Argentine Ex-President Menem Back In Hospital With Breathing Difficulties

Argentina Foreign Minister Malcorra Resigns


Former Argentina president Carlos Menem was admitted to hospital again in the early hours of Thursday suffering from breathing difficulties, family sources told the local press.

It is only three days since Menem, who was president from 1989-99, was discharged after two weeks in hospital receiving treatment for a severe pneumonia.

He is in intensive care at the Los Arcos private clinic in the capital Buenos Aires.

The senator, who turned 90 on Thursday, was first taken to hospital on June 13 where he also received intensive care.

He was tested for coronavirus but that came back negative.

“We’ve reached 90 old man!!! I start this day paraphrasing you ‘We’re feeling bad but doing well.’ Today is your birthday, but God gave me the gift of having you on this day. I love you with my soul. Stay strong dad,” Menem’s daughter Zulema wrote on Twitter.

Since entering the Senate in 2005, Menem has kept a much lower profile than during his presidency when he pursued an aggressive privatization policy.


COVID-19: Taraba Govt Commissions 100-Bed Space Isolation Centre


In a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Taraba State and enhance adequate treatment of victims, the state government has commissioned a 100-bed space treatment centre.

Located at the NYSC orientation camp Sibre, Ardo-Kola Local Government Area of the state, the treatment centre was provided by a commercial bank as part of its contributions to the Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID).

According to a representative of the bank, the intervention was also aimed at lifting from the government, the huge burden of fighting the coronavirus alone.

Governor Ishaku, represented by his Deputy, Haruna Manu, also stated that the state is making plans to provide more treatment centres across the state.

Port Harcourt Hospital Reopens Weeks After COVID-19 Case Was Detected

File Photo


A hospital in Portharcourt, the Rivers State capital, has resumed operations weeks after it shut down following its detection of a COVID-19 case.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Monday by the medical Director Dr Martins Nde.

In the statement, the MD thanked God for the protection of all its staff and the opportunity to save lives despite the attendant risks associated with the services.

Recounting how it all started, Nde explained that on the 20th of April, 2020 a patient was admitted to the hospital with a normal body temperature of 36.7oc.
The patient was said to have been diagnosed with signs, symptoms, and laboratory results consistent with resistant malaria and was later discharged on April 21, 2020.

According to Nde, it was later discovered that the state Ministry of Health and NCDC tested the said patient to be positive to COVID -19 on the 28th of April, 2020.

Thereafter, the hospital’s management responded to the development and compelled all staff who had come in contact with the said patient, to undergo medical protocols by submitting themselves for testing, and proceeding on a 14-day monitored self-isolation.

The MD has, however, stated that all staff have been confirmed to be negative to COVID-19 by the NCDC.

He also thanked the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and the NCDC, for their rapid decontamination of the hospital on the 29th of April, 2020, and for all measures taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Meanwhile, he has restated the commitment of the hospital to saving lives and providing efficient and effective professional medical services.

Okupe Asks Buhari’s Govt To Correct Past Mistakes, Build World-Class Hospital

A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and Dr Doyin Okupe.



A former presidential aide, Dr Doyin Okupe, has appealed to the Muhammadu Buhari administration to correct the mistakes made by previous governments in the nation’s health sector.

Speaking during his appearance on Channels Television’s breakfast show – Sunrise Daily on Monday, he urged the Nigerian government to build at least one world-class hospital in the country to discourage medical trips abroad.

Okupe, who was once a Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, admitted that it was disheartening that the nation does not have such a standard facility since it gained independence in 1960.

“The mistakes of the past are daunting, they are perplexing, they are embarrassing that since 1960 to date, we cannot boast of one major centre in the whole country that makes it irrelevant for you to go abroad,” he stated.


A Great Lesson

The former presidential spokesman and his wife tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in April and were discharged from the treatment centre after they recovered fully.

Although he barely showed any symptoms before going into isolation, he revealed that he developed a fever days later.


Okupe, however, stressed the need for Nigeria to pay more attention to its health sector and take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to learn its lessons.

He believes the country has the resources to establish a standard hospital and a Nigerian was recently appointed as the head of the COVID-19 team in Sierra Leone.

“As a doctor, I can tell you for free that we have the expertise – both at home and away.

“There are thousands and thousands of very very highly qualified, competent professionals who are abroad in the US and everywhere, including Nigeria,” he said.

The medical doctor added, “The problem that we will run into, the shame that will overcome this country, is if we do not learn a great lesson from this.”

He insisted that the government must discourage the practice of seeking medical treatment abroad by its citizens.

According to Okupe, building a standard hospital that will not require any Nigerian to travel abroad for medical treatment is less than $150 million.

“That is just it – $150 million; if you multiply that by six, you are not even talking about $1 billion and we have been given $3.5 billion.

“If we just take one out of that and spend it to establish these things, then we would have learned a great lesson, and I believe that this government will do so,” he stated.

Ten Newborns Contract Coronavirus At Romanian Hospital


A Romanian maternity unit was being investigated on Tuesday after 10 newborns tested positive for the novel coronavirus, with the suspicion they contracted the virus from healthcare staff.

“The mothers tested negative, but the babies tested positive so we have to consider their contacts with medical staff,” Health Minister Nelu Tataru said in an interview with the Antena 3 TV station late on Monday.

The babies have no symptoms and all but one of them, together with their mothers, have gone into self-isolation at home.

Tataru pointed to the “failures in the activities of both maternity officials and the local public health directorate (DSP)” and promised severe measures if necessary.

The local DSP chief has already been dismissed.

“For the past two days I have felt like I am living in a horror film,” one of the mothers told the local website.

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“The staff were not wearing masks,” she said, adding that the mothers had heard on Wednesday through unofficial channels that there was a case of coronavirus in the hospital.

“On Thursday the hospital was disinfected with us inside,” she said.

The unit in the western Romanian city of Timisoara was briefly placed under quarantine on March 31 but was reopened the next day on the orders of the local DSP, which insisted at the time that there was “no risk of infection for patients or doctors” even though 13 members of staff had already tested positive.

The latest case adds to worries about how Romania’s system is coping with the epidemic.

Medical staff have spoken out in recent weeks over insufficient equipment for those on the frontline.

There are more than 4,400 confirmed cases in Romania so far and 180 people have died.

Around 700 of those infected are healthcare workers.


Court Stops Lagos Govt Hospitals From Demanding Blood Donations For Childbirth

Alleged Kidnap: Judge’s Absence Stalls Evans Trial
A file photo of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja.



A Lagos High Court sitting in the Ikeja area has ordered government hospitals in the State to stop demanding compulsory blood donations from women seeking antenatal and maternity services.

Justice Raliat Adebiyi gave the order in a judgment delivered on Monday and restrained the state government hospitals from demanding blood donations from spouses and other relations of pregnant women seeking antenatal and maternity services.

A non-governmental organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) had filed a fundamental rights suit to compel the respondents to stop the act.

SERAP, on its grounds for seeking reliefs, said it had received complaints from residents of Lagos about the compulsory blood donation policy of government hospitals.

The respondents to the suit are the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Lagos State Ministry of Health, and the Commissioner for Health, Lagos State.

In her judgment, Justice Adebiyi said, “The respondents’ contributions to child and maternal deaths stands to reason, although no data on the child and maternal mortalities recorded as a result of the policy was provided to the court.

“A policy that will deny citizens the right to medical care based on failure to donate blood is not only unconstitutional but unconscionable and adverse to the life and wellbeing of all citizens that access the respondents’ facilities.”

Justice Adebiyi declared that the action of the respondents in demanding compulsory blood donation from those seeking maternity services was “arbitrary, unfair and a violation of their human rights as enshrined in Section 38(1) of the 1999 Constitution.”

She held that the actions of the hospitals and facilities were violations of and a denial of the rights of the residents of Lagos to a system of health protection.

According to the judge, the health system is expected to provide equality of opportunity as guaranteed under Articles 2 (a), 3 and 12 (1) of the International Convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.

She also declared that the actions of the Lagos government hospitals and health facilities were a denial of the right to life as guaranteed under Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution.

“The respondents are hereby ordered to forthwith immediately stop and discontinue the policy of insisting on compulsory blood donations from patients or relatives of those seeking medical care and attention before accessing antenatal, maternal or any health services in the facilities of the respondents,” Justice Adebiyi ruled.

Death Toll In Czech Hospital Rampage Rises To Six

This handout image published by the Czech police on their twitter account on December 10, 2019 shows policemen standing in front of the Faculty Hospital in Ostrava, eastern Czech Republic, where a gunman opened fire, killing six people. HO / Czech Police / AFP


A gunman opened fire Tuesday in a hospital in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava, killing six people, the prime minister said.

“There were four dead and two injured people who unfortunately died too,” Prime Minister Andrej Babis told the public Czech Television.

The gunman is still at large, police said.

Court Orders Final Forfeiture Of Hospital Facility Owned By Sitting Senator

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud



A Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, the Imo State capital has ordered the final forfeiture of a multi-million-naira hospital facility allegedly belonging to the senator representing Ideato North and South Federal constituency, Pascal Obi.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on August 22, 2019, secured the interim forfeiture of the property from a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, following evidence that the multi-million naira facility may have been acquired through fraudulent and corrupt activities.

According to the anti-graft agency, funds belonging to the Imo State Government were traced to the hospital after it was established that Mr Obi was a signatory to the government house account under the Rochas Okorocha administration.

Obi who was a Principal Secretary to the former governor, however, denied ownership of the facility.

The agency further stated in a statement, that the managing director of the hospital on invitation, could not give a clear account of how the hospital was funded.

Consequently, this prompted it to file for the forfeiture of the property on July 25, 2019, under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud, and Other Related Offences Act 2006.

In granting the request for the interim forfeiture of the property, the court ordered the anti-graft agency to publish the order in a national newspaper, which was accordingly complied, asking interested parties to show cause why the property should not be forfeited to the federal government within fourteen days from the dates of the publications.

Upon the expiration of the 14-day notice and with no one showing interest in the hospital, the commission filed for the final forfeiture of the facility which was finally granted by the federal high court in Owerri.

At Least 11 Dead In Rio Hospital Blaze

Firefigters transfer a patient during a fire at the Badim private Hospital in Tijuca neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 12, 2019. MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP


At least 11 people, many of them elderly, were killed when a fire swept through a hospital in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro as staff and desperate visitors battled to rescue patients from smoke-filled wards.

Hospital authorities said the blaze late on Thursday was thought to have been caused by a short circuit in a generator, although the city mayor said sabotage could not be ruled out.

Firefighters tackled the fire at the private Badim hospital, near Rio’s Maracana World Cup football stadium, for several hours before finally managing to extinguish it.

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The city’s forensic institute said most of the dead were aged 66 or over, many of whom were in the intensive care unit.

“The majority were due to suffocation and other causes related to the accident… the devices keeping them alive stopped working because of the fire,” Gabriela Graca, director of the forensic institute, told local media.

Emergency personnel searched through the burned-out building until the early hours of Friday to recover bodies.

The hospital said there had been 103 patients in the building when the fire broke out and that “more than 100 doctors were mobilized to bring help to the victims.” Seventy-seven of them had been moved to other hospitals while 14 had been cleared to return home.

During the evacuation, patients on gurneys and stretchers were carried into surrounding streets as ambulances struggled through crowds of curious onlookers to transport patients to other medical facilities.

“The doctor arrived in the room and told us that there was a fire and that we had to evacuate as quickly as possible,” 58-year-old Teresa Dias, who was visiting her father, told AFP.

“They put him on a wheelchair and tied him up to prevent him from falling out. There were a lot of other sick people on stretchers on the stairs.”

Staff wheeled medical equipment outside, and the most seriously ill patients were taken at first to a nearby children’s nursery.

Sheets tied together were seen hanging from hospital windows.

– Smoke spread quickly –
“I was able to take my mother out of her room and when we got to the fire escape, there were a lot of people running around,” lawyer Carlos Otorelo, whose 93-year-old mother was being treated for pneumonia, told the UOL news website.

“It was terrible because the smoke spread very quickly.”

Other relatives were forced to wait outside for word on their loved ones as dense black fumes filled the sky.

“I heard the loud noise of glass breaking and thought it was shooting or a robbery when I heard screaming. I went downstairs to see what was happening and I saw a lot of smoke,” said one resident, Terezinha Machado, 76.

Hospital authorities said smoke spread to all floors of the building and pointed to a generator in the oldest part of the complex as the probable cause of the fire.

Mayor Marcelo Crivella said investigators would probe whether the fire was an accident.

“Experts will have to find whether anyone was responsible. I hope I am wrong, but we have to check there was no sabotage, we have to investigate,” he told reporters when visiting the hospital Friday.

The fire service said the premises had safety certificates.

Rio has been hit by two major fires in the past year, including when the National Museum was gutted by flames last September, destroying most of its priceless collections.

In February, 10 teenage members of the Flamengo football club were killed in the prefabricated building where they were staying.

Faulty air conditioning systems were the cause of both fires.

At Least 10 Dead In Rio De Janeiro Hospital Blaze

Firefigters transfer a patient during a fire at the Badim private Hospital in Tijuca neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 12, 2019. MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP


At least 10 people died in a fire inside a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday evening with rescuers desperately trying to evacuate scores of patients from the building, the fire service said.

The fire broke out at dusk at the Badim hospital in the north of the city, with first reports suggesting the cause was a short circuit in a generator in the oldest part of the complex.

“At least 10 people died,” the Rio de Janeiro fire department said in a statement, without specifying whether the victims were patients or workers.

“About 90 patients had to be transferred to other medical units.”

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The blaze was brought under control by 8:00pm (2300 GMT), and fire fighters searched until the early hours of Friday to recover bodies from the scene.

During the emergency evacuation, dozens of trolly beds and stretchers were taken into the surrounding streets as ambulances struggled to get through crowds of curious onlookers to rush the most vulnerable patients to other hospitals.

Dense black smoke poured out of one side of the hospital, a private facility in the Tijuca neighborhood, as doctors, nurses and volunteers ran inside to rescue patients.

‘Latex Gloves Serve As Urine Bags’, Zimbabwean Hospitals Struggle With Mugabe’s Legacy


For Zimbabwe’s doctors, few institutions reflect their country’s decay under Robert Mugabe than their public hospitals, once vaunted but now under-equipped and crumbling.

Latex gloves serve as urine bags, operating rooms lack light bulbs and patients are often required to refuel their own ambulances, medics say.

Mugabe, who died last week in Singapore at age 95, may have swept to power as a liberation hero, but his rule was marked by economic collapse that left his people scrambling to survive.

Zimbabwean doctors note the symbolism of Mugabe seeking treatment 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) from home in Singapore’s gleaming Gleneagles clinic, where the cheapest suite costs around US$850 (770 euros) a day.

“It is very symbolic that the former president who presided over all the system for three decades can’t trust the health system,” said Edgar Munatsi, a doctor at Chitungwiza, 30 kms (18 miles) from the capital Harare.

“It says a lot about the current state of our health system.”

Mugabe’s death has left many debating the legacy of a man who ended white minority rule and was initially lauded for advances in public health and education.

In his nearly four-decade rule, Mugabe later brutally repressed opponents and oversaw a catastrophic mismanagement of economy that led to hyper-inflation, food shortages and misery.

Mugabe was not alone in seeking overseas care. Current Vice President Constantino Chiwenga is away for several weeks of treatment in China.

It is not hard to see why.

In Chitungwiza hospital, a glowing sign promising “Quality Health” welcomes patients, but conditions inside say otherwise: Operations are often cancelled for lack of anaesthetic, Munatsi says.

The hospital recently issued an internal memo warning its poorly-paid staff against “eating food made for patients.”

Two-decade Crisis

The situation is equally dramatic in paediatrics at Harare Central Hospital, one of Zimbabwe’s top clinics. Cleaning is done only twice a week, for lack of staff and detergents, doctors told AFP.

The operations are often postponed for lack of running water and nursing staff, in a country mired for two decades in economic crisis.

“In theatre, we have linen full of blood and faeces and you can’t do the laundry,” said one doctor.

He requested anonymity, like many of his colleagues, for fear of reprisals from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

Only one of three paediatric operating rooms at the central hospital is working.

“We have a four-year waiting list for inguinal hernias, the most common condition in children,” says one of the specialists.

Without treatment, this hernia can cause male infertility.

Drug shortages, obsolete equipment and lack of staff: the mix is sometimes deadly.

“It is heart-breaking when you lose patients who are not supposed to die under normal circumstances,” Munatsi said.


Since the early 1990s, the public health system has steadily deteriorated, whereas before, people came from overseas to be treated in Zimbabwe, recalls one senior doctor.

That is a legacy of the Mugabe years as the country was tipped into endless economic crisis — three-digit inflation, currency devaluations, and shortages of commodities.

In hospitals, patients and loved ones who experience the situation daily, are resigned.

“It’s pathetic,” says Saratiel Marandani, a 49-year-old street vendor who had to buy a dressing for his mother.

Given her age, she should receive free health care. But the reality is starkly different.

“Only the consultations are free (…) if you need paracetamol, you need to buy it yourself.”

His mother will have to do without the ultrasound she needs. At 1,000 Zimbabwean dollars or 100 euros, it’s beyond his reach.

Doctors say they sometimes have to pay out of their own pocket for patients’ medication, or even just their bus ticket home.

At Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare, Lindiwe Banda lays prostrate on her bed. A diabetic, she was given the green light to go home. But on condition, she paid her bill.

“But I do not even have five Zimbabwean dollars (less than one euro) to pay for the transport,” she said in tears.

“I can’t reach my relatives. I think they have dumped me. They don’t have money, but they should show some love”.

If hospitals and patients are penniless, doctors too cannot escape Zimbabwe’s ruin.

Medics have just begun their latest protest to demand a pay rise after salaries lost 15 times their value in a few months and consumer prices spiralled out of control.

“We are incapacitated,” says Peter Magombeyi, a doctor whose salary is the equivalent of 115 euros a month – a pittance that requires him to do odd jobs to get by.

“We are very aware” of the problems, says Prosper Chonzi, the director of health services in Harare.

“The health system reflects the economy of the country.”

Four Dead In Romania Psychiatric Hospital Attack


Four people have died and nine were injured after being attacked by a patient in a psychiatric hospital, Romanian press reports said Sunday.

They said a 38-year-old man who had admitted himself to the hospital in Sapoca, northeast of the capital Bucharest, entered a treatment room and attacked other patients with a transfusion stand.

Three of the patients suffered head injuries and died at the scene while a fourth died later in hospital, the reports said.

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Among the nine injured in the attack, two were in a coma, they added.

“Everything happened in less than a minute,” hospital director Viorica Mihalascu was quoted as saying.

“This patient was admitted on a normal surveillance level. His symptoms did not give an indication that a tragedy was imminent,” she told Antena 3 television station.