Nigeria Health Watch

Top Ten News Items on Health out of Nigeria

Vanguard, February 18 2016
Death of 25 Children: Lagos confirms outbreak of killer disease in Lekki

The Lagos State Government yesterday confirmed the outbreak of a strange disease in Otodo-Gbame Community in Ikate, Lekki, alleged to have killed 25 children saying it has despatched a team of medical experts to unravel the mysterious disease. Confirming this in a telephone chat with Vanguard in Lagos, the the spokesman for the State Ministry of Health, Mrs Adeola Salako, however said no further death has been recorded since Feb. 10, when the epidemiological investigation team led by epidemiologists from the state Ministry of Health commenced investigation. 

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The Guardian, 17 February 2016
Health workers may resume strike tomorrow

Health workers, excluding medical doctors, under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Health Care Professionals (AHPA), may resume their suspended industrial action tomorrow, February 18, 2016. The group, which had a fortnight ago given the Federal Government Wednesday, February 17, 2016 as deadline to meet their demands, in statement signed yesterday by leaders of five different associations that make up the group said: “In view of the failure of the present Federal Government to accede to our demands, JOHESU and AHPA at their joint meeting held on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at the Medical Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) Secretariat in Abuja have resolved to give a 15-day ultimatum beginning from February 3, 2016.

The Guardian, 18 February 2016
Nigeria gets $290,000 health equipment from AfDB

The Federal Government of Nigeria has received a donation for health equipment, worth $290,000 from African Development Bank (AfDB), which would be used to address the current health challenges in the country. The equipment received includes, two ambulances, 30 Bajaj motorcycles, 34 safety boxes, among others. A statement issued by the Director, Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health, Boade Akinola, said, the items were procured by the World Health Organization (WHO) with funding from AfDB. 

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Daily Trust, 17 February 2016
Experts canvass fuel tax for health

A little increase in fuel price could help generate resources to more than double the health budget and fund health interventions, experts in health financing have suggested. The move calls for a fuel tax to fund health, among a few funding mechanisms that could be useful. Neil McCulloch, of Oxford Policy Management, said a “modest health fuel tax would increase fuel prices to a level below that at the beginning of 2015…and generate enough resources to double the health budget.” He spoke at a forum organised by Nigeria Health Watch in Abuja, tagged An Evening with Yates. 

Read more ..., 17 February 2016
80% of mental health patients do not have access to treatment
According to Prof. Taiwo Lateef-Sheik, the Medical Director, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Kaduna recent statistics show, that about 80% of Nigerians with mental problems do not have access to treatment. Discussing with a NAN representative during a mental health training in the state, he said that there is need for Nigeria to improve access to mental health centers. “Statistics shows that about 80 per cent of Nigerians who have issues that have to do with mental health do not actually receive treatment.
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PM News, 18 February 2016
Ghost Workers: Kwara Govt. launches health registry

The Kwara Government on Thursday launched the health workforce registry for proper planning and curbing the profession of ghost workers. NAN reports that the government is running the system in collaboration with Management Sciences for Health (MSH). Speaking during the launching in Ilorin, the Country Representative, Management Sciences for Health in Nigeria, Dr Zipporah Kpamor, said the application would help the state ministry of health to know its staff by category. This, she said, would include how many doctors, nurses, midwives, community health workers, environmental health workers, lab scientists and technologists they have and their area of specialisation.

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Mail & Guardian Africa, 18 February 2016
Lassa fever and Zika anxiety spreads; still, there are many health lessons to learn from Africa

Nigeria is battling to contain Lassa fever; since an outbreak began in November 2015, more than 100 people have died. Globally, the world is nervous about the mosquito-borne Zika virus that is spreading rapidly in South America, and is linked with increasing cases of microcephaly in children. It’s part of a growing trend: emerging infectious diseases like these are becoming more and more of a global concern, and in Africa’s case - as the 2014-2015 Ebola crisis showed us - the continent is particularly vulnerable, due to poor health infrastructure in many cases.

Read more ..., 15 February 2016
'Nigeria might be declared Polio virus free by 2017,' Health minister says

During a meeting with the Expert Review Committee (ERC) in Abuja, health minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole, cited that the federal government is working towards complete eradication of the Polio virus in Nigeria. He further stated that having another Polio outbreak would be very shameful to the country, and that hopefully Nigeria would be declared Polio free by 2017. "With respect to funding even though we will not boast of taking care of all your needs but we will certainly do our best. Once we get approval, we will give you priority because it would be a shame to us if we have one single outbreak. I describe the Lassa outbreak as embarrassment it would become a shame if we have further outbreak of polio virus," Adewole said.

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ThisDay Live, 17 February 2016
Tinubu: Poor Health Indexes, a Challenge for Buhari

The Senator representing Lagos Central senatorial district and wife of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Tuesday said the current poor indexes in child and maternal health in the country is a challenge to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. She stated this at a three-day summit on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) in Abuja. She said: “When my husband was the governor, I worked on health-related issues on women and children. Up till now, I’m still working with my non-governmental organisation, still advocating for youth, still advocating for the rights of women. Coincidentally, in my second senate, I have been appointed to chair the Committee on Women.

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Nigeria Health Watch, 16 February 2016
Time for courage: Nigeria’s health security and the National Centre for Disease Control

Nigeria defeated Ebola! That was the single story. No one asked about how the N1.9B released for the response was used. What institutional capacity had been built? No one asked how to integrate the National Polio Emergency Operation Centre that took a lot of the credit for the Ebola response into a national emergency centre for all infectious disease outbreaks. How should we use the skills of the over 200 Nigerians that contributed to the African Union’s response to the Ebola outbreak? No one asked how we used the “opportunity” that Ebola presented to build a strong National Centre for Disease Control.

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