Ex-Health Minister’s Son Regains Freedom

Dayo Adewole, the son of the immediate past Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, who was abducted on Tuesday has regained his freedom.

Details about his release are still sketchy, but it comes a day after he was abducted from his farm which is situated at Iroko, near Fiditi in Afijio Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday.

He and his employees had been on the farm when the mask-wearing gunmen invaded it and whisked him away, through the neighbouring village.

Read Also: Ex-Health Minister’s Son Kidnapped

One of his workers had raised the alarm, alerting villagers who quickly sent local hunters after the kidnappers.

Although the hunters found the car used by the kidnappers, neither Dayo nor any of the abductors were found with the police also launching a hunt for the criminals after being informed.

Senate Asks Health Minister To Appear Before It On Tuesday

Professor Isaac Adewole


The Senate has fixed Tuesday, May 21 for the Health Minister Professor Isaac Adewole to appear before it.

This was announced by the Senate President Bukola Saraki during plenary on Thursday.

The Minister is to appear before the Senate to brief them on the current state of facilities in Nigeria teaching hospitals.

READ ALSO: Senate Asks Nigerian Govt To Declare Emergency On Unemployment

The Senate had last week resolved to invite the minister over a motion querying the state of the nation’s teaching hospitals.

The motion sponsored by Senator David Umar follows an alarming report on the poor quality of service in Nigerian teaching hospitals.

According to Senator Umaru, the report contained in a daily newspaper observed that most teaching hospitals in the country have been overstretched, forcing patients to sleep on bare floors, plastic mats, and unhygienic conditions.

Tunisia Health Minister Quits Over Deaths Of Newborns

Tunisia Health Minister Quits Over Deaths Of Newborns
This picture taken on March 9, 2019, shows the entrance of the Wassila Bourguiba state maternity hospital in the Tunisian capital Tunis, at which 11 newborn babies died suddenly in its Rabta clinic, prompting a government probe into the incident. FETHI BELAID / AFP


Tunisia’s health minister has resigned after the sudden deaths of 11 newborn babies at a state maternity hospital sparked an outcry in the country, the government said.

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed accepted Abderraouf Cherif’s resignation, the premier’s office said on Facebook late on Saturday.

“Those responsible for any negligence will face legal proceedings,” the prime minister said at the maternity hospital in the capital late Saturday, according to a video released by his office.

Leading newspaper Essafa on Sunday cried foul and compared the deaths of the babies to a “state crime”.

A medical association said the sudden deaths could have been caused by a food product that had gone bad.

The babies died on Thursday and Friday at the Rabta clinic in Tunis, which is part of a large medical centre in the capital.

Since then authorities have launched several investigations, including medical and hygiene checks by the health ministry, which was also probing the management of the hospital pharmacy.

Prosecutors said they had opened a judicial inquiry into the deaths.

The Tunisian pediatrics society wrote in a statement on Facebook that “elements of the ongoing investigation” pointed to an infection caused by a food product given by gastric tube.

The association called on the authorities to “shed light” on the situation and recalled the “precarious conditions in which health professionals work”.

The health ministry said in a statement that “preventive measures and treatment have been taken to avoid other victims and to ensure the health of other babies in the maternity ward”.

The independent Tunisian Forum of Economic and Social Rights had called on the health minister to resign over the deaths.

The public health system, once a source of pride in Tunisia, has been hit by management and financial problems that lowered standards and caused drug shortages.


Sudan Fresh Protest Planned As President Bashir Sacks Health Minister

Sudanese protesters run away from tear gas smokes during a demonstration in Khartoum, on December 31, 2018. PHOTO: AFP


A Sudanese group organising anti-government protests has called for a march on the presidential palace as President Omar al-Bashir sacked the health minister Saturday over rising costs of medicines.

Deadly anti-government rallies have rocked cities including Khartoum since December 19, when protests first broke out over a government decision to raise the price of bread.

Authorities say at least 19 people including two security personnel have been killed in clashes during the demonstrations so far, but rights group Amnesty International has put the death toll at 37.

“We call on our supporters to gather at four different places in Khartoum and then begin a march on the palace” of the president on Sunday, the Sudanese Professionals’ Association said Saturday in a statement.

The association, which includes teachers, doctors and engineers, has held similar rallies in recent weeks but they have been swifty broken up by riot police.

Security forces were deployed in key squares across the capital on Saturday night.

Late on Saturday, Bashir sacked minister of health Mohamed Abuzaid Mustafa, the official SUNA news agency reported.

He has been replaced by Al-Khier Al-Nour, SUNA said without giving details.

Rising drug prices and shortages have added to the anger of protestors already furious over the cost of other key products.

Sudanese pharmaceutical companies have been unable to import some medicines after a years-long foreign currency shortage worsened last year.

But even as protesters called for a new march on Sunday, Sudan’s education ministry ordered the reopening of schools in Khartoum from Tuesday.

Schools and classes had been suspended “indefinitely” across the capital since December 23, when violence erupted during initial protests.

Schools were also closed in other cities where protests have been held, but it was still unclear whether they would reopen next week.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi offered Sudan his country’s support during a meeting in Cairo with a top aide of his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.

“Egypt fully supports the security and stability of Sudan, which is integral to Egypt’s national security,” it quoted Sisi as saying.

Sudanese authorities have launched a crackdown on opposition leaders, activists and journalists since protests erupted last month.

The country has been facing a mounting economic crisis over the past year.

The cost of some commodities including medicines has more than doubled and inflation has hit 70 percent.

Food and fuel shortages have been regularly reported across several cities, including Khartoum.


Military Vaccination Exercise: Health Minister Debunks Rumours

Health Minister Suspends Eight Top NHIS Officials
File Photo

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole has debunked rumors that the military is involved in the vaccination exercise.

He said the Federal Government always takes the lead and would not conduct campaigns without involving the states.

According to him, “We are conducting vaccination is three states only.

“Yellow fever in Kwara and Kogi, Cholera vaccination in Borno”.

On the latest development in the monkeypox crisis, Health Minister quoted 74 suspected cases reported from 11 states.

12 tested negative and three positive from Bayelsa while four suspected in Lagos tested negative as well.

He added that there has been no new case of polio in 2017.

There had been reports that Nigerian Army was allegedly administering suspected harmful immunisation drugs against monkeypox disease.

But the military denied the claims in a statement Director of Defence Information, Major General John Enenche, said, the military has been in the global best practice of impacting on the lives of Nigerians through medical outreaches.

He said the quick impact medical outreaches are usually conducted during deliberate operations such as the war against insurgency and terrorism in the North East and routine training exercise like Egwu Eke II, also known as Operation Python Dance, in the South East among others.

“The practice of reaching out to the general public medically is akin to the key task of securing the lives and property of Nigerians. Therefore, it has and can never be done with an ulterior motive,” he said.

“Thus, Nigerians should be assured that the Armed Forces of Nigeria will continue to carry out its all-encompassing constitutional responsibility of “National Security” of which health security is inclusive.

Major General Enenche also asked the public to ignore such reports, saying it was the plot of mischief makers to blackmail the military.

He said, “In specific terms, the campaign of calumny against the Nigerian Army regarding the outbreak of monkeypox should be disregarded. It is the machination of the usual mischievous and disgruntled human gongs who are always in the business of blackmailing the military for their myopic selfish interests.”

Only Lab Test Can Confirm Monkeypox, Says Health Minister

Health Minister Suspends Eight Top NHIS Officials
File Photo

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said that cases of monkeypox reported in different parts of the country can only be confirmed after laboratory tests, insisting that for now it is only a suspicion.

The Minister said this while briefing journalists after the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja.

Prof Adewole however blamed states for slow response to outbreaks of diseases, adding that the health authorities at that level of government do not report cases on time.

The Minister’s comment on the monkeypox is coming on the heels of an assurance from the Nigerian centre for disease control, asking Nigerians not to panic over the reported outbreak.

The Chief Executive Officer of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, told Channels Television in an interview that the centre is awaiting the confirmation of the disease from tests being conducted within and outside the country.

Tunisian Health Minister Dies After Marathon Race

This file photo shows Tunisian health minister Slim Chaker (C) attending a parliamentary session in Tunis. PHOTO: FETHI BELAID / AFP

Tunisia’s health minister died of a heart attack on Sunday after taking part in a charity marathon to help battle cancer, officials said.

Slim Chaker, 56, fell ill after running some 500 meters (yards) and then making a speech at the start of a race in the coastal town of Nabeul aimed at raising funds to build a clinic for children with cancer, his ministry said.

He died later at a military hospital in Tunis.

“I have lost a brother and a colleague,” Prime Minister Youssef Chahed wrote on Facebook.

“He died doing a noble humanitarian act.”

Local media and internet users in the North African country reacted with sorrow to the passing of Chaker, a former adviser to President Beji Caid Essebsi who only took over the health brief last month.

“He has paid in blood for his patriotic work,” Tunisian magazine Leader wrote on Twitter.


Reps Summon Health Minister Over NHIS Boss’ Suspension

Reps Summon Health Minister Over NHIS Boss' Suspension
File Photo

The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole over the suspension of the executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The lawmakers alleged that the suspension was an attempt to intimidate and punish Professor Usman Yusuf for testifying on issues of corruption in the sector.

In a motion that was debated and adopted on Wednesday, the House claimed that the minister seemed to be victimising Professor Yusuf by suspending him.

The lawmakers consequently asked Professor Adewole to recall the NHIS boss from suspension and allow him to continue with his sanitisation programme in the agency.

Speaking after plenary, Chairman, House Committee on Health Services, Honourable Chike Okafor said the development was to ensure that witnesses testifying in the House are seen to be protected.

Tristate Heart Foundation Targets 150 Surgeries For Children

PneumoniaTristate Heart foundation (THF) on Wednesday held its first Annual Black Tie Gala and fund raising dinner in support of cardiovascular care in Nigeria.

At the event held in Lagos were top government functionaries and other special guests, with an intention to make cardiovascular care more affordable in Nigeria.

The evening though relaxed and entertaining, highlighted the fact that Heart diseases are the leading cause of death in non-communicable diseases (NCD) globally.

In his opening remarks the Chairman of THF, Mr Bisi Akande, said one in ten children in Nigeria do not make it to their first birthday and five in ten adults have elevated blood pressure challenges.

He told the gathering that the foundation planned to use donations to provide solutions to the cardiovascular healthcare delivery by carrying out 150 open heart surgeries especially for children under 10.

The problems of Non communicable-diseases, as highlighted by the Health Minister, Professor Isaac Adewole, who was the keynote speaker, are of great concern to the government.

He said solutions include a nationwide survey on NCDs geared towards effective planning.

Professor Adewole pointed out that service delivery in partnership with private sector was already in place.

On the backdrop of all the health focused entertainment of the evening, the President and CEO Tristate Heart Cardiovascular Associates, Professor Kamar Adeleke, said the Centre had been helping both the poor and rich to access required Medicare.

He proposed further solutions to the cardiovascular healthcare delivery by carrying out 150 open heart surgeries especially for children under 10, fund cardiovascular researches peculiar to Nigerians and campaign for healthy lifestyle and care to get seven in ten Nigerians to survive a heart attack.

Four state governors, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state, Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State led the donations to the foundation.

As part of an exciting evening, the Vice Chairman of the Tristate Heart Foundation, Mr John Momoh, on behalf of the foundation presented awards in recognition of individuals who have impacted the society in various ways.

They include Mrs Clare Omatseye, and Professor Paul Davis and Funmi Roberts.

Health Minister Reveals Plans To Drive Sector With ICT

Isaac-AdewoleThe Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has described the lack of accurate data for disease outbreaks across the country as one major challenge the sector is grappling with.

He made the remarks at a meeting to inaugurate the National E-health Committee in Abuja.

According to him, the 13-man committee which he heads alongside his colleague at the Ministry of Communications, would work to improve access to Healthcare delivery even among rural dwellers.

The two ministers said that the E-health initiative of the Federal Government would leverage on the access and use of mobile phones and other related information communication technologies in the country.

They further explained that the initiative would both reduce the time a patient spends trying to get medical assistance and assist government get accurate data during disease outbreaks.

Ebola-Hit Countries Must Screen All Departing Travellers – WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that authorities in countries affected by Ebola should check people departing at international airports, seaports and major border crossings and stop anyone with signs of the virus from travelling.

The U.N. health agency reiterated that the risk of getting infected with Ebola on an aircraft was small, as infected people are usually too ill to travel, and said that the risk is also very low to travellers in affected countries, namely Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

There was no need for wider travel or trade restrictions, the WHO said in a statement.

“Affected countries are requested to conduct exit screening of all persons at international airports, seaports and major land crossings, for unexplained febrile illness consistent with potential Ebola infection.

Any person with an illness consistent with EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) should not be allowed to travel unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation.

If a traveller has stayed in areas where Ebola cases have been reported recently, he or she should seek medical care at the first sign of illness – fever, headache, sore throat, diarrhoea, vomiting, among other symptoms,” the WHO said, noting that “early treatment can improve prognosis.”

Countries that do not have Ebola cases must strengthen their capacity to detect and contain any cases immediately, the WHO said, but it did not recommend any active screening of arriving passengers.

“It is better if countries do screening on the front-end,” WHO spokesman, Gregory Hartl, said.

Nigerian Woman Suspected Of Ebola Dies In UAE


The national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, said on Monday that it has disinfected one of its planes after health authorities there announced that a Nigerian woman who died after flying in to the capital, Abu Dhabi, may have been infected with the Ebola virus.

The health authority in Abu Dhabi said in a statement carried by state news agency, WAM, that the 35-year-old woman was traveling from Nigeria to India for treatment of advanced metastatic cancer.

Her health was said to have deteriorated while in transit at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The statement added that as medics were trying to resuscitate her, they found signs that suggested a possible Ebola virus infection.

The health authority noted, however, that her preexisting medical condition also could have explained her death.

The health authority statement added that medical staff treating the woman followed safety and precautionary measures in line with World Health Organization guidelines.

The woman’s husband, who was the only person sitting next to her on the plane, as well as five medics who treated her, are being isolated pending test results on the deceased woman.

All are in good health and show no symptoms of the illness, according to health officials.

Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national carrier, said that the plane was disinfected in line with guidelines laid out by the airline industry’s main trade group.

It said it continues to monitor the situation and is working with health authorities “to ensure the implementation of any and all measures necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of its passengers and staff.”