Nigeria Health Watch

Top Ten News Items on Health out of Nigeria

Guardian, 30 October 2016
We have no accurate data of health insurance beneficiaries in Nigeria -Prof Yusuf

Prof. Usman Yusuf, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), says there is no record of the real number of people covered by the scheme in Nigeria. Yusuf made the assertion on Saturday in Uyo at a one-day legislative retreat on immunisation, health financing and the National Health Act organised for House of Representatives Committees on Health Services. The executive secretary said that he had decided to carry out biometric verification of the actual enrollees in the scheme in view of the lapses noticed in its implementation. He said that he had already set up an enforcement department to ensure that the scheme work for the benefit of Nigerians. “NHIS has the potential to make a huge difference in the lives of our people. We have agreed that it will not be business as usual. “NHIS is the central bank of healthcare in Nigeria,” Yusuf said, but expressed regrets that management of the scheme since its inception in 2005 had made the scheme look elitist.

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Guardian, 03 November 2016
1,473 midwives deployed to PHCs to save mothers, children

As part of efforts to improving maternal, newborn and child health outcomes and consolidating on the gains of the Midwives Service Scheme (MSS), the Federal Government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) is deploying 1,473 newly graduated basic midwives to Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities in rural areas throughout the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. Acting Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr. Emmanuel Odu, told journalists yesterday, that with 61 per cent of pregnant women receiving ante-natal care by a skilled provider in the country, only 38 per cent of births were attended to by skilled birth attendants while only 36 per cent deliver in health facilities. Odu who spoke at the end of a two– day orientation workshop for the first batch of the new basic midwives, numbering 443, which started over the weekend, enjoined the participants, as skilled birth attendants to rededicate themselves and contribute to bridging the gap.

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Daily Trust, 31 October 2016
Nigeria to establish 3 hospitals to end Obstetric Fistula

The Nigerian Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said that the Federal Government would establish three more obstetric fistula hospitals by 2017 to end the cases in the country. Mrs Boade Akinola, Director Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health, said this in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja. According to the statement, Adewole said this at the 6th International Conference of International Society on Obstetric Fistula Surgeon (ISOFS) that took place in Abuja recently. Obstetric fistula (or vaginal fistula) is a medical condition in which a hole develops between either the rectum and vagina or between the bladder and vagina after severe or failed childbirth, when adequate medical care is not available. The statement said that the fistula hospitals would be located in Ibadan, Oyo state; Ilorin, Kwara and Port Harcourt, Rivers. 

The Nation, 04 November 2016
Reps move to upgrade National Hospital

The House of Representatives on Thursday moved to restructure the National Hospital Abuja for better services as its committee on Health Institutions carried out its mandate on ” the need to conduct a comprehensive investigative hearing towards restructuring, reorganizing, refinancing and repositioning of the a national Hospital.” The challenges that caused the Apex Health Institution to deteriorate was reeled out by the Chief Medical Director, Bello Abubakar Mohammed before the Hon. Betty Apiafi- headed Committee, as it considered a bill and four motions at an investigative hearing. Mohammed noted that the Hospital which was meant to be the best in the country has been stunted by lack of funding and obsolete equipment some purchased as far back as 1999. The CMD said that the Hospital is over-bloated with patients and they come from as far as Mali, Niger and beyond. The staff strength, he said, is over-bloated “while the real health personnel is not increasing.”

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Daily Trust, 23 October 2016
Sokoto to rehabilitate 22 general hospitals with N440m
The Sokoto State Government is to rehabilitate 22 general hospitals across the state with N440 million. The Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Health, Alhaji Almustapha Othman, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sokoto on Sunday. He said: ”This will be done in seven phases, with three general hospitals per month. ”Each hospital will gulp N20 million, to make it reasonably befitting. ”A general hospital will be selected monthly from each senatorial zone.” Othman told NAN that general hospitals in Tambuwal,Tureta and Isa were already being rehabilitated under the first phase. He also said that the state government was providing drugs, hospital equipment, training and retraining of all the categories of medical personnel across the state. ”This is part of the state government’s efforts to provide quality healthcare services to the people of the state,” he said. 
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The Guardian, 03 November 2016
Ogun doctors, state disagree over health sector performance

Ogun State medical doctors have lamented what they described as a very poor state of the health sector and urged the government to urgently act before the sector completely collapse. The doctors are accusing the government of neglecting the sector, alleging that despite acute shortage of health personnel, Governor Ibikunle Amosun-led administration has not employed any personnel since assumption of office. The Chairman of the local branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Abayomi Olajide who spoke in Abeokuta said the situation is so bad that they are forced to perform surgery using candlelight owing to power outage in various hospitals for several hours. But the government has denied some of the allegations, assuring that government was making effort to improve on areas where there are lapses. The Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to the Governor on Health, Dr. Femi Adenuga told The Guardian, “most of the allegations are not true.”
The Nation, 03 November 2016
Workers’ protest paralyses LAUTECH hospital

For three days, activities at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital in Ogbomosho, Oyo State were disrupted, following a protest by members of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM). The protest was over the alleged non-payment of salaries for eight months by the Oyo State government, which took over the responsibility in 2014. It started with warning protest on Wednesday, with the nurses threatening to go on indefinite strike if government did not act promptly. The NANNM Vice-Chairman, Comrade Zaccheus Oyewunmi, said his members were facing hardship because of the non-payment of salaries. He wondered why the government would owe them, lamenting that many of them have died of hunger. Oyewumi said the government paid half of their January salary shortly after the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Oyo State chapter called off its strike last August. The government has not paid the arrears since then, he added.

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Premium Times, 31 October 2016
Oyo Teaching Hospital nurses strike over unpaid salaries

The National Association Of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Ogbomosho, has embarked on an indefinite strike to demand payment of their eight months salaries. The nurses, who earlier went on a three-day warning strike on Wednesday, decided to embark on a full blown strike after the warning strike expired without any response from the institution’s management. Vice Chairman of the Union, Oyewunmi Opeyemi, said the Oyo State government had been owing them eight months salary. He said that even the January salary was paid in half in August. He said although a meeting between the union and the government held to address the issue of unpaid salaries, the latter went ahead to pay half salary of February in September. “The management however promised to proffer a solution so we trusted them again after they paid half of March salary in late September and we as a body told the management that if we should receive half of April salary they will see our other side,” Mr. Opeyemi said.

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Punch, 29 October 2016
One physician to 3,500 patients, yet Nigerian doctors beg for posting

Reluctant to open the bottle of chilled drink in front of her at a restaurant where she agreed to meet our correspondent that hot afternoon, having a drink with a reporter in a restaurant was the last thing she wanted at such a critical time, but for the situation she found herself in and the need to vent her frustration by speaking out. Dr. Oguntuase Moyosola, as she introduced herself, had many issues to worry about, thus, her disposition speaks loudly of a frustrated mind. Her situation is entirely understandable and one would not blame the 27-year-old anyway. Her present situation reeks of frustration, in contrast to how she felt about eight years ago when she secured admission into the prestigious University of Benin to study Medicine and Surgery. Since she graduated from the institution over one year ago, Moyo, as she preferred to be called, has been at home, searching for placement for her housemanship. This is the one-year period after graduating from medical school during which newly qualified doctors practise, with probational licence, under supervision in designated hospitals across the country.

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Nigeria Health Watch, 26 October 2016
Genetically Modified Foods and Health; One Doctor’s Perspective

When I was setting up my yam farm, I sought to buy yam seeds from farmers reputed to produce the best yams. Long before that, the government agricultural station near our village used to import big, beefy “Ndama” bulls from the UK and interbreed them with local bony but disease-resistant village cows to produce animals that combined the better beef production of the imported animal and the resistance to local diseases of the village cows. Selective breeding has enabled man to produce cats and dogs with such unbelievably different shapes, sizes, and coats that it is sometimes difficult to imagine they belong to the same species, but they do and retain the ability to cross breed indefinitely. Rice grows in waterlogged clay soil, and to get it to survive on drier upland loam it has to be grown generation after generation on increasingly drier land over many years. It might eventually acquire drought tolerance, but its yield is likely to decrease in size and quality as we notice in crops when the rains fail. The adaptation process that would breed true is unlikely to be completed within the lifespan of one person.


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