Ondo Govt. Moves To Stop Spread Of Lassa Fever

Lassa FeverOndo State Government says it has put all measures in place towards ensuring that Lassa Fever does not spread to the state again.

As part of efforts towards achieving this, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. ‘Dayo Adeyanju held a sensitization meeting with the Primary Healthcare Coordinators as well as Surveillance and Focal Persons from the 18 local government areas of the state in Akure, the state capital.

In a chat with newsmen, Adeyanju said that the emergence of Lassa Fever in Ogun State which is a neighboring state, makes it important to activate outbreak control operations in the local governments.

Adeyanju declared that all primary healthcare operators need to become active as government would continue to create awareness to ensure the disease is prevented.

The Primary Healthcare Coordinator for Odigbo Local Government in Ondo State, which shares a border with Ogun State, Dr. Kayode Adegbehingbe, explained measures taken to prevent the spread of the disease.

He informed newsmen that immediately they heard that there was Lassa Fever outbreak in Ogun State, all hands have been on deck to ensure the disease does not spread to Ondo State.

He said that a border patrol team had been set up between Odigbo Local Government and Ijebu East Local Government in Ogun State.

He added that sensitization meetings have been held across the borders, giving assurance that with all measures that have been put in place, Lassa Fever would not enter Ondo State.

Earlier in the year, three cases of Lassa Fever were recorded in Ondo State, specifically in Ose LGA, close to the border with neighboring Edo State.

The Ondo government succeeded in controlling its spread.

Resident Doctors Threaten To Commence Strike Action In 2017

Resident Doctors, FMC Owerri, StrikeThe National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), has advised the Federal Government to urgently wade into the lingering crises in the health sector to the avert impending strike by doctors.

NARD issued a three-week strike notice that would lapse on January 2, 2017.

The Public Relations Officer, NARD, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa branch, Dr. Ugoeze Asinobi, said that the doctors had shelved the planned strike three times in the past four months and are bent on going on strike as from January 2.

The doctors are agitating for a uniform template for the Residency Programme, infrastructure for tertiary health facilities, proper grading of doctors and payment of outstanding salaries, among other issues.

According to Asinobi: “We don’t want strike, but we are going to resort to it again.

“The Residency Programme is fundamental to effective health care, given the dearth of manpower as the country has less than 20 per cent of required experts.

“Each time the ultimatum expires, we shift it in the hope that things would be made right within the time given, but it is now obvious the Ministry officials are insincere.

“The issues we go on strike for are always the same issues and we are resolute to withdraw services come January 2, 2017, if our concerns are not addressed.

“One wonders if health ministry officials are sabotaging the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari on purpose, as their brazen and blatant disregard to the most basic institutional needs of the major workhorses of the health sector leaves a lot to be desired.

“Their attitude leaves one bewildered as sabotage appears to be the only logical explanation,” he stated.

Furthermore, he alleged that officials of Federal Ministry of Health are playing politics with the lives of Nigerians as they are insensitive and disconnected from the realities the masses were facing in their daily lives.

“NARD frowns at the wastage in building new primary health centres, rather than rehabilitating, equipping and staffing existing ones with requisite manpower”.

“Resident doctors have always embraced dialogue and discussions in finding lasting solutions, but it is obvious that our commitment to peace and industrial harmony is yet to be reciprocated”.

The P.R.O then appealed to the federal government to wade into the industrial dispute for the overall interest of the welfare of the citizenry.

According to him, executives of NARD remain committed to ending the myriad of incursions adversely affecting the welfare of resident doctors.

Ogun Lassa Fever: Health Commissioner Says 396 Under Observation

 Ogun state, Lassa FeverThe Ogun state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babtunde Ipaye, has said that 396 people have been traced and placed under surveillance in case they develop symptoms of Lassa Fever.

The 396 were said to have had primary and secondary contacts with the Assistant Chief Nursing Officer of Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Idi- Aba in Abeokuta, who died of the disease on Tuesday.

The Commissioner made this disclosure during an official commissioning of Shoremekun Memorial Hospital at Ifo Local Government Area of the State.

Ipaye said that the primary contacts are majorly members of the late victim’s family, while the secondary contacts are the victim’s co-workers in the hospital, particularly those in her department.

The Commissioner said so far, none of the contacts have shown abnormal temperature since they began monitoring.

He added that the medical officers attached to each of the contacts would continue to monitor them until they are medically adjudged to be free of the disease.

“All the 396 contacts have not shown any abnormal symptoms or signs of Lassa fever, their temperature is under control and we have stationed our monitoring officer with each of the contacts to continue monitoring throughout a specific period in line with the World Health Organisation (W.H.O), standard” he said.

Allaying the fears of residents, the Health Commissioner assured them that government was on top of the situation.

He however advised the people to cultivate high level of hygiene and keep their food away from rats.

Dr. Ipaye also advised members of the public to report any case of malaria symptoms that may have exceeded three days to the nearest General Hospital.

Niger Governor Reshuffles Cabinet

Niger, Abubakar BelloNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, on Tuesday made a minor change in his cabinet.

The governor redeployed the Commissioner for Land and Housing, Haliru Jikantoro, as well as his counterparts in Agriculture and Rural Development, Aliyu Abdullahi and that of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Kabiru Musa.

A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, after the last State Executive Council meeting for the year 2016 revealed that there would be more changes in 2017.

Governor Bello, who thanked the commissioners and council members for their cooperation and contributions, was not so impressed with their performances saying he could only give a pass mark of 60%.

“I commend every one of you but you must all sit up because 2017 will be a year of fulfilled promises. I can give you a pass mark of 60% but much is expected of you by next year.

“Everybody must sit up because we must deliver the dividends of democracy to the electorates,” he said.

Governor Bello redeployed the Mr Jikantoro to Local Government Affairs while Mr Abdullahi is to take over from him.

He also directed Mr Musa to take over from the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Similarly, the Permanent Secretaries of Ministry of Health, Dr. Umar Ibrahim Tiffin, that of Justice, Mr Ndagi Wali and the Director of Hospital Management Board, Dr. Makunsidi are to report to the Head of Service for new redeployment.

The Director of Planning and Statistics in the Ministry of Health would also resume at the Hospital Management Board.

While wishing all members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance, Governor Bello tasked them to show more commitment in carrying out their functions in accordance with his mandate.

He said that “more changes will come with the new year”.

Bayelsa Governor Appoints Commissioners To Push Tourism, Others

Bayelsa Signs MOU For Management of HospitalGovernor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State on Friday expanded his cabinet with five new commissioners to push the state’s drive of promoting tourism and other sectors.

They have been charged to align themselves to the ideals and vision of the restoration agenda, towards delivering quality services to the people.

The Governor while swearing in the commissioners at the new Executive Council Chambers of the Government House in Yenagoa, called on the appointees to exhibit a high sense of dedication and loyalty in the discharge of their duties.

The commissioners are, Professor Ebitimitula Etebu for the Ministry of Health, Mr Austin Dressman is in charge of the Ministry of Ijaw National Affairs and Culture, Mrs Ebiere Ajuwa Musa was assigned the portfolio of Ministry of Tourism Development, Mrs Martha Jenakumo for the Ministry of Women Affairs while Mr Tamunobere Oguoh heads the Special Duties, West Senatorial district.

Describing the Commissioner for Health as a thoroughbred medical personnel, Governor Dickson said, his antecedents were exemplary and urged him to streamline all the massive investments made in the sector.

According to him, the state has put in place world class health facilities, including the diagnostic centre equipped with a forensic unit and by next year, the government will construct and equip health centres in each of the 105 wards to take healthcare delivery closer to the rural dwellers.

“We want to have the best facilities in all spheres. Very soon, we are going to be number one in agriculture, sports, education and now we want to be number one in medical tourism, with the facilities that we are going to put in place.

“We will have a situation where no Bayelsan will need to travel out to receive healthcare.

“Not only that; we want all Nigerians and people from other places to come to Bayelsa for healthcare services. Your duty will be to harmonize all of these. We have the forensic unit at the Diagnostic centre which is 90% set.

“Knowing you as a thoroughbred professional, you have been brought into government at this time to put your seal of professionalism to all these initiatives and you have on ground, a team of competent medical personnel ready to work with you. I have no doubt that the team working under your leadership, our vision of making Bayelsa number one in the area of tourism and healthcare delivery will be achieved,” he told the appointees.

Governor Dickson also charged the commissioner for Ijaw National Affairs and Culture to mobilise the Ijaw nation for a positive national development, urging him to bring his wealth of experience as an activist to bear on his new assignment.

Primary Health Care: Senate To Probe Usage Of Donor Funds

Senate-NigeriaThe Senate Committee on Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases is set to probe funds meant for polio eradication in Nigeria.

The committee has alleged irregularities in the handling of over 420 million dollars global funds.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, spoke with journalists on Monday as part of events marking the World Polio Day.

He said the committee would also check to see how the $1.5 million recently disbursed to 36 states in the country was utilized, to guard against the resurgence of polio.

The Senator said that it is important that donor funds are well spent and that funds meant for citizens reach those that need them.

The Geneva-based Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) had indicted Nigeria for alleged misapplication of funds donated for immunization of children against polio in the country.

Also, the Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency were implicated in a fraud audit conducted by GAVI, in which over $400 million disbursed for procurement of vaccines was alleged to have been grossly abused by Nigerian officials.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has also urged Nigeria to strengthen its primary healthcare system in other to curb the spread of wild polio virus in the northeast to other parts of the country.

The Chief of Health for UNICEF in Nigeria, Mr John Agbor made the appeal at another news conference in Abuja to mark the 2016 World Polio Day.

He explained that this has become important to enable Nigeria consolidate on the little gains already made in its effort to eradicate the virus.

Nigeria’s polio–free certification suffered a major setback in August 2016, when four new cases of wild polio virus were reported in the north east.

FMC Owerri Resident Doctors Threaten Indefinite Strike

Resident Doctors, FMC Owerri, StrikeResident doctors at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owerri, Imo State have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike in no distant time.

The medics say they would commence the industrial action if the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Health fails to meet their demands which have continued to linger for a long period of time.

The President of Association of Resident Doctors at the hospital, Dr. Victor Dike, gave the warning on Friday on behalf of his colleagues in the Imo State capital, south-east Nigeria.

He claimed members of the association were being owed their December 2015 salaries and were yet to be paid their arrears accruing between five to 15 months.

The resident doctors lamented that they have been short-changed and marginalised in their remuneration, saying it only affected the chapter of the association in Nigeria.

He urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, dissolve the present interim management committee of the institution.

The medics appealed for the appointment of a permanent Managing Director for the centre, stressing that the present interim management committee have limited powers to carry out some constitutional functions.

FG Restates Commitment To Upgrading Health Facilities

Minister-of-Health-Professor-Isacc-Adewale-HealthcareThe Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to upgrading and revamping health facilities across Nigeria, for efficiency and better access.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who made the announcement said it is part of efforts to reverse and stop medical tourism in Nigeria.

To this end, Professor Adewole disclosed that the government has released the sum of 420 million Naira each to every state, to upgrade their primary healthcare facilities.

In the course of his two-day working visit to the University College Hospital, Ibadan in Oyo State, the Minister said that the hospital was one of the seven health facilities chosen for comprehensive upgrade.

He added that the 60-year-old institution must be assisted to continue to provide leadership in quality healthcare delivery.

Boost Healthcare Delivery At Grassroots

Professor Adewole directed that henceforth, critical care and emergencies must be attended to promptly, without any demand for money until the patients were out of danger in any federal hospital across Nigeria.

He also hinted that the model primary healthcare facility under the UCH would be replicated in over 112 primary healthcare centres adopted by the Ministry of Health, to boost healthcare delivery at the grassroot and decongest teaching hospitals.

The Minister said that intense deliberations were ongoing between the Federal Government and all stakeholders on ways of curbing industrial action in the health sector.

The Chief Medical Director of UCH, Professor Temitope Alonge, in his remarks described the visit as a crucial one that would go a long way in assisting the hospital for better efficiency.

Ambode Commissions Helipad At LASUTH, Says To Be Used As Life Saving Asset

Cancer, Akinwunmi AmbodeLagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday commissioned a Helipad at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH),

While commissioning the facility, Governor Ambode, who said it will be a life saving asset, maintained that the need for a helipad had become necessary to complement other emergency services within the state.

He further stated that the facility would be operated by specially trained personnel, who will offer a 24-hour service.

The governor also mentioned that the Helipad would be located in LASUTH, Given her reputation as the State Tertiary Health Institution, offering referrals to other state and private medical institutions.

He said the usual movement by road is not the best option and has guaranteed the public that there would be expert medical care during emergency transfer and also safe landing at all times.

Governor Ambode also inspected abandoned as well as on-going projects, including the upgrading of 247-bed and five theatre suits for pregnant women to be ready for use by the first quarter of 2017.

Primary Healthcare: FCT, 36 States To Share $1.5m FG Fund

Isaac Adewole, Primary Healthcare, WHOThe Federal Government says it has concluded plans to disburse $1.5 million each to the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory for the financing of primary healthcare system.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, made the declaration on Monday at the presentation of the National Healthcare Plan to officials of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Abuja.

Professor Adewole said that the neglect of the primary healthcare system was a major problem in the sector.

He also lamented that only 20% of Nigeria’s 30,000 primary healthcare facilities were working.

The Minister consequently outlined governments’ plans to revitalise the health sector including cash disbursement to states to finance primary healthcare.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Amina Shamaki, solicited for WHO’s financial and technical support.

The Regional Director of WHO for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca, assured the government of the organisation’s support.

She also urged the government to encourage healthcare practitioners to stay in communities where primary healthcare facilities are situated.

NEMA Promises Improved Feeding Of Bama IDPs

NEMA, IDPs, BamaThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says the poor nutrition state of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Bama will soon improve.

The Northeast Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Mohammed Kannar, said this on Thursday when he confirmed the reports on starving refugees to Channels Television.

Speaking on Thursday during a phone interview, Mr Kannar said the agency was working with other aid agencies to ensure the victims were effectively taken care of.

“We’ve made a joint collaboration with all other NGOs which we brought down under the leadership of the Ministry of Health of Borno State,” he said.

The NEMA official revealed that 1,800 malnourished IDPs were relocated from Bama to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital in northeast Nigeria.

He noted that the Dangote Foundation has donated lots of materials to the Boko Haram insurgency victims, where 28 trucks of food materials have been sent to Bama.

With the new development, he promised that the poor state of the insurgent victims would improve in a short time.

The internationally renowned charity group, doctors without borders, MSF had reported that about 200 refugees fleeing the Boko Haram militants have starved to death over the past month in Bama.

The MSF says that a catastrophic humanitarian emergency is unfolding at a camp it visited where 24,000 people have taken refuge.

KPMG Presents Book On Quality Healthcare

KPMG, HealthGlobal professional services company, KPMG has presented a book to the Ministry of Health that would help the country plan and establish a universal health coverage system.

The book, presented by KPMG partner and Head of Advisory Services, Kunle Elebute, is aimed at supporting Nigeria in structuring an effective universal health coverage.

It focuses on how to provide an affordable, accessible and quality health care to majority of the citizens, especially the rural poor.

The book, ‘In Search Of The Perfect Health System’, written by the company’s Global Head of Health Care, Mark Britnell, explores seven challenges of health care around the world and transformative forces facing healthcare in the future such as retail revolution and wearable monitors.

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Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole,

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said that the structuring of an effective universal health coverage is part of this government’s agenda of reaching 100 million Nigerians by 2018.

Professor Adewole said that the 100 copies of the book will be distributed to all stakeholders and key players in the health sector to prepare them for the task that must be accomplished in the sector.