tell the truth regarding who can receive healthcare at the State House Medical Centre in Abuja. Mr. Osinbajo had on February 26, in Lagos, said the state house clinic was open for use by all Nigerians. The vice president was responding to questions at the Pastors and Leaders Retreat of the Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos. He said the medical centre was a well-equipped general hospital always open for use by the public. However, when PREMIUM TIMES visited the hospital on May 4 and 7, the Vice President’s claims were found to be untrue. The question Mr. Osinbajo answered at the event was triggered by a PREMIUM TIMES report of February 2 indicating that the presidency planned to spend more on the State House Clinic than on all the federal teaching hospitals in the country.

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ThisDay, 11 May 2016
Resident doctors declare nationwide warning strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Tuesday in Abuja declared a nationwide warning strike, urging its members across public hospitals in the country to suspend services from 8a.m. today, as a move to press home its demands. Speaking to journalists on the strike, NARD President, Dr Muhammad Askira, said though there were still some processes still going on, aimed at resolving the impasse between government and the doctors, declaring a warning strike has become imminent given government sloppiness in addressing critical issues confronting members of the association. He explained that all public hospitals were to be shut down for five working days, commencing today, while the doctors will resume duty on May 16, 2016.

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AllAfrica, 12 May 2016
Govt appeals to resident doctors to shelve strike
 
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Nwabueze Ngige, has appealed to the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) that began a 5-day warning strike yesterday to resume duty in the interest of the nation. A statement yesterday by the Deputy Director (Press) in the ministry, Samuel Olowooker, said the minister advised them to utilize the mechanisms of the ongoing social dialogue with government on the issues of concern to its members. The Minister urged the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) being the Parent body of NARD to join in the appeal, drawing the attention of the striking members of NARD to the essential nature of their duties to humanity. Meanwhile, following the resumption of the warning strike, consultant doctors intervened at many hospitals, redeeming what could have been a desperate situation for patients.
 
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AllAfrica, 12 May 2016
500,000 missing TB cases threaten control
 
Up to 500,000 cases of tuberculosis go undetected each year in Nigeria, creating a gap that could potentially threaten control of the disease across Africa. "We are supposed to be seeing 600,000 every year, but for the past three years, we have been seeing 100,000," said Dr Ayodele Awe, World Health Organisation's medical officer in charge of TB. "There is a detection gap of 500,000 cases that our system is not detecting," he said at a press briefing organised by the Stop TB Nigeria Partnership ahead of a national TB conference scheduled for next week in Abuja. "There is also coverage gap. How many facilities are actually providing effective TB service in Nigeria? They are still less than 70%, and several health facilities do not have effective TB service," said Awe.
 
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Premium Times, 10 May 2016
Nigeria to eliminate neglected tropical diseases by 2020

The Federal Ministry of Health in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust Trachoma Initiative and non-governmental organizations have reaffirmed their commitment towards eliminating Neglected Tropical Disease in Nigeria. This was contained in a speech delivered by the Director of Public Health, Evelyn Ngige, in Abuja while celebrating the progress of partnering with other concerned bodies who are determined to help eliminate blinding Trachoma Nigeria, and other African countries. She said, “it is pertinent to note that stakeholders in and outside Nigeria have chosen to gather here to celebrate progress made towards eliminating one of the Neglected Tropical Disease (NTDs),more than 10 million people in Nigeria are at risk of getting or have untreated NTDS.

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PM News Nigeria, 07 May 2016
Teaching hospitals can no longer recruit own staff-Minister

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has declared that henceforth recruitment of staff for teaching hospitals will be done centrally by the Ministry of Health once in a year. Adewole declared this while responding to a request made by the Chief Medical Director of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) Prof. Etete Peters on Saturday when he visited the hospital. Peters had told the minister that lack of funds had made it difficult to recruit 141 staff members approved by the Federal Government. He said that lack of funds had prevented the hospital from recruiting staff, in spite of waiver granted to employ staff of various cadres mostly nurses and resident doctors. Peters, who decried the shortage of staff in key specialties, sought the Minister’s permission to recruit consultants in Neurosurgery, Chemical Pathology, Dental Surgery, Endocrinology and Pathology.

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The News, 07 May 2016
UUTH can’t pay for new doctors, CMD tells health minister

The University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) said on Saturday that lack of funds had made it difficult to recruit 141 staff members approved by the Federal Government. The Chief Medical Director of the hospital (CMD), Prof. Etete Peters, disclosed this on Saturday in Uyo when the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole visited the hospital. He said that lack of funds had prevented the hospital from recruiting staff, in spite of waiver granted to employ staff of various cadres mostly nurses and resident doctors. Peters, who decried the shortage of staff in key specialties, sought the Minister’s permission to recruit consultants in Neurosurgery, Chemical Pathology, Dental Surgery, Endocrinology and Pathology.

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Punch, 11 May 2016
Medicine in Nigeria is 20 years behind

I was conducting a clinic recently when my patient related his ordeal in the hands of a surgeon. Apparently, my patient had undergone two botched operations for a broken bone in his arm. The highest-ranking medico performed the operations: the consultant. It seemed that the outcome of the operations was no better than what a local traditional bonesetter or nature could do. To be fair, without the right atmosphere and proper management, most hospitals are an embodiment of incompetence. The fact is that with poor funding, poor internal resource allocation and an abject state in most hospitals, medicine in Nigeria today is about 20 years behind what obtains in progressive communities. For example, most of our national orthopaedic hospitals lack materials and equipment required to do their jobs. Patients are daily given a list to buy things required for surgery. Surgeons are performing operations long outdated and keeping patients for long periods in hospital for nature to heal them. 

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Nigeria Health Watch, 10 May 2016
Five big issues at the International Conference of Midwives in Abuja

May 5 was this year’s International Day of the Midwife. To commemorate this day in Nigeria, The Wellbeing Foundation Africa, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund and The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) hosted the first Global Midwifery Conference in Nigeria on May 4th and 5th. With Nigeria accounting for the second largest number of maternal and child deaths in the world, there is still so much work to be done. The Conference was an opportunity for midwives and nurses to update their midwifery knowledge and skills, recognising the importance of key practice areas that contribute towards saving lives. The audience, especially the student midwives of the FCT School of Midwifery, Gwagwalada, were given the opportunity to discuss their priorities with policy makers and key officials, with the aim of informing the political platform. Your Nigeria Health Watch Team summarises the five big issues that were discussed at the Conference.

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