300,000 Nigerian Children At Risk Over Malnutrition

Malnutrition-in-NigeriaThe United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says over 13 million children are suffering from chronic malnutrition in Nigeria out of which 300,000 could die.

Addressing a gathering in Abuja, UNICEF Chief Nutritionist in Nigeria, Arjan de Wagt, said that 300,000 children would die in 2016 alone if they were not treated.

Severe Acute Malnutrition

Reading out a report of her group, the National Coordinator of  Civil Society Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Philippa Momah, said more than 1.6 million Nigerian children between six months and five years were suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

“These children are nine times more likely to die than well nourished children.

“Without treatment, do you know that about 300,000 of these children will die in 2016 alone?” she questioned.

“On the foregoing, we call on the Federal, State and Local Governments to create nutrition specific budget lines in the Ministries of Health, Education and Agriculture at the Federal States and LGA levels in Nigeria.

“We call on them to develop nutrition plan and action.”

Mr Wagt is, however, hopeful that if drastic commitments were made, most of the malnourished children would survive.

Both UNICEF and a coalition of Civil Society Organisations called on the Federal Government to act by making funds available for the treatment of malnourished children.

UNICEF is a United Nations programme that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.



NMA Asks Osun Doctors To Embark On 3-Day Warning Strike

Resident-doctors-NMAThe Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has asked doctors in Federal Hospitals in Osun State to join their striking counterparts working for the state government to demand for the payment of their salaries.

Rising from an emergency meeting in Osogbo, the state capital, the State Chairman of the NMA, Dr. Suraj Ogunyemi, said that the 3-day warning strike scheduled to commence on February 17 would help the striking doctors press for October till December salaries, a reduction of their tax deductions and implementation of the CONTISS salary scale.

Dr. Ogunyemi, who stressed that the doctors in the course of negotiations have had to shift grounds on many of their demands, insisted that the doctors would only resume duty if government is committed to paying up their salaries and acceding to their other demands.

In reaction to this, media aide to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Semiu Okanlawon, claimed that the government has also sacrificed to ensure both parties arrive at a logical end.

He said that the state government has agreed to pay the doctors their outstanding salaries upon resumption.

Giving the assurance that good reasoning would prevail at the end of the dialogue, Okanlawon appealed to the striking doctors to reason with government, especially in the face of the current financial status of the state.

101 Die From Lassa Fever In Nigeria, Says NCDC

lassa feverThe Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has disclosed that the growing Lassa Fever outbreak in Nigeria has killed a total of 101 people.

Statistics from NCDC show that reported cases of the haemorrhagic disease — both confirmed and suspected — stand at 175 with a total of 101 deaths since August.

According to the NCDC, deaths from the virus were recorded in Abuja, Lagos, and 14 other states.

The outbreak of Lassa Fever was only announced in January, months after the first case of the disease happened in August, with subsequent deaths reported in 10 states, including Abuja.

In 2015, 12 people died in Nigeria out of 375 infected, while in 2012 there were 1,723 cases and 112 deaths, according to the NCDC.

In neighbouring Benin Republic, at least nine people have died in a Lassa outbreak, with a total of 20 suspected cases.

Imo Doctors Protest Alleged Hospital Concession Plan

imoMembers of the Nigerian Medical Association, Imo State Chapter, have called on the Imo State Government to abolish the ongoing plan to concession hospitals across the state.

The NMA made this call during a peaceful protest in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

They maintained that the association is not against the concession policy, but the government needs to follow some laid down procedures.

However, the protest turned bloody when one of the doctors was badly injured as a result of teargas allegedly fired by the Police to dispatch the protesters.

Visiting the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, where the injured victim was being treated, the doctor in charge noted that the victim lost so much blood but responded to treatment.

In reaction to the allegation, the Police in the state maintained that their men did not shoot at anyone but was trying to maintain peace when some hoodlums tried to hijack the protest.

Following this development, the Nigerian Medical Association in the state vowed to close down all health facilities until the issue has been resolved.

Bird Flu Hits Nasarawa State

bird fluAn outbreak of bird flu has been reported in Nasarawa State, with over 25,000 birds infected in Jenash Farms in Akwanga Local Government Area.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources, Lawee Yusuf, confirmed the outbreak on Wednesday.

He also told reporters that 6,000 additional birds died of natural causes.

The government official also said that the Livestock and Veterinary Services Department of the ministry had decontaminated the infected birds.

Mr Yusuf affirmed that state authorities were intensifying efforts to contain the outbreak through community sensitisation on the dangers of the disease.

The Commissioner urged farmers to register their farms in the ministry for incentives from the government in the case of any outbreak.

Lassa Fever: Ebonyi Records One Death

lassa feverThe Ebonyi State Government has confirmed a case of Lassa fever in the state following the death of a 26-year-old man who was confirmed to have been killed by the disease.

Confirming the incident to Channels Television in Abakaliki, the state capital, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezuruike, said that the patient who died on Monday, was said to have complained of fever at the Federal Teaching Hospital in Abakaliki, and this later resulted to heavy bleeding from the eyes, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Dr. Umezuruike said that the victim was immediately isolated and went through series of test and he later tested positive to Lassa fever.

He added that after death, the body of the victim was immediately buried, to prevent spread of the disease.

The Commissioner noted that prior to this discovery, six people who were earlier isolated later tested negative to Lassa fever.

He affirmed that so far, only the dead patient has been confirmed positive of the deadly disease and the state government has already commenced efforts to trace all other contacts.

Dr. Umezurieke urged the people of the state to remain calm as the state government has began a public health orientation campaign across the state to sensitize its citizenry on the disease and its prevention.

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.

Lassa Fever: Death Toll Now 2 In Lagos

lassa feverThe number of deaths from Lassa Fever outbreak in Lagos State has risen to two.

The latest being a 27-year old lady who was said to have travelled to Edo State in December 2015 and returned to Lagos on January 2.

According to a statement from Lagos State Ministry of Health, “the lady became ill on January 14 and received care in one private hospital and three churches before she was referred on January 23 to Ijede General Hospital with fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and body weakness. The patient died within a few hours of admission”.

Lagos State has recorded 20 suspected cases of Lassa Fever as at January 26, 2016, since the outbreak of the disease in the nation.

The statement further read that 14 suspected cases tested negative, four suspected cases were confirmed positive of Lasssa Fever, while the results of two suspected cases were pending.

The Ministry has line-listed 537 contacts of the confirmed cases with 99 per cent of the contacts currently being monitored.

Doctors Protest Kidnapping Of Colleagues In Rivers State

doctorsMembers of the Nigeria Medical Association in Rivers State have protested what they call the incessant kidnapping of their members.

The doctors came out in their numbers on the streets of Port Harcourt carrying placards with various inscriptions and marched to the office of the DSS and the Braithwaite Memorial Hospital to register their worry over the issue.

They condemned the rate at which they say their colleagues have been targeted in recent times, calling on the security agencies and the state government to do more to protect their lives and those of other residents of the state.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Musa Kimo, gave the assurance that all hands are on deck to guarantee their safety.

First Case Of Lassa Fever Confirmed In Ekiti, Delta State

Lassa feverThe first Lassa fever case has been confirmed in Ekiti and Delta State.

In Ekiti State, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olurotimi Ojo, who confirmed the case, said the patient, an 18-year old female student of the School of Nursing at the Federal Teaching Hospital in Ido-Ekiti, is currently on admission at the hospital and in stable condition.

Dr. Ojo said one other patient is currently under observation in the same hospital.

Similarly, the Delta State Government confirmed its first case of the rodent disease.

The patient is a 65-year old woman from Ifiogwari village in Ayamelunu Local Government Area in Anambra State.

According to reports, the patient is presently being treated at the Federal Medical Centre in Asaba, the capital of Delta State.

The Delta State rapid response team had put 22 people under surveillance after it was established they had contact with the primary case.

Residents in the affected states have been advised to maintain high levels of personal and environmental hygiene, to forestall the spread of the disease.

Cross River State To Get Pharmaceutical Company

Cross River-AyadeThe Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has announced plans by his administration to site a pharmaceutical company in the state.

He said the company would be in operation on or before the first quarter of 2017.

According to the Governor, the initiative emanated from not only the conceptualisation of two of his major projects – the deep seaport and the superhighway – but the peace and tranquillity in the state.

He said that the peaceful atmosphere had attracted large foreign participation at the just concluded Carnival Calabar, culminating in investors pouring into the state.

The Governor, who was visited on a courtesy call by the would-be investors, Healthage Nigeria limited, disclosed that, his administration would continually support any investor interested in the state with provision of land in a best business location to invest on.

Governor Ayade urged investors to also consider adding up a cosmetic section to an aspect of the factory for larger sales, considering the high demand of cosmetics by households.

He assured the investors of huge turnaround of their products in the state and country at large.

The Governor commended the team for the commitment shown towards the course, assuring them of the state government’s total support towards its realisation in the shortest possible time.

Making a presentation to the governor and some of his aides on the company’s mandate, the Director, Operations, Healthage Nigeria limited, Farhan Ahmad Khan, expressed his firm’s readiness to carry out the job aimed at emulating Pakistan in showcasing the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) approved factory with registered products from the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control.

Mr Farhan said the pharmaceutical company would among other things; prevent capital flight by producing drugs that were hitherto being imported into the country, thereby replicating their wealth of experience in Cross River State.

Taraba Government Confirms Lassa Fever Outbreak

Lassa-FeverThe Taraba State Government says it is trying to contain the outbreak of Lassa fever.

The state’s Commissioner of Health, Dr. Innocent Vakkai, said one person has been confirmed dead, while two others are being observed.

He added that their blood samples have been taken to the Irrua Specialists’ Hospital in Edo State for further confirmation.

The Information Commissioner has also asked members of the public not to panic, as the state government has responded swiftly to the outbreak.

Lassa fever outbreak occurred in Taraba State in February 2012, causing the death of 10 people, including a doctor and two nurses who attended to the patients.