Ministry Attributes Over 50% Of Infant Deaths To Malnutrition

Ministry Attributes Over 50% Of Infant Deaths To MalnutritionThe Federal Ministry of Health (FMH) has attributed over 50 per cent of Nigeria’s infant and under-five mortality to malnutrition.

Speaking at a forum in Abuja, the Head of Nutrition at the FMC, Mr Chris Isokpunwu, believes that addressing malnutrition will reduce the rate of infant mortality in Nigeria.

“Malnutrition accounts for 53 per cent of under-five mortality in the country. A country where 2,300 children die daily, malnutrition would account therefore for more than 1,200 of such deaths.

“For us to address the high infant and child mortality rate in Nigeria, we need to address the issue of malnutrition,” he advised.

A representative of UNICEF at the forum, Zack Fusheini, urged government to increase funding, saying it would help to improve the health and nutrition of children.

“I want to urge the government to continue to invest in nutrition, not just putting in money but providing adequate amount of resources to be able to implement the strategy,” he said.

Experts at the forum said Nigeria is a major contributor to the global infant and under-five mortality, which the World Health Organisation said hit 5.9 million in 2015.

They, however, noted that addressing malnutrition among pregnant women and infants was one major step towards reversing the ugly trend.

Mimiko Commissions Public Service Training Institute In Ondo

Olusegun Mimiko Commissions Public Service Training Institute In OndoOndo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has commissioned the Public Service Training Institute which would serve as a breeding ground for public servants in the state and beyond.

The institute is located in Ilaramokin in Ifedore Local Government Area in the central senatorial district of the southwest Nigerian state.

It was envisioned in 2011 as part of the Governor Mimiko-led administration’s commitment towards ensuring efficient and effective service in the state’s public sector.

In his address at the event, the Governor said that he admitted that the feats recorded by his administration in key sectors such as health, education and urban renewal would not have been possible but for the dedication of the public service.

He expressed hope that the institute would be able to deliver generalised and customised training for the public service in the state as well as interested organisation or individual.

The guest speaker at the occasion, who is an Afenifere Chieftain, Mr Sehinde Arogbofa, commended Governor Mimiko for the establishment of the institute.

He expressed hope that humanity would benefit from the gesture, stressing the importance of education and productivity in any venture.

The commissioning was witnessed by dignitaries such as a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Olu Falae; a former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore and a former Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Dere Awosika, among others.

The edifice has a number of facilities which include: an administrative block, a 300 capacity conference hall, a 100 capacity boardroom and a standard restaurant.

Others include five standard lecture theatres, 10 syndicate rooms and library facilities among others.

Kogi Govt. Commits To Maternal, Newborn Health In Week-long Programme

Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, MNCHWKogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has directed health officers to ensure comprehensive implementation of all stages of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW) in the state.

Governor Bello urged the health officials to specially pay close attention to the needs of women, children and nursing mothers.

He gave the directive through the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashade Ayoade, at an event in Lokoja, the state’s capital in north-central Nigeria.

The event was organised to officially flag off the week-long free healthcare services for women and children to mark the 2017 MNCHW in the state.

The governor said his administration was poised at bringing good health to the doorstep of everyone living within the state.

He directed the Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Haruna, to ensure that every stage of the exercise was comprehensively covered.

Governor Bello also ordered the administrations of the 21 local government areas in the state to ensure the success of the programme.

In his remarks, Dr. Haruna thanked the governor for his determination to introduce the ‘Health  Plus’ programme.

He expressed hopes that the programme would aid the renovation, remodeling and re-equipment of health facilities in order to reduce mortality rate in the state.

The highpoint of the event was the immunisation of children which was administered by the Secretary to the State Government.

It was witnessed by representatives from WHO, UNICEF, Federal Ministry of Health, Centre for Integrated Health Programmes, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, as well as top government officials and nursing mothers in the state.

NPHCDA Decries Poor Primary Healthcare Funding

NPHCDA Decries Poor Primary Healthcare FundingThe National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has blamed inadequate funding of the health sector on the poor primary healthcare services in Nigeria.

The Acting Director of NPHCDA, Emmanuel Odu, made the criticism at the 2016 annual primary healthcare lecture in Abuja, organised to discuss sustainable financing options for the sector.

Mr Odu stressed the effects of poor funding for the health sector on primary healthcare services in Nigeria, revealing that over 70% of Nigeria’s health funding comes from donor partners, tax revenues and ‘out of pocket’ spending by the individuals.

Also, a representative of the Northern Traditional Rulers at the forum and Emir of Jiwa, Idris Musa, explained how the lack of funding for primary healthcare had affected their communities.

The Director of Public Health at the Federal Ministry of Health, Evelin Ngige, who spoke on behalf the Minister of Health, confirmed the poor monetary allocation to the health sector.

She, however, assured the people of the government’s determination to provide more funding going forward.

The Global Vaccine Alliance, otherwise known as Gavi, has provided much funding for primary healthcare service in Nigeria.

The decision of the organisation to stop the funding of vaccines in Nigeria by 2017 has raised serious concern about how the Federal Government would make up for the funding gap that the exit of Gavi and other donor partners would create.

Out of the 6.08 trillion Naira 2016 budget, 221.7 was earmarked to fund the health sector.

This is a far cry from the 15% of Nigeria’s budget agreed by African leaders at the Abuja Declaration in 2001 to be committed to the health sector.

Angela Uwakwem Is FMC Owerri Medical Director, FG Tells Protesters

FMC Owerri, Angela Uwakwem, ProtestersThe Nigerian Government says it has not found the Medical Director at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owerri, Mrs Angela Uwakwem, guilty of the allegations levelled against her.

The assertion follows series of protest by health workers and labour unions at the health institution against the recall of Mrs Uwakwem as the substantive Medical Director of FMC Owerri after about 10 months of stepping aside.

The directive for her reinstatement was contained in a statement issued by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.

Dr. Ehanire said the recall of Dr. Uwakwem was with immediate effect, adding that the institution’s management would be supported by staff from the Federal Ministry of Health.

A Presidential Directive

Contrary to the claims of the protesters, the Minister argued that her appointment was a presidential issue and her removal could only be done through a presidential directive.

“Should evidence of misconduct be found against her, Dr. Uwakwem will answer for it and face the law as no person shall be protected from justice.

“Since Dr. Uwakwem’s four-year tenure is valid until 2017 and no evidence of misconduct against her was raised by a Ministerial Fact Finding Commission, the Ministry desires rule of law to prevail over mob action,” he stated.

The reinstated medical director told reporters at the Imo State capital that the tenure of the interim management committee had expired and that she had taken over following the Federal Government’s directive.

She reiterated her commitment to ensuring better delivery of healthcare services to the people of the state in southeast Nigeria.

Uwakwem further called on aggrieved workers to cooperate with her for the development of the centre.

However, the union had staged a protest three days ago where they down-tooled and called on the government to reverse its plans to recall Mrs Uwakwem.

While they vowed not to return to work until their demand was met, security operatives have been detailed to the centre to forestall any breakdown of law and order.

On his part, President of the Association of Resident Doctors in Imo State, Dr. Victor Dike, says they are readily available to carry out their services to the public without interruption.

FMC Owerri Workers Protest MD’s Recall

Resident Doctors, FMC Owerri
They warn that the reinstatement of Dr. Uwakwem will lead to chaos

Workers of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri have staged a protest over the recall of the former Medical Director, Angela Uwakwem.

Dr. Uwakwem was earlier asked to step aside over allegations of financial misappropriation.

During the protest on Wednesday, which was carried out by a huge number of workers at the Federal Medical Centre in Owerri, the workers maintained that since the former CMD was relieved, there has been peace in the centre.

They added that any attempt to forcefully bring back Dr. Uwakwem will cause chaos in the centre.

Doctors, nurses, and other workers of the institution in July, 2016, held a similar protest saying since the Interim Management Committee was set up by the government to handle the affairs of the centre, there has been normalcy in the medical institution.

A Presidential Directive

Their protests follows the directive by the Federal Ministry of Health to reinstate the suspended Medical Director.

The directive for her reinstatement is contained in a statement issued by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on Wednesday in Abuja.

Dr. Ehanire in statement said the recall of Dr. Uwakwem is with immediate effect adding that the institution’s management would be supported by staff from the ministry.

Contrary to the claims of the protesters, the minister argued that the appointment of the Medical Director of the centre is a presidential issue and her removal can only be done through a presidential directive.

“Should evidence of misconduct be found against her, Dr Uwakwem will answer for it and face the law as no person shall be protected from justice.

“Since Dr Uwakwem’s 4-year tenure is valid until 2017 and no evidence of misconduct against her was raised by a Ministerial fact finding commission, the Ministry desires rule of law to prevail over mob action,” he said.

Nigerian Government Fires Protesting Doctors

DoctorsThe Nigerian government has asked heads of Federal Government Tertiary Health Institutions to fill the vacancies created by Resident Doctors who have abandoned their training programme in protest of what they called poor welfare.

The directive by the Honourable Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole was contained in a circular by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Amina Shamaki and sent to the Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of the Federal Tertiary Health Institutions on Tuesday.

In the statement, the Minister directed the Chief Medical Directors  and Medical Director to ensure immediate compliance.

The Circular read: “It has come to the notice of the Management of the Ministry that some Resident Doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the Residency Training Program by refusing to report for training without authorization.

“Public Service Rule, PSR 030402 (e) is relevant. This is in spite of the ongoing negotiations on their demands put forward by the representatives of the National Association of Resident Doctors under the auspices of the Nigerian Medical Association.

“In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the Doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programs in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training with attendant disruption of health care delivery in your facility”.

According to the circular, the Ministry is working with the panel on the review of the Residency Training Program in Nigeria, led by Professor Wole Atoyebi, the Registrar of the National Postgraduate Medical College, to fast-track the development of a comprehensive blueprint for postgraduate training of doctors in the country.

Activities at most Tertiary Health Institutions have been paralysed as a result of the strike embarked on by the doctors.

Channels Televisions correspondent reports that resident doctors at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) in Ile-Ife, Osun State have withdrawn their services to patients in the hospital.

The indefinite strike was declared by the National Association of Resident Doctors on Monday to press home the association’s demands for welfare related issues.

In response to offices at different Federal Government’s Tertiary health Institutions were under lock and key, with empty bed spaces seen at different wards.

FG Promises To Improve Health Care Facilities Across Nigeria

Health-workers-strikeThe Federal Ministry of Health on Thursday promises to improve primary healthcare facilities across the country.

The move, according to officials, is to reduce child mortality and guarantee universal access to health care for all Nigerians.

At an inaugural Global Midwifery Conference in Abuja, local and international health officials underscored the importance of deployment and training of midwives in Nigeria.

The Wife to the Deputy Speaker, Gimbiya Dogara, said the first lady has vowed to partner with midwives, encouraging them to enforce a change in the profession.

Other stakeholders were quick to align with the professionals, who they maintain are the key to reducing maternal and child mortality in the country.

In spite of the many gains of the midwifery profession, it still faces many challenges that many believe can be surmounted with the right political will by the government.

Channels Television’s Gloria Ume-Ezeoke reports that state governments have for long tried to contain the burden of maternal and child mortality in communities, however, the sudden death of a mother or a child owing to the absence of a midwife or sheer ignorance by the people has brought huge concerns to the government, local and international experts.

JOHESU, JUTH Meeting To End Strike Ends In A Deadlock

Health-workers-strikeDiscussions between national leadership of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and management of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) to resolve the on-going industrial action by the health workers has hit the rocks.

The parties could not reach an agreement based on divergent views which has worsened the situation, as the strike could only be suspended by the national leadership of the unions following the breakdown in the negotiation.

Following the deadlock, the congress gathered once again for a briefing on the outcome, which has taken the power of negotiation away from the local chapter, as only the national leadership can call off or suspend the on-going industrial action.

The management of Jos University Teaching Hospital insists that issues remaining unresolved are national issues that need the attention of the Federal Ministry of Health, which the hospital management does not have powers to negotiate.

The Plateau State government through the state Ministry of Health has been mediating to see the end of the dispute with the interference of Governor Simon Lalong which has not yielded positive result.

Meanwhile, as the industrial dispute continues, patients are the most affected.

The Joint Health Sector Unions comprises of Non-Academic Staff Union, Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals, Senior Staff Association of University Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions, Medical and Health Workers Union as well as National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives.

Joint Health Union Shuts Down Hospital In Port Harcourt

Health sectorThe Joint Health Sector Union of the the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital has threatened to withdraw their services and shut down operations at the hospital.

The doctors on Friday staged a protest in Rivers State to kick start an indefinite strike to press home their demands.

They, however, said that they could withdraw their plans if the management heeds their request of regularising their grade level promotions and salaries as and when due.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Professor Aaron Ojule, noted that the demands of the protesters were before the Federal Ministry of Health.

Some of the health professionals have also asked that the issues be resolved quickly for the good of patients at the hospital.

Ondo Flags Off Immunization Campaign Against Measles

MeaslesThe Ondo State Government has flagged off the 2016 campaign against Measles, a childhood killer disease.

The 3-day immunization exercise is targeted at children from the age of 9 months to 5 years.

The flag off ceremony was held at the premises of the State Specialist Hospital in Akure, the state capital.

Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who was represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo, gave the assurance that all eligible children in the state would be immunized against measles.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dayo Adeyanju,‎ urged the gathering to be aware and as well spread the good news that measles is preventable, treatable and curable.

He also gave the assurance that deaths by measles can be reduced by 79%.

A Director at the Ondo State Primary‎ Health Care Development Board, Dr. Yetunde Olagbuji, expressed the readiness of health workers in all the 18 Local Government Areas in the state for the 3-day exercise.

The exercise organised by Ondo State Government, is to complement the National Immunization Schedule‎ by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Government To Determine Number Of Primary Healthcare Centres

Health Minister on Primary HealthcareThe Nigerian government has inaugurated a committee to map out all the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) across the nation.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, inaugurated the committee on Tuesday.

According to him, the government, through the committee, will ascertain the number and locations of Primary Healthcare Centres available in the country and also to determine how many are functional or otherwise.

The Federal Ministry of Health plans a “one Primary Healthcare Centre per Ward Programme”, a situation where each ward would have at least one functional Primary Healthcare Centre.

Inaugurating the committee on January 19 in Abuja, the Minister stated that the Federal Government would rehabilitate 10,000 Primary Healthcare Centres within two years.

The committee which is to be chaired by Professor Michael Asuzu, Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, has 11 members and Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) would serve as secretariat.

The committee will conduct mapping of all PHCs in the country, using available resources data from all relevant departments, MDAs and other stakeholders, determine the functionality of PHC in every political ward and determine service availability in each of the PHCs in every political ward human resources and equipment.

It will also propose strategy for strengthening referral systems between PHC and higher hospitals in given geographical area and to perform any other Assignment determined by the Minister.

In his acceptance speech the Chairman of the Committee said that the committee would work according to the terms of reference.

He assured the Minister of their commitment to performing the assignment diligently.