FG budgets N620m to fight coronavirus – Ehanire

Dr Osagie Ehanire
Dr Osagie Ehanire

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire has revealed that the federal government has budgeted N620m to contain the dreaded coronavirus outbreak in the country.

This is coming just as the Senate has ordered screening of VIPs and chartered flight passengers’ wing of Nigerian airports, and said the situation is capable of importing coronavirus in the country.

LISTEN TO: Ko Ko Ko Make we yan with Dr Weyoms – Family…

Also, the Senate has directed the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), to urgently stop the exportation of surgical face-masks from Nigeria to Asia and other countries affected by the virus.

It further charged the Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Federal Ministry of Health, Nigerian Immigration Service and other relevant government authorities to strengthen health regulatory services in all entry ports across the country.

Ehanire said the special intervention fund is released to the federal ministry of health to also monitor and possibly detect the coronavirus.

He stated this on Thursday while appearing before the Senate committee on health. The interface was to brief lawmakers on the level of national preparedness to contain coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Ehanire maintained that with the intervention fund, the federal government is adequately prepared to ensure health security to foster economic stability.

He further revealed that already, the sum of N71 million has been released to the port health services to strengthen operations.

However, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chairman Senate Committee on Health, while lamenting non-screening of VIPs, said the absence of health services at the private terminal could make for easy movement of infected persons into the country.

Consequently, the Senate has directed the Minister of health to quickly deploy health officials to the private tarmac so as to conduct screening of VIPs on a chartered flight.

On the stoppage of the exportation of surgical face-masks from Nigeria to Asia, the Senate considered a motion moved by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP – Anambra South).

In his motion, Ubah said: “Over the last three weeks, face-masks have become the most sought-after commodity in Nigeria with over 100 million face-masks being unpatriotically exported to Asia using the Murtala Mohammed Airport and Port Harcourt International Airport.”

“As at 5th of November, 2019, stores that usually sell 1 piece of face-mask for N10 now sell it for N80, while a pack consisting of 50 pieces has now inflated from N500 to N3,000; with a carton consisting of 40 packs also inflated from N20,000 to N120,000.

“It has now become a booming trade for illicit traders aided by airport officials in Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and Port Harcourt International Airport to unpatriotically export face-masks to China, India and other affected countries,” Ubah stated.

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Strengthening Bonds (SB) Show with Julie Mogbo

Strengthening Bonds
Strengthening Bonds

Strengthening Bonds (SB) Show is a Family wellness program that features young, dynamic and sophisticated health care professionals and enthusiasts addressing issues in our world that affect the wellbeing of individuals and families across Africa.
We believe that relationships if built and managed right could contribute significantly to positive Healthcare outcomes. So,  SB is going to bring to the fore the importance of our connections and how they affect our health.

The SB show will be produced by Pinnacle Health Radio and will be live on Mondays, 12-1 pm.

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Virus Outbreak: China to set up measures to curb the Coronavirus


China will step up efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays as a rise in confirmed cases fanned fears the virus could spread to other countries.

The National Health Commission said on Sunday departments should work together to carry out preventative measures. “Our commission will step up our guard during the Spring Festival, pay close attention to the development and change of the epidemic, and direct the implementation of prevention and control measures,” the commission said, adding that it believes the outbreak can be controlled.

Wuhan’s health authority confirmed earlier on Sunday 17 more cases of the virus in the city, bringing the total number of known patients there to 62. Two people have died from the virus in Wuhan, the largest city in central China with a population of about 11 million people. Three cases have been confirmed abroad – two in Thailand and one in Japan – involving people from Wuhan or who recently visited the city. China, the World Health Organizations and authorities across the globe are stepping up efforts to contain the virus, which initially emerged in Wuhan in late December as a wave of pneumonia patients.

READ ALSO: Genotype and Sickle Cell on Ko Ko Ko Make We Yan…

Many of China’s 1.4 billion people will travel domestically and abroad during the Lunar New Year break that begins next week, raising concerns about the virus spreading to other countries. The virus belongs in the same family of coronaviruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002/03 outbreak that also started in China. Though some experts say the new virus may not be as deadly as SARS, there is still little known about it including its origin and how easily it can be transmitted between humans.

The World Health Organization said on Sunday that some of the new cases appear not to be linked to the Huanan seafood market, believed to be the center of the outbreak. Due to China’s efforts to implement broader screening, new cases may be identified in the coming days and weeks, it added. “The fact that three cases have been exported to Thailand and Japan without connection to the Huanan Seafood Market suggests that the virus has spread beyond the Huanan Seafood Market into the community,” said David Hui, a professor of respiratory medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Wuhan will strengthen oversight of big events and reduce the number of public gatherings, state media quoted Chen Yanxin, the city’s deputy mayor as saying on Sunday. Wuhan officials said since Jan. 14 they are using infrared thermometers at airports, railway stations and other passenger terminals in the city to strengthen screening. Airport authorities in the United States, as well as most Asian nations, are screening passengers from Wuhan. A report by the London Imperial College’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis said there are likely to be “substantially more cases”. It estimated that by Jan. 12 there were 1,723 cases in Wuhan City with the onset of related symptoms.

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Yobe fire kills Pregnant mother, three daughters.

Yobe fire kills Pregnant mother
Yobe fire kills Pregnant mother

A pregnant mother, Halima Umar, and three of her children have been killed in a fire incident that occurred in their apartment in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital. The cause of the inferno, which started at midnight on Wednesday is yet to be known, but two flats were razed down.

According to an eyewitness, the husband, Malam Adamu Aliyu, was only able to rescue their last child while he escaped with burns.

The Yobe State Fire Service confirmed the incident, saying a mother and her three daughters were killed in a fire incident on Tuesday night at Red Bricks Quarters, on Maiduguri Road, Damaturu.

Damaturu Fire Station Officer, Mr. Usman Habu, who confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), yesterday, said the incident occurred at about 11:00 p.m.

READ ALSO: Nigeria accounted for 25% of malaria cases worldwide in 2018 – WHO

“We were informed about the fire incident at Red Brick’s quarters, Maiduguri Road, Damaturu at about 11:00 p.m. When we arrived at the scene, we learned that the victims’ father, Malam Adamu Aliyu, had made efforts to rescue his family, but was only able to save his five-year-old son, Faruq Aliyu.

“The fire became too fierce and he could not save the rest of his family members, but he managed to jump out to safety. We forced open the door and recovered the woman’s body, as well as her three daughters.

Habu blamed the deaths to lack of a back door to serve as an emergency exit. He advised prospective tenants and homeowners to always ensure that the property they intended to rent or build has a minimum of two entrances. If there was an escape door, the man could have saved his family,’’ Habu said.

The fire station officer also appealed to residents in the state to avoid keeping inflammable items in the home and switch off all electric appliances after a power outage and when not at home.

Madam Binta Mohammed, one of the neighbors and a friend to the family, told newsmen that the three girls, Aisha Aliyu, Saadatu Aliyu, and Safiya Aliyu, were aged 10, eight and two years respectively.

Dr. Istifanus Dauda of Damaturu Specialist Hospital, who also confirmed the incident to NAN, said the boy was brought in with an inflamed bone and he is receiving medical attention at the hospital.

“The report that I was given by the doctor on call last night was that there were people that lost their lives in the incident. According to the report, there was only one survivor in that family apart from the person that is currently on admission,’’ Dauda explained.

The Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, has expressed his condolences and sympathies to the family of Arc. Adamu Ali over the late-night fire incident in their Red Bricks Estate Damaturu home, which led to the death of his pregnant wife, Halima Umar and three of their children.

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Baba Mallam Wali and other senior government officials at the funeral prayers for the fire victims, which took place at the Jumuat Mosque of the Three-Bedroom Estate Gujba Road Damaturu, prayed Allah to admit the deceased to al-Jannatul Firdausi and give their entire family the fortitude to bear the loss.

The governor also prayed for a speedy recovery for Arc. Adamu Ali and his son from the injuries they sustained from the fire outbreak in their home.

Also, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has commiserated with the family of the victims.

Also confirming the fire and number of casualty, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Muhammad Goje, said two households were burnt completely and four lives were lost to the unfortunate incident.

“It was with a heavy heart we received the report and despite the curfew, we went out and reached the six-story house. A family of six, a pregnant mother and her three children, unfortunately, died during the incident and the father was able to throw one of the children out and he also saved himself but the father sustained some burns.”

At the Damaturu specialist hospital, Adamu was seen in a critical condition and according to the doctor on duty, he has been attended to and will receive adequate treatment.

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maternal health
maternal health

How do you get women in rural areas to discard harmful traditional maternal health practices and adopt the practice of going to health facilities for antenatal care and delivery?

One approach is to give them the opportunity to understand the problems posed by the harmful practices and supporting them to come up with the solutions themselves.

Using this type of approach has been shown to make it easier to break the cycle of poor health indices especially in the area of maternal, new born and child health (MNCH).

Preventable deaths of women and children continue to be a major challenge for many government agencies and partner organizations working in Nigeria’s health space. Various initiatives have been put in place to change the narrative and drastically reduce Nigeria’s contribution to the global burden of maternal mortality, which currently stands at nearly 20%. Some of the interventions applied include: training and commissioning community mobilisers to lead immunization efforts in conflict zones to reduce the number of children dying from vaccine preventable diseases and; providing tuition free midwifery education for young girls selected to serve their communities in northern Nigeria

READ ALSO: Akeredolu offers free medical health care to pregnant women, others

These two solutions share a common premise-the empowerment of members of the community to actively participate in addressing the challenges they face, instead of bringing in external experts with limited knowledge of the local context. In Gombe State, a project developed along these lines, but with some interesting innovations, appears to be contributing effectively to improving maternal health. This project provides insights which may be worth replicating in states where MNCH continues to be a challenge.

A project with an innovative twist

The Gombe MNCH project started in 2009, co-funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Gombe State Government. With a record $50 million invested in the MNCH project, Gombe is the first state to receive support from BMGF in Nigeria. Society for Family Health (SFH) Nigeria played a key role in the design and execution of one of the elements of the project — The Village Health Worker (VHW) initiative.

Managing Director at SFH, Dr Omokhudu Idogho, said the project had many proofs of concept built into it to determine what would significantly reduce the high number of women dying while giving birth. “10 years after, a lot of progress has been made in terms of massive reduction in the number of mothers who were dying during childbirth and also children who are living,” he added.

What excites him the most, however, is the way in which the state government has demonstrated ownership of the project. He highlights that while a large proportion of the funds came from the BMGF, a significant component came from the government, via the Gombe State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (GSPHCDA), to support monthly stipends for the VHW scheme. They contributed 50% payment of N6000 monthly to the 1200 VHWs in 2017 and have taken 100% responsibility since 2018.

The scheme kicked off in 2017 as part of the main project that commenced in 2009 after several strategies had been tested to determine best practice. Other strategies involved working with Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) and the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) in strictly community-based efforts. The refined scheme tackled the demand and supply sides, involves other partners with Gombe State government taking lead.

Partnering for Progress

In addition to BMGF and SFH, other partners joined in to deliver different aspects of the project, all aimed at improving MNCH outcomes in the state. This was a notable departure from the norm of working in silos to solve the same problem.

How did organizations that had never worked together, overcome the many challenges of partnership working? Dr Idogho says they were able to work together more seamlessly by focusing on the bigger picture of improving health outcomes for women and children, with each partner playing specific roles in delivering the project.

Beyond providing stipends for the village health workers, GSPHCDA led the coordination of the project. This means that the state drove the project and actively participated in the design and execution of intervention strategies. The GSPHCDA played a key role here by ensuring that adequate human resources were available at health facilities to absorb the increasing demand generated for MNCH services.

PACT, a nonprofit international development organization, led the State Accountability for Quality Improvement Project element (SAQIP). The SAQIP Project Director, Dr Bala Bello Abubakar, said they trained staff of GSPHCDA to lead the project and supported SFH in the formation of women groups. They formed 1800 women groups across the 57 intervention wards with each group having over 25 members. Over 45,000 women of child bearing age formed these groups and contributed a total of NGN 157,742,478 between 2015 and 2019 to help each other and provide soft loans to start up or expand their businesses, Abubakar said. This increased the ability of women to pay for MNCH services.

Mamaye’s Evidence for Action worked to improve accountability and performance management for the state primary healthcare system by establishing the State’s Accountability Mechanism for MNCH, a system of tracking health outcomes against investment and set targets. They also supported the State to produce scorecards to rate performance.

The Informed Decisions for Actions in maternal and newborn health project IDEAS led data generation and analysis to support decision making, measurement and learning. They conducted periodic household and health facility surveys to track progress of MNCH interventions.

Tackling various aspects of maternal health challenges, these partners all worked together to achieve the same goal, the reduction of maternal mortality in Gombe State.

There are so many things I know now that I didn’t know before” — Mary Bitrus, a village health worker shares her experience.

Community-led Impact

Getting to the point where citizens desire and demand quality health care is the hallmark of success of any health intervention as Melinda Gates states in this eight-year-old TED Talk.

The VHW scheme led by SFH is a major highlight of the Gombe MNCH project. It shows the importance of using community women, who volunteer to take a leadership role, to increase health seeking behaviors and women’s desire for quality health. These women understand the local context, are trusted by their community members and have a certain literacy level to help them benefit maximally from their training.

After training, they are deployed into their communities where they go from house to house seeking out pregnant women, providing simple services and life-saving commodities. They also assist in health promotion, encouraging women to visit hospitals for antenatal care and delivery.

Beyond their stipends, the knowledge they acquire is a source of pride to them. Mary Bitrus, who has been a village health worker since 2017, said “I like the work because of the benefits. There are so many things I know now that I didn’t know before, so I go around to share this knowledge with others”.

To complement the women’s efforts, some members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) volunteer as Emergency Transport Service (ETS) providers to help carry pregnant women to facilities. With implementation in 50% of the 114 wards in Gombe by project end in 2019, 1200 VHWs received training in 2016 before the project commenced in 2017 and 400 community transport workers volunteered their time. Data from the project shows increased births in health facilities from 21% in 2016 to 48% in 2018. The percentage of women with knowledge of at least two pregnancy danger signs also increased from 50% to 85% between 2012 and 2018. 67.7% of women visited by VHWs eventually delivered in health facilities with the ETS volunteers transporting 11%.

Hajara Abdullahi, a fura seller from Rugga village in Funakaye LGA of the state already had six children before encountering a village health worker from her community during her seventh pregnancy. She said the birth of her son, 16-month-old Muhammed Abdullahi, cannot be compared to his siblings whom she gave birth to at home. She said she especially liked how the hospital handled post-partum bleeding: “When I gave birth at home, there was blood everywhere but delivering at the hospital, they give me something that stopped the bleeding…”. Mohammed Suleiman, one of the ETS drivers, said the opportunity to contribute to safe deliveries was fulfilling because, “life is important and cannot be bought no matter how much you are willing to pay”.

Addressing Challenges

The Society for Family Health and other partners have organized dissemination events to share learning from the project. The partners shared various outcomes from the project. Challenges encountered included low literacy of some VHWs, inadequate staffing in health facilities to meet generated demand, the influence of men on their wives’ health seeking behavior and poor road networks.

There is also the danger of focusing only on data generated from the project to measure progress, when this is not a representation of the entire story of the state. This could make stakeholders relax when there is still more work to be done. Abimbola Olaniran, Research Fellow at IDEAS explained the possible data disparities between preliminary findings from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) and project. The DHS shows 28% for facility births while the endline project data is 61%. Olaniran said this is because the project’s data collection focused on the 57 intervention wards and therefore a subset of the more elaborate DHS which covered the entire state.

Sustainability is another potential concern. Ensuring that the state government actively drove the process from the beginning was one way of mitigating this challenge says the Project Lead, Bolanle Oyebola. Also, securing the commitment of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly to work with his colleagues in supporting the Executive through proactive legislation, was another key strategy.

But beyond legislative commitments to support the project, perhaps the VHW scheme should be institutionalized by formally adopting it as a cadre of the state’s health workforce. Alternatively, it could be transitioned into the national Community Health Influencers and Promoters (CHIPS) program of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA). It would be a shame if after all the hard work, the initiative is allowed to fizzle away like most projects do when external funding ends. As Dr Caroline Jehu-Appiah, Deputy Director, Health, Nutrition and Eradication at BMGF rightly put it, “marginal change will not improve health outcomes,” there is need to scale initiatives with proven impact. To achieve this, perhaps it will be good practice for organisations to have a clear-cut plan for scaleup developed when designing health interventions.

The VHW is very similar to the community health worker program that transformed Ethiopia’s health system. So, it’s not a question of if the VHW scheme will work, but of how far we are willing to leverage on it to transform primary health care, improve maternal and child health and achieve Universal Health Coverage for every Nigerian.

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Akeredolu offers free medical health care to pregnant women, others

Rotimi Akeredolu
Rotimi Akeredolu

Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo has offered free and quality medical health care to pregnant women and children under five years old for effective health care delivery.

Akeredolu made this known on Wednesday at the 2nd Forum of Wives of State Officials and Female Appointees (FOWOSO) Summit 2019 in Akure tagged “Prioritising Women’s Health and Well Being in Nigeria”. ADVERTISING The governor said free health care would be given to every pregnant woman and children under five with the genuine card “Igbeayo” that was earlier issued by the state for proper identification of the citizens.

Earlier, the Governor’s wife, Mrs. Betty Akeredolu, said FOWOSO had trained over 1800 women (an average of 100 women per LGA) on ready-to-use skills with high economic value, such as shoe-making, fashion design, make-up, soap making, bags and bead making, catering and confectioneries. She said that graduates from FOWOSO skills acquisition class received start-up kits, which enabled them to immediately start earning money from their newly acquired skills.

According to her, we will not faint until we see women everywhere being treated with as much respect as their male counterparts. “Our motivation is not because we are women but because we seek a society where continuous development is achieved and sustained. “We must come to the understanding that everyone, regardless of gender, is needed for sustainable development. “Let me make it emphatically clear that it is no one’s benefit to suppress the abilities of women by denying them quality education, marrying them off against their will and silencing them when they want to speak. “FOWOSO has the ideology that everyone must be allowed to express themselves without reference to any particular gender. We should not expect any form of development if women, who make up more than half of the entire population are restricted to kitchen duties and child-rearing only and are then expected to like serfs, totally depend on their husbands for every need,” she said.

Mrs. Akeredolu said that FOWOSO had impacted positively the lives of a significant number of women especially at the grassroots level that strives for gender equality in every aspect of the socioeconomic spectrum. She regretted that over 102 women died as a result of childbirth every day, while 2,123 children’s dream to celebrate their fifth birthday was crushed by death. “Countless women have lost their lives to various diseases, breast cancer inclusive because they can’t seek health care if their husbands do not give them a go-ahead, this is totally unacceptable and has to change,” she said. The governor’s wife urged the men to respect and love their wives and children, adding that everyone has a role to play in the development of the home and the society. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FOWOSO was launched on Nov. 27, 2018, and while the summit was its second edition. NAN also reports that FOWOSO outreach template also included a medical intervention that catered for the health needs of women and children in some areas of the state with the women trained on how to conduct breast self-examination, to reduce maternal mortality linked to breast cancer.

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Nigeria accounted for 25% of malaria cases worldwide in 2018 – WHO

malaria cases worldwide
malaria cases worldwide

Nigeria accounted for about 25 percent of the global burden of malaria in 2018, a new malaria report by the World Health Organisation has shown.

The report, however, noted a global drop in malaria cases last year.

The World malaria report 2019 released on Wednesday showed that though there was a dip in the number of malaria cases reported in 2018 as compared to the previous year, there is a need for more efforts and funds to fight the disease.

According to the report, 228 million malaria cases were reported in 2018, which is marginally lower than the number of cases in 2017 (231 million). Nigeria, 18 other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and India accounted for about 85 percent of the global burden of the disease in 2018.

The prevalence of malaria remains a major concern among countries, international health organisations and donor partners who have been working tirelessly to eliminate the disease.

Malaria Report

Malaria is mostly caused by plasmodium falciparum vivax parasites. This is usually transmitted through the female anopheles mosquito.

According to the WHO report, six African countries – Nigeria (25 per cent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12 per cent), Uganda (5 per cent), and Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique and Niger (4 per cent each) – accounted for more than half of all malaria cases worldwide.

Pregnant women still vulnerable

Though the report showed that the number of pregnant women and children in sub-Saharan Africa sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets and benefiting from preventive medicine for malaria has increased significantly in recent years, there is still a need for accelerated efforts to reduce infections and deaths in the hardest-hit countries.

Pregnancy reduces a woman’s immunity to malaria, making her more susceptible to infection and at greater risk of illness, severe anaemia, and death.

WHO said maternal malaria also interferes with the growth of the fetus, increasing the risk of premature delivery and low birth weight – a leading cause of child mortality.

WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said “pregnant women and children are the most vulnerable to malaria, and we cannot make progress without focusing on these two groups.”

“We’re seeing encouraging signs, but the burden of suffering and death caused by malaria is unacceptable because it is largely preventable. The lack of improvement in the number of cases and deaths from malaria is deeply troubling.”

The report estimated that in 2018, 11 million pregnant women were infected with malaria in areas of moderate and high disease transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, nearly 900,000 children were born with low birth weight.

Despite the encouraging signs seen in the use of preventive tools in pregnant women and children, there was no improvement in the global rate of malaria infections in the period 2014 to 2018.

Inadequate funding remains a major barrier to future progress. In 2018, total funding for malaria control and elimination reached an estimated $2.7 billion, falling far short of the $5 billion funding target of the global strategy.

Partners agree

The Chief Executive Officer, RBMPartnership to End Malaria, Abdourahmane Diallo, said: “Continued global investment and commitment towards a world free of malaria have been critical to sustaining the progress the malaria community has made to date – without these global efforts, malaria cases and deaths would be significantly higher.”

“Now, it is essential we step up global action and financing to close the annual $2 billion funding gap to reach those at risk with sustainable access to life-saving tools. We must also prioritize developing and scaling-up new, transformative tools to stay ahead of the evolving parasite, as highlighted in two landmark reports on malaria eradication published earlier this year. It is crucial that we act now to hold leaders accountable and work together to achieve vital reduction targets to save millions of more lives and end malaria for good,” he said.

A separate statement by Malaria Consortium echoed that two groups most at risk from malaria are pregnant women and children under five – and that more needs to be done to prioritize support for these groups. It also called for increased commitment to put an end to the disease.

According to the WHO report, there is currently only 31 percent of pregnant women in Africa who receive the WHO-recommended three doses of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp), which protects them from malaria.

This means that more than two-thirds of pregnant women in Africa are not receiving the treatment they need to protect themselves and their unborn child.

Malaria Consortium’s Technical Director, James Tibenderana, said there is an urgent need to increase access to and use of IPTp for pregnant women in malaria-endemic countries if the world wants to come close to achieving the WHO’s malaria targets over the next decade.

“In every country where Malaria Consortium works (Nigeria inclusive), we strive to embed strategies to combat malaria in pregnancy into all national malaria control programs. It is crucial that this vulnerable group is not forgotten.

“We also urgently need to find a chemoprevention treatment that is safe for pregnant women to take in their first trimester. Currently, IPTp is only approved for use in the second and third trimesters, thus leaving pregnant women vulnerable and risks for the life of the unborn baby. Artemisinin-based combination therapy should also be provided to pregnant women who have been diagnosed with malaria in their first trimester,” he said

Success stories

Globally, although malaria cases declined from 2010 to 2018, the rate of change slowed dramatically between 2014 to 2018.

The WHO report also identified several global malaria success stories, with more than half of all countries now malaria-free and another 49 countries registering less than 10,000 cases.

“Timor- Leste, Iran, and Malaysia recorded zero cases of malaria for the first time in 2018, an achievement China and El Salvador also attained for the second consecutive year”.

WHO said over the past two years, four countries have been certified as malaria-free, and more countries than ever are now within reach of elimination.

This progress puts the world on track for at least 10 countries to reach the 2020 elimination milestone of the global malaria strategy.

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FG blames states for inability to revitalize 10,000 Primary Health Care units

Primary Health Care units
Primary Health Care units

Lack of needed commitment at both the states and local governments are real reasons why the federal government has not delivered the 10,000 Primary Health Care (PHC) units it promised to revitalize since early 2017.

This delay comes amidst concerns of a decaying health system with several challenges and resultant poor health indices, despite meager progress though.

According to available statistics, Nigeria makes up only 2% of the world’s population but accounts for 14% of the global maternal death burden. One in every 8 Nigerian children dies before their fifth birthday; nearly 10% of newborn deaths occur in Nigeria, while the country loses about 2,300 under-5s and 145 women of childbearing age each day.

READ ALSO: NGO Applauds Govts For Scaling Up Prevention Services For HIV

The federal government in an effort to address challenges pledged to revitalize 10,000 PHC centers across the country. President Muhammadu Buhari who kicked off the scheme early 2017 hoped it would ensure delivery of quality basic health care services to the majority of Nigerians and drive Universal Health Coverage.

The government’s target was to revive one PHC center per ward to widen access.

However, the scheme has achieved meager success, nearly three years after because the project lacks a sustainability plan, defined the budget, as well as a required human resource amongst other challenges, according to information available to BusinessDay.

“So far, about 4,000 primary health care centers have been renovated, not revitalized,” Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and Chief Executive of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), told journalists in Abuja on Tuesday as he heaped blames on states and also faulted poor human resource required to drive the project.

According to him, President Buhari kicked of that policy thought out by the ministry of health to ensure that at least in every political ward in Nigeria have at least one Primary Health Care center that can provide basic and essential health care to all Nigerians.

“It was always supposed to be a collaboration between the federal government, the state, and LGAs, but principally states. “I think this is something that really needs to sink in.

“Ours is to provide the oversight and we will continue to advocate, oversight, to help coordinate, and make sure that primary healthcare is delivered,” he assured.

According to him, “You can advocate all you can but it is also important that you have a responsive partner who is willing to do something to change the landscape,” expressing satisfaction that the current governors are prioritizing primary health care.

“The key challenge has always been the human resources, revitalization is not just about renovating the building, but also providing the full complements require to make a health facility functional,” he added.

“That means the infrastructure is solid, there is electricity, water, drugs, and commodities, but very importantly, that you have adequate human resources, midwives, nurses, community health extension workers, doctors in some that will actually attend to the citizens in a way that is dignified, respectful, compassionate. This is what revitalization is about and the federal government cannot do it alone.

Shuaib, however noted that the NPHCDA is now addressing critical issues through initiatives like the primary health care under one roof which seeks to remove the fragmentation in the management of primary healthcare and bring all interventions under the state primary healthcare board and make delivery of primary healthcare services the responsibility of primary health care boards as well.

He said this means that all primary health workers are now brought under the state’s primary healthcare board which can hire and fire, expressing satisfaction with the recent pronouncement by the governors to ensure that the project succeeds.

He said in the NPHCDA, has renovated 800 PHCs in the last two and half years alone from the domestic resources in its budget and is now working with the states to audit available human resources and how to close the gap.

Over the last 2 years and 10 months, the NPHCDA has initiated several innovative interventions that cut across organizational strengthening, financial and programmatic reforms and has achieved varying degrees of success in implementing the initiatives.

According to him, the agency has so far disbursed funds received by Gateway totaling N5.8billion while N5.5billion has been disbursed programmatic funds to States through NPHCDA Gateway.

As a result of the agency’s proactive measures, 23 states and FCT have opened TSA accounts so far, including Delta, Edo, Kaduna, Abia, Niger, kano, Adamawa, Kwara, Plateau, Bayelsa, Benue, Ebonyi, Osun, Nasarawa, Lagos, Imo, Bauchi, Oyo, Enugu, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Katsina, and Yobe.

Funds have also been disbursed to 15 states including Delta, Edo, Kaduna, Abia, Niger, kano, Adamawa, Kwara, Plateau, Bayelsa, Benue, Ebonyi, Osun, and Nasarawa and FCT, while eight states including Osun, Abia, Edo, Anambra, Bayelsa, Niger, Adamawa, and Delta have gotten their username and passwords, and can access the Remita platform.

He said the Agency’s vision is to drive concrete results in the health sector, including to immunization rates up to 84% by 2028, noting progress made so far on vaccine supply chain and RI service delivery, and gradual improvements in immunization coverage

NPHCDA program to finally declare Nigeria polio-free has also been successful in interrupting the transmission of wild poliovirus, “but we are not relenting until Nigeria is certified polio-free,” the ED stressed.

He also noted that the NPHCDA is taking the lead on developing a pragmatic PHC delivery model to reduce maternal and child mortality and ensure universal health coverage for All by 2030

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Aisha Buhari asks the private sector to join her fight severe malnutrition in Nigeria

Aisha Buhari
Aisha Buhari

Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari, called on the Private Sector, particularly manufacturers of drugs and Food/Beverages Companies to a make commitment of producing the “Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food” (RUTF) locally in Nigeria in order to make it more accessible everywhere in a bid to finally end Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in the Country.

She spoke during an interactive session with stakeholders from the Private Sector and relevant government organizations at the State House, Abuja on Monday, 25th November 2019. The event was organized by the Aisha Buhari Foundation (ABF).

READ ALSO: Ganduje Pledges Support for Universal Health Coverage

Aisha Buhari called on the Federal and State Governments to ensure, through the enactment and operationalization of policies, that they provide support to local production and procurement of RUFT in Nigeria.

Participants at the session including development partners such as UNICEF took turns to give account and statistics of Nigerian children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. They narrated that about 2.6 Nigerian children fall into this category every year, with 1 in 5 dying; while those that survive do not live to their full physical and mental potential, except when treated with RUTF. They also highlighted the efforts being made to manufacture fully made in Nigeria RUTF.

The First Lady noted that it is time for Nigeria to end the scourge of Severe Acute Malnutrition in Nigeria by ensuring that RUTF is available on the shelves of every pharmaceutical store. She finally called on all stakeholders to work towards meeting up with standards that demonstrate the Nation’s resourcefulness as a people and its natural endowments.

Wife of the Vice President, Her Excellency, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo commended the First lady for her steadfastness in the fight against all forms of child malnutrition in Nigeria.

The Hon. Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie E. Ehanire in his remarks noted that the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had already started working alongside the recommendations of the First Lady through the administration’s policy of “Eat What You Grow”, he also called on the need for more awareness as he observed that malnutrition was not always a question of poverty but also of ignorance, sometimes parents do not know what to give their children to ensure they get the required nutritional content.

The event was attended by wife of the Vice President, HE Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie E. Ehanire, the Wife of the Kebbi State Governor, HE, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Women Affairs & Administration, Dr. Hajo Sani, UNICEF Deputy Country Representative, Pernille Ironside, Heads of Agencies, States Commissioners of Health, Private Sector Players and others.

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PCN threatens sanctions against unlicensed medicine vendors

Pharmacists Council of Nigeria
Pharmacists Council of Nigeria

The Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Pharm Elijah Mohammed, has warned that unlicensed pharmaceutical shop owners operating in Osun State will be prosecuted if caught.

Mohammed spoke during the mandatory orientation program for patent and proprietary medicine vendors held in Osogbo, capital of Osun State.

Represented by the State Officer of the council in Osun, Kingsley Ehiosimwiogbe, Mohammed, said that only authorised licensed operators were permitted to sell simple household medicines across the country.

Calling on licensed operators to renew their papers, as and when due, he added that licenses were not transferable and vendors caught violating the council’s rules and regulations would be made to face sanctions.

He said, “There are some vendors who stock beyond their list. Patent medicine vendors have a specific list that is assigned to them, which is different from the pharmacist because it is not all drugs that the vendors can handle. They are meant to handle simple household drugs, which are over-the-counter drugs and multivitamins.

“Sanctions are carried out at the expiration of a license, which is every December 31. Any vendor caught operating after his license has expired risks having his shop shut down.”

In his remarks, the Director of Pharmaceutical Services in the State Ministry of Health, Pharm. F. O Awoyemi spoke on the need to handle drugs properly. He also advised that pharmaceutical products should be procured from only licensed manufacturers.

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Senate moves to establish a commission for mental health

mental health
Mental Health

A bill that seeks to establish a commission for mental health passed second reading at the Senate on Wednesday.

The bill entitled “A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment and regulation of mental health and substance abuse services, protect persons with mental health needs and establishment of National Commission for Mental and Substance Abuse Services, for the effective management of mental health in Nigeria and for other related matters,2019” was sponsored by Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central).

The bill was first introduced to the Senate on October 14 and was passed after the lawmakers debated the provisions of the bill.

READ ALSO : How Good is Quality of Oxytocin in Nigeria?

Leading the debate, Mr. Oloriegbe said the bill is aimed at providing for the enhancement and regulation of mental health and substance abuse services;

The bill also seeks to protect persons with mental health needs and establish the National Agency for Mental and Substance Abuse Services for effective management of mental health in Nigeria and other related matters, he said.

He complained that there is no Mental Health Law in place in Nigeria other than the Regional Lunacy Law of 1958, which in content and context violates fundamental human rights of persons with mental health and psychosocial disabilities.

Some objectives of the bill include:

Provide enhancement of the mental well-being of the citizens through programs that promote mental health.

Prevent mental health and psychosocial disabilities.

Provide effective, compassionate, humane and universally accessible treatments for mental health and psychosocial disabilities and regulation of mental health substance abuse services.

Protect persons with mental health and psychosocial disabilities needs (from human rights abuse, stigmatization, and discrimination, protect their properties and support their families)

Ensure that the government and all stakeholders implement the content of the National Policy for Mental Health Care Delivery Services (including the integration of mental health and psychosocial services at all levels of health care delivery services).

To criminalize abuse of persons with mental health and psychosocial disabilities in Nigeria, decriminalize substance abuse disorder and increase funding for mental health and psychosocial programs.

While he assured that the bill will protect the rights of persons with mental health and psychosocial disabilities, Mr. Oloriegbe expressed concern at the alarming use of illicit and hard drugs.

Over N602 million (602,546,029) will be required for the establishment of the agency.

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How Good is Quality of Oxytocin in Nigeria?


The World Health Organisation maternal mortality indices have continued to increase with Nigeria making a contribution of 23 percent, the highest in the world. This is mostly through bleeding after birth which can be stopped by oxytocin. Although its availability is sometimes not in doubt, its quality calls for concern. 

Yemi’s delivery had some complications as the baby preferred to lie transverse. This had occurred a few days to her delivery and doctors warned that the safer option was to go through cesarean section. A traditional birth attendant, a member of her church had opted to check her after Yemi had narrated the hospital’s advice. She told Yemi that contrary to what doctors had said, it was possible for her to have a vaginal birth, assuring that like the Hebrew women in the Bible, her delivery will be successful. This was not to be as Yemi died two days after being handed over to a nearby hospital and leaving behind a healthy baby and tales of controversies.

She had died from complications resulting in severe bleeding and even though oxytocin had been ceaselessly administered, it was found out to be of low quality.

Oxytocin is a hormone released by the pituitary gland that causes increased contraction of the uterus during labour and stimulates the ejection of milk into the ducts of the breasts. However, in the third stage of labour when the placenta separates from the mother’s uterus and is delivered following the birth of the baby, previous studies have shown that when given to a woman during or immediately after the vaginal birth of her baby, it is effective in reducing excessive bleeding which often leads to death.

This is not peculiar to just Yemi but has become an everyday occurrence that is not limited to the poor, unschooled, or even child marriages with women who are first-timers and so inexperienced in what to expect from healthcare facilities.

The above scenarios are not peculiar to just Yemi and her colleague but are an everyday occurrence which is not limited to the poor, unschooled, or even child marriages with women who are first-timers and so inexperienced in what to expect from healthcare facilities and in Yemi’s case, the TBAs.

At the future of health conference 2019 and with the theme “Time to focus on quality in healthcare: Improving outcomes” which was organised by Nigeria Health Watch, reports indicate that according to the latest 2018 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) data, 67 percent of pregnant women commenced antenatal visits, while only 56.8 percent completed four visits.

The most common cause of maternal deaths in Nigeria has been attributed to heavy bleeding post-childbirth due to postpartum haemorrhage (PPH), which accounts for 23 percent of all maternal deaths, followed by infections following childbirth (sepsis) at 17 and unsafe abortion at 11 percent.

Chief of Party, Promoting the Quality of Medicine (PQM) program, United States pharmacopeia, Dr. Chimezie Anyakora during the conference seconded the above claims, stating that most cases of maternal mortality are as a result of bleeding after birth. He said while oxytocin is a handy dose with a WHO charter endorsed on it, to curtail bleeding, its poor quality has continued to be a nightmare in the country’s healthcare system.

He emphasized that depending on the manufacturer, oxytocin products should be stored at either controlled room temperature which is often 25°C or less or in refrigerated storage of 2°- 8°C in order to ensure quality and comply with the labeled storage conditions.

“Death by heamorage should be cut short by at least 75 percent and oxytocin can curtail this. Medicine quality is an important aspect, especially in Nigeria. 95 percent of oxytocin is of poor quality. Poor quality medicine is a global issue but in Africa, it is acute. Many don’t have a clear route to how medicine is preserved.”

It is pertinent to note that some of the efficacious interventions to tackle these causes are still not reaching women, especially the poor, disadvantaged and most vulnerable. There is a significant gap in the numbers in the North-Eastern region, with maternal deaths at 1, 5 47 per 100, 000 live births, compared to the national average of 560 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Ongoing studies have revealed that injectable ergometrine, methylergometrine, and oxytocin should be stored under refrigeration as much as possible with all products clearly marked with “keep under refrigeration” and ergometrine and methylergometrine should additionally be marked with “protect from light”.

Another stakeholder, DG/CEO, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Engr. Chidi Izuwah, said delivering quality maternal healthcare in Nigeria should involve collaboration between all stakeholders in the healthcare sector, both private and public healthcare providers, practitioners, public and private suppliers, health maintenance organisations (HMOs), pharmaceutical companies, and government, bearing in mind that the goal of these collaborations must always put the patient first.

“Let’s move from statistics and analysis and move into action. Enough of the rhetorics. Maternal and child health should be priority number one. There should be an annual state of mother and child report as this is bound to attract attention.”

In the drive to achieve the three arms of universal coverage, access, affordability, and quality: a greater focus is needed on quality in healthcare in order to improve patient outcomes and experience, ensuring that all patients have access to quality healthcare.

The Chief Medical Director, Lagoon Hospitals, Lagos, Dr. Olujimi Coker, in his analysis of the situation is of the opinion that in as much as quality has to be the bedrock of every health care, what is missing in the Universal Health Coverage is quality, stressing that so many resources are not needed in the provision of quality healthcare.

Stressing that maternal care protection is a good indication of how good a country’s healthcare is, solutions are multi-factorial and the possibility to have a society where no woman has to die is feasible and possible.

“There are cases of medication mismanagement and the misuse of antibiotics with processes that are not properly in place. You don’t need a lot of money to provide quality healthcare.

“Currently, efforts to improve quality in healthcare are not consistent across all healthcare providers, leaving many gaps in the system. There needs to be a greater effort to improve quality in healthcare in order to increase confidence in the healthcare sector, with the use of quality measures to access service delivery.”

Quality in maternal healthcare is not yielding improvement in health indices as expected in Nigeria, so it is imperative to consider the standard of healthcare being received.

The availability of electricity for the preservation of oxytocin and other medical equipment, especially in healthcare and storage facilities needs to be improved, and with a reduction in the delay’s women face in receiving care as well as maximizing resources to avoid wastage. After all, pregnancy is not a sickness but a state of being and no woman must die while giving life.

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Nigeria Marks National Antibiotics Awareness Week 18th-24th November, Advocates Responsible Use Of Antibiotics


The Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Environment, World Health Organisation, key private sector and civil society organisations, are marking the 2019 National Antibiotics Awareness Week (NAAW). The NAAW is an annual national campaign to increase awareness across all sectors on the global threat of antibiotic resistance and to promote best practice of antibiotics usage among the general public, health workers and policymakers. The week is marked to increase awareness and prevent further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. Nigeria’s commemoration is part of activities to observe the 2019 World Antibiotics Awareness Week.

Antibiotics are used worldwide in the treatment of bacterial infections in humans and animals. The effectiveness of antibiotics has also been its biggest challenge. The ease of access and overuse of antibiotics have resulted in an increased resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, which is paradoxically leading to a loss of effectiveness. Antimicrobial resistance is a situation where micro-organisms treated with antibiotics develop immunity or become resistant to antibiotics due to misuse of the drugs. The emergence of multidrug-resistant organisms has led to an increasing burden of antimicrobial resistance in every region of the world affecting people of all ages and status. This can be reduced by a more targeted, responsible approach to the use of antibiotics.

With a series of planned activities, Nigeria will mark the week from the 18th to the 24th of November, 2019 to spread awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance, as well as promote the responsible use of antibiotics among the general public.

A major activity to mark the week is the launch of a digital platform to document pledges from Nigerians to undertake behaviours encouraging responsible use of antibiotics. This is with the support of Public Health England, the UK’s public health institute. The platform, the Antibiotic Guardian Pledge (antibioticguardian.com/africa), is targeted at policymakers, health care professionals, students, farmers and Nigerians at large. It curates a set of pledges and encourages participants to commit to a pledge to ensure the responsible use of antibiotics.

Other events to commemorate the 2019 National Antibiotics Awareness Week include:

An awareness walk in Abuja, bringing partners and stakeholders together to create awareness on antimicrobial resistance in Nigeria and promote responsible antibiotic use.

A Twitter campaign on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to spread key messages on the social media in Nigeria using the hashtag #AMRactionNG and #NAAW2019. This holds on Monday 18th November and is open to the public.

A Twitter chat with the Africa CDC, Public Health England and the NCDC on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) will take place on Wednesday, 20th November 2019. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #AfricaWAAW, #NAAW2019 and #AMRactionNG.

READ ALSO: Ko Ko Ko Make we yan with Dr Weyoms – Family…

A training session organised for members of the media on how to report AMR accurately. Awareness visits to abattoir and livestock markets on Wednesday, 20th November 2019.A training workshop for laboratory scientists on AMR at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja.An inter-secondary school debate to engage young people.

Nigeria has successfully achieved milestones in the national fight against AMR. In November 2017, Nigeria conducted a situation analysis on the state of antimicrobial resistance in the country and developed a national action plan to build on strengths and address gaps identified in results from the analysis. In 2018, Nigeria began reporting actively to the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS), an initiative developed to support the global action plan on antimicrobial resistance. In the same year at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Nigeria pledged and committed to scaling up national surveillance on AMR as part of the global AMR challenge. This includes the development and distribution of a national toolkit for AMR stewardship in healthcare institutions in the country, as well as the implementation of infection prevention and control programs across health institutions.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control remains committed to protecting the health of Nigerians from the threat posed by antimicrobial resistance.

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22% of Nigerian women can’t access contraceptives –NGO

Nigerian women
Nigerian women

A civil rights organization, Marie Stopes International Organisation of Nigeria, has advised Nigerian women to space their children in such a way that they would be strong and healthy enough to contribute to the wellbeing of their families.

MSION said its mission was to provide sexual reproductive health services in the country and “ensure that families and women have children by choice, not by chance.”

The organization said that despite their readiness to engage in family planning and child spacing, about 22 percent of women of reproductive age in Nigeria lack access to contraceptives.

READ ALSO: (HEFAMAA) shuts 14 substandard hospitals in Lagos State

The Country Director of MSION, Effiom Nyong Effiom, expressed these views during a ceremony held in Abuja to mark its 10th anniversary in the country.

Effiom added that the organisation had, in the past one decade, delivered over 29 million family planning services to 7.2 million persons in Nigeria as a result of its health system strengthening efforts in the public and private health sectors.

He said, “MSION has grown in leaps and bounds in the last decade with more than 29 million family planning services delivered to 7, 239, 147 persons in Nigeria, as a result of Marie Stopes’ health strengthening efforts in the public and private health sectors, as well as direct service delivery through the Marie Stopes ladies, mobile outreach and centres.

“We found out that about 22 percent of women of reproductive age, as the last Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey shows, desire the contraceptive method. But they are not getting it. So, it is a significant number when you look at that and it means we are failing these women.”

Effiom advised women to space their children for the sake of their health and that of the country, saying that family planning must be seen as a life-saving measure and not a religious or cultural crime offence.

He said; “Women must space their children so that they can recover, be strong and healthy to contribute to their families. Inadequate spacing endangers the woman and the family as a whole because women are the bedrock of the family. A healthy mother will take care of her family better than anybody else.

“We dream of a world where every birth is wanted. We want people to have children because they want to and not because it just happened. We are providing the methods that will help them to do this because we want families to be healthy.

“We do not know of any religion that frowns at family planning. There is family planning even in Afghanistan. Ireland, with its largely Catholic faith, has made some changes. England has also made changes. I do not think it is about religion. It is more of education and information.”

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(HEFAMAA) shuts 14 substandard hospitals in Lagos State


Lagos State Government through the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) has shut 14 health facilities for non-compliance with regulatory standards.

The Executive Secretary of HEFAMAA, Dr. Abiola Idowu, who disclosed this after an enforcement exercise carried out by the agency recently, stressed that the state government remains committed to putting a halt to the ugly trend of having unqualified personnel work in health facilities and will continue to insist that the environment for the dispensation of medical care should be suitable for the promotion and maintenance of good health.

According to her, the government will not tolerate any form of illegal health practices in the state as health security is an integral part of public security which is the primary duty of the government.

Read More: Ko Ko Ko Make we yan with Dr Weyoms – Family…

She stressed that the government will ensure that all health facilities in the state conform to best practices. She urged all health facility operators to abide strictly by the standards of the HEFAMAA to avoid being sanctioned.

HEFAMAA boss urged members of the public to continue to cooperate and support the state government in the fight against quackery and illegal operation of facilities by reporting those behind such acts to relevant government agencies to safeguard the health and the well-being of the citizenry.

She advised owners and operators of health facilities in the State to ensure they complete their registration with HEFAMAA, collect the agency’s logo and display them at a visible position in around their facilities where members of the public can see.

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Gates Foundation plans $200m for sickle cell, HIV cures

Gates Foundation
Gates Foundation

The US government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged Wednesday to jointly invest $200 million over the next four years to achieve affordable gene therapy-based cures for sickle cell disease (SCD) and HIV.

The administration of President Donald Trump announced earlier this year its intention to end the HIV epidemic over the next decade and has also identified SCD, which disproportionately affects people of African descent, as a condition requiring greater attention.

READ ALSO: ON FIVE – ways to maintain Healthy Vaginal Hygiene

Gene therapy is a relatively new area of medicine designed to replace faulty genes in the body that are responsible for a disorder and has been responsible for new treatments for blindness and certain types of leukaemia.

But the treatments are complex and costly, ruling them out as an option for most of the world.

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said the collaboration would focus therefore on “access, scalability, and affordability” to make sure the eventual treatments are available globally.

The NIH and Gates Foundation aims to achieve clinical trials in the United States and countries in sub-Saharan Africa within the next seven to 10 years.

Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders characterized by the presence of an abnormal protein in the red blood cells, causing the feet and hands to swell, fatigue, jaundice, and episodic or chronic pain.

Over time the disease can harm a patients’ vital organs, bones, joints, and skin and it is currently only curable via a blood and bone marrow transplant, available to only a tiny fraction of people who have the disease.

When it comes to HIV, antiretroviral therapy (ART) are now able to reduce patients’ viral load to the point that they are undetectable and cannot be further transmitted.

But “a major goal is to find a cure, whereby lifelong ART would not be required,” said the NIH’s Anthony Fauci.

Though SCD is a genetically inherited disease, and HIV is acquired from infection, gene-based treatments are said to hold promise for both, and “many of the technical challenges for gene-based cures are expected to be common to both diseases.”

The goal for SCD is to achieve a gene-based intervention that either corrects the gene mutation responsible or promotes fetal haemoglobin gene expression to achieve normal haemoglobin function.

For HIV, the proposed cure would involve targeting the reservoir of proviral DNA that lurks inside a small number of cells even after many years of ART.

The NIH said that approximately 95 percent of the 38 million people living with HIV globally are in the developing world, with 67 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, half of whom are living untreated. Around 1.1 million Americans are affected

SCD affects approximately 100,000 Americans, according to official figures. Fifteen million babies will be born with SCD globally over the next 30 years, with about 75 percent of those births occurring in sub-Saharan Africans, said the NIH.

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Infectious Diseases: LASG Strengthens Emergency Preparedness

infectious diseases
infectious diseases

The Lagos State Government (LASG) says it has strengthened its emergency preparedness against infectious diseases through the implementation of policies on bio-security and bio-banking.

Prof Abayomi said that the Ministries of Health and Justice were working assiduously to review the relevant state laws pertaining to the policy.

READ ALSO: Benue State Affirms Outbreak of Lassa Fever

He said that this was in preparation for the development of bio-security and biotechnology policies along with the THEMES agenda of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration.

  Bio-security procedures are designed to protect the population against harmful biological or biochemical substances.

 Bio-banking refers to the process by which samples of bodily fluid or tissue are collected for research use to improve understanding of health and infectious diseases.  

 Abayomi said that the state had inaugurated a 12-member governing council which comprised of experts and specialists from various disciplines.

 He said that these include:  bio-banking, bio-security, molecular biology, public health, ethics, security, law, and anthropology.

 The commissioner said that the council would provide governance and regulatory frameworks that would ensure a bio-secure environment in the state.  

He added that biological samples and data emanating from the state would be collected, stored and accessed in ways that they would be beneficial to the state.

The commissioner said that the council would ensure that knowledge gained from the samples and data accessed would be shared to increase the state’s medical-biological knowledge economy and improve emergency preparedness.

“The council shall pay attention and exercise oversight functions on issues of international treaties that protect society from biological threats and the subject matter of changing ethical paradigms,” he said.

The commissioner said that the state had instituted the one health paradigm to be part of the national and global health security networks and the global knowledge economy.  

He stressed that the advent of the infectious diseases, Ebola virus disease had opened a new chapter, which revolves around bio-economy and preparedness for emergencies.

“Lagos State is rapidly expanding into a megacity that is experiencing multiple biosecurity threats which require proactive strategic mitigation and countermeasures,’’ he said.  

Abayomi said that the council would look at the spectrum of activities from the state’s vulnerability, institutions, resilience, the capacity to respond, samples, data and ability to derive knowledge from the indigenous environment and knowledge systems.

The commissioner added that members of the council would undergo an intense modular training and orientation phase for one year to prepare them adequately for the task ahead.  

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Yellow Fever: Katsina Govt to Vaccinate 7 Million Residents

Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever

Katsina State Government says it is targeting seven million people in the ongoing vaccination against Yellow Fever holding across the state.

The vaccination followed the detection of 36 new yellow fever cases mostly in Danmusa and Kankara Local Government Areas of the state.

READ ALSO: NGO Applauds Govts For Scaling Up Prevention Services For HIV

The Deputy Governor of Katsina state, Alhaji Mannir Yakubu, said while inspecting the vaccination exercise on Monday in Katsina that all residents should avail themselves of the opportunity.

“These emerging cases are the reasons why the state government is flagging the commencement of the preventive campaign against this potentially life-threatening disease with free vaccines.

 “Yellow fever is a serious infectious disease transmitted by specific kind of infected mosquitoes.

“This is a great opportunity for all caregivers to have their children from the age of 9 months vaccinated and for other individuals up to the age of 44 years.

“This age range is chosen because they are found to be most affected,” he said.

The deputy governor appealed to the heads of households, individuals, traditional and religious leaders to engage their community members to get vaccinated.  

He called on parents to ensure that all eligible target population were captured in the vaccination exercise which would last for 10 days.

Yakubu directed local government chairmen to attend evening review meetings on the exercise, to ensure proper monitoring and ensure success.   He noted that for the success of the exercise, vaccines, syringes, and data tools had been supplied to all the councils.

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib said the exercise would be extended to schools, mosques, churches, markets, and motor parks, among other places where eligible persons could be found.

 Shuaib represented by a member of the National Technical Coordinating Committee, Shehu Usman called on all to mobilize their families, friends, and communities for the yellow fever vaccination.

The deputy governor was represented by the Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Health, Dr. Kabir Mustapha.

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NGO Applauds Govts For Scaling Up Prevention Services For HIV

prevention services for HIV
prevention services for HIV

Mr. Bartholomew Ochonye, Country Director, Heartland Alliance International (HAI), commended the Governments for scaling up prevention services for HIV and AIDS.

READ ALSO: FMC Set Up Oxygen Plant in Nasarawa

Ochonye, in an interview, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that some states of the federation had taken over the bills for treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS.

NAN reports that HAI is an International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), based in Nigeria engaged in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

“Some states like Akwa Ibom and Rivers governors have officially paid for treatment fees for people living with HIV in hospitals,’’ he said.

The Director of HAI who expressed satisfaction with the development said that the number of people living with HIV had dropped from 3.5m to about 1.9m based on the Nigeria AIDS Indicator Impact Survey (NAISS) report released on March 2019.

According to him, the prevalence of HIV among adults from ages 15 to 49 is reduced from 3.4 per cent to 1.4 per cent while new infections increased from over 120,000 to 130,000 between 2010 and 2029.

Ochonye said that the number of deaths due to AIDS and AIDS-related complications had reduced by 26 per cent from 72,000 to 53,000 in 2010.

he HAI Country Director said that the country’s progress so far made in terms of the UNAIDS target of 90-90-90, saying that the country was on track.

Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) 90:90:90 for 2020 means by 2020, 90 per cent of people living with HIV would know their status.

And 90 per cent of those who know their status would be accessing lifesaving antiretroviral therapy and 90 per cent of those on treatment would attain viral suppression.

Ochonye said that scientific evidence indicated that once a person had the undetectable virus in the system, that is, has been on the anti-retroviral treatment for some time, he cannot transmit the virus to another person.

He called for more investment by governments at all levels, in the prevention service for HIV and AIDS if the country were to make accelerated achievement.

Ochonye frowned at the low level of access to treatment by people living with HIV/AIDS and stressed on the need for the country to achieve 95 per cent treatment level, which was the current expected standard.

The Director, however, advocated that pregnant women be allowed access to free prevention of “parent to child transmission services’’ in hospitals.

He reiterated the need for intensive care, for mothers, calling for friendly sexual and reproductive health services and prevention service for HIV and AIDS in all states of Nigeria.

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Ganduje Pledges Support for Universal Health Coverage

Universal Health Coverage
Universal Health Coverage

The Gov. of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje has declared his support for the implementation of all health sector reforms towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the state.

READ ALSO: Promulgate Emergency in Drug Distribution, Lagos PSN Tasks FG

Ganduje, represented by Nasir Gawuna, the Deputy Governor of Kano State, made the pledge  for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage at a three-day workshop for all states’ social health insurance agencies on Monday in Kano.

 He said the workshop was timely and had come when the Nigerian population was clamoring for access to affordable and qualitative healthcare.

 Ganduje said Kano State had commenced the implementation of contributory healthcare scheme over one and a half years ago and had become successful with over 370,000 enrollees accessing healthcare.

 “The scheme is currently operating in 245 healthcare facilities, comprising l34 primary healthcare facilities, 37 secondary healthcare facilities and 74 private healthcare facilities.

“We have provided the legal framework for the scheme, renovated and furnished the Agency’s office accommodation, amounting to N85 million.

“We have also approved a grant of N250 million for the provision of ICT infrastructure and released Nl00 million as a necessary requirement for Kano state,’’ he said.

Ganduje noted that the contributory healthcare scheme population coverage throughout the country had remained low.

 He added that this had challenged most states of the federation to domesticate the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) based on their religious beliefs and traditional value system.

The governor, however, said access to affordable healthcare had continued to be a challenge for most households due to the high level of poverty and significant reliance on out-of-pocket expenses.

Ganduje further explained that the participation in the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF), in line with the state’s policy, drove to strengthen the state’s health system.

He said five per cent of the state’s internally-generated revenue and one per cent of the local government areas’ statutory allocation have been dedicated to the health sector under the Kano State Health Trust Fund (KHETFUND).

“The state is considering scaling up its free Maternal and Child Health programme by covering additional vulnerable groups, particularly, pregnant women, children under five and retired civil servants, under the Kano State Contributory Health Scheme.

 “These are part of government’s intervention towards a sustainable health system that will drive the process of achieving Universal Health Coverage by ensuring all Kano State residents have access to effective, quality and affordable health care,’’ the governor said.

The Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, while speaking, said the workshop was aimed at aligning State Health Insurance Schemes to the NHIS.

He said this was highly necessary, “because, in the year 2000, Nigeria was ranked 187 out of 191 in performance in health care systems globally”. Sambo noted that this was not good enough for Nigeria’s image among the comity of nations.

 He said the global target of attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 became a national momentum generated to confront the challenges.

“One of the viable options was to develop a National Health Bill that would transform the health sector so as to be more responsive to meeting the yearnings and aspiration of the citizens.

“It took more than a decade to get this Bill passed into law, which became the current National Health Act that we are all celebrating today.

“One appealing feature of this Act is the provision, that not less than one per cent consolidated revenue shall be dedicated to the health sector, out of which half of that fund is intended to improve financial access to health care services to the citizens through the National Health Insurance,” the NHIS executive secretary said.

He further stated that the programme had become a reality, adding that many states lagging behind had successfully keyed into the programme.

Sambo said NHIS disbursed the first tranche of N6.5 billion of Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) to 15 states and FCT in the last two weeks.

 He added that NHIS intends to develop a comprehensive coordination platform between it, states’ agencies, partners and other stakeholders in order to make health insurance the best programme in Nigeria.

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Promulgate Emergency in Drug Distribution, Lagos PSN Tasks FG

emergency in drug distribution
emergency in drug distribution

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Lagos, State branch, has called on the Federal government to declare a state of emergency in drug distribution.

Speaking on the Day themed: “Safe and Effective Medicines For All,” the Chairman of the Lagos PSN, Pharm Bola also argued for a Presidential Committee on Drug Distribution, headed by an experienced Registered Pharmacist.

READ ALSO: Nigeria to hosts first African congress On Sickle Cell Disease

Adeniran who chronicled the travails of the nation’s drug distribution system called for a complete review of the drug distribution channels. Her words:

 “For many years, the state of drug distribution has continued to be grounded in vacillations and in fact, has been at the whims and caprices of the vicissitudes of life which have almost snuffed life out of it.

“The reality today is that we have made little or no progress in the quest to sanitize our distribution channels. If we decide to call a spade a spade, the Federal Government actually needs to call a state of emergency in the drug distribution bracket of our health sector to redress the unending cycle of unproductively.”

Recalling the circumstances under which the National Drug Distribution Guidelines, NDDG, came into being primarily to seal all existing open drug markets, Adeniran regretted government’s indecisiveness on the closure of the drug markets.

“One of the sore points of emergency in drug distribution remains Patent Medicine Vending in our clime. While we appreciate that there is an obvious dearth in all health services including Pharma services and manpower, it appears as usual that the Federal Ministry of Health through the powers that be is only interested in tackling the challenges in the Pharma sector probably because of the commercial propensities associated with Pharma practice.

“Patent Medicine Vending, which was meant to be a stop-gap-mechanism in service rendition to people in underserved areas, has become a huge albatross on the neck of practicing Pharmacists because it has become an endless means of easy access to all categories of medicines.

 She faulted the involvement of persons other than Registered Pharmacists and other trained personnel like Pharmacy Technicians to dabble into the professional responsibility of sales and dispensing of drugs.

“This fundamentally jeopardizes the aims and objectives of the National Drug Policy 2005 which is inclined to delivering safe, efficacious and affordable drugs to the people of Nigeria.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Lagos, State branch, has called on the Federal government to declare a state of emergency in drug distribution.

Speaking on the Day themed: “Safe and Effective Medicines For All,” the Chairman of the Lagos PSN, Pharm Bola also argued for a Presidential Committee on Drug Distribution, headed by an experienced Registered Pharmacist.

Adeniran who chronicled the travails of the nation’s drug distribution system called for a complete review of the drug distribution channels. Her words:

 “For many years, the state of drug distribution has continued to be grounded in vacillations and in fact, has been at the whims and caprices of the vicissitudes of life which have almost snuffed life out of it.

“The reality today is that we have made little or no progress in the quest to sanitize our distribution channels. If we decide to call a spade a spade, the Federal Government actually needs to call a state of emergency in the drug distribution bracket of our health sector to redress the unending cycle of unproductively.”

Recalling the circumstances under which the National Drug Distribution Guidelines, NDDG, came into being primarily to seal all existing open drug markets, Adeniran regretted government’s indecisiveness on the closure of the drug markets.

“One of the sore points of emergency in drug distribution remains Patent Medicine Vending in our clime. While we appreciate that there is an obvious dearth in all health services including Pharma services and manpower, it appears as usual that the Federal Ministry of Health through the powers that be is only interested in tackling the challenges in the Pharma sector probably because of the commercial propensities associated with Pharma practice.

“Patent Medicine Vending, which was meant to be a stop-gap-mechanism in service rendition to people in underserved areas, has become a huge albatross on the neck of practicing Pharmacists because it has become an endless means of easy access to all categories of medicines.

 She faulted the involvement of persons other than Registered Pharmacists and other trained personnel like Pharmacy Technicians to dabble into the professional responsibility of sales and dispensing of drugs.

“This fundamentally jeopardizes the aims and objectives of the National Drug Policy 2005 which is inclined to delivering safe, efficacious and affordable drugs to the people of Nigeria.

“It is therefore very imperative to call on the Federal Government that the reforms we need with Patent Medicine Vending must focus on allowing Pharmacy Technicians who are part of the global pharmacy workforce to take care of Patent Medicine Vending in rural communities or other areas where service delivery is lacking in Pharmaceutical Services.

“It is therefore very imperative to call on the Federal Government that the reforms we need with Patent Medicine Vending must focus on allowing Pharmacy Technicians who are part of the global pharmacy workforce to take care of Patent Medicine Vending in rural communities or other areas where service delivery is lacking in Pharmaceutical Services.

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Benue State Affirms Outbreak of Lassa Fever

outbreak of Lassa Fever
outbreak of Lassa Fever

The outbreak of Lassa Fever in Benue State was confirmed by the Benue State Commissioner of Health and Human Services, Dr. Sunday Ongbabo.

Dr. Sunday ongbabo also affirmed the death of a patient in Makurdi the state capital.

READ ALSO: FMC Set Up Oxygen Plant in Nasarawa

A statement issued by the Commissioner noted that there was no index, adding that the combined surveillance team had already visited the area to comb the place for contract tracing. He also warns the residence of the implication of contacting the Lassa Fever.

 According to Dr. Ongbabo, “there is an outbreak of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (Lassa) in the neighboring states and Benue has confirmed one index case as of September 14, 2019, with one death. Our combined surveillance team has already visited to comb the area for contact tracing.”

 After highlighting some of the symptoms of the virus, the Commissioner urged members of the public to report any person suspected to be sick from the exposure with such symptoms to the nearest health facility.

“Health workers are to observe infection prevention and control and also notify the Ministry of Health of any suspected case for a response.

“Surveillance team from the Ministry of Health are on the field five days ago and would be there for the next 11 days to comb the area including health facilities, the residence of the index case and his office environment,” Dr. Ongbabo stated.

“So far, 60 confirmed cases, with 16 deaths, have been recorded nationally.”

The statement advised members of the public on the mood of transmission and prevention.

While assuring of his Ministry’s efforts to contain the outbreak of LASSA Fever , the Commissioner said the state government already had preposition drugs, personal protective equipment, personnel as well as designated Benue State University Teaching Hospital and Federal Medical Centre for any medical attention.

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FMC Set Up Oxygen Plant in Nasarawa

set up oxygen plant
set up oxygen plant

The new Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Keffi, in Nasarawa State, Dr Yahaya Baba Adamu, has successfully set up oxygen plant to address the emergency cases and to boost the health need of its patients.

READ ALSO: Stop Consuming Non-Iodine Salt — NAFDAC

This is even as the state government has donated 28.8 hectares of land for developing a permanent site for the medical centre in the state.

 The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Centre, Dr Yahaya Baba Adamu, disclosed this in Keffi when he received in audience some Journalists who were on familiarity and assessment visit to the medical centre in Keffi Tuesday.

Dr Adamu said the reason why they set up an oxygen plant is to reduce the hardship faced by the patients with critical health challenges and required oxygen.

Adamu who announced a donation of 28.8 hectares of land by the state government for the building of the permanent site for effective healthcare services, said the former governor, Sen. Tanko Al-Makura graciously approved their request and gave the centre 23.8 hectares of land in Keffi for the building of the hospital permanent site.

The medical director also denounced the misconceptions that the management of the centre increased delivery charges from N30, 000 to N60, 000 stating that rather such charges have been slashed to N5, 000.

 “We did not increase any charges as being speculated by the public, we urge the public to disregard such reports in its entirety,” he said.

 Adamu also identified inadequate budgetary provision, staff accommodation, and limited operation rooms among others as some of the challenges facing the centre.

 He appreciated the Federal Government for its prompt attention to the centre while calling for more funding in that direction.

 The medical director restated his commitment to continue to initiate good policies and programmes that will have a direct bearing on the lives of patients and staff at large.

While appreciating the journalists for the visit, the CMD seeks an effective synergy with the medical centre for the overall development of the country.

Adamu also urged the media to always ensure accurate and balanced reportage in order not to mislead the public on the happenings of the centre while describing journalists as a mirror of the society.

“There is no way that we will work effectively and successfully without carrying you along. We will remain friendly and maintain that relationship with the media.

Earlier, the leader of the fact-finding journalists, Mr Ibrahim Hamza, said that the visit was to familiarise the media with the new CMD and to seek for the centre’s synergy.

He also assured of their readiness to give the centre accurate and balanced reportage at all the time.

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Kebbi Commited to Developing Health Indices of Women, Children

developing health
developing health

The Executive Secretary of Kebbi State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Abubakar Kaoje says the state government is pledged to developing health indices of women and children in the state. 

READ ALSO: Nigeria to hosts first African congress On Sickle Cell Disease

He said in Birnin Kebbi on Saturday, that the state government would continue to adopt best practices to meet the health and nutritional needs of women and children across the state.

According to him, the Kebbi State Government is doing the best it can in terms of providing the needed financial resources to improve services in health facilities, particularly in rural areas.

 “We have a lot of technical and financial support from the European Union, UNICEF, World Health Organisation (WHO), and the United States Agency for Internal Development and National Primary Health Care Development Agency.

“Others are Saving One Million Lives Programme for Result and other relevant stakeholders, who have been supporting us in developing health indices of women and children.

“The various interventions by the development partners are helping to reverse the disturbing indices that bother on quality healthcare services, immunization, antenatal and postnatal care, nutrition, HIV and neonatal care among others,” he said.

The Executive Secretary said that pregnant women in the state were being given N14,000 as an encouragement to attend antenatal care, deliver in the hospital, immunize and provide adequate nutrition to their children after delivery.

He explained that the gesture was under the state’s social protection programme design, to provide the needed support for families to provide proper care for their children.

“As expected, these among several other interventions have significantly improved immunization coverage, ante-natal and postal natal care attendance, and positive behavioural changes on infant and young child feeding and child protection issues among others.

“This is greatly changing the health and nutrition indices of our women and children with an impressive decline in maternal, infant and child mortality due to improved access to health care,” he added.

 The Secretary stressed that the state government has been providing the needed counterpart funding for various intervention by development partners and would continue to do so to sustain such interventions.

 “This is because the government is interested in the health care of the people, as our women and children health indices are not where they ought to be,” Kaoje said.

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Nigeria to hosts first African congress On Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle Cell Disease

The Doctor Sickle Cell Centre For Sickle Cell Disease in association with Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation has concluded plans to hold intervention programs for sickle cell disorder in Africa.

READ ALSO: Resident Doctors Calls for Improved Healthcare Facilities in South East

Speaking ahead of the African Congress on Sickle Cell Disease, ACSCD slated for 31 October to 2nd November in Lagos, ACSCD Co-chair Dr. David Ajaere said that the program seek to address the challenges of the disorder and foster possible solutions to its effect as a public health burden.

He explained that the conference will also facilitate exchange of information among public health experts, medical professionals, researchers, policy-makers, key stakeholders to highlight challenges and opportunities and enhance strategies to control Sickle Cell Disease in Africa.

The event which is being organised with the support of a host of sickle cell organisations across Africa and the world will hold from October 31 to November 2 at Landmark Center, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Ajaere pointed out that Key stakeholders and Organizations expected at the Congress include; The Federal Ministry of Health, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services(LSBTS), World Health Organization(WHO Africa), amongst other Non-governmental and corporate organizations, Multilateral donor agencies and institutions, health researchers, civil society organizations, and the academic community.

 “Eminent dignitaries who are expected to attend the event include Honorable OsagieEhanire, Minister of Health Nigeria, Dr. MatshidisoMoeti, Director – WHO Africa, His Majesty, Ronald MuwendaMutebill – The Kabaka of Buganda Kingdom, Uganda, Honorable Dr.ChitaluChilufya MP, Minister of Health Zambia, Honorable KwakuAgyaman, Minister of HealthGhana,Honorable Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health Uganda, Dr. Randal Mills, CEO – National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match, USA and H.E (Mrs.) ToyinSaraki, Founder – Wellbeing Foundation Africa. ACSCD International Affairs Coordinator, Amb.

Eddie Resphanto said that because of the magnitude of the event, opportunities abound for those who want to be a sponsor, exhibitor, a Speaker or partner which also includes non-governmental and corporate organizations.

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Sanwo-Olu Recapitulates Dedication To Universal Health Coverage


Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Wife of the Lagos State Governor, has stated the dedication to Universal health coverage. She said that the government will not relent in improving the quality of health care in Lagos and achieving universal health coverage in line with Governor Sanwo-Olu’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda.

READ ALSO: Stop Consuming Non-Iodine Salt — NAFDAC

Dr. Sanwo-Olu who stated this while flagging-off a free health initiative sponsored by the Lagos State Government in collaboration with Benjamin Olowojebutu Foundation tagged; ‘100 in 100 surgical intervention programme’ noted that she is pleased to be part of the free surgical initiative.

She added that the surgical intervention programme like all other health initiatives the present administration has embarked on proved to show the dedication Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration to ‘Walk the Talk’ in revamping, rejuvenating and repositioning the health sector in Lagos State for quality services.

“Today, we are flagging off free surgical interventions for 100 residents with Lipomas, Breast Lumps, Hernia and Fibroid, with additional Free Consultation and Free Dental Check. In view of the large turnout during screening, additional 50 surgeries have been added, making it a total of 150 free surgeries to be carried out through this Medical Mission”, the Wife of the Governor said.

She explained that the second pillar of the developmental agenda for a greater Lagos promised by Governor Sanwo-Olu as espoused in his T.H.E.M.E.S agenda speaks to provision of affordable qualitative health care and equally ensure healthy, livable and sustainable environment.

 Dr. Sanwo-Olu while commending the Benjamin Olowojebutu Foundation (BOF) for coming up with this initiative noted that any medical intervention aimed at addressing any health condition and ameliorating the suffering of citizens especially the poor and the vulnerable should be appreciated.

“I understand the free medical mission in Lagos by the Foundation is part of the National Program to conduct 1000 free surgeries across Nigeria. I say kudos and urge other organizations to emulate this laudable gesture by partnering with government to improve on the health indices in the State. I therefore commend all the Medical Personnel and officials that worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this Free Medical Mission”, She said.

 The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Titilayo Goncalves stated that the surgical intervention demonstrates the commitment of the State government to collaborate with well-meaning individuals and organizations to increase access to quality health services in furtherance of the State government’s quest to achieve universal health coverage.

 “The Lagos State Ministry of Health collaborated with the Benjamin Olowojebutu Foundation to carry out this a surgical outreach which commenced on Monday September 2, 2019 with medical screening and consultation as well as dental services such as scaling and polishing, dental extractions and health education. 150 people were however slated for surgeries after conclusion of medical examination and screening”.

The Executive Director of BOF, Dr. Benjamin Olowojebutu while speaking stated 51 surgeries have been carried out. He explained that during the first day of the surgical intervention, five fibroids, 33 lipoma and 13 breast lump removals were done.

Olowojebutu noted that his medical team in collaboration with medical staff at the Ijede General Hospital will complete the surgical intervention for other patients on the surgery list by Friday 20th September, 2019 while follow up will be done at routine clinic of the hospital.

 He expressed delight at collaborating with the State government stressing that this is the first medical outreach his foundation will hold in collaboration with any State government in the course of the foundation’s mission.

 “We are grateful to the Lagos State government ably led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for this intervention and we will continually be open to more of this kind of collaborations focused on the indigent folks in the State”, Olowojebutu said.  

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Stop Consuming Non-Iodine Salt — NAFDAC

consuming non-iodine salt
consuming non-iodine salt

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised Nigerians to stop consuming non-iodine salt, saying “it is dangerous to human health.”

READ ALSO: Resident Doctors Calls for Improved Healthcare Facilities in South East

Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, the Director of Public Affairs of the agency gave the advice in an interview with NAN in Abuja on Tuesday.

The director spoke while responding to the rumour that people in the rural communities were still consuming non-iodine salt, which was not processed.

He said that the consumption of such local salt could lead to goiter and other dangerous diseases to human health and called on Nigerians to do away with the product.

 According to the director, there are four areas in Nigeria where traditional salt is still being traded, particularly in Nasarawa state.

“NAFDAC is making an effort to stop the trading of this salt in these states but some of them have refused.

“With the creation of NAFDAC in 1993, that was the first time and there was still major work to be done on salt consumption.

“We have organized a sensitization workshop on universal salt iodination.

“We have been educating Nigerians that we should not be consuming this local salt because it is not iodine.

“NAFDAC began a programme in collaboration with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Funds (UNICEF), Micro Nutrient Initiative, Global Alliance and other development partners on the issue.

“We flag-off a campaign against that and it was held in Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, in 2004 under late Professor Dora Akunyili as the Director-General of the agency.

According to Jimoh, based on the work NAFDAC did then, Nigeria was declared universal salt iodization compliance in Turkey and also won numerous awards in that regards.

 “Nasarawa is one of the identified four major endemic areas, they have insisted that it is their traditional source of making a livelihood, it is commerce for them.

“They have told NAFDAC as at that time that if they must leave the trade, what they will be trading on must be provided for them,” the director disclosed.

 He, however, called on those who are still trading and consuming non-iodine salt in Nasarawa to stop it, adding that such an act was capable of bringing setback to the country.

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health intervention
health intervention

The Stakeholders in the health sector on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to implement a comprehensive health intervention that would address all cases of communicable and non-communicable diseases in the country, rather than focus on a selected few.

READ ALSO: 2020 Budget: Gov. Bagudu Vows to Tackle Cancer Disease

They also urged the  government to identify and place the 1.9 million Nigerians estimated to be living with HIV on treatment in order to end to the disease in the country.

The stakeholders acting under the aegis of Nigerian Implementation acting Science, stated this these in Abuja during the 2019 NISA Conference and fifth anniversary, saying that every disease entity were crucial to be tackled

 Dr. Patrick Dakum, The Chief Executive of NISA told journalists that a key objective of the conference was to ensure an increase in low uptake of health service outcomes in the country, in collaboration with the public and private sectors.

Dakum, who co-chaired the conference said NCDs should also be tackled head on.

He said, “You go to a particular place, they are doing very well in medicine and immunisation. If you go to a particular place, they are also doing very well in HIV. So the prevention and the treatment is known, but the uptake of the service is low. The question is why?

“So, implementing partners with public and private sectors and communities are looking at how to increase the uptake of health services. The essence of this is how do we ensure that the uptake of services is optimal.

“The NCDs are a concern and in this era of implementation science, we are looking at NCDs too and how to ensure that implementation is very apt. This disease entities are very crucial. There are several programmes that address them, but definitely a comprehensive health intervention is what we need in this country.”

 Prof Echezona Ezeanolue,  The NISA Board chairlisted its contributions to include provision of training and support for the implementation workforce to enable them develop, refine ideas, seek for funding and implement the ideas.

He stressed the need to identify and place on treatment, the 1.9 million Nigerians currently estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS in the country, in order to put an end to its transmission.

Ezeanolue said the huge amount of $100million which was used for the Nigerian HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey would be wasted, if the persons said to be living with HIV were not identified and placed on prompt treatment.

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Resident Doctors Calls for Improved Healthcare Facilities in South East

improved healthcare Facilities
improved healthcare Facilities

The Southeast Caucus of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has called for improved healthcare Facilities in the South-East region.

The Southeast Caucus of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has called for improved healthcare Facilities in the South-East region.

The Leader of the caucus, Dr. Chikezie Obasi, made this known at a news conference at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, on Sunday.

Obasi said that the decline in the quality of healthcare services rendered by state-owned university teaching hospitals with the poor welfare of healthcare workers was a cause for concern.

According to him, the current situation has led to the continued resignation of many doctors and health workers, as well as jeopardizing the vital training of undergraduate and postgraduate doctors.

He said that adequate infrastructure, staff strength and prompt payment of salaries were vital in ensuring that a health institution would function efficiently.

 Obasi said that the inability of the state governments in the region to tackle the problem of poor infrastructure and welfare of health workers was detrimental to the achievement of efficient and quality healthcare services.

He said that the provision of healthcare should not be viewed as a profit-making venture but as the right of the citizens and the fundamental duty of the state governments.

“We request that Abia Government effect immediate payment of the outstanding 13 months’ salary owed our members and ensure timely payment of salaries. And necessary renovation as well as upgrade of facilities at ABSUTH Aba to bring back the lost glory of the institution.

 “We support ongoing industrial action at IMSUTH and urge Imo Government to quickly implement the agreement reached with our members to restore normalcy.

“We urge the Anambra Government to urgently implement the promises made to our members in Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital to avert industrial action,” Obasi said.

He called for the complete implementation of full consolidated medical salary structure for resident doctors in Enugu State University Teaching Hospital.

Obasi also urged the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, to commence full regularization and proper remuneration of recently reinstated resident doctors in the hospital.

Besides, he appealed to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to initiate and actively implement programmes that would boost the provision of good quality healthcare services in the 36 states of the federation. Obasi expressed dismay over the numerous cases of the kidnap of doctors and called on relevant agencies to expedite action in promoting the security and safety of doctors.

in the South-East region.

The Leader of the caucus, Dr. Chikezie Obasi, made this known at a news conference at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, on Sunday. READ ALSO: Lagos Starts Free Health Care Delivery Service for Children

Obasi said that the decline in the quality of healthcare services rendered by state-owned university teaching hospitals with the poor welfare of healthcare workers was a cause for concern.

According to him, the current situation has led to the continued resignation of many doctors and health workers, as well as jeopardizing the vital training of undergraduate and postgraduate doctors.

He said that adequate infrastructure, staff strength and prompt payment of salaries were vital in ensuring that a health institution would function efficiently.

 Obasi said that the inability of the state governments in the region to tackle the problem of poor infrastructure and welfare of health workers was detrimental to the achievement of efficient and quality healthcare services.

He said that the provision of improved healthcare facilities should not be viewed as a profit-making venture but as the right of the citizens and the fundamental duty of the state governments.

“We request that Abia Government effect immediate payment of the outstanding 13 months’ salary owed our members and ensure timely payment of salaries. And necessary renovation as well as upgrade of facilities at ABSUTH Aba to bring back the lost glory of the institution.

 “We support ongoing industrial action at IMSUTH and urge Imo Government to quickly implement the agreement reached with our members to restore normalcy.

“We urge the Anambra Government to urgently implement the promises made to our members in Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital to avert industrial action,” Obasi said.

He called for the complete implementation of full consolidated medical salary structure for resident doctors in Enugu State University Teaching Hospital.

Obasi also urged the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, to commence full regularization and proper remuneration of recently reinstated resident doctors in the hospital.

Besides, he appealed to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to initiate and actively implement programmes that would boost the provision of good quality healthcare services in the 36 states of the federation. Obasi expressed dismay over the numerous cases of the kidnap of doctors and called on relevant agencies to expedite action in promoting the security and safety of doctors.

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2020 Budget: Gov. Bagudu Vows to Tackle Cancer Disease

tackle cancer
tackle cancer

 Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu has pledged to make provision in the 2020 budget to tackle cancer diseases and increase more awareness on preventive measures against the scourge in the state.

Bagudu affirmed this when members of the Roche Products Nigeria visited him in Birnin Kebbi on Monday.

READ ALSO: NAIP Urges FG to Set Up Pharmaceutical Industrial Hubs

“My administration will make provision in the 2020 budget to take tackle cancer disease and other health-related issues.

“The aim is not only to cure the diseases but also to create awareness among the people on the dangers of cancer and early identification of the scourge,” he said.

Bagudu acknowledged the contribution of Medicaid Foundation to healthcare, adding that the foundation had been engaging in awareness and public enlightenment on the danger of cancer and its prevention.

“The government will set-up cancer steering committee in the state, to be headed by Dr Zainab Bagudu, the founder of the Medicaid cancer foundation, along with eminent experts as members.

 “My administration will sustain the promotion of good healthcare services, accessible and affordable to the people of the state as we have entered into a collaboration with the European Union and UNICEF,’’

He said the agreement with the foreign bodies aimed at providing at least one Primary Healthcare Centre in each of the 225 wards in the state to enable people to have access to healthcare services.

The governor also advised the guests to come out with a training programme on scientific conference and laboratory by bringing knowledgeable personalities to conduct intellectual training for doctors, nurses and other health personnel.

Earlier, the wife of the governor and founder Medicaid cancer foundation, Dr Zainab Bagudu, said the visit aimed at signing a tripartite agreement with the state government and the foundations.

“This is also aimed at training of health officials in order to enhance public enlightenment to people and proper awareness to women with cancer cases.

“I am happy about the support and commitment of the state government to the provision of healthcare delivery to the people.

 “We thank you for your various health intervention programmes in the state,” she said. The representative of Roche Products Nigeria, Dr Oladipo Hameed, said the organization was internationally recognized in most advanced countries in the world including the UK, U.S and Germany.

 “We request the state government to ensure the fund is made available for the treatment of cancer in the state and fast track the endorsement of the MoU to enable the company further mobilize to the state.  

“We are fully prepared to expand the cure for cancer, especially breast cancer to up to 100 patients as soon as we commence operation,” he said. Hameed urged the government to ensure the inauguration of the state committee immediately to begin the work.

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Edo SACA Starts Free HIV/AIDS Testing, Counselling

free HIV/AIDS testing
free HIV/AIDS testing

In a bid to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS, Edo State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDs (Edo SACA) has started free HIV/AIDS testing and counselling.

READ ALSO: DICOMAG tasks Ehanire to Prioritize Diabetes Control

The Edo State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDs (Edo SACA) has commended Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki for his sustained support to the agency’s fight against HIV/AIDs scourge in the state.

The Executive Director of the Agency, Mrs. Flora Oyakhilome, gave the commendation in Benin City, at the commencement of the 2nd round of the HIV/AIDs Counselling and Testing Services.

She expressed appreciation to Governor Godwin Obaseki; Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq. as well the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Osamwonyi Irowa, for the timely release of funds to facilitate the project.

 According to her, the gesture has enabled the record-setting 60 per cent upfront Mobilisation of all the Counsellors /Testers, Supervisors, Monitors, Data Officers and other officials that have been carefully selected for the implementation of the exercise.

She admonished everyone involved in the project to put in their best to ensure a successful exercise as this is the only way to justify the confidence reposed in them.

Mrs. Oyakhilome urged for continued support to make the exercise hitch-free while also expressing optimism that the success of the 6- month programme can motivate the state government to replicate it in Edo Central and Edo North Senatorial Districts.

One of the counselor/Testers, Mrs. Sherifat Shaka, assured that they will leave no stone unturned in delivering on the mandate given to them.

She noted that the nine free HIV/AIDs Testing Centres/ Locations which have since commenced operations include: Ring Road by Urhokpota Hall; Ikpoba Hill by Ramat Park; Ologbosere Primary School Gate by Ugbekun; Santana Market; Evbuotubu by the Town Hall; New Benin Market; Ekiosa Market; Oluku by PEC Filling Station and Edo SACA Office by Aideyan, Off Ihama Road, G.R.A. Benin City.

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Invest in Disease Prevention: NCDC Urges State Government

nvest in disease prevention
nvest in disease prevention

The Director-General of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu has urged state governments to invest in disease prevention, detection and control.

READ ALSO: Federal Government to Ameliorate The 22 teaching hospitals – ICRC

Ihekweazu, made the call on Friday the sidelines of the 62nd National Council on Health (NCH) Meeting, in Asaba.

The theme of the meeting is ‘’ Consolidating the Journey Toward Achieving Universal Health Coverage’’.

 ”There is an urgent need for state governments to devote more resources to support disease outbreak investigations, through the purchase of vehicles and engagement of more human resources.

”The provision of such would enhance the effective management of sub-national health security and medical supplies, which the Federal government could support,” he said.

The NCDC chief said that with the nation’s current population density, tropical climate, high level of movement and migration, Nigeria was at a high risk of disease outbreaks.

Ihekweazu said that NCDC had evolved a project to support each state with a Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, aimed at improving coordination of outbreak response in the country.

He added that NCDC had also deployed Surveillance, Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System for digital surveillance, and training of state epidemiologists.

The director-general also said that the centre will strengthen the capacities of states for outbreak preparedness and response through the Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers.

“We have no choice but to improve our level of preparedness and capacity to respond to disease outbreaks,” he said.

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NDLEA urges Alliance to Tackle Substance Abuse

tackle substance abuse
tackle substance abuse

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has urged alliance to tackle substance abuse as no fewer than 14 per cent of Nigerians abuse different substances through addiction.

READ ALSO: NAIP Urges FG to Set Up Pharmaceutical Industrial Hubs

Mr. Abdullahi Baba-Husseini ,The Assistant Comptroller General, Narcotics, made this call on Saturday at the opening of a Capacity Building on Addiction Prevention Workshop for Community-Based NGOs in Abuja.

He listed the substances mostly used as tramadol, Benylin with codeine, saying it was a matter for regret that a high percentage of women now abuse drugs. While commending the organizers of the workshop, Baba-Husseini stressed the need for more interventions with the emerging trends of technology addiction.

 He said the agency has stepped up strategies to create awareness to tackle substance abuse, calling on state governments to include drug education in the school curriculum.

Baba -Husseini noted that with the inclusion of drug education in schools’ curriculum, young persons would be aware of the dangers inherent in indiscriminate drug use.

 According to him, they will also be conscious of their environment and avoid the peer pressure that may likely cause drug dependency.

“As an organization, what is more, worrisome now is the issue of substance abuse among women.

‘It is also sad that those who inject drugs are more at risk, as the level of dependence is sad.

 “Presently, we are at the forefront of fighting substance abuse, because the statistics show that about 14 per cent of Nigerians use all kinds of substance, and we need collective efforts to reduce the menace,’’ he said.

 He added that with a rising population, the agency had low manpower to tackle the growing addiction, saying that more partnership was needed to reverse the trend. Earlier, Dr Mohammed Audi, National President, Green Crescent Health Initiative Nigeria, said the organization focuses on finding solutions to the increasing rate of all forms of addiction.

According to him, the use of alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse and unhealthy behavioral and gaming addictions were a major threat to attaining sustainable development goals.

Audi said that unhealthy use of technology caused health, social, economic and spiritual harms to individual, families, communities and the society at large.

He said that the Community-based organizations were concerned about the health and welfare of the region, calling for urgent action to address drug abuse problem including behavioral addiction.

He emphasized that keeping drug use prevalence low and continually reducing it remained the vest prevention method.

 “Preventing harm from occurring is the most cost-effective, humane and sustainable way to reduce adduction and addiction-related harms, saving lives, strengthening communities among others.

“The CSOs were of the opinion that drug policies must be human rights-based, gender-sensitive and age-appropriate.

“We affirm the importance of creating evidence-based recovery-oriented systems of care that provide comprehensive interventions, ranging from early intervention to abstinence.

“Rehabilitation and social reintegration with the goal of supporting people with addiction problems and disorders to reach their full potentials,” he said.

He called on the government to invest more in the health-promoting environments to achieve health, well-being and development for all.

Audi declared the commitment of CSOs to collaborate at all levels in support of grassroots participation in the global policy process. This, he said, was to amplify the voices of the silent majority in building and sustaining an addiction-free world.

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NAIP Urges FG to Set Up Pharmaceutical Industrial Hubs

set up pharmaceutical industrial hubs
set up pharmaceutical industrial hubs

NAIP, The Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria, has urged the Federal government to set up pharmaceutical industrial hubs in the country to boost fortunes of the local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

 A public health consultant and Chief of Party, Promoting the Quality of Medicines, PQM, Prof Chimezie Anyakora described pharma hubs as catalysts for change.

READ ALSO: Federal Government to Ameliorate The 22 teaching hospitals – ICRC

His words: “if the Federal Government set up  pharmaceutical industrial hubs in Nigeria, it  would promote cheaper cost of manufacturing, better quality due to better regulation, more direct foreign partnership and investment and help in avoiding the mistakes of the oil sector, among others.”

He listed benefits of developing the local pharma manufacturing to include the growth of the number of pharmaceutical manufacturers with  international GMP;  improved production competencies and efficiencies; increased volume of drugs procured by local and international procurement agencies and reduction of dependence on Asian producers.

Anyakora argued that if the Federal Government set up pharmaceutical industrial hubs, it would help in attracting foreign direct investment and technology and catalyzing the formation of partnerships and joint ventures, reversing the brain drain as diaspora Nigerians with expertise come back to capitalize on opportunities and sector and cluster development opportunities.

“There would be public health benefits from an increased supply of high-quality medicines and pressure on the educational systems leading to development of appropriate curricula, strengthening industry-academia partnerships and moving into Research and Development, among other benefits.”

 Calling for a revolution in the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry, the PSN President, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa said setting up pharma hubs would revolutionize the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

“A revolution in the pharmaceutical sector is desirable. Such revolution is required to change things. We must be dissatisfied with what we are doing currently, and angry with what we are doing so that we can change it. That is the revolution we are talking about.”

In the views of the Chairman, Embassy Pharmacy, Sir Nnamdi Obi, the forum was put together to rub minds on how best to explore the enormous potentials within the pharmaceutical sector for the common benefits of Nigerians.

 “One of the critical issues  being discussed is having Nigeria as a pharmaceutical hub for Africa and the world at large. This is to explore the possibilities of seeing how best pharmaceutical products manufactured in Nigeria can be marketed  using examples like the Ethiopian model that  have a cluster of pharmaceutical companies.

 Also speaking, the National Chairman, NAIP, Pharm Ignatius Anukwu said the  best way to enhance fortunes of the pharmaceutical industry is by having pharma manufacturing clusters or pharmaceutical parks so that all manufacturers can come together in one place and share this infrastructure that have been too expensive for Nigerians.

 “As we know, there is infrastructural decay in the country, so power is very expensive, transportation is a problem, water is a problem and all of that. What is presently happening is that for every company that sets up in Nigeria to meet up with the GMP standard, you must have enough power for your plant, water treated to a certain level, and effluent plant and all of that.

 So what we are saying is if we have 20 or 30 of such companies coming together they will now act as one, so they will share resources, so costs will be reduced, the input of power in production and all of that will be reduced.

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Federal Government to Ameliorate The 22 teaching hospitals – ICRC

ameliorate the 22 teaching hospitals
ameliorate the 22 teaching hospitals

The Federal Government will ameliorate the 22 teaching hospitals in the country and construct a new 500-bed state-of-the-art Specialist Hospital, in Abuja through Public Private Partnership (PPP), according to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Patrick Ederaro, Acting Head, Media and Publicity, ICRC.

READ ALSO: DICOMAG tasks Ehanire to Prioritize Diabetes Control

Mr. Patrick said that the concession model for the existing teaching hospitals’ equipment that would be supplied would be world class standard and life cycle maintenance.

According to him, there will not be a full concession of any of the entire existing teaching hospitals, so there will be no job losses. “There will be concessions on and of specific services, for medical equipment supplied like Dialysis Unit, Imaging Unit, Diagnostic Services and other departments mentioned above.

 “The concessionaire will finance the supply and maintenance of world class dialysis units and perform to very high output specifications and contracted key performance indicators.”

 He added that medical services in the hospitals would be run by the Chief Medical Director (CMD) and his or her staff, but with the benefit of world class support services, provided by the private concessionaire.

 Ederaro said that the scope of the concessionaire was limited to the specific service over which the concession was granted to the consortium. However, the new state-of-the-art 500-bed Federal Centre of Medical Excellence, in Abuja, would be the only full concession, where the concessionaire would be responsible for all medical services.

The statement recalled that the Federal Government in 2003 embarked on modernization and upgrading of 14 teaching hospitals in two phases, considering the magnitude and availability of funds.

“The first and second phases of the above mentioned modernization programme were implemented on a credit purchase arrangement, with a partnership agreement between the Ministry of Health, VAMED Engineering and CPL Medical Group.

 “This was with a specific delivery joint venture agreement between CPL Medical Group and VAMED Engineering.

“Since life cycle maintenance was not part of the procurement arrangement, these phases were not as successful as the federal government had envisaged”, he said.

Ederaro said that the first and second phases were procured using traditional public procurement methodology, adding that the President, thereafter, approved the new phase to be implemented through PPP procurement methodology.

He said that the commission issued an Outline Business Case (OBC) Compliance Certificate, to enable the project proceed to the PPP Procurement phase.

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DICOMAG tasks Ehanire to Prioritize Diabetes Control

Prioritize Diabetes Control
Prioritize Diabetes Control

An NGO, Diabetes Control Media Advocacy Group (DICOMAG) has tasked Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, to prioritize diabetes control. DICOMAG tasked him to make diabetes control and prevention a  priority in view of the large burden of the disease in the country.

READ ALSO: Lagos Starts Free Health Care Delivery Service for Children

According to the group, the  Diabetes Control Media Advocacy Group (DICOMAG), a media advocacy group with focus on diabetes, the minister should  devise urgent and concrete measures to address the current heavy burden of the disease in all parts of the country to prevent a looming epidemic.

“We congratulate the minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the minister of state, Sen. Olorunimbe Mamora for their appointment.

“We are delighted that Dr. Osagie is back in the ministry where he served as the minister of state in the last dispensation and believe he is well placed to lead the ministry toward the revitalization and restructuring of the nation’s battered healthcare delivery system.

“The organization, however, urges the minister, as he settles down to work, to urgently prioritize diabetes control in Nigeria, its attendant complications, deadly consequences and impact on health and overall well-being of citizens.

 The International Diabetes Federation estimates that five million Nigerians are currently living with diabetes and the number of cases is increasing very fast. One in every two people with diabetes in the country is undiagnosed. Worse still, Nigeria is currently recording unacceptable number of lower extremities amputation and death from diabetes foot ulcer.

In a call for adoption of policies to ensure early detection of cases and preventive measures: “More worrisome is the fact that a large number of Nigerians with diabetes only get to know of their status at an advance stage of the disease when complications have set in.

DICOMAG urged the government to take a lead and encourage state governments to embark on immediate campaign for the prevention.

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Lagos Starts Free Health Care Delivery Service for Children

Free Health Care Delivery
Free Health Care Delivery

As part of efforts to provide proper and sustainable health care to Lagosian, the state government has started a free health care delivery service.

READ ALSO: P.M.G.M.A.N Urges F.G to Aid Local Drug Manufacturers

The programme involves screening children for visual and hearing disabilities, and other illness that can negatively hinder their capacity to study.

 Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat, organized the free medical mission, in collaboration with Healthcare Mission International, a non-governmental organization (NGO) to deliver free health care services especially to children between ages zero to 12 with a strategic vision to protect children from the sickness that may hamstring their potentials.

The Lagos Healthy Bee programme commenced with a six-day screening of over 21,000 persons in seven Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state, after which those whose conditions that required higher medical examinations and surgeries were referred to the tertiary healthcare facilities for free medical care.

Seven primary health care centres were carefully selected across the divisions of the state to ensure that residents in the five administrative divisions of the state, “IBILE”, benefit from the programme. The selected primary health care centres include: Ajara PHC Badagry, Akerele PHC Surulere, Ikotun PHC Alimosho, Iga Idungaran PHC Lagos Island, Epe PHC Epe, Onigbongo PHC Ikeja, and Ita Elewa PHC Ikorodu.

Children found to have visual or hearing disabilities during screening and were provided with glasses and hearing aids to help them overcome the condition and those with more complicated issues were transferred to various General Hospitals in the state for surgeries. Even though children are the prime targets of this programme, vulnerable adults were also given health counselling and screening for tuberculosis and Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) after which those found to be positive were managed using the established channel of treatment of the illnesses.

To ensure effective and efficient health care delivery, Health Mission International brought in to the state volunteer surgeons from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom as well as within Nigeria to join their counterpart in the state’s general hospitals.

Underscoring the importance of the intervention, Executive Director, Health Mission International, Mrs. Nike Osa, told journalists that the Lagos State Government recognised the prime place of children in the survival of humanity which is why it is collaborating with her organisation to help them to be healthy to get well prepared for future roles and commitments.

“At present 806 surgeries have been conducted in the designated general hospitals in the state and yet another 615 has been booked for various surgeries. At the end of the mission over 1400 surgeries would have been carried out.

“This is an innovative program is meant to help our children to be healthy and prepare them for their roles in the future as leaders,” she said.

A beneficiary, Adaramoye Lateef, stated that he has been battling with eye issue for quite a while and was informed that he needed to undergo eye surgery but could not because of lack of fund.

“When I heard that a medical mission would take place in my neighborhood, I was so happy because I have been looking for such opportunities. After undergoing a screening exercise, I was told that I needed a surgical operation, which was done successfully. I thank the administration of Sanwo-Olu for this laudable initiative. God will continue to be with him and his government”. He said.

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P.M.G.M.A.N Urges F.G to Aid Local Drug Manufacturers


Frank Muonemeh, The Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMGMAN, has urged the Federal Government to aid local drug manufacturers in the country.

 “For us to stop our country being used as a dumping ground for all manner of drugs, there is the need for the government to prioritize the local manufacturing company to live up to standard and be able to provide about 70 per cent of the essential needs of the people.

READ ALSO: Yemi Osinbajo: Infectious Disease on Increase

“Over time, the local drug manufacturers have proven to have the capacity to manufacture drugs to be used in the country, but what do you expect when they don’t get the needed support? There is a limit to what should be allowed to be imported to the country.

“Right now, 70 per cent of the products used in Nigeria including drugs are imported from Asia. It is unacceptable, we can’t continue like this. When a country keeps depending on imported drugs, it means the country is leaving the lives of its citizens in the hands of others.

“It is high time the Federal Government prioritized local pharmaceutical companies because that is the only way we can survive the African Free Continental Trade Agreement just signed by President Muhammadu Buhari,” Muonemeh said.

the commended, West Africa health Organization (WAHO) for providing training for members of the group to ensure they meet up with international guidelines on drug manufacturing.

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Yemi Osinbajo: Infectious Disease on Increase

Yemi Osinbajo
Yemi Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President of Nigeria, on Tuesday showed concern over the increases of infectious disease. He said, Infectious disease on increase.

READ ALSO: FG To Inaugurate Six Regional Geriatric Centres In Tertiary Hospitals

The Vice President, represented by Prof. Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of Health, stated this at the opening pomp of the 55th Scientific Conference of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria held in Abuja.

At the event, a former Minister of Health Prof. Eyitayo Lambo, and the Association of Medical Scientist in Nigeria (AMLSN), warned that the spread of Infectious diseases could be used as instrument of terror.

The Vice President, said the global health security agenda was in response to the risk being faced by humanity from the emergence and re-emergence of highly infectious diseases that pose great risk to public health globally.

“With the world becoming a global village and increased human movement across countries, the risk of infectious disease has increased tremendously,” Osinbajo said.

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FG To Inaugurate Six Regional Geriatric Centres In Tertiary Hospitals

inaugurate six regional geriatric centres
inaugurate six regional geriatric centres

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), says it will Inaugurate Six Regional Geriatric Centres in Tertiary Hospitals with the aim to improving the health status of the older person in Nigeria.

The coordinator, Dr. Saidu Ahmed Dumbulwa, Healthcare Package for Improving Quality Care on Ageing Population in Nigeria (HEPIQ-C), disclosed this in an interview.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Medical Association to Address Challenges in Health Sector

Dr. Saidu, who is also a Public Health expert, said the aim to inaugurate six regional geriatric centres in tertiary hospital was to address the health and social needs of the elderly in the country, through the HEPIQ-C project.

He said the project was designed to improve elderly peoples’ health and address some developmental issues relating to them.

President Muhammadu Buhari, had acknowledged the social and health problems the elderly population faced and saw the need to facilitate actions that would promote healthy living at old age, Dumbulwa said.

According to Dumbulwa, governments are now becoming aware of the need to validate policies that would cater for the needs of the elderly who have become vulnerable, because people have forgotten that everyone is heading towards that stage.

He said that the ageing population in Nigeria was increasing and there was yet to be a concrete strategy, framework or system, for managing the social and health structure of the aged.

Dumbulwa noted that research assessment survey conducted in 2017 on Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP), of healthcare workers in the ageing sector, showed that they lacked training on geriatric care and gerontology.

“This might be one of the main reasons why adequate funds are not appropriately allocated to the care of older persons, as budgetary allocation goes with defence and justification.

“Based on the foregoing observation, the Nigerian government, following the regional World Health Organization (WHO) meeting in Addis Ababa in 2016, set in motion an actionable strategy with a view to improving the health status of elderly in Nigeria,” he said.

Dumbulwa said that the Federal Government came up with the HEPIQ-C, to address the obvious deviation and neglect of the aged.

 Speaking on how to identify issues that the elderly were facing in accessing health and social services in Nigeria, Dumbulwa listed challenges such as lack of affordable health insurance, out of pocket health expenses and dearth of age-compliant public buildings, and transportation.

Others, he said, were lack of education, inadequate information, lack of community and family support, as well as poor social support and rehabilitation.

“Following efforts by the government, private sector in Diaspora, and a coalition of elderly, we collectively pushed for the establishment of the National Senior Citizens Centre, which will address the health and social needs of older persons in Nigeria.

“This effort by President Buhari to assent to the bill addresses a substantial part of the problems of older persons.

“In addition, Mr. President approved the allocation of one per cent of Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), to deliver healthcare to the vulnerable population, mainly children, women and elderly.

“50 per cent of the fund goes to the National Health Insurance Scheme, to procure health services and insurance for the vulnerable groups.

“Also, 45 per cent goes to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, for the training of the healthcare workforce and procurement of consumables for day to day activities of the primary health care centres.

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Nigeria Medical Association to Address Challenges in Health Sector

The Nigeria Medical Association
The Nigeria Medical Association

The Nigeria Medical Association, N.M.A, is set to hold a National Health Conference to address some of the challenges in the health sector.

 Dr. France Faduyile, The President of the Nigeria Medical Association, said the conference, would identify the challenges militating against the attainment of basic, affordable and quality health care delivery in the country.

READ ALSO:The United Nation Discovers Threats to Portable Water and Sanitation in Nigeria

Faduyile said that President Muhammadu Buhari would be the special guest at the event, while former Military Head of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon, would chair the opening ceremony.

He said that the initiative was conceived by the N.M.A because the nation’s health sector was craving for a total transform in order to improve and meet the health needs of Nigerians.

 “This was because the health sector then was prominently bedeviled with enormous challenges ranging from inter-sectoral and inter-professional disharmony, incessant industrial action, poor facilities, brain drain leading to scarcity of man power, lack of policy implementation and man power training at undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

“The rate of poor indices was hitting the roof with unacceptable maternal morbidity and mortality as well as perinatal mortality, with poor political will to revamp the sector.

“The conference is now a statutory activity of N.M.A and it takes place every five years. This year’s event is themed, ‘Patient centered care’. This was particularly considered important because patient is at the centre of the health care delivery. Without the patient, there will be no health profession.” He said

Faduyile also called on Dr Ehanire Osagie, the new health minister, to work with major health actors in the states so that the states could increase funding to health and ensure that the primary health care system was functional.

He added, “It is when that level is functional that all the pressure we see at the tertiary level will be reduced. The tertiary will then be able to take care of the type of patients it was designed to cater for.

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The United Nation Discovers Threats to Portable Water and Sanitation in Nigeria

United Nation
United Nation

The United Nations (UN) has discovered weak political systems and dearth of resources as threats to the delivery of portable water and sanitation services in the world’s poorest countries, including Nigeria.

The United Nations-Water Global Assessment and Analysis of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2019 report surveyed 115 countries and territories, representing 4.5 billion people.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Medical Association Urges Edo Govt To Tackle Drug Abuse

 In most countries, the report revealed, the implementation of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) policies was constrained by inadequate human and financial resources.

Nineteen countries and one territory reported a funding gap of more than 60 per cent between identified needs and available funding.

Less than 15 per cent of countries have the financial or human resources to implement their plans.

While funding gaps and weak systems are holding many countries back, the report also found that countries had begun to take positive steps towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (S.D.G) 6 on water and sanitation.

About half of the countries surveyed have set drinking water targets that aim for universal coverage at levels higher than basic services by 2030 by, for example, addressing water quality and increasing access to water on premises.

As the international authority on public health and water, sanitation and hygiene, WHO gathers scientific evidence, sets and monitors standards, and promotes best practices for ensuring safe, reliable water, sanitation and hygiene for all.

 W.H.O Director -General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, said, “Too many people lack access to reliable and safe drinking water, toilets and hand-washing facilities, putting them at risk of deadly infections and threatening progress in public health.”

“Water and sanitation systems don’t just improve health and save lives, they are a critical part of building more stable, secure and prosperous societies. We call on all countries that lack essential water and sanitation infrastructure to allocate funds and human resources to build and maintain it.”

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Nigerian Medical Association Urges Edo Govt To Tackle Drug Abuse

Edo state drug abuse.
Edo state drug abuse.

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged the Edo Government to organize an awareness programme to tackle drug abuse in Edo state.

Dr. Valentine Omoifo, The state Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

READ ALSO: End Strike: Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Appeals to Resident Doctors

Dr. Valentine said that the drugs people abused are categorized as drugs in the medical aspects and illicit drugs.

“People abuse medical drugs in the sense that they just take drugs without the doctor’s prescription and without even taking the right dose of the drugs.

“In this part of the country, people take drugs indiscriminately; the pharmacies just sell drugs to anyone that comes to buy, because they want money.

“Some people now take medical drugs to also get high, blending medical and illicit drug abuse together,” he said.

According Omoifo, people have access to medications in Nigeria unnecessarily, adding that the laws of selling drugs in the country are not well structured.

“Even in buses people just sell drugs, on the streets, people sell drugs and also hawking drugs in the market.

“People who abuse drugs are prone to a lot of diseases. When a person abuse drugs and he or she wants to take it for the right purpose of curing a sickness, it will no longer work.

“Overdosage of drugs destroys the central nervous system.

“Drug abuse affects in terms of finance, crime rate, social disorder, mental rate of some students and also affecting the whole sector of our society,” he said.

Omoifo said that most times some doctors do not tell their patients the kind of drugs he or she is prescribing.

He said that some patients also prescribed the same drugs for a particular ailment which might be unknown to them.

He, therefore, urged the state government to provide regulation or law about buying and selling drugs in the state.

“Some people take drugs for pains and coughs using them indiscriminately for other purposes because they have access to these drugs at anytime or cost,” he said.

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End Strike: Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Appeals to Resident Doctors

Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital
Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital

THE management of the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba (FNPHY) has appealed to the resident doctors at the hospital to call off its ongoing strike.

The Public Relation Officer (P.R.O}, Mrs. Philomena Omoike, and an Assistant Director at the hospital, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the resident doctors from the hospital had embarked on the strike on July 31.

Omoike said the resident doctors were asking for the engagement of no less than 15 more resident doctors and 10 local doctors.

She added that they were also asking for an increment in their Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) from the current CONMESS 2 Step 3 to CONMESS 3 Step 2 among other issues.

According to Omoike, the hospital’s management is making efforts to grant the demands of the resident doctors.

She added that the hospital at present had 37 residents’ doctors and recently employed five new local doctors after the doctors had started their strike.

READ ALSO: Two highly effective Ebola drugs approved by WHO for immediate use

Omoike said that the hospital was making efforts to ensure that more doctors were employed so as to ease the work of the resident doctors.

“On Aug. 5, the hospital employed five new local doctors and had written to the Federal Ministry of Health and other authorities responsible for the recruitment of the doctors in that regard.

“Meanwhile, the hospital in 2014 and 2019 employed not fewer than 15 resident doctors each, which were inclusive in the existing 37 resident doctors of FNPHY.

“In Nigeria today, recruitment does not come easy particularly for specialists like Psychiatric doctors.

“To recruit a Psychiatric doctor is not a one-day affair; it requires a lot of protocols, bureaucratic processes and certifications which needed time to accomplish,” Omoike said.

She expressed concern over the negative effect the doctors’ industrial action had continued to have on the hospital and the public. She said that it had slowed down the normal activities in the hospital.

Omoike said that the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba would remain a reference place for resident doctors

. She said that it would be appreciated if the doctors would call off the strike and return to work.

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Nigerian Medical Association Set Tree Target for Nigeria’s New Health Ministers

Nigerian Medical Association
Nigerian Medical Association

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has set three targets for the country’s new health ministers, to work on making primary healthcare sustainable, interfacing with other ministries to achieve better health and encouraging federal government to increase health budget

N.M.A highlighted the target areas as it prepares for its second National Health Summit in November, the first of which gave rise to proposals that led to the National Health Act.

P.S.N Urges FG To Increase the Awareness of Mental Health

Dr Francis Faduyile, N.M.A president told a press conference in Abuja, “The major problem is for us to be able to have a sustainable primary health care. It is beyond the ministry of health but it is primarily state.

“We expect the new ministers to work with states to ensure states increase funding to ensure primary health centers are functional,” said Faduyile .“If primary health care is good, the pressure will reduce on the secondary and tertiary systems.” 

Faduyile said the new ministers must also interface with other ministries so they can work well together, noting that sustainable healthcare was multi-dimensional, with factors that cut across the purviews of other ministries, including agriculture, environment and finance.

He added that the new ministers must also encourage federal government to increase funding to health. “They should also encourage the public to help increase health financing by using the National Health Insurance Scheme,” he said.

The National Health Summit of the N.M.A has helped drive the enactment of the National Health Act and the Basic Health Care Provision Fund—but this year it focuses on “patient-centered care”.

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P.S.N Urges FG To Increase the Awareness of Mental Health

Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria
Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (P.S.N) has urged the Federal Government to help increase awareness of mental health disorders in Nigeria.

 Mr Sam Ohuabunwa, the National President of P.S.N said this in an interview with the News Agencies in Ilorin, stressing the need to increase awareness of mental health in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Tobacco: W.H.O calls for Complete Ban

Mr sam argued that, Nigerians had poor knowledge of mental health disorders, which could lead to suicide, Ohuabunwa advised the government to act now and not wait until people with mental disorder start manifesting its symptoms publicly before doing something about it.

The PSN president observed that many factors could lead to mental health conditions in the country and they include societal, economical reasons, as well as family and medical histories of the afflicted.

He expressed that  the poor level of identifying and managing mental health disorders in the country is displeasing and unsatisfiable, he added, “Unless mental health disorder is identified with, people can deliberately misuse over-the- counter drugs to commit suicide because any drug misused becomes poisonous.”

Ohuabunwa described drug abuse as a major factor that must be dealt with, stressing that the only way to check the vice was to increase awareness of its existence.

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Tobacco: W.H.O calls for Complete Ban

World Health Organization
World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for complete ban on creating awareness, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco in the world over to discourage people from patronizing and consuming the harmful product for a healthy living.

The UN health agency in its latest campaign against tobacco smoking released on Saturday, stated that tobacco packaging is a form of advertising that often misleads consumers.


“Complete bans on: advertising, promotion and sponsorship are needed to fight big tobacco!“It’s time for NO Tobacco for everyone, everywhere!”, said WHO.

According to Tobacco Atlas, tobacco harms the health, the treasury, and the spirit of Nigeria as every year, more than 16, 100 of its people are killed by tobacco-caused disease and still, more than 25, 000 children (10-14 years old) and 7, 488,000 adults (15+ years old) continue to use tobacco each day.

“Complacency in the face of the tobacco epidemic insulates the tobacco industry in Nigeria and ensures that tobacco’s death toll will grow every year.“Tobacco control advocates must reach out to other communities and resources to strengthen their efforts and create change”, it suggested.

It is part of government policy in Nigeria that, all tobacco companies must boldly write on their products packs that, “THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF HEALTH WARNS THAT SMOKERS ARE LIABLE TO DIE YOUNG,” as one of the control measures to discourage smoking habit among Nigerians inline with WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

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Enugu State
Enugu State

The Enugu State Government has concluded plans to sensitize its public health workers to the need to observe universal precautions against yellow fever to check the spread.

Dr Okechukwu Ossai, the Administrator, Enugu State Hospital Management Board, stated this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Saturday. Ossai said that Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.

READ ALSO: Dr. Osagie Ehanire Nigeria’s New Minister of Health.

He said it could result in sudden bleeding from the nose, mouth, ear and stomach. He stated that while most infections could be resolved, some could lead to death.

According to Ossai, in mild cases, yellow fever causes fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. He, however, added that it could become more serious, causing heart, liver and kidney problems along with bleeding. “Up to 50 per cent of people with the more severe form of yellow fever die of the disease,” he noted.

Ossai said in addition to getting the vaccine, one could help protect oneself against yellow fever by protecting oneself against mosquitoes. Ossai said to reduce exposure to mosquitoes one must avoid unnecessary outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most active.

“Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you go into mosquito-infested areas and also if your accommodation doesn’t have good window screens or secured ventilation, use bed nets. “Not just ordinary nets but mosquito nets that have been pre-treated with insecticide offer additional protection.”

He said the transmission of the disease was usually sustained through blood contacts and health workers were always at risk, and it is usually the first contact by those infected.

“Yellow fever is sustained through blood contacts an those who are at risk of being infected are the health workers. This is because, on a daily basis, they have one thing or the other to do with blood,” he said.

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Dr. Osagie Ehanire Nigeria’s New Minister of Health.

Dr Osagie Ehanire
Dr Osagie Ehanire

The beginning of a new administration in May 2019, Nigeria now has a new captain to improve the affairs of the health sector and lead the Federal Ministry of Health and its many agencies.

The submission of the ministerial nominees to the Senate by the Presidency and subsequent screening, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has been handed the portfolio of leading this important sector that has the potential to make or mar Nigeria’s development.

He is not new to the health space and is expected to bring his best experience and knowledge of the sector to help Nigerians live healthier and more productive lives.

Dr Ehanire is not new to leadership in the Nigerian health sector as he served as Nigeria’s Minister of State for Health between 2015-2019 where he forged a close working relationship with Professor Isaac Adewole, the former Minister of Health.

READ ALSO: Medical directors demand national holiday for Dr. Stella Adadevoh

The Minister of Health and Minister of State for Health were able to forge a collaborative working relationship during their just-concluded four-year tenure. Nigeria’s Ministry of Health has been described as one of the most complex, with well over 100 mini-parastatals, given that every tertiary health institution has its own board and management. Therefore, the opportunity of having a Minister who already understands the system, the challenges is a major advantage for Dr. Ehanire’s tenure.

Dr Osagie Ehanire is a surgeon and holds a medical degree from the College of Medicine, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany. He also holds post-graduate diplomas from the teaching hospital of the University of Düsseldorf and Essen, Germany in the areas of anaesthesiology, general surgery, and orthopaedic trauma surgery.

He has served on various boards both within and outside Nigeria, including Chair of the Board of Trustees of the TY Danjuma Foundation. Before going into administration, he had an illustrious clinical career –

He was Senior Registrar Clinical Instructor, University of Benin Teaching Hospital; Member of the old Bendel and Edo States Hospital Management Board; Consultant Surgeon, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria; Clinical Course instructor, Fracture Internal Fixation course at the BG Accident Hospital, Duisburg, Germany. He co-authored the orthopaedic book “The severely injured limb” edited By John Ackroyd.

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Medical directors demand national holiday for Dr. Stella Adadevoh

Dr. Stella Adadevoh
Dr. Stella Adadevoh

On Tuesday, The Guild of Medical Directors of Nigeria called on the Federal Government to immortalise the late Dr. Stella Adadevoh, who died after treating victims of the Ebola Virus disease that broke out in the country in 2014.

 The organisation urged the government to declare August 19 a national holiday every year in memory of the deceased, who worked with the First Consultant Hospital in the Obalende area of Lagos.

READ ALSO: UNICEF to support Adamawa on SDG goals

The GMDN in a statement titled, Remembering Stella Adadevoh and issued by the Public Relations Officer of its Abuja chapter, Dr. Biodun Ogungbo, said nothing less than declaring a national day could be done to immortalise the deceased for the sake of posterity.

 “Adadevoh made a huge sacrifice. It is said that there is no greater demonstration of love than to lay down your life for your friend. The tragic part of her passage is that she couldn’t be given a proper burial, with all the respect that her sacrifice demands,” he said.

Ogungbo added that Adadevoh had put her life on the line for the safety of 170 million Nigerians, many of who did not even understand the concept of what it meant to be a citizen.

“The Guild of Medical Directors of Nigeria and other medical associations honoured Adadevoh in their small capacities in the past. We gave awards and plaques and foodstuff to the hospital. This is not enough.

READ ALSO: 526 teeth discovered in boy’s mouth by doctors

“Nigeria should declare August 19 a national holiday every year to honour of Mrs stella Adadevoh. That way, some Nigerian children in six decades (time) can ask their parents, ‘Who is Stella Ameyo Adadevoh?’ And the parents will reply, ‘That woman saved my life, and the lives of all of us’, it is the least we can do. It is the least we should do,” he said.

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Osun Begins Construction of 120 Bed Ward, 30 Doctors Quarter

Governor of Osun State, Mr. Adegboyega
Governor of Osun State, Mr. Adegboyega

Governor of Osun State, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, has said his administration is committed to improving the health sector through the deployment of technology-based approach to ensure quality and affordable delivery.

Oyetola said this while turning the soil for the construction of the 120-bed ward and 30 doctors’ quarters at the state specialist hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo recently.

READ ALSO: Nigeria :N19.46bn needed to prevent 70,327 cancer deaths yearly

In the same vein, the governor commended President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for giving the state the privilege to participate in the competition that enabled the state to source funds from the federal government-facilitated World Bank’s Save One Million Lives (SOML) initiative in which Osun got 20.547 million dollars, having been adjudged number two in the contest.

He noted that the administration had on assumption of office commenced work on the revitalisation of nine general hospitals and 332 Primary Health Centres – one per ward – across the state.

He noted that the state has been partnering development partners and was exploring other windows to attract more funds to further deliver quality healthcare to the people.

Oyetola appealed to corporate organisations and relevant associations to partner the state in its efforts to revamp the health sector.

“This is a further fulfillment of the resolve of our administration to use health, which experts say is wealth, to power all the sectors of the state to deliver prosperity and good life to the people.

“Our revitalisation programme is holistic. It comes with the use of technology to boost health delivery, provision of modern equipment, training and re-training of staff for efficient healthcare.

“In order to give prompt vent to this resolve, we executed the flag off of the facilities in Ejigbo (Osun West) and Ifetedo (Osun East) Senatorial Districts barely three months into our administration.

“Work has reached advanced stages on the two projects. They will be delivered very soon. We also commenced work on the revitalisation of nine General Hospitals and 332 Primary Health Centres – one per ward – across the state.

“We are here to complete the one-per-senatorial-district revitalisation of hospitals with this expansion project at the State Specialist Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo.

“This project consists of the construction of a 120-bed ward and 30 doctors’ quarters. This hospital is the flagship of the facilities under the Hospitals Management Board,” he said.

According to him, it was a multi-specialist hospital which offers specialised services in major areas including obstetrics and gynaecology, general surgery, radiology, pediatrics, internal medicine, physiotherapy and medical rehabilitation, optical services, medical laboratory services, dentistry, HIV testing, counselling and treatment, TB/leprosy care and family planning services, among others.

He said his administration has carried out major works on the theatre complex, blood bank building, medical laboratory, trauma centre, hope clinic and the external wall of the hospital.

Oyetola said: “This year, we have executed six major campaigns and capacity efforts to boost impact and efficiency. These are Maternal, Neonatal and Child Week; Immunisation Plus Days; exclusive breastfeeding campaign; polio eradication campaign; net hanging campaign and facility level training for the activation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in Osun.

“Osun State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (O’SACA) will soon start a project that will involve the introduction of incentives for pregnant mothers who attend ante-natal clinic and have HIV test result.

“By the time the 120-bed facility whose sod we are turning today is handed over, we should have upgraded the hospital to a 180-bed facility and expanded its overall efficiency.

“Going forward, we are partnering with development partners and exploring other windows to attract more funds to the state to further deliver quality healthcare to the people.

“We would also appeal to corporate organisations and relevant associations to partners us to achieve our laudable objectives.

“Our collective resolve to build a dynamic and prosperous Osun as government and people is in our mutual interest”, the governor said.

The Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye, implored the health workers in the state to make judicious use of the facilities procured by the government.

Owoeye, who described the successes recorded by the Oyetola led-government as a clear manifestation of good governance, said the governor has demonstrated to the world that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was the only party that has the capability to take the state to the next level.

The Permanent Secretary, Osun State Hospital Management Board, Mr. Isaac Dayo Oluwoye, commended the administration of Oyetola for prioritising the health sector in the state.

He said: “Everyone knows that Oyetola’s administration is one of continuity from the progressive and people-focused administration before it, which makes provision of good health for the people as one of its cardinal programmes.”

Chief Consultant and Head of the Specialist Hospital, Dr. Bello Akeem Babatunde and member of the Osun Health Revitalisation Committee, Dr. Simeon Afolayan, hailed the state government for providing quality healthcare service in the state.

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Two highly effective Ebola drugs approved by WHO for immediate use

highly effective Ebola drugs
highly effective Ebola drugs

Two of four highly Ebola treatment drugs have been determined “more effective” than the others and will be the only ones used on patients going forward, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced.

WHO announced in a statement that two of the four Ebola treatment drugs were determined more effective in treating patients than others in a trial which began as part of the emergency response in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Nov. 20, 2018.

The trial was called the Pamoja Tulinde Maisha study.

ZMapp, remdesivir, mAb114 and REGN-EB3 were the four drugs used in the trials.

During trials, REGN-EB3 and mAb114 were determined to be more effective in treating Ebola than the other two, and will be the only two used going forward, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced in a statement.

As part of an emergency response team in the Congo, the “Together Save Lives” trial was done with a collaboration of organisations, including the Congo’s National Institute for Biomedical Research, the Ministry of Health, the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Alliance for International Medical Action and other organizations.

READ ALSO: UNICEF to support Adamawa on SDG goals

Although the final analysis of data will be completed in late September or early October of this year, the NIAID said the effectiveness of REGN-EB3 and mAb114 was “compelling enough to recommend and implement” the changes immediately.

The other two treatments, ZMapp and remdesivir, will no longer be used.

Some 681 patients were enrolled in the trial as of August 9, 2019, with a total aim of 725 patients, the NIAID said.

The new experimental treatments are both cocktails of monoclonal antibodies that are infused intravenously into the blood, the New York Times reported.

Jean-Jacques Muyembe, director of Congo’s National Institute for Biomedical Research, said the news of a cure could change the course of this outbreak — the worst of the 10 that Congo has endured.

Mr Muyembe, 77, pioneered the use of survivors’ blood serum — which contains antibodies — in order to save patients. The two new treatments descend in part from his original research, the New York Times said.

Ebola is a virus that is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids of someone infected with the virus or who has died from it, or through blood, body fluids or tissues of infected fruit bats or primates.

Symptoms, including fever, muscle pain, fatigue, vomiting, severe headache, weakness, diarrhea, abdominal pain or unexplained hemorrhaging, occur within two to 21 days of coming in contact with the virus.

Currently, there is no approved vaccine or treatment for the virus, so prevention is crucial, the CDC states.

Trials like “Together Save Lives” have been introduced in areas like the Congo during outbreaks to test what treatments may be most effective for infected patients.

Just under a month ago, the Ebola outbreak in Congo was declared a global health emergency.

As at Aug. 6, there have been 2,781 reported cases of Ebola in the country, according to the WHO.

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UNICEF to support Adamawa on SDG goals


The United Nations Children Emergency Funds has pledged to support Adamawa State Government in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals relating to healthy lives and wellbeing of its citizens.

The UNICEF Health Specialist, Bauchi Field Office, Dr Halima Abdu, stated this during the handover of seven PHCs renovated with funding from the European Union to the Governor of Adamawa State, Alhaji Ahmadu Fintiri, in Yola, on Tuesday.

She said UNICEF has committed $1,856,643.65 in purchasing essential medicines distributed to the 226 Primary Health Centers and provided a mobile storage unit worth $14,000 in the state.

Read Also: GMO food is postponed suicide in disguise, environmentalists warn

According to her, UNICEF’s pledged to support the state achieve the sustainable development goal of healthy lives and wellbeing for her citizens was partnered the European union to renovate PHC’s in the state, in phases.

She said, “This €54m multisectoral health and nutrition project being implemented across the three states of Adamawa, Bauchi and Kebbi has supported Adamawa State to ensure 226 Primary Health Centres are functional and provide integrated PHC services through capacity building for over 1,130 health workers on different PHC services and provision of equipment, motorcycles and essential medicines. She said the implementation of the health care service was to strengthen primary health care and community resilience for improved maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition outcomes.

“We have also supported the state through this project with 2,700 community resource persons, trained and kitted, who have provided appropriate treatment to 334,463 under-five children aged 6-59 months, identified with symptoms of any of the three most common child killer diseases and to support universal health coverage achievement, delivery of health care to hard-to-reach settlements using mobile outreach teams and outreach services.”

The Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri, who was represented by the Secretary, Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Mr Umar Pariya, thanked UNICEF for the intervention and support of the health care system.

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Polio Outbreak: Kwara Govt steps up response in 7 LGAs

Kwara State
Kwara State

The Kwara State Government says it has embarked on vaccination against polio in seven local governments areas of the state in response to an outbreak.

The Executive Secretary, Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Abimbola Folorunso, made this known on Thursday in Ilorin.

According to Mrs Folorunso, the local government areas are Asa, Baruten, Ifelodun, Ilorin South, Ilorin West, Ilorin East, and Moro.

Read Also: Ko Ko Ko Make We Yan with Dr.Weyoms Women and HIV

She explained that the exercise was in view of “circulating derived poliovirus’’ being transmitted in the state.

The agency’s executive secretary said that 30 derived cases of polio were earlier detected in the state.

She said the state government had conducted five different campaigns to battle the outbreak.

Mrs Folorunso also said, “The exercise is aimed at boosting the immunity of our children against the deadly disease (poliomyelitis)’’.

She said another round of vaccination had been slated to take place from August 3 to 23 and would be administered to children aged zero to five.

The executive secretary urged mothers and caregivers to bring their children and wards for the exercise, promising that complimentary gifts would be given to children who were vaccinated.

Mrs Folorunso said the exercise would be conducted from August 3 to 18 in Edu, Ekiti, Irepodun, Isin, Oyun, Offa, Oke-Ero and Patigi local government areas.

She said from August 18 to 23, the exercise would take place in Asa, Baruten, Ifelodun, Ilorin East, Ilorin West, Ilorin South, and Moro local governments. (NAN)

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Nigeria :N19.46bn needed to prevent 70,327 cancer deaths yearly

cancer deaths
cancer deaths

Experts seek disease mortality register, plan study on annual cost in country

Breast, cervical, prostate, colorectal tumours constitute 52.7% of all cases

To stop the deaths of 70,327 lives lost yearly to cancer, Nigeria needs over N19.46 billion yearly for prevention, diagnosis and treatment, hospice and palliative care, advocacy, data management and research, and governance and finance.

According to the National Cancer Control Plan (NCCP) 2018 –2022, Nigeria needs to spend N97,321,725,422.53 (N97.3 billion) on cancer treatment and care in five years. A breakdown showed that the country plans to spend N19.46 billion on cancer treatment and care yearly.

The NCCP 2018 –2022 has provided cost estimates for the five-year period of the NCCP so that stakeholders know the cost required to operationalise the plan. It also provided the cost estimates to be used for advocacy and resource mobilisation from stakeholders (international donors and local private sector, civil society, and government in the fight against cancer in Nigeria.

Read Also: Osun State: ‘56 out of 1,000 new babies die within 28 days of birth

A further breakdown of the figures showed that N60,508,390,843.09 (N60.5 billion) is for prevention; N59,508,662.50 (N59.5 million) for diagnosis and treatment; N272,032,497.06 (N272 million) for hospice and palliative care; N418,153,850.83 (N418.15 million) for advocacy; N419,787,613.31 (N419.78 million) for data management and research; N35,551,788,079.18 (N35.55 billion) for supply chain management (logistics); and N92,063,876.56 (N92 million) for governance and finance.

Also, current mortality estimates from modelling using incidence mortality rates derived from cancer registry data in GLOBOCAN 2018 showed cancer killed 70,327 and afflicted 115,950 Nigerians in 2018.

The GLOBOCAN 2018 data for Nigeria showed breast, cervical, prostate, and colorectal tumours constitute 52.7 per cent of all cases.

GLOBOCAN 2018 is an online database providing estimates of incidence and mortality in 185 countries for 36 types of cancer, and for all cancer sites combined.

Meanwhile, unlike in the United States (US) where the overall lost earnings were $94.4 billion, and $191,900 per cancer death and lost earnings were $29.0 million per 100,000 population overall, according to a new United States (US) analysis published in JAMA Oncology, Nigeria does to have such figures.

Why? A professor of Radiology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Enugu, Enugu State, Ifeoma Okoye, and the Medical Director, International Research Centre of Excellence, (IRCE) Institute of Human Virology, Abuja, Dr. Elima Jedy-Agba, told The Guardian that the amount of money Nigeria loses to cancer yearly is difficult to compute because the country does not have national mortality register and does not know the exact numbers of deaths from cancer.

Okoye and Jeddy-Agba said another reason is that the cancer cases particularly those in rural Nigeria or who are self employed like traders do not have information on their annual income that is for those who work and support families and whose income would be lost should they die from cancer.

Okoye, who is also the Director of UNN Centre For Clinical Trials, said this could be a research question, which needed to be investigated in a proper research study, “To estimate the annual cost of cancer in a particular state or geographic region in Nigeria” or “The annual cost of cancer care in Nigeria”.

Until now, several studies have shown that cancer deaths impose significant economic burden in Nigeria because of productivity losses due to premature death. Experts are unanimous that accurate information on the economic burden of cancer mortality can help in setting policies and prioritizing resources for cancer prevention and control.

However, contemporary data are lacking for not just in Nigeria but also in the United States nationally and by state.

According to the JAMA Oncology study, a total of 492,146 cancer deaths occurred in people ages 16 to 84 in the in 2015, translating to a total of 8,739,939 life years lost. The study identified which cancers and which states are associated with the greatest cost.

To update estimated lost earnings due to death from cancer, investigators led by Dr. Farhad Islami calculated person-years of life lost using numbers of cancer deaths and life expectancy data in individuals aged 16 to 84 years who died from cancer in the United States in 2015. They created estimates for cancer deaths overall and for the major cancers in the United States nationally and by state. The estimates are for lost earnings alone, and do not include other costs associated with cancer, including costs of treatment and caregiving.

Islami said: “Years of life lost and lost earnings were high for many cancers for which there are modifiable risk factors and effective screening and treatment, which suggests that a substantial proportion of our current national mortality burden is potentially avoidable.

“Applying comprehensive cancer prevention interventions and ensuring equitable access to high-quality care across all states could reduce the burden of cancer and associated geographic and other differences in the country…”

Health care professionals can contribute to achieving this goal because they play a central role in the delivery of cancer prevention, screening, and treatment.”

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526 teeth discovered in boy’s mouth by doctors

526 teeth
526 teeth

Doctors have discovered about 526 teeth inside a 7-year-old Indian boy’s mouth.  “He always complain of jaw pain”, the hospital that treated him said. The boy whose name was not mentioned, was admitted last month in the southern city of Chennai because of swelling and pain near his molars in his lower right jaw

Read Also: Osun State: ‘56 out of 1,000 new babies die within 28 days of birth

 When doctors scanned and x-rayed his mouth, they found a sac embedded in his lower jaw filled with “abnormal teeth,” Dr. Prathiba Ramani, the head of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, said. Ramani said the boy was suffering from a very rare condition called compound composite odontoma, noting that it took his team about four to five hours to empty the sac after two surgeons had operated on the boy.

However, Dr. P. Senthilnathan, head of the hospital’s Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department and one of two surgeons who operated on the boy explain the procedures to the reporters “Under general anesthesia, we drilled into the jaw from the top,” he said.

We did not break the bone from the sides, meaning reconstruction surgery was not required. The sac was removed. You can think of it as a kind of balloon with small pieces inside.” Dr. Senthilnathan said the discovery showed it was important to seek treatment for dental issues as early as possible.

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GMO food is postponed suicide in disguise, environmentalists warn

GMO food
GMO food

With the recent agricultural updates that if the world’s population should hit 10 billion, then the genetic modification of crops popularly called GMO would be the only way to meet food production.

Some environmentalists and agricultural experts have debunked the claim insisting that the world can always feed itself if wastage is checked.

Read Also: 20 million Nigerians on hepatitis death list- Anambra State Commissioner for Health

The experts made this assertion at a town hall meeting with civil society organisations and other stakeholders CSOs organised by Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, in Benin City. Executive Director of HOMEF, Dr Nnimmo Bassey in his opening remarks upheld that artificial means of food production is as good as signing one’s death warrant and should not be considered in Nigeria.

He said those insisting on GMOs were those desperate to keep their jobs. Bassey said: “Records show that up to 30 per cent of food produced globally is wasted and in Nigeria, it is believed that up to 50 per cent of food produced gets damaged before getting to the cooking pots or dining table.

 Several reasons are responsible for the damage of harvests in Nigeria, genetic engineering cannot solve that problem”. I’ll not share public funds to few greedy individuals —Obaseki(Opens in a new browser tab) A Professor of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology of the University of Benin, Daniel Olorunfemi kicked against the idea of trying to alter nature with laboratory modulated findings as a contest against the order as ordained by nature and  God.

He likened GMOs to altering the DNA of a human being and the result can never be the same as the original DNA, adding that the hunger in Nigeria is artificial caused by misplaced priorities.

 He said: “We already have enough problems and GMO is just complicating. They have lasting effects that may not even present itself now but for unborn generations. We have been surviving well before the introduction of GMO in our country and taking it as an option in order to meet the status-quo of achieving Vision 2020 is mass ambush for Nigeria. It will never solve the issue of food crisis in Nigeria”.

While calling on proper investment in agriculture, participants called on the Federal Government to ban GMO foods into the country rather than claiming that there can be room for authorized GMO foods

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Second man in Goma to have Ebola is dead

Ebola Goma
Ebola Goma

A Congolese official has said that the man who became the second confirmed Ebola case in the city of Goma has died.

Ebola response coordinator Jean-Jacques Muyembe confirmed the death on Wednesday morning, a day after the case was announced

Read Also: 20 million Nigerians on hepatitis death list- Anambra State Commissioner for Health

Muyembe has said there appears to be no link between the case and the previous one in Goma that was announced two and a half weeks ago. It is not immediately clear how the man arrived in Goma on July 13 from a mining area in northeastern Ituri province and what he did after he started showing symptoms on July 22. He was isolated at an Ebola treatment center on Tuesday.

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20 million Nigerians on hepatitis death list- Anambra State Commissioner for Health

hepatitis death list
hepatitis death list

NO fewer than 20 million Nigerians are believed to be on the hepatitis death list, with the country contributing significantly to the global chronic viral hepatitis infection.

Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, who gave the figure when members of the Rotary Club, Awka, paid him a courtesy call in commemoration of this year’s Hepatitis Day, described Hepatitis C as 10 times more infectious than HIV and has no vaccine.

 He said apart from the fact that hepatitis has no vaccine, the most disturbing aspect of the ailment was that most people live with it for years without knowing.

According to him, Nigeria had the prevalence rate of 11% and 2.2% for viral Hepatitis B and C respectively, adding that the percentage corresponds with the over 20 million people living with the virus in a population of about 198 million, who are at the risk of developing chronic complications of liver cirrhosis and primary liver cell cancers.

Okpala said: “Without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will continue to suffer and lives will continue to be lost. Every single day, thousands of people are newly infected with Hepatitis yet viral Hepatitis B is entirely preventable.”

Read Also: Osun State: ‘56 out of 1,000 new babies die within 28 days of birth

 He listed some of the modes of transmitting viral Hepatitis B and C to include contact with infectious blood, semen and other bodily fluids. Others means of contracting the disease, he added, were through birth from a Hepatitis B-infected mother, sexual contact with a Hepatitis B-infected person, sharing needles, syringes or drug paraphernalia and tattooing.

 While commending Rotary Club for its role in reducing diseases in society, Okpala noted that the fight against hepatitis was everyone’s responsibility, explaining that the state would collaborate with the club in conducting free screening for civil servants and traders at the Bridge Head Drug Market in Onitsha.

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Osun State: ‘56 out of 1,000 new babies die within 28 days of birth

Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey
Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey

The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) has shown that out of 1,000 newly-born children in Osun State, 56 die within 28 days of their birth. The data also indicated that 78 out of 1,000 children in the state die before they are 12 months old. It also revealed that 101 out of 1,000 children in the state die before they are five years old.

Read Also: 7500 Gombe kids at risk of acute malnutrition – Investigation

 The Director, Department of Nutrition Services & Health Education (DNSHE) of the Osun Primary Health Care Development Board (OPHCDB), Dr James Oloyede, said such deaths would be avoidable if women in the state practised exclusive breastfeeding.

 At a sensitization programme organised yesterday for women groups in the state, Oloyede declared that the figure was unacceptable and the situation must be dealt with. He urged mothers-in-law to support their daughters-in-law to practise exclusive breast-feeding. The OPHCDB Director commended the state governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, for setting up a steering committee on breastfeeding, while urging representatives of women groups in the state to disseminate the exclusive breast-feeding message to their various communities and become its advocate. A public health specialist in the Board, Mr Michael Izuchukwu, advised women in the state to imbibe the exclusive breast-feeding culture to ensure that their children stay alive in sound health. He noted that breast milk already contained 88.1 per cent of water and cautioned nursing mothers to desist from giving water or any liquid to their children in the first six months of the baby’s life. Izuchukwu said, “The baby needs only breast milk to make him or her stay alive, healthy and brilliant. Exclusive breast-feeding has the potential to save more children’s lives than any other preventive intervention. In fact, a study has shown that an estimated 13 per cent of child deaths could be averted if 90 per cent of mothers exclusively breast-feed their infants for the first six months of life. “Breast-fed children have, at least, six times greater chance of survival in the early months than non-breastfed children. An exclusively breast-fed child is 14 times less likely to die in the first six months than a non-breastfed child.”

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7500 Gombe kids at risk of acute malnutrition – Investigation

acute malnutrition
acute malnutrition

No fewer than 7, 500 children are at the risk of becoming severely malnourished as a result of impending shortage of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), supplement use to treat acute malnutrition in children. Findings by North East Trust revealed that at least 300 new cases of malnourished children are register monthly at each of the five LGAs with the Centre the Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM).

Read Also: NMA Embarks on Protest against Frequent Kidnapping of Doctors in C’River

 The Nutrition officer of Gombe Local Government Area, Mohammed Bawa, said they have run out of stock since January when they had the last supply of the RUTF.

 “The supply resumed only last Friday and there is fear that it will not last beyond September over non-release of counterpart funding by the last administration and the likely withdrawal of UNICEF from the RUF programme,” he said. Bawa disclosed that the 500 cartons of the RUTF received at his centre may last for only two months considering the high demand from within and, especially, outside Gombe metropolis. During a visit to one of the CMAM site in Gombe metropolis, several nursing mothers, with their malnourished children, were seen waiting to be given the RUTF ration for their children.

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NMA Embarks on Protest against Frequent Kidnapping of Doctors in C’River

NMA Embarks on Protest

Medical doctors in Cross River State, operating on the platform of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), stormed the state House of Assembly in Calabar, the state capital, where they laid their protest against the incessant kidnapping of their members at the door steps of the state lawmakers.

The doctors also took their protest to the Government House where they also laid a similar complaint before the state Governor, Professor Ben Ayade.

While the medical doctors were marching through some streets in Calabar to the seat of power in the state, all public and private hospitals remained closed in continuation of the indefinite strike they embarked on recently following the abduction of Dr. Inyama Marcus a week ago. As at press time, Marcus was still in captivity.

Chairman of NMA in the state, Dr. Agama Ayuk, who led the protesting doctors to the state government, lamented that in the last your years, eight medical doctors and six members of their households have been kidnapped in the state.

Ayuk said the NMA was demanding the immediate release of Marcus from those who kidnapped him last week in Akpabuyo Local Government Area close to Calabar.

Speaking at the premises of the state House of Assembly, Ayku, who was flanked by hundreds of his colleagues, said the frequent kidnapping of medical doctors in the state was “worrisome.”

Lamenting the plight of medical personnel in the state in the hands of kidnappers, he said the government should provide adequate security, not just for members of the NMA, but for everybody in the state.

According to Ayuk, “On July 18, 2019, one of our colleagues, Dr. Marcus, was kidnapped on the way to his house. Since then, he has been held captive and they are demanding outrageous sum of money which is very difficult for doctors to pay.

“This is the 14 doctors and their dependents kidnapped across the state in the last four years. We work day and night, and we feel that we are not safe in carrying out our responsibility of saving lives.”

“And if we are not safe, we cannot save lives. When the people make emergency calls, we cannot go out of our houses to attend to them. So we have to withdraw our services to strengthen the hands of government to do more in providing security for everyone in the state.

“As we speak, many people are been kidnapped in Cross River State everyday, and we believe that the government, whose primary responsibility is security and welfare of the people, should do more to protect us.

“Cross River State is no longer safe for us. We hope that this issue will be taken as a matter of urgent public importance because we want the unconditional release of our colleague.”

Ayuk said the ongoing strike by members of the NMA would continue until Marcus regains his freedom.

Speaker of the assembly, Eteng Jonah-Williams, who responded to their complaints and address NMA members, said the lawmakers would give serious attention to the demands of the medical doctors.

“We need the Permanent Secretary on security to explain to us what’s going on. Within one week alone, I know of three persons that have been kidnapped within Calabar metropolis; this is a very sad development.

“We are with you, we will make sure that something is done urgently because I see no reason why doctors who save lives should be targeted and kidnapped always,’’ the Speaker said.

At the Government House, while addressing the medical doctors, the state Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, who stood in for the state governor, said the state government remained poised to providing security for the people of the state.

Esu promised that the state government was working seriously to secure the release of Marcus from the kidnappers den, as he appealed to the medical doctors to call of the strike in the interest of the public.

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NCDC records 82 suspected cases of Cholera Outbreak in Adamawa, Bauchi, Katsina

Cholera Outbreak
Cholera Outbreak

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, yesterday said no fewer than 82 cases of suspected cholera had been recorded from seven local government areas in Adamawa, Bauchi and Katsina. The agency gave the breakdown of affected state as Adamawa 60 cases, Bauchi two cases and Katsina 20 cases. The Director-General of the council, Mr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said out of the 82 suspected cases, 36 were confirmed in laboratory and one death recorded. Ihekweazu noted that the Cholera Technical Working Group, TWG, had continued to coordinate activities in states, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, FMWR, and support from partners. According to him, the Adamawa Emergency Operations Centre, EOC, was leading the response to cases in the state. The Director-General said Rapid Diagnostic Test kits, RDTs were distributed to local government councils by Disease Surveillance Notification Officers (DSNOs) for prompt test and action, saying:  “DSNOs and health facilities in high-risk areas and the TWG members, with a team from John Hopkins University, visited four states to conduct training on the use of measles RDTs. They planned to follow up to ensure continued vigilance and early reporting. They also planned to conduct level training on sample management and RDT testing for high priority states and conduct community sensitisation in Adamawa local government areas.” Lassa fever outbreak: NCDC confirms 23 new cases, 4 deaths (Opens in a new browser tab) On Lassa fever, he said there were 78 suspected cases from 17 local government areas in eight states in the country. He listed the states as Edo with 40 cases, Ondo, 16 cases; Ebonyi, seven cases; Plateau, nine cases; Gombe, one case; Enugu, one case; Kebbi, three cases and Cross River, one case. Ihekweazu added that 12 cases were confirmed in the laboratory with one death recorded. The NCDC boss announced a plan to support indigent patients through Basic Health Care Provision Fund and harmonisation of Lassa fever laboratory and surveillance data into one database. On measles, he disclosed that there were 633 suspected cases reported from 30 states. He added that none was confirmed in a laboratory but the Multi-Agency National Measles TWG was monitoring and coordinating response activities across the states. He said “TWG is working closely with National Measles Technical Coordination Committee toward an upcoming measles Supplementary Immunisation Activity (SIA) and introduction of second dose of measles vaccination. “The group conducted a planning meeting for After Action Review (AAR) and measles guideline review meeting and a travel advisory on measles outbreak shared across different media platforms.” The NCDC chief said that the centre would continue to review measles surveillance data across the nation and also continue planning for AAR and measles guideline review meetings.

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Ko Ko Ko Make we yan with Dr Weyoms – Family Planning

Dr Weyoms

Family Planning in a Big Context.

Do you think family planning should start when you have had your first day or much earlier?

I think with the present state of the world’s economy, family planning should start when the certainty of a marriage union is 150%. In this case, partners should start making healthy decisions regarding family planning.

Aside genotypes, do screenings and health checks to know if you are healthy to have a baby or babies. Also, it is not a one-sided show, both the man and the woman has to be involved.

Plan ahead for the hospital and baby. Don’t wait until the last minute or the 9th month to prepare for a baby’s arrival. Also, have
e an emergency fund and if possible a health insurance plan for your family.

Don’t forget to space your children as this is critical to your wellbeing. Both of you as partners have to make a choice of the type of contraceptives to use.

Take family planning into consideration as you prepare your wedding plans.

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Air Pollution Bad News for Your Blood Pressure

Air Pollution

 In yet another finding that shows air pollution is bad for more than just your lungs, a new study suggests long-term exposure could raise your risk of high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic Syndrome includes a number of health conditions that increase the risk of Heart disease, Stroke and diabetes

After researchers have investigated between long-term exposure to air pollution, how far people lived from green spaces and major roads, and the development of high blood pressure and some components of metabolic syndrome, such as high triglyceride levels, lower levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, high blood sugar levels and obesity.

The investigators found that the effects were seen only in people who lived in apartment buildings. And while the study found an association, it could not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

“Our research results enable us to say that we should regulate as much as possible the living space for one person in multifamily houses, improve the noise insulation of apartments, and promote the development of green spaces in multifamily houses,”

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10 million Nigerians use cannabis – UNODC


Cannabis is the most widely used drug globally by the United Nations on Drug and Crime (UNODC) with an estimated 188 million people having used the drug in the previous year.

UNODC Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe, disclosed this at the 2019 World Drug Day on Wednesday in Abuja.

The theme for the 2019 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is: ‘Justice for Health, Health for Justice.’

According to him, an estimated 10.6 million Nigerians had used cannabis in the previous year as disclosed in a survey conducted by National Bureau of Statistics with the technical support of UNODC and funded by the European Union.

Mr Stolpe said more than one third of cannabis users suffer from drug use disorders.

He said UNODC annual report shows that 271 million people or 5.5 per cent of the global population aged between 15 and 64 have used drugs in the previous year.

“In this context, I would like to remind you that drug use prevalence in Nigeria stood at 14.4 per cent of Nigeria’s population in the age group of 15 to 64 years.

“That means that the prevalence of past year drug use in Nigeria is more than twice the global average of 5.5 per cent.

“In 2017, more than 53 million people worldwide had used opioids, 56 per cent higher than the estimate for 2016.

“In Africa, the survey data from Nigeria led to a revision of the number of past year users of opioids to 6.1 million, compared to the previous estimate of 2.2 million.

READ MORE : Genotype and Sickle Cell on Ko Ko Ko Make We Yan with Dr Weyoms

“With the new information from India and Nigeria, the number of people who are thought to suffer from drug use disorders is now estimated to be 35 million globally.

“This number is 15 per cent higher than the previous estimate of 30 million,” Mr Stolpe said.

He said the use of cannabis and poly-drug have been a fairly common phenomena in Nigeria with large number of dependent users.

Mr Stolpe said cannabis production, trafficking, prevention and treatment should not be addressed in isolation, but as part of a holistic approach to drug control.

He explained that a single substance approach such as the ban of codeine, containing cough syrup, are unlikely to produce results in terms of reduced drug use.

The UNODC rep added that in spite of the aim to prevent criminals from generating profits from the illicit trade, cannabis market continue to exist in countries that have legalised the non-medical use of the drug.

He also said the UNODC world drug report shows that the intensity of cannabis use has been increasing in the context of cannabis legalisation.

Mr Stolpe said that the issue of cannabis legalisation should be considered within the international legal framework and the specific country’s context.

He added that with the renewed commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the issue of drug use the country would continue to employ a balanced approach to drug control.

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She’s Taking Control with Dr. Rasheedah


Body image has been in the news lately and rightfully so. The way we view ourselves as women is very important and I’m all for cultivating a positive body image. women are more likely to report negative body image issues and as a result more likely to develop mental health conditions secondary to this. This week it’s #selflove#bodypositive

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Genotype and Sickle Cell on Ko Ko Ko Make We Yan with Dr Weyoms

Dr Weyoms

Have you ever asked someone what their genotype is? How was the response? 
So I am asking you, “Do you know your genotype?  
This is not a show but a serious question that determines how the future plays itself especially when you want to have children. Sickle Cell Disease is a public health issue and affects us as a people in Nigeria. 
We tend to discriminate those whose genotypes are SS, but we need to challenge the myths we have about them and start embracing them as humans who are warriors. 
We can support these warriors and their carers in many ways. Look for a Warrior Community today and ask them how you can support them. 

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Ko Ko Ko Make We Yan with Dr.Weyoms Women and HIV

women living with HIV

We have about 1.7M women living with HIV in Nigeria between the ages of 15-49 years according to 2017 statistics. It is something that calls for serious conversations as it applies to our everyday lives.

HIV may cause some health problems that are unique to women, which includes cancer, gynaecological health issues, aging related issues and a whole range of other things.

HIV affects women and adolescent girls because of vulnerabilities which are created by unequal cultural, social and economic status.

We can go on about the barriers facing women and HIV, but I think it is time to start designed targeted measures to help women living with HIV, increase knowledge about HIV among adolescent girls and provide appropriate services that address our sexual, reproductive and HIV needs.

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She’s Taking Control: Few tips and key points on health screening


It’s the month of June and midway through 2019, are you being proactive with your health? How are those health goals going? It’s never too late to start you’ve still got time.
Join me as I share a few tips and key points on health screening and checks that I would recommend for every woman.
Remember it’s all about taking control ❤

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Ko Ko Ko Make we yan with Dr Weyoms: Beat Air Pollution

women living with HIV

The quality of the air we breathe depends on the lifestyle choices we make every day.  This is why you should care about air pollution where you live according to the UN Environment: Polluted air is creating a health emergency and it is threatening everyone from unborn babies to children walking to school, to women cooking over open fires and poorly ventilated kitchens. Children are mostly at risks with a lot of death resulting from air pollution such as pneumonia. 
Air pollution goes hand in hand with poverty. The cheaper the fuels, the higher the costsThe right to clean air is a human right. 
What are you doing today to curb the air pollution in where you live? Let us work together to #BeatAirPollution

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NACA Empowers Young Women and Girls to Curb HIV Prevalence


The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) in collaboration with the Association of Women Living with HIV in Nigeria (ASWHIN) and Tosin Alibaba Memorial Fund has empowered 50 young women and girls in Lagos as part of plans to reduce the spread of the Human Immuno Virus in Nigeria.

Speaking during the presentation of empowerment packs to the beneficiaries in Lagos recently, the Acting Director General, NACA, Dr. Kayode Ogungbemi, said the agency was targeting females because the recent study done by NACA has shown that young women and girls are more prone to HIV infection, hence the need to make them economically independent so they can make choices themselves.

He said: “We have come to understand that without empowering them economically, it will be difficult to address HIV epidemic in the country. Evidence has shown that one of the major drivers of gender inequality and HIV especially amongst females is poverty and financial dependency.

“The findings from the recently conducted Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) indicate almost double the number of males is females living with HIV. That is 1.9 per cent females and 1.1 per cent males while the national prevalence is 1.5 per cent.

“The study estimated about 1.9 million people are living with HIV in Nigeria. 75 percent of persons with HIV are between the reproductive and working ages of 15 and 49 years. Poverty is recognised as one of the drivers of the HIV epidemic in Nigeria, and evidence suggests that economic empowerment as a social protection strategy can improve the response and coping strategies of people infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS.
“Economic empowerment opportunities could also reduce women’s financial dependence which predisposes them to gender based violence, sexually risky behaviour and HIV infection.”

He explained that the empowerment strategy was equally important in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of leaving no one behind, adding that gender-related interventions were potent tools for breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty, particularly for disadvantaged women and girl children.

He said the empowerment will focus on provision of livelihood training/ skills acquisition programmes for fifty vulnerable and indigent young women and girls including women and girls living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

On her part, the Deputy Director, Gender, Human Rights and Care Support Service, NACA, Dr. Yinka Falola-Anoemuah said the goal of the initiative was to economically empower 50 young vulnerable women and girls in Lagos State including living with HIV & AIDS and those affected/vulnerable to HIV&AIDS through the transfer of economic empowerment and livelihood skills and opportunities.

She said: “The objective is to promote entrepreneurships and income generation through acquisition of skills and provision of startup kits to selected HIV vulnerable women and girls in Lagos.

“It is also to provide linkages for other relevant and available services with the communities for HIV vulnerable women and girls in Lagos, as well as to contribute towards achieving gender equality in the national HIV and AIDS response.”

The Chairman, Tosin Alibaba Memorial Fund, Senator Dipo Odujirin said the programme would help in reducing the prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the country.

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2.6 Million LLITN to be distributed By USAID in Cross River

The United States Agency International Development

According to the Malaria Logistics Advisor, Global Health Supply Chain, Godwin Aidenagbon, The United States Agency International Development (USAID) will distribute at least 2.6 million Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLITNs) in Cross River State valued at N2.3 billion,

Disclosing this during a sensitisation workshop on Malaria Eradication in Calabar recently, he said the programme, which is being sponsored under the auspices of the US President’s Malaria Initiative, targets the distribution across the 18 local government areas of the state.

Aidenagbon said the programme will run through nine weeks, with 11,000 people deployed to embark on distribution of the LLITN.

He said: “Over 45 percent of Nigerians sleep inside the LLITN regularly, and what we are doing is to increase the number using the net to prevent malaria and we are doing this through campaign, community distribution, schools, and antenatal clinics.

“Nets protect us from the mosquito that spreads the parasite. People should sleep inside the net correctly and consistently.”

In her remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Cross River State, Dr. Inyang Asibong, said the net has a life span of three years.

Represented by the Director of Public Health, Dr. Iwara Iwara, she urged the residents not to use the net to protect their garden from insect, but rather they should sleep under it every night to protect themselves from having malaria

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Pastor in trouble for Impregnating 20 Followers

Pastor Impregnating 20 Followers

Men of the Enugu State Police Command have held a pastor for allegedly impregnating 20 members of his ministry.
The 53-year-old General Overseer of Vineyard Ministry of the Holy Trinity, Enugu, Pastor Timothy Ngwu, reportedly claimed that the Holy Spirit commanded him to impregnate as many female members of the church as possible.
Enugu police spokesperson, Ebere Amaraizu, said that the pastor had been charged for sexual abuse.
It was learned that whenever a woman allegedly impregnated by the pastor is delivered of a baby, the child is supposed to remain in the ministry with the mother for life.
Reports say the police were called in when the niece of the pastor’s wife was impregnated.
According to the police, the pastor said he had “only five wives with 13 children along with other concubines he got after the ‘Holy Spirit commanded’ him to do so.”

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Ko Ko Ko Make we yan with Dr Weyoms – Mental Health is Everybody’s Business

Dr Weyoms

How are you?

This is more than just a formal way of greeting as it can lead to many conversations. Mental health is a very sensitive topic in our region but it doesn’t mean we should not talk about it. The more we speak our minds on mental health, the barriers and stigma attached to mental health will be lowered. Mental Health affects women, men, children, young people and older people. A lot of people suffer from mental health issues and they need our support and help. We can do our best by speaking out, using the right words and support and helping those who need professional help find one. Let us make use of the opportunities we have to curb mental health issues in our communities.

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Ko Ko Ko make we yan with Dr Weyoms: Type 2 Diabetes

Dr Weyoms

Type 2 Diabetes is serious! Why? 

Every day around 700 people are diagnosed with diabetes. That’s one person every two minutes. If you do not know your risk of type 2 diabetes or even follow the right treatment, there could be problems with your eyesight, risk of heart attack or a stroke. The risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are age, family history, ethnicity, high blood pressure and being overweight. It is important to know the risk factors and find out your risk but remember to look out for these signs: Peeing a lot? Thirsty? Lost weight without trying? Feel tired? Blurred eyesight? itchy genitals and thrush? Cuts that do not heal? If you notice any of these, please see a doctor and get tested for Type 2 diabetes. You and your doctor can then plan your next steps.

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Advancing health security in Nigeria

Prof. Isaac F. Adewole Minister of Health

One of the biggest priorities of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led government in its first tenure was to strengthen and revitalise Nigeria’s health sector. This was evident in several ways.
Perhaps one of the most valuable long-term investments of this administration is the passage of the Act establishing the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

This agency, which was established in 2011 to lead the response to the challenges of public health emergencies and to enhance Nigeria’s preparedness and response to epidemics, had existed for over 10 years without a legislative mandate. This led to some uncertainty about its role and mandate. This has now been resolved by the leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, providing an unambiguous mandate to NCDC as contained in the new Act.

Across the world, there is a rise in the awareness of people, on the critical importance of science driven national public health institutes, in protecting the health of its citizens.

In several global health meetings, which I have been privileged to attend, and in some cases chair, Nigeria’s national public health institute is often cited as a model for other countries.

In recognition of this, the Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited the agency in 2018, together with all his Regional Directors from across the world. They were impressed by the progress made by this nascent but vibrant new centre.

Prior to 2017, the ability of NCDC to completely deliver its mandate was limited by the absence of a legislative mandate.

Other factors that limited effective and smooth operationalisation of activities included inadequate funding, limited development partners support, a non-effective incident coordination mechanism, limited laboratory diagnostic capacity, lack of standard operation procedures and guidelines, etc. This had a negative impact on outbreak preparedness and response in the country.

However, since the Buhari administration prioritised health security and universal health coverage in the last four years, we have recorded incredible progress across several areas.

In 2017, NCDC on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health coordinated the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) of International Health Regulations (IHR) for Nigeria. This described the country’s gaps and defined the progress that has been made in health security.

Subsequently, this led to the development of a National Action Plan for Health Security, which I was privileged to launch in December 2018. This plan has an outline of roles for every player in health security, within and outside the Nigerian health sector.

For the first time, we have a concise and well-defined plan that speaks to health and ‘non-health’ sector leaders. The plan has helped us interact better, as members of the Federal Executive Council, to assure Nigeria’s health security.

Prior to 2015, Nigeria depended largely on other African and Western countries for laboratory testing. In 2017, the new National Reference Laboratory was operationalised in Abuja, and now leads public health laboratory diagnosis in the country.

The laboratory together with its network of laboratories across the country, has the capacity to test for the six epidemic prone diseases in Nigeria; Lassa fever, measles, cholera, yellow fever, cerebrospinal meningitis and monkeypox. This is in addition to leading surveillance on antimicrobial resistance, external quality assessments and other important areas.

The National Reference Laboratory also served as the central laboratory for the National AIDS Impact and Indicator Survey (NAIIS). This is evidence of national ownership in ensuring sustainability of investments in the country. We are now leveraging on outputs from the AIDS survey to improve our knowledge of the burden of other diseases.

In line with President Buhari’s agenda for a digital Nigeria, a new digital surveillance tool- Surveillance and Outbreak Review Management System (SORMAS), was developed and introduced for ease of reporting. This has been fully deployed in 211 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 16 States in Nigeria. This enables digital reporting of infectious disease data, improved response time and better data management. This new system will position Nigeria as a leader in infectious disease surveillance in Africa.

Following the 2014 Ebola outbreak, several structures were lost after the response. The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) that was used for the response was shut down.

The emergence of NCDC has now changed this landscape. Nigeria now has a new National Emergency Operations Centre, known as the Incident Coordination Centre (ICC) within NCDC. This was set up in 2016 and has led the coordination of over 10 outbreaks till date. In addition, NCDC began a project to establish state level Emergency Operations Centre for coordination.

By the end of April 2019, this project had been completed in 14 states with plans for further expansion to cover the entire country.

A National First Responders Team (N-FIRST) for highly pathogenic infectious disease outbreak was set up in 2018 in alignment with the Emergency Medical Team (EMT) concept. This includes health workers of different cadre from various health facilities in Nigeria, prepared to respond to highly pathogenic outbreaks with NCDC’s coordination.

As part of the overall mandate of the Federal Ministry of Health, NCDC has contributed significantly to research and development, especially for infectious diseases. Nigeria is now at the forefront of Lassa fever research globally. There is a new national Lassa fever research plan, working with partners to understand and push for the production of new countermeasures such as Lassa fever vaccines.

In addition, Nigeria now contributes to the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System, one of the new threats to global health.

Given the increased trust and renewed vigor in the health sector and NCDC, there has been an increase in partnerships and support globally. NCDC has built partnerships with other national public health institutes in United Kingdom, Germany, United States of America and other countries.

In addition, NCDC receives support from the World Health Organization, Africa CDC, West African Health Organization, UNICEF, Gates Foundation, a credit facility from the World Bank and other international agencies.

Finally, in 2018, the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) was passed into law for the first time. Of the 5 per cent earmarked for emergencies, 2.5 per cent is for health emergencies and will be managed by NCDC.

Our Government recognises that universal health coverage and health security are two sides of the same coin. Therefore, this sustainable act and several others that we have built will support NCDC in continuing its mandate of protecting the health of all Nigerians.

As the first tenure of President Buhari draws to an end, we celebrate one of its most important achievements. The full operationalisation of NCDC will protect the health of Nigerians for generations yet unborn.

  • Prof. Isaac F. Adewole is the Minister of Health, and a consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician.
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She’s Taking Control with Dr Rasheedah


Topic: Living Positively

It’s mental health awareness week and we are discussing “Living Positively”. As humans we will experience a whole range of emotions go and bad, some we can explain and others not so much. 
I’ll be sharing a few things I have found that help me reset when I start to slip into negativity or start to feel low. 
Everyone has their happy space and things that work for them, it’s all about trying to find your HAPPY

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KO KO KO Make we yan with Dr Weyoms

women living with HIV


Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties. It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also develop for the first time in adults. There are simple treatments that can help keep the symptoms under control so it doesn’t have a big impact on your life. People with asthma have very sensitive airways that become inflamed and tighten when they breathe in anything that irritates them.

 The main symptoms of asthma are wheezing (a whistling sound when breathing); breathlessness, a tight chest, which may feel like a band is tightening around it and coughing. The symptoms can sometimes get temporarily worse and this known as an asthma attack.

Most people with asthma who receive the right treatment and take it correctly can control the symptoms and lead normal lives

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How can I get to sleep easily?

woman sleeping on a bed

Being unable to fall sleep easily or naturally can be a frustrating experience, with consequences for the next day. One solution is to take medications that help to induce sleep. However, these medications are not a long-term solution to the problem.

This article will discuss 14 methods that people can use to help them fall asleep naturally. It is important to remember that different things will work for different people; so take some time to experiment to find what works.

14 ways to fall asleep naturally

There are many ways to improve sleep including:

1. Creating a consistent sleeping pattern

Creating a consistent sleeping pattern can help a person to fall asleep naturally.

Going to bed at different times every night is a common habit for many people.

However, an irregular sleeping pattern could interfere with sleep because it interrupts the body’s circadian rhythm.

The circadian rhythm refers to a selection of behavioral, physical, and mental changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. A primary function of the circadian rhythm is to determine whether the body is ready for sleep or not.

This is heavily influenced by a biological clock that releases hormones to induce sleep or wakefulness.

Going to bed at the same time every night helps the body clock predict when to induce sleep.

2. Keeping lights turned off

The circadian rhythm is also influenced by cues, such as light, which help the body judge when it is nighttime. Keeping the room as dark as possible when going to bed might help bring on sleep.

3. Avoiding napping

Naps during the daytime can also disrupt the circadian rhythm, particularly those longer than 2 hours or close to the evening.

One study found that students who napped at least three times per week for longer than 2 hours or napped close to the evening had a lower quality of sleep than their peers.

After a poor night’s sleep, it is tempting to take a long nap, particularly close to the evening. But try to avoid this as it can adversely affect a healthful sleep cycle.

How can I get enough sleep?

Adults and children need plenty of sleep for their mind and body to function correctly. Learn more about how much sleep people need at various stages of their lives, as well as tips for better sleep here

4. Doing exercise

Physical exercise is known to have a positive impact on sleep quality.

One study that looked at 305 people over 40 years old with sleep problems found that moderate or high-intensity exercise programs led to improvements in sleep quality. The study also found that participants took their sleep medication less frequently.

It is currently unclear whether exercising at different times of day has an impact on sleep.

5. Avoiding using your mobile

Currently, there is much debate about whether the use of mobile phones at bedtime affects sleep.

One study on college students found that those who scored high on a scale of problem phone use, such as addictive texting behavior, had a lower sleep quality. However, there was no difference in the length of time they slept.

Much of the current research is on students and young people, so it is unclear whether these findings extend to other age groups. Studies also tend to focus on problem phone use. People who do not use their phone in this way may not be as susceptible to sleep disturbances.

More research is needed in this area to understand the extent to which phone use can impact upon sleep.

6. Reading books

Reading books can be relaxing and may help prevent anxious thought patterns that could interfere with a person’s sleep. It is best to avoid books that might cause strong emotional responses.

7. Avoiding caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant. It stimulates wakefulness and can disrupt sleep patterns. It is best to avoid caffeine for at least 4 hours before going to bed. In some people, consuming caffeine at any time of the day could have a negative impact on sleep quality. For these people, it is best to avoid caffeine altogether.

8. Trying meditation or mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness can help reduce anxiety, which often disrupts sleeping.

A study in older adults with sleeping difficulties found that mindfulness meditation improved sleep quality, compared to people who did not practice mindfulness.

9. Trying counting

A longstanding method of inducing sleep is counting down slowly from 100. There are several ideas about why this may work, including boredom or distracting the individual from anxious thoughts.

10. Changing eating habits

It is best to allow the body time to digest food before sleep.

What a person eats, particularly in the evening, can have an impact on sleep.

For example, eating a large meal within 1 hour of going to bed may impair a person’s ability to sleep. Digesting a meal can take at least 2 to 3 hours.

Lying down during this period can cause discomfort or feelings of nausea and slow the digestive process in some people, though this is not the case for everyone.

It is best to allow the body enough time to digest a meal before lying down. The exact time needed will vary from person to person.

11. Getting the room temperature right

Being too hot or too cold can have a significant impact on the ability to sleep.

The temperature at which people feel the most comfortable varies, so it is important to experiment with different temperatures.

However, the National Sleep Foundation recommend temperatures around 65°F as being the ideal condition for sleeping.

12. Trying aromatherapy

People have long used aromatherapy to induce feelings of relaxation and sleep.

Lavender oil is a popular choice for helping with sleep. A study on 31 young adults found that using lavender oil before bed had a positive impact on sleep quality. The participants also reported feeling more energy after waking up.

13. Finding a comfortable position

A comfortable sleeping position is essential for sleep. Frequently changing positions can be distracting, but finding the right spot can make a big difference to the onset of sleep. Most people find sleeping on their side is the best position for a good night’s sleep.

14. Listening to music

While this may not work for everyone, some people benefit from listening to relaxing music before going to bed.

A person’s response to music will depend on their personal preferences. Sometimes, music may be too stimulating and induce anxiety and sleeplessness.


Getting to sleep naturally is the best way to ensure the mind and body gets the rest that it needs.

Trying the methods above can increase the chances of falling asleep without the need to use any sleep aids.

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Ramadan: Ulcer patients can observe fasting with caution, says Surgeon

Ramadan fast

A Consultant Plastic Surgeon with the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), says ulcer patients can observe Ramadan fast by avoiding foods that cause them problems. Ramadan Adigun said in an interview on Saturday in Ilorin, that ulcer patients should be able to realise the type of food that precipitates the ulcer in them. He said that some ulcer patients react to fried foods, while some react to roughage foods such as garri. The Surgeon advises people to reduce the consumption of hot, spicy and acidic-containing foods as they tend to irritate the digestive tract. According to him, the best alternative for ulcer patients who want to fast is to vary their food intake throughout Ramadan to include all the essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins and fibres.

 He warned that fried, fatty and acid-containing foods and fruits such as citrus fruits like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges, along with tomato-based products contain acids. “Therefore, patients should be moderate when breaking their fast, eating in smaller portions, but more frequently. “For instance, start off with dates and light food before giving it a rest, later it can be followed by the main meal,” he said. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which it is obligatory for all healthy adult Muslims to fast during daytime. According to Islamic rules, those who cannot fast due to illness or who have severe discomfort during fasting are exempted from Ramadan fast. (NAN)

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Researchers generate antibodies to Ebola virus disease

Ebola Virus
Ebola Virus

In a breakthrough that could lead to a simple and inexpensive test for Ebola virus disease, researchers have generated two antibodies to the deadly virus.

According to a report published in the ScienceDaily, the team of researchers from Loyola University, Chicago, USA, said the antibodies, which are inexpensive to produce, potentially could be used in a simple filter paper test to detect Ebola virus and the related Marburg virus.

Using a technology called cell-free ribosome display, the researchers generated two synthetic antibodies that bind to all six Ebola and Marburg viruses. The research involved the use of non-hazardous proteins that sit on the surface of Ebola and Marburg viruses. Because the actual viruses were not used in the study, there was no risk of infection to researchers or the public.

The report read in part, “Ebola and Marburg viruses can cause severe bleeding and organ failure, with fatality rates reaching 90 percent in some outbreaks. The diseases spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of an infected person, monkey, gorilla, chimpanzee or bat.

Ebola and Marburg belong to a class of viruses native to Africa called filo viruses. There are four known types of Ebola virus and two known types of Marburg virus. They are textbook examples of emerging diseases that appear quickly, often in remote areas with little or no public health infrastructure. There were major Ebola outbreaks in West Africa from 2013 to 2016. There is no effective vaccine or drug to treat the diseases.”

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She’s Taking Control with Dr Rasheedah Ayandipo

She's Taking Control


Being pregnant is a period most women look forward to in their lifetime. For some women, conception is easy but the pregnancy isn’t. 
Hyperemesis gravidarum affects 1 in 100 women worldwide but this figure might just be higher. Join me as I discuss this topic with an amazing guest on the show.

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Ko Ko Ko, Make we yan with Dr Weyoms, The waffi Doctor.

Ko Ko Ko, Make we yan with Dr Weyom (The waffi Doctor)

Welcome to Kokoko! I Get Talk! A fun, informative, unfiltered and real podcast in Pidgin English run by Weyoms, a medical doctor. This Waffi Doctor is here to crack the code on all things health focusing especially on women and children’s health. Get ready, because she’s ready to reveal some serious tips, tricks and healthy hacks!


Don’t Miss It!!!

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Recruit more nurses, midwives to reduce Nigeria’s infant mortality rate, NANNM tells Govt

Nigerian Nurses

ABUJA – National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, has called on the government to recruit more caregivers in public hospitals to reduce the country’s 6.7 per cent infant mortality rate. Nigerian nurses and midwives want employment of professionals It said the current ratio of one midwife to 25 nursing mothers in government-owned hospitals across the federation reflects gross inadequacy of care-giving personnel in these facilities, and demands urgent steps to address the manpower gap. Speaking on Monday at a medical outreach programme in Abuja which was organised to commemorate the 2019 International Nurses’ Week, NANNM National Vice President, Mrs Mercy Azonwu said: “We are pleading with the federal government to retool the current employment policy as far as nurses and midwives are concerned. “If you check the hospitals in Nigeria today, the midwives are not many. A lot of midwives are retired and are no longer in the system. “How can there be a decrease in Nigeria’s maternal and infant mortality rates when the hospitals are short of midwives? The government is not employing personnel to fill the existing gaps, and there are also inadequate facilities for the overworked few to deploy in discharging their duties maximally. When these essentials are not in place, it will impact on the morbidity and mortality rate of women during childbirth.” Similarly, Chairperson of NANNM (FCT Chapter), Comr. Deborah Yusuf, said it is ironic that while Nigeria boasts of a huge supply of trained nurses and midwives, a majority of them are unemployed and unable to contribute in the provision of care to those in need at the hospitals. She, however, explained that the health outreach was not only to highlight the manpower gaps in public hospitals but also to provide medical care to those in need, especially the underprivileged. The medical outreach featured the administration of various tests on pregnant women in Dutse-Alhaji community of Abuja and the dispensing of free drugs to beneficiaries as well as the referral of complicated cases to relevant hospitals for further treatments.

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PATERNITY FRAUD: 30% of Nigerian men are fathering children that aren’t theirs

Dr Maymunah kadiri

Popular Nigerian Pastor, recently divorced his wife, not only for extra marital affairs but having given birth to children that were not his. Maymunah Kadiri In 2015, Nigerian women cried foul when a survey conducted by condom manufacturer, Durex, branded Nigerian “married” women as the most sexually unfaithful in the world. The outcry was understandable though, as these are women known for their awe of culture and religion, far more than their counterparts anywhere else. Four years down the line, the marital fidelity of Nigerian women has again been questioned with a report making the rounds since late 2018 claiming Nigeria has the second highest rate 30 percent of paternity fraud in the world. Paternity fraud is the pretence that a man is the legitimate and biological father of a child that isn’t his; a woman wrongly pinning a child on a man. In the report’s graphical presentation, Jamaica ranked first with 34.6%, while Canada, the UK and France were on the list with 2.8%, 1.6% and 1.4%, respectively. As if that wasn’t injurious enough, one Mr Ayodele Ayodeji of Paternity Test Nigeria, a Deoxyribonucleic Acid, DNA, test centre in Lagos, was widely alleged to have affirmed, following the emergence of the above report, that there is one case of paternity fraud out of every four paternity tests conducted at the centre. Although these statistics have not been verified by any institution, disregarding it entirely is impossible as it continues to provoke conversation and, of course, reactions on cyberspace. The claim too ridiculous, mothers react “I don’t agree with that claim. It is too ridiculous. I am a Nigerian mother and I am sexually faithful to my spouse. How on earth will I now pin a child that isn’t his on him? How will I conceive such child in the first place?” retorted Ijeoma Thomas-Odia, a Lagos-based mum, while debunking the allegation during a conversation with Vanguard. Government yet to provide enabling environment for academics, sports – Mrs Onoh “If accusing fingers should be pointed at any of the parties in a marriage, then Nigerian men should be the focus. Most Nigerian women are sexually faithful to their marriages against all odds and will never engage in whatever they know will bring them disrespect and disgrace; such as sleeping with another man,” added Enitan Lawrence, a mother of three from the South-West. Arguing that cheating is common among men more than women, Thomas-Odia emphasised that the only difference is the fact that women are the ones who bear the evidence of sexual recklessness pregnancy. For Lawrence, Nigerian wives who cheat at all do so either because they have been frustrated by their cheating husbands into revenge, have been pushed to the wall by husbands who fail to provide for their needs but would rather spend money on extended family members, they are trying to cover-up an infertility issue in the home, or because they do not love the men they are married to, but were forced into the marriage by either their parents or circumstances. Whatever may be the reason for marital infidelity on the part of a woman, the fact  remains that she will bear the evidence of her sexual recklessness either in the form of a contracted sexually transmitted infection, pregnancy and/or even child birth; which could therefore result in paternity fraud, as no woman would let her child be labeled a bastard. Nigerians should not be swayed by unnecessary sensationalism —Pathologist Speaking to WW on condition of anonymity, a renowned pathologist and Chief Executive Officer of a notable laboratory in the country argued that there is no official statistics to prove that Nigeria truly has the second highest rate of paternity fraud in the world. Woman drags estranged husband to court over son’s paternity According to him, in the first place no reputable establishment will publicise such delicate information about the paternity of a person; which makes any official national data on paternity fraud difficult to collate. “There is no statistical evidence to prove that. You get all sorts of data on the internet. The regular population does not do paternity test except to resolve an issue of trust or perhaps for immigration data purposes; of which I am also sure embassies will never publicize such information concerning anyone. Nigerians should not be swayed by unnecessary sensationalism,” he added. On whether DNA testing should be made mandatory for all children to curtail any possibility of paternity fraud as some Nigerians now suggest since the controversial report surfaced, he said: “Even in the UK and in some other countries, you can’t do paternity test unless it is a court-ordered test. So, how does anyone come up with such national statistics on paternity fraud? In France where the report claims the percentage is 1.4%, it might interest you to know that paternity test is banned completely in that country; you can’t do it. So how did anyone get such data? In Nigeria, we do not have any restrictions but of course, a reputable laboratory will be required to successfully and reliably carry out one.” For families that might still be anxious about verifying the paternity of their children but feel discouraged due to the purported exorbitant cost of the test, he debunked claims that DNA testing is affordable only to the affluent. His words: “Anybody can afford to do a paternity test. It is not a sickness or diseases that its diagnosis will now be expensive. It can be done in any laboratory, but I will advise that we do every test in reputable laboratories. If a DNA test is done in a reputable laboratory, you can be sure it is 99.8% accurate. That is almost 100% accurate.”   Why paternity fraud might be dangerous Speaking on the likely dangers of pinning a man’s biological child on another man, Professor(Mrs)Ibironke Akinsete, a renowned pathologist who was formerly Chairman, Pathcare Laboratories (now Synlab Nigeria), said occasions such as inheritance and organ donation may arise. Edo govt assures justice for 12-year-old girl allegedly defiled by community leader “Usually, blood relatives are the best to do a match for any organ donation. So, if such a need arises and it turns out that there is a mismatch somewhere, the truth will be unraveled by an eventual DNA test. For inheritance, some family might require a test perhaps because they doubt the paternity of a particular child; especially if the father died intestate,” said Akinsete. Victims pay huge price—  Maymunah Kadiri, Psychiatrist In her analysis of the psychology behind paternity fraud, popular psychiatrist, Dr Maymunah Kadiri, said a married woman whose husband is in a better financial condition than the actual father of her child, might lie about the paternity of that child so the child can get the opportunity of a better life. “Also, the fear of embarrassment and the consequences of divorce could make her lie about the paternity of the child. Due to the pressure from society to have children, some women become desperate if their husbands have fertility issues, and thus go ahead to reproduce with someone else and pass it off as their husband’s child,” Kadiri said. Kadiri, however, warned that such children risked growing up with issues such as  abandonment, lack of trust and also a sense of identity loss, noting that on the defrauded fathers also, the implications of discovering the truth could range from resentment to loss of self-esteem, lack of trust and also, severe embarrassment.

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She’s Taking Control with Dr Rasheed

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She’s Taking Control with Dr Rasheedah


She’s Taking Control A show mainly for women health and empowerment sharing deep and real tips in the world of womanhood. It is handled by a medical doctor that touches on women health issues

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