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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