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Nigeria Health Watch

Top Ten News Items on Health out of Nigeria

The Nation, 22 May 2016
$5m expired NACA drugs shock Reps

The House of Representatives has lashed out at the management of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) for allowing drugs for the treatment of HIV/AIDS expire before beneficiaries could access them. Also, the lawmakers have begun investigations into an alleged misappropriation of Global Fund’s grant of $ 1,349,087 between July and December 2013 by workers of the Department of Health Planning, Research and Statistics (DPRS). DPRS is one of the three major recipients of the grant through NACA. Consequently, Committee on HIV, AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Control has commenced investigation into the application of Global Fund grants by NACA since 2010. The lawmakers opined that to have allowed $5m worth of drugs, which the agency’s Director General (DG), Prof John Idoko put at $2.5m to expire meant that it is either NACA is being managed by uncommitted workers or lacks capable man power

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ThisDay, 24 May 2016
Who stole the HIV/AIDS money?

Nigeria has the world’s second highest number of people infected with HIV/AIDS after South Africa. The country also accounts for one-third of all deaths from malaria in Africa and is among the top 22 countries with tuberculosis patients, the second most infectious cause of death in the world. But corruption in Nigeria is posing a major challenge to curtailing these diseases which cause so many deaths and tremendous human suffering. The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria recently suspended payments to Nigeria over evidence that $3.8 million was stolen by some health workers and consultants. A report by the fund’s inspector general said seven government workers and three information technology consultants stole the money over a five-year period, between 2010 and 2014. It accused the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) of incompetence as it could not carry out proper audits.

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Today, 20 May 2016
Nigeria to establish N5bn World class medical research centre

The Institute of Human Virology, IHVN, and Access Bank Plc yesterday unveiled plans to establish a N5 billion world class Medical Research Centre that will research into infectious diseases and non infectious diseases on the Nigerian soil. Some of the diseases expected to be researched into includes; HIV&AIDS, Tuberculosis, TB, Lassa fever, cancer among others. The Centre will be directed under the leadership of Professor Alash’le G.Abimiku, a distinguished scientist and will be used to create an enabling environment for creative thinking and innovation in science to address Nigeria’s and global health priorities. Making the announcement at a press conference in Lagos to intimate the media on the collaboration between Access Bank, IHVN, and Dangote Foundation to raise N5 billion for the state-of-the-art International Research Centre of Excellence (IRCE), the Chief Executive Officer of IHVN, Dr. Patrick Dakum said the building of the Centre would improve the management of infectious diseases that have continued to ravage communities across the country.

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Today, 24 May 2016
Nigeria gets 34m tablets to treat school children of worms

Nigeria yesterday received a donation of 34 million tablets to treat its school children against schistosomiasis, one of the most prevalent tropical diseases in Africa. Caused by parasitic worm, schistosomiasis is described as a disease of poverty that leads to chronic ill-health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), infection is acquired when people come into contact with fresh water infested with the larval forms of parasitic blood flukes, known as schistosomes. The microscopic adult worms live in the veins draining the urinary tract and intestines. “Most of the eggs they lay are trapped in the tissues and the body’s reaction to them can cause massive damage,” a WHO factsheet says. International science and technology company, Merck, which announced the donation yesterday, described it as the largest single delivery of praziquantel tablets in the history of the Merck Praziquantel Donation Program. The tablets are scheduled for mass distribution to school children.

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Vanguard, 24 May 2016
JOHESU threatens 7 days nationwide warning
 
Medical and Health workers under the auspices Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, and the Assembly of Health care Professionals, AHPA, yesterday issued a 7 –day ultimatum to embark on a nationwide industrial warning strike should the Federal government fail to meet their demands by midnight of Tuesday 31st May, 2016. In a jointly signed press statement made available to Vanguard, the workers expressed displeasure that the Federal government was yet to fulfil an agreement it entered into with the unions since May 2012. They also expressed worry that 12 days after the Unions delivered a letter to the federal government in respect of the 2012 agreement, there is no evidence that anything has been done on issues that have been agreed upon. 
 
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DailyPost, 26 May 2016
Masari directs 64 health workers in Katsina to refund N10m

Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State has directed 64 health workers to refund N10.1 million to the government. Masari gave the directive in Katsina on Wednesday while receiving a report of the committee for the verification of local government health workers in the state. He noted that the affected workers, who were also engaged with development partners, were still collecting salaries from the state government. “The affected staff must refund the N10.1 million to the government and choose to either work with the government or with the development partners,’’ he said. Masari also directed that senior nurses working in secondary school clinics be redeployed to hospitals with immediate effect.

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DailyPost, 25 May 2016
Laboratories in Plateau Government hospitals are not accredited – Experts

The Plateau State Chapter of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) yesterday revealed that non of the medical laboratories owned by government hospitals in the state was accredited. AMLSN made the disclosure in a communiqué issued after it’s 4th Scientific conference, held in Jos, the the Plateau State Capital. The communique signed by it’s Chairman, Dr. James Damen, and Secretary Mrs. Foluso Akinkunmi was made available to journalists yesterday. It reads, “all government owned medical laboratories in Plateau state have not been accredited in line with global best practices towards rating medical laboratories into graded stars.” The Association express dissatisfaction on the manner in which laboratory equipment were acquired into hospitals in the state. “The Conference frowns at the way and manner institutions go about acquiring equipment and recruitment of medical laboratory staff without recourse to essential analysis of medical laboratory needs.

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Vanguard, 26 May 2016
WHO cautions on re-emerging infectious diseases 

The World Health Organisation,WHO, has warned the world of transboundary nature of diseases and infections even as she said the current global outbreak of diseases like Ebola, Zika and Yellow Fever has revealed a dramatic resurgence of new threats from emerging and reemerging infectious diseases the world is not prepared to cope with. Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Folorunso Adewole has called on African Ministers of Health to unite against Neglected Tropical Disease, NTDs, by including them in their Health Agenda, and ensure that they are no longer neglected. The duo spoke at the ongoing World Health Assembly, WHA, in Geneva. Giving the warning in her address at the ongoing 69th World Health Assembly, WHA, in Geneva, the Director General, WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, said good health is key to the attainment of any developmental efforts. 

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All Africa, 24 May 2016
Inside President Buhari's 2016 signed health budget

Most of us advocating for better and improved spending in the health sector felt good when Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, the Minister for Budget and National Planning was highlighting major projects in the 2016 Budget on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at the presidential villa. He spoke about key health projects that would be executed. He mentioned in his PowerPoint presentation that several programmes/projects are designed to significantly improve health indices across the nation, some of them are: -N12.6 billion for vaccines, devices and operations programmes for polio, measles, and yellow fever etc. -N1.3 billion counter-part contributions for procurement and distribution of antiretroviral drugs and contraceptive commodities. In the signed 2016 budget, the overall provision for the budget is N6.06 trillion which represents an increase of N970 billion from the revised allocation of N5.09 trillion for 2015.

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Nigeria Health Watch, 24 May 2016
The Global Fund, Governance and the Shame of a Country

Gloria is a vibrant young lady who is “living positively” with HIV. She featured on our #OpenMoH radio show five months ago and shared with us the difficulties faced by people living with HIV (PLHIV) in accessing their life-saving antiretrovirals (ARVs). At that point there was a drug stock-out at most health facilities where PLHIVs usually access their drugs. In a country where 100% of those on ARVs are funded by donor funds, either by PEPFAR or the Global Fund, we are faced with the incredibly sad situation in Nigeria where we have been found incapable of properly utilizing resources given to us to fund the treatment and care of diseases that we should be managing by ourselves. After the recent scandal in the mismanagement of GAVI funds, once again Nigeria’s reputation is being torn to shreds in the international community by events in our health sector.

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