IDPs Situation; A Blessing In Disguise To Nigeria – Sen Tejuosho

Sen_TejuoshoThe Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Lanre Tejuosho on Tuesday said the situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States is a blessing in disguise for Nigeria.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, he noted that  “before the IDP issue started, Nigeria was losing 1, 200 children daily due to malnutrition. That is about 36, 000 children dying every month.

“If you go to all the federal hospitals, the pediatric wards, you will see malnourished children all over. It is from there you get the statistics with United Nations and Federal Ministry of Health”, he said.

He further maintained that “what is happening in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe is just a blessing in disguise for us to actually do what is right for malnutrition in this country”, adding that malnutrition is responsible for 53 per cent of deaths of children under the age of five.

Despite this chilling statistics, he lamented the low income being budgeted for tackling malnutrition in the country, revealing that “a meagre N2.4 million” was allocated for nutrition purposes in the 2016 budget “that was not properly done” due to time.

Sen Tejuosho said malnutrition reduces the immunity of a child, which will make the child vulnerable to other diseases, adding that “a malnourished child will die earlier on a simple case of pneumonia”

He insisted that malnutrition is the “real thing to tackle to ensure that any human being is not vulnerable to such diseases”.

He proposed the composition of a Nutrition Department in the proposed 10, 000 Primary Health Centres, “to be introduced in the next two years”, as a way of curbing the menace.

The United Nations has warned that some 50,000 children could starve to death this year if nothing is done.

However, the Federal Government has expressed readiness to welcome a global partnership that would ensure a concerted and focused international response to the humanitarian crisis arising from the insurgency in the northeast.

Over two million persons have been displaced in the northeast, a fallout of the over six years of insurgency by a terrorist group, Boko Haram.

“It is very important that you chose to come and offer some partnership. This is great and we are pleased…Partnership is certainly the way to go,” the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Monday, while receiving members of the ONE campaign led by the international rock star, Bono, and Africa’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote.

He said no matter how prepared a country could be, handling the kind of crisis in the northeast with over two million displaced people including children, as a single country “would be irresponsible”.

“A global partnership to address the situation should be coordinated and more focussed on what is required to be done, for instance, in addressing the issue of malnourished children and not attempting to do too much things at once,” he told the gathering.

Earlier, the Irish born artist, Bono, said he had visited some of the IDPs.

“We want to be useful to you,” he said, explaining that what he saw in the region was “deeply disturbing”, he maintained.

Proposed Health Bill Prohibits Sale Of Human Organs – Senate

Ifeanyi OkowaThe Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Ifeanyi Okowa, on Monday disclosed that the proposed National Health Bill prohibits the sale of human organs, including human zygotes and embryos.

Okowa made this known while addressing issues concerning the bill on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

The Chairman, Institute of Advanced Research and Training, Dr Phillip Njemanze, had said that the bill was not in the interest of the Nigerian people as it did not make room for their consent in the sale of organs. He had also argued that the bill would encourage the killing of about 10 million poor Nigerian women who would be willing donate their ovaries for a stipend as encouraged by the bill.

However, Okowa debunked the disturbing claims stating; “I think he has a complete misunderstanding of the bill which had the highest attendance in the history of the Senate”.

“Issues were discussed because there was a particular clause which was provided in the old bill that was contentious. So, it was actually discussed by all manner of persons including those in the research industry, including those from the faith-based groups, the Catholic Bishops Associations and many other persons. Traditional institutions were there and we did agree at the end that we were prohibiting the sale of organs; we are prohibiting the sale of human zygotes and embryos.”

Mr Okowa went further stated: “I presume that the bill he was talking about was not the bill as presented to the plenary in Senate not to even talk about what the Senate did pass”. He assured Nigerians that the bill had been cross-checked and agreed upon at the public hearing.

“It says in Section 50, a person shall not manipulate any genetic material including genetic materials of human zygotes and embryos or engage in any activity including nuclear transfer or embryonic splitting for the purpose of cloning of human beings.

“A person shall not import or export human zygotes and embryos.”

He explained that there had been no laws against such activities hence “this is the first basic law that actually provides a framework for the regulation, development and management of the healthcare industry”.

Okowa also addressed issues concerning the standard structure for hospitals, maintaining that “any country in which you decide that there would be no standards at all, then you are definitely heading for the rocks.”

He stressed that the bill was to get rid of quacks but also took consideration of the different levels of the industry including the primary, secondary and tertiary health centres. According to the Senator, there are different recommendations for the different levels.

The National Health Bill is also government’s attempt at barring Nigerian’s from selling their organs. “We don’t want Nigerians beginning to sell their tissue or to sell their organs, so that’s why we’ve had to make it a law trying to restrict Nigerians from trying to ask for money in order to sell their organs.”