Health Minister Says $400m Polio Donor Funds Not Stolen

Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewale on polio donor fundsThe Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has denied reports that a $400 million donor funds meant to eradicate polio in Nigeria was stolen.

Professor Adewole dismissed the reports at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Health Services.

It was held to consider ways of revitalising the Primary Healthcare System and avert health crisis in Nigeria.

The public hearing was the opening of the ceremony that will hold for two days.

Addressing the lawmakers, the minister pointed out steps that must be taken to reverse the situation in the country’s health sector, emphasising the need for more funding.

The Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Chike Okafor, asked the executives to implement the National Health Act and ensure the funding of basic health care.

On his part, the Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, of the House and Chairman of the Committee said there was an urgent need to address the nations’ health situation.

Other members of the House Committee on Health Services, the wife of the Senate President, and other operators in the sector were present for the event.

It is expected that the forum would not only come up with practical and workable ways of enhancing the country’s Primary Healthcare System but will make sure it becomes a reality.

Health Minister Asks FMC Owerri Workers To Resume Work

Minister-of-Health-Professor-Isacc-AdewaleThe Minister of Health, Professor Isacc Adewale, has directed all staff of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri to resume work.

The former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan gave the directive in company of the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Health, Honourable Chike Okafor.

Professor Adewale said that the directive was to take immediate effect after he inaugurated an interim administrative committee to oversee the hospital’s management.

According to him, the committee would review events that led to the industrial unrest that shut the hospital in the last eight months in Imo State, southeast Nigeria.

Both the Minister and lawmaker urged the aggrieved workers to place patients ahead of any personal interests.

Presidential Intervention

The workers had earlier in the year asked for President Muhammadu Buhari’s intervention before he was sworn-in as President.

Asking him to look into the activities affecting the staff and patients of the health institution, they accused the board and management of the FMC Owerri of allegedly concluding plans to privatise and commercialise some key departments in the institution.

They alleged that having succeeded in privatising the mortuary, transport, security and laundry departments, there were plans to privatise other departments, especially the laboratory and pharmacy departments.

They subsequently called for the removal of the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Angela Uwakwe, accusing her of financial misappropriation, high-handedness and victimising staff that were against her proposal of privatisation.

Dr. Uwakwe at the time debunked the accusations that the management was trying to privatise the entire hospital, noting that it was just some units.

She said that the board was still meeting to ratify the proposed privatisation, insisting that it was a proposed Public Private Partnership (PPP) to make the hospital services more efficient and effective.

In a bid to find a lasting solution to the rift between the management and staff, the FMC Owerri Board Chairman, Sen Onyeka Okoroafor, said that the board had decided to drop the privatisation plans.

He added that the FMC board had also reversed the query letters given to staff in the course of the feud between the management and staff of the centre.