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Nigeria Health Watch

Top Ten News Items on Health out of Nigeria

Nigeria Health Watch, 20 July 2016
FG launches Rapid Result Initiative for Better Health

The Federal Ministry of Health has launched Rapid Result Initiative programme tagged “Better Health for all” designed to produce quick and visible impact that would affect the lives of every Nigerian, especially the most vulnerable and poor in the society. The launch of the programme portrayed preparedness and determination of the Federal Ministry of Health to kick-start the operations of the programme to achieve result within 100 days. While briefing the press, on Monday, 18th July, 2016 in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said that the set targeted goals are ambitious, but certainly do-able and would keep the top management of the Federal Ministry of Health on their toes in the next 100 days of implementation.

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The Guardian, 21 July 2016
Senate seeks urgent funds to address malnutrition among IDPs

The Senate, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to urgently approve disbursements from the Presidential Victims Support Fund to address the high rate of malnutrition among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country. It also charged government on raising funds from the private sector to complement the T.Y. Danjuma-led panel. The development was sequel to a motion titled: “ Challenges of food security and malnutrition of children in the IDPs” and sponsored by Senator Baba Kaka Garbai (APC, Borno Central). The Senate tasked the Federal Government to immediately direct the Ministry of Finance to effect the release from the service-wide vote appropriated for lDPs in the 2016 budget. The Senate tasked the Federal Government to immediately direct the Ministry of Finance to effect the release from the service-wide vote appropriated for lDPs in the 2016 budget. 

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BusinessDay, 20 July 2016
About 30% of children suffer chronic malnutrition in Akwa Ibom

About 30 percent of children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition in Akwa Ibom State, while more than 5 percent of them are hit by severe acute malnutrition, a condition that could result in stunting, wasting and underweight. According to United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Nigeria with over 13 million children suffering from severe malnutrition has the highest number of stunted children in Africa. Similarly, in the South-South region of the country, 18.3 percent of the children are stunted, 11.1 percent are wasting while 12.8 percent are underweight. Severe acute malnutrition is an indication that the child is so undernourished that the child is at risk of dying, according to experts. Zakaria Fusheini, UNICEF nutrition advocacy specialist who said this, described nutrition as a powerful driver for the socio-economic development of a nation, yet it was one the sectors that had received little attention by African countries.

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Guardian, 21 July 2016
U.S. endorses draft policy to eliminate fake drugs

The United States (U.S.) has said that full implementation of the planned National Quality Assurances Programme Guidelines will eliminate fake and substandard drugs and food products in Nigeria. The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at a two-day workshop in Lagos to review the draft copy of a National Quality Assurances Programme Guidelines said the project will ensure safety in medicines and other health products and the policy is expected to reduce adulterated drugs in Nigeria to the barest minimum. The workshop, which took place at Dover Hotels Lekki, Lagos State, was attended by Directors of Pharmaceuticals Services (DPS) from every state in Nigeria, and was to reach a consensus on how the guideline will help to implement the draft.

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Guardian, 15 July 2016
Chevron earmarks $1.4 million for HIV campaign in Bayelsa
 
Chevron Nigeria Limited, in partnership with the Bayelsa State government and a United States-based non-governmental organisation, Pact, has launched the second phase of its Prevention of Mother to child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PROMOT 11) project in which the oil major is to commit $1.4 million in funding to ensure a successful outing in three local councils of Bayelsa State. In this phase, over 2,000 pregnant women are to be tested for the dreaded disease and capacity of community health centres and workers upgraded for better performance. In his remarks, the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs of Chevron Nigeria, Deji Haastrup, said PROMOT 1 was a huge success as the project helped in reducing prevalence rate in the state from 9.1 to 3.8 per cent in 2010, the third best in the country.
 
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The Guardian, 20 July 2016
Court strikes out debt case against National Hospital
 
A Wuse Zone 6 Chief Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday heard that the National Hospital had paid its debt of N7.8 million to Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB). The Prosecuting counsel, Udeme Umuana, made this known at the resumed hearing of the case in Abuja. Umuana told the court that the matter was adjourned for the result of the settlement and the complainant had received evidence of payment made by the defendant. “An evidence of payment in the sum of N7,786,800 was made by the defendant on July 13 through e-payment transfer. “The complainant is satisfied with the payment and hereby prays the court to discharge the defendant.” The Magistrate, Mrs Chinyere Nwacheonwu, discharged the defendant following the application of the prosecution.
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PM News, 19 July 2016
NHIS delists 17 HMOs in Enugu

About 17 Health Management Organisations (HMOs) under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) have been delisted, Mrs Ahunna Ochor, the Coordinator of the scheme in Enugu State, has said. Speaking in Enugu, Ochor said the affected HMOs could not provide quality health to enrollees. She said that some of the delisted HMOs collapsed on their own and owed some health care providers several millions of naira. “About 17 of the HMOs were recently delisted. Some collapsed on their own and we found out that they owed some health care providers quite a lot of money that run into millions. “Some of those owed have written to the executive secretary of the scheme through the state office and we await the outcome,” she said. Ochor said that there was the possibility that the debts would be paid and appealed to the health care providers to route their complaints through the state office.

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The Guardian, 22 July 2016
NLC faults Kano’s contributory health insurance scheme

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is kicking against the Kano State contributory health insurance scheme, a universal coverage for all public workers in the state. Besides, the workers’ union also called for immediate exemption of judiciary staff and primary school teachers from the initial stage of the scheme pending when the state government settles outstanding issues including over eight months’ salary arrears, non-promotion, annual increment and judges allowances. Similarly, the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) berated the composition of the representatives of the board of the proposed scheme, insisting that it lacks inclusiveness and spirit of fairness. NLC State Chairman, Kabiru Ado Mingibir, who made the resolution of labour known yesterday before a public hearing organized by Kano State House of Assembly committee on health on the proposed bill demanded liberty for workers to choose to participate at will.

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Ventures Africa, 18 July 2016
Meet the Nigerian-American Doctor who is building the largest medical research hub in Africa

In the past few weeks, an image of a skyscraper located in a rural community in Anambra state called Umuchukwu, in Orumba south local government area, has gone viral. This 15-storey building, which is about 80 percent nearly done, is being built solely by Dr. Godwin Maduka, a billionaire Nigerian-American doctor based in the United States of America. The edifice, which is expected to be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities in medical science, will be the first of its kind in Africa. It will also be used to assist students in clinical training and provide resource materials for lecturers and researchers. According to the Sun newspaper, when the building is done it will also serve as the temporary site for the Anambra state University, College of Medicine.

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Nigeria Health Watch, 19 July 2016
Almost no Science from Nigeria at International Conference on AIDS

Finally, the moment came – The 21st International Conference on AIDS kicked off in Durban, South Africa on the 18th of July, the birthday of Nelson Mandela. With the largest number of registered delegates at a health conference, it has been a refreshing and yet challenging start. The efficiency of the organisers, the warmth of the hosts, the vibrancy of Durban all combined to create an atmosphere of expectation at the conference themed “Access Equity Rights Now”. With the Deputy President of South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, leading the opening ceremony, the progress South Africa had made between the first conference in 2000 and this year was the focus of many speeches. It is no mean feat – with 3.4 million people on treatment, costing the South African government $1.2B annually, it is by far the largest treatment programme in the world. South Africa is seeing the results: life expectancy has increased by over 10 years and mother – to – child transmission of HIV reduced by 85% from 90,000 per year to 5,000. Coming from a dark period of AIDS denialism of the Thabo Mbeki era 20 years ago – South Africa has indeed come a long way. South Africans must be proud.

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