Senate Expresses Fear Over Upsurge In Cancer Cases

Cancer CasesThe Nigerian Senate has raised alarm over the upsurge of cancer cases recorded in the country.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Senator Lanre Tejuoso, made the observation on Monday at a public hearing on the National Centre for Cancer Research and Treatment Bill.

He expressed worry over the high rate of cancer cases that have been recorded and the number of lives lost in the country.

Senator Tejuoso explained that Nigeria has recorded more than two million cases of cancer annually, lamenting that about 100,000 to 500,000 new cases are being registered every year.

He added that the proposed bill seeks to provide for the establishment of the National Centre for Cancer Research and Treatment for in-depth research into cancer and its treatment for the benefit of Nigerians.

The House of Representatives had in November 2015, voiced its concern over the increasing cases of cancer in Nigeria and the inadequate equipment for screening and treating the disease.

Having noted that approximately 100 per 100,000 Nigerians die from cancer yearly, the House, at the time, urged the Ministry of Health to review the National Health Insurance Scheme and integrate cancer treatment.

FG To Set Up 100 Primary Healthcare Centres In 3 Months

Health workers- yobe-herfonThe Federal Government of Nigeria has concluded plans to set up one hundred Primary Health Care Centres across the country within the next three months, a government official said on Tuesday.

Addressing reporters during an assessment tour of healthcare facilities in war torn northeast Nigeria, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, gave the figures.

Professor Adewole said that the plan was to provide each ward in the country with self-sufficient healthcare centres in line with global best practices.

In Borno State, the state worst hit by the insurgents, the State Governor, Kashim Shettima, was excited about the Federal Government’s interest in parts of the country ravaged by insurgency.

Shettima told the Minister that health facilities in Maiduguri the state capital were now overstretched because of the burden of insurgency victims and Persons dislodged from at least 20 local governments of the state.

Over two million persons have been displaced from the region in the over six years’ insurgency by members of the Boko Haram sect.

The government had last week inaugurated a committee to map out all the Primary Healthcare Centres across the nation.

Professor Adewole, inaugurated the committee on January 19.

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.

FG Intensifies Surveillance To Prevent Lassa Fever Spread

lassa feverThe Federal Government has promised to intensify surveillance to prevent the spread of Lassa Fever.

Part of the strategy is a free treatment for persons infected with the disease.

In an interview with Channels Television’s correspondent, Gbenga Ashiru, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said authorities had been mandated to give the treatment.

Last week, the Minister confirmed that at least 40 deaths have been recorded in 10 states of the federation.

While speaking on the 221.7 billion Naira allocated to the health sector in the 2016 budget, Professor Adewole noted that the ministry would focus on providing quality public healthcare delivery while reducing infant and maternal mortalities.

“The first thing we have done is to say, look we have recurrent upsurge in the episode and unusual high case fatality, but we are engaging in massive public education campaign, staying in touch with Local State and Federal Government officials and dispatching of surveillance officers to the affected areas and surrounding states.

“We are in fact re-activating some of the laboratories, making sure that cases are properly diagnosed, we have dispatched drugs to affected states and we are also sending them protective gears so that health workers can manage well,” he explained.

According to him, the government had advised health workers to refer persons with malaria that are not responding well to treatment to appropriate hospitals where they could be taking care of.

He, however, expressed hopes that there would not be a hospital acquired infection, which would lead to the a lock-down of the health facility.

Meanwhile, Medical practitioners at the Lassa Fever Research Centre in Irua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo State attributed the Lassa fever spread to the poor attention given to it by authorities over the years.

The officials, who conducted Channels Television round the foremost and only Lassa Fever Research Institute in Nigeria, called on the government to set up more diagnostic centres across the country.

FG Reiterates Commitment To Improving Nigeria’s Healthcare

DoctorsThe Federal Government has promised to focus its policies in the health sector to ensure that healthcare is brought to the doorstep of every Nigerian.

The Minister for Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, gave the government’s position on Sunday at a thanksgiving service and reception organised in his honour by the Osun State government in Osogbo, the capital of the State.

Professor Adewole assured Nigerians that the Buhari administration would make the life of every person count, as it improves the support for the primary health sector.

He said that the input would ensure that good and affordable healthcare was available to the citizenry.

The Minister told the gathering that he was prepared to work with state governments to create a synergy between the Federal Ministry of Health and government at all levels to improve the healthcare delivery.

Increasing Cases Of Cancer Worry Nigerian Lawmakers

House of Representatives Nigeria cancerThe House of Representatives has voiced its concern over the increasing cases of cancer in Nigeria and the inadequate equipment for screening and treating the disease.

The sponsor of the motion, Mr Muhammad Usman noted that approximately 100 per 100,000 Nigerians die from cancer yearly.

Following a short debate in which members supported the motion, the House resolved that the National Cancer Control Programme should be transformed into an agency.

The House also urged the Ministry of Health to review the National Health Insurance Scheme and integrate cancer treatment.

Doctor Who Treated Liberian Sawyer Tests Positive To Ebola Virus

ebola-outbreak-in-ugandaA Lagos doctor who treated the Liberian man that died few days ago of Ebola Virus has tested positive to the Virus, Nigeria’s Minister of Health said on Monday.

The minister broke the news on Monday during the inauguration of a treatment research group for Ebola in Nigeria .

According to the Minister, 70 people are now placed under surveillance while eight people would be quarantined on Monday for developing symptoms of the disease.

Apart from taking those steps, the government has also set up a treatment research group, that will carry out treatment research, receive and verify treatment claims as well as advise government on issues relating to Ebola virus in Nigeria.

The group which is co-chaired by Professor Shingu Gamaliel and Professor Innocent Ujah also has Maurice Iwu, a Professor of Pharmacognosy and officials from the Centre for Disease Control as members.

The minister advised the public to be wary of treatment claims including the use of bitter-cola as most treatment findings are still in their laboratory stages.

There is currently no known cure for Ebola virus in the world, but medical experts say efforts are on to find a remedy to the disease that has claimed over seven hundred since its out-break this year.



Healthcare, Unemployment Issues Top Talks At Nigeria Governors Forum

Chibuike Amaechi-Governors-Forum

Poor healthcare delivery and increasing unemployment issues topped talks at the Nigeria Governors Forum held to seek solutions to the issues.

At the forum held in Port Harcourt on Friday, experts and governors highlighted several aspects of the Nigerian economy that needed to be overhauled for the sectors to yield more benefits to Nigerians.

The Health sector was top on the list of issues that were discussed, with a former governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki, giving an overview of the current state of the health sector at the sub-national level.

Saraki stressed the need for all Nigerians to have access to the health insurance scheme, insisting that such introduction would address the formal and informal sector.

“The National Health Law recently passed by the National Assembly has made this possible. One of the reasons healthcare is not accessible is because of the non-affordability of healthcare,” Saraki, who is also a Senator, said.

He further stressed that it was important that the governors addressed the issue of funding the health sector.

The forum also addressed the issues of youth unemployment in Nigeria.

On unemployment issues and job creation, the governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, stressed the need for proper planning and a diligent implementation of every plan and policies of the government for the needed jobs to be created.

“If we are to have a policy that says ‘Nigerians, consume what you produce,’ we must ensure that we consume only what we produce.

“The promise of the pension scheme was that there will be funds for long term borrowing because the contributors of the funds will not need the money until they are 60. It is expected that the money would provide resources for dual purpose of securing the future income and provision of a mortgage system where interest rate will be in single digit.

“Today total sum of the contribution is in excess of four trillion Naira. But even with such income, a worker in Nigeria cannot walk to his bank and borrow for mortgage purpose.

“We still have deficit in housing and we have huge pension fund. If we choose to inject the pension funds into the housing sector alone, we will create decent jobs because we will employ people to build houses,” he stressed, questioning why the policy is not being implemented as planned.

The Edo State governor stressed the need for planning, insisting that poor planning had led to the increase in the number of the unemployed and unemployable graduates in Nigeria.

He stressed the need for a short and long term plan to ensure that institutions were made ready to employ the graduates coming out of the tertiary institutions, emphasising that with more idle hands available, insurgents would find people to enlist.

The governors also looked at ‘Life After Office’ for governors and the governors were advised to adopt models of change of line of work, in order to remain productive even after leaving office.

Reading the communique at the end of the forum, the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and the Governor of Rivers State, Governor Chibuike Amaechi, said that governors would focus more strongly on good governance and service delivery during the remaining period of their terms of office.

The governors also resolved to examine the establishment of an independent office to make objective recommendations on the retirement benefits of governors; leave behind legacy projects that the governors would be proud of and place emphasis on making the primary healthcare more accessible to people by putting in place a system which would make them utilise the health facilities closest to them.

Other resolutions reached are, the need to emphasise preventive healthcare other than curative healthcare and make it a priority to provide primary healthcare to all citizens and the need to provide and support all infrastructure necessary for speedy internet connections, including broadband so that Nigerian youths can participate massively in the wealth to be made from the knowledge based economy.

Lawmakers Reflect On Nigeria’s 15 Years Of Democracy

SenateOn 29 May, Nigeria celebrated 15 years of uninterrupted democratic rule, the longest the country has experienced without military interception.

At the National Assembly, federal lawmakers reflected on the last 15 years of democracy, highlighting the gains and progress made and the areas where the country is still struggling in.

It has been 14 years of the bad, the good and the ugly. from flawed elections, high unemployment rates, debilitating poverty, ethnic and religious crises and now terrorism and insurgency alongside a rising GDP, economic growth and giant strides in the telecoms industry.

For the lawmakers, this year’s Democracy Day is a time for stock taking and evaluation.

The Democracy Day is coming at a time when Nigeria is facing one of the worst security crises the country has seen since the civil war.

Over 200 girls abducted on April 14 from their dormitory in Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, are still in the custody of members of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

National Health Bill To Improved Healthcare

Lawmakers say this is a time to fashion out new ways of dealing with the insecurity crisis.

The lawmakers have tried to tackle some challenges facing the nation by putting in place, necessary laws.

In February this year, the senate passed the National Health Bill.

It was a long process to get the bill passed. The senate committee organised public hearings to get the views of professionals and concerned Nigerians in the health sector on the bill before it was passed.

They were several contentious issues in the National Health Bill that needed to be addressed along the way and this played out during and after the public hearings.

In this edition of The Gavel, Channels Television interview the Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who laid bare the highlight of the bill and what the bill hopes to achieve when passed.