Teaching Hospitals Are Overburdened, Lack Proper Funding – Adewole

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, says the problem with the nation’s tertiary health institutions is overcrowding and lack of proper funding.

The minister said this on Tuesday when he appeared before the Senate explaining the state of healthcare facilities in teaching hospitals.

Professor Adewole said the problem with the nation’s tertiary health institutions is overcrowding, not the poor quality of healthcare.

He also stressed that teaching hospitals are overburdened because of lack of proper funding and attention to primary healthcare.

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 Health Minister Appears Before Senate Over State Of Teaching Hospitals

Senate Asks Health Minister To Appear Before It On Tuesday

According to the Minister, only 10% of Nigerians need to go to teaching hospitals, but that is not the case as Nigerians have no confidence in primary and secondary healthcare systems, thereby opting to go straight to tertiary hospitals which are only supposed to take care of complicated cases.

He also accused the state governments of abandoning healthcare to the Federal government, pointing out that 14 states are yet to show interest in the basic healthcare fund.

“Over the last couple of years, we have had a challenge. We can describe the health care as a pyramid, with Primary Health Care at the base, Secondary at middle and Tertiary at the top.

“Only 10% of Nigerians who require care would need to go to tertiary institutions.

“For them to function effectively, they depend on functional primary and secondary health care centres. If these two levels of care are functional, about 90% of ailments will be taken care of.

“For us in Nigeria, they represent the topmost and by design are expected to manage complex and complicated cases.

“We have 22 teaching hospitals in the country and 17 specialist hospitals under the direct body of the Federal Government. The teaching hospitals constitute the apex of health care in any country.

“We can compare it to a building — primary health as the foundation, the secondary as the wall and the tertiary as the roof.

“The problem we have is that the foundation is bad and the wall is weak and we are only concerned about the roof. If we invest in the Primary Health Care, a lot of people would not have a cause to go to the Tertiary,” he explained.

The Senate had earlier summoned Adewole to appear before it on Tuesday over what the Senate President Bukola Saraki described as the deteriorating conditions of facilities at teaching hospitals across the nation.

The Senators took turns to quiz the Minister on the state of healthcare infrastructure all over the country.

Below are some senators that quizzed the Health Minister and the questions asked:

“The area that worries me is that of the medical students who graduate from medical schools and have nowhere to do their houseman-ship. How do we make sure our medical students always get where to practice?” — Senator Sam Egwu.

“Do we still have sanitary inspectors, if so are they allowed to carry out their duties and are the CMD’s allowed to act independently?” — Senator Francis Alimikhena.

“What can be done about ‘brain drain’ amongst doctors and nurses which is affecting the efficiency of primary, secondary and tertiary hospital?” — Senator Gbenga Ashafa.

“Is there a way to exclude teaching hospitals, Secondary hospitals and primary hospitals from paying electricity bills? Would it improve the services of the hospitals?” — Senator Shehu Sani.

“UCH used to be one of the best hospitals but now it’s a caricature of what it used to be. Is there a programme where we bring our teaching hospitals to the standard it used to be so they stand out?” –Senator Olusola Adeyeye.

“How can we equip our hospitals to the standard that makes Nigerians travel out for treatment?” — Senator Victor Umeh.

“Since assumption of offfice, what have you done on the matter i met you on personality (N300m paid to the Federal Ministry of Health) during the Jonathan regime.”– Senator Kabir Marafa.

“Can you explain to Nigerians on how Lagos Teaching hospital independently had power without the interference of public power and how other states can tap into it.”– Senator Kabir Marafa

Health Minister Appears Before Senate Over State Of Teaching Hospitals

Professor Isaac Adewole appears before the Senate on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

 

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, is currently at the Red Chambers briefing the Senate about the current state of healthcare facilities and services across the nation.

Senate President Bukola Saraki while introducing the Health Minister to the House said the lawmakers are concerned about the deteriorating conditions of facilities at teaching hospitals across the nation.

“We would give you the opportunity to take the floor to brief the Senate on the state of affairs of the Nigerian Teaching Hospitals. We are concerned with the deteriorating conditions of our hospital facilities across the country.

“Despite the annual budgetary allocation to the health sector, Nigerians are still dying because of obsolete equipment, the poor state of infrastructure, lack of generating sets, lack of power, sometimes lack of diesel, lack of drugs, etc which we are very concerned about.

“We will like to hear from you on what the true situation is, what solutions and measures you have to address the problem that is affecting the entire country and after that, we will take questions from my colleagues,” Saraki said.

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There Is No Serious Shortage Of Doctors In Nigeria – Health Minister

The appearance of the Health Minister before the Senate follows a resolution of the Senate last week to invite the minister over a motion querying the state of the nation’s teaching hospitals.

The motion sponsored by Senator David Umar follows an alarming report on the poor quality of service in Nigerian teaching hospitals.

According to Senator Umaru, the report contained in a daily newspaper observed that most teaching hospitals in the country have been overstretched, forcing patients to sleep on bare floors, plastic mats, and unhygienic conditions.

 

Senate Asks Health Minister To Appear Before It On Tuesday

Professor Isaac Adewole

 

The Senate has fixed Tuesday, May 21 for the Health Minister Professor Isaac Adewole to appear before it.

This was announced by the Senate President Bukola Saraki during plenary on Thursday.

The Minister is to appear before the Senate to brief them on the current state of facilities in Nigeria teaching hospitals.

READ ALSO: Senate Asks Nigerian Govt To Declare Emergency On Unemployment

The Senate had last week resolved to invite the minister over a motion querying the state of the nation’s teaching hospitals.

The motion sponsored by Senator David Umar follows an alarming report on the poor quality of service in Nigerian teaching hospitals.

According to Senator Umaru, the report contained in a daily newspaper observed that most teaching hospitals in the country have been overstretched, forcing patients to sleep on bare floors, plastic mats, and unhygienic conditions.

There Is No Serious Shortage Of Doctors In Nigeria – Health Minister

Health Minister Suspends Eight Top NHIS Officials

 

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, says according to the data obtained from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, there is no serious shortage of doctors in Nigeria.

Adewole noted that what is perceived as a shortage of doctors is actually the uneven distribution of practicing doctors within the country.

He said this is as a result of the emigration of Nigerian trained doctors.

“There is no serious shortage of doctors in Nigeria, people are free to disagree with me but I will tell you what the situation is across in Nigeria and many other African countries.

“The data obtained from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria as of May 30, revealed that 88,692 doctors are registered in their books. Of these doctors, only 45,000 are currently practicing and that gives us a ratio one doctor to 4,088 persons,” he said.

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Adewole said this on Friday during the opening ceremony of the 38th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD).

According to him, the ratio of one doctor to 4,088 patients in Nigeria is better compared to other African countries.

“Compared to many other African countries the ratio is not bad, for example, in South African it is one (doctor) to 4,000; in Egypt it is one to 1235; in Tanzania it is 1: 14,000; in Ethiopia, it is one to 1 to 118,000, in Kenya, it is one to 16,000 and in Cameroon it is one to 40,000.”

He also explained that the challenge in Nigeria Health sector is the uneven distribution of medical personnel in Nigeria.

According to the Health Minister, there is a huge imbalance between the distribution of doctors to the urban and rural areas. He added that the Federal Government is however concerned about the issue of brain drain and has set up a committee to tackle it.

“The problem that we have in Nigeria is that there is a huge imbalance and disconnect between urban and rural areas, the North and the South; and about 50 percent of the doctors in Nigeria can be found in Lagos and Abuja axis whereas many of the facilities in the North and rural areas have no doctors.

“Federal Government is concerned about the disparity and has set a special committee to look into the issue of the brain drain and what can be done to keep doctors.”

Adewole also urged States and the Federal Government to leverage on available manpower to bridge the gaps of deficiency to improve healthcare delivery.

He said that in the bid to attract doctors in the diaspora, the government has initiated a scheme called “One-Eleven”, that encourages doctors in the diaspora to work for one month and enjoy eleven month holiday in the country.

Northern State Governors, Monarchs Meet Over Meningitis Outbreak

Northern State Governors, Monarchs Meet Over Meningitis OutbreakAn emergency meeting of State Governors and traditional rulers of the 19 northern states of the country has been held in Kaduna State.

The meeting was convened on Tuesday to discuss ways of tackling the meningitis outbreak that has claimed over 400 lives across Nigeria, most of them from the region.

The meeting, which was organised by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, and the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, seeks alternative ways of importing vaccines for the treatment of meningitis victims, and prevent further spread of the killer disease in the region.

Declaring the meeting open, the Sultan of Sokoto, who was represented by the Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, called on the Federal and State governments to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to strengthen primary healthcare system in the country.

He said the traditional rulers would support government’s effort in ensuring that the people get the needed medical attention to contain the spread of the disease.

“The traditional rulers of Nigeria, in coordination with stakeholders, will do all that is humanly possible to assist in ensuring that our people and members of communities are given the appropriate medical attention promptly, to avoid the outbreak of meningitis.

“Let me use this opportunity to call on the Federal, State and Local governments to put all hands on deck to ensure that appropriate measures are taken, to give the necessary prevention by way of immunisation and preventive drugs against the bacteria, so that our members of communities will be protected adequately,” the monarch said.

Nigeria Commits To Eliminating Tuberculosis By 2035

Nigeria Commits To Eliminating Tuberculosis By 2035The Federal Government has renewed its commitment to eliminating tuberculosis by year 2035, as part of efforts to ensure a healthy society.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, stated this on Friday at an event in Abuja to mark the World Tuberculosis Day.

Professor Adewole, who commemorated the day with the commissioning of a laboratory, stated government’s resolve to join the League of Nations without tuberculosis.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, also highlighted the successes recorded by government, in spite of the challenges of tuberculosis in Nigeria.

Health experts at the event, Ineke Huitema and Dr. Han Kang, stressed the need for a collective fight against the disease.

They also advised the public to visit the nearest health facility to get tested and treated for free.

Statistics from the World Health Organisation indicate an estimated 10.4 million new cases of tuberculosis worldwide in 2015.

A further breakdown reveals that of the estimated figure, 5.9 million (56%) are men, 3.5 million (34%) are women while 1.0 million (10%) are children. People living with HIV account for 1.2 million (11%) of all new tuberculosis cases.

In order of global ranking, countries with the highest burden of the disease are India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.

Experts say that with an estimated 1.4 million tuberculosis deaths in 2015, and an additional 0.4 million deaths resulting from the disease among people living with HIV, the disease appears to be advancing into an epidemic.

FG To Revitalise National Primary Healthcare

FG To Revitalise National Primary HealthcareThe Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to repositioning the health sector through the revitalisation of the primary healthcare system.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, stated this on Saturday at the launch of the National Primary Healthcare Supply Chain in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Professor Isaac Adewole said the revitalisation of the nation’s primary healthcare system was the only way for the Federal Government to deliver on its election campaign promise of affordable and accessible healthcare for all.

“The revitalisation exercise signifies a major commitment of Mr President to provide leadership in an effort to reposition the nation’s health system.

“Many of us who have been actively involved with the health system recognise that what we’ve practiced hitherto was an inverted pyramid with the tertiary healthcare system at the tip and the primary at the base.

“When the pyramid is inverted, it is not a stable pyramid and most Nigerians will access help by visiting the next or the most available tertiary institution and I did mention that this cannot stand.

“As part of efforts to revitalise the nation’s health system, we recognise clearly that repositioning the primary healthcare system is the way forward.

“It also enables us to translate the agenda of the APC administration; that manifesto simply stated accessible healthcare system within three to five kilometres radius with affordable healthcare to the people.

The Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, on his part commended the Federal Government’s plan.

Dr. Shuaib expressed optimism that the programme would accelerate the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage.

FG Signs Seventy Million Euro EU Support For Health

Nigerian Government Launches Action Plan Against PneumoniaThe Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Union (EU) on 70 million Euro support to Revamp Nigeria’s health sector.

According to the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, the fund will be used to strengthen the nation’s already weak health system and eradicate polio.

The Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Michel Arrion emphasised the need to concentrate on reducing the nation’s burden of maternal child mortality.

Nigeria’s health sector has been grappled with inadequate financing as the National budgetary allocation fluctuates between 4.6 and 5.4 percent since 2011.

However, the Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar spoke on behalf of benefiting states, advocating for the building of internal capacity in the states rather than waste the money on consultants.

Besides strengthening the already weak health care system in the country, 2.7 million children under five years of age and 850 pregnant women are expected to benefit from this funding in Adamawa, Bauchi, and Kebbi states.

Okorocha Launches Emergency Rescue Health Centre In Imo

Rochas Okorocha, Imo, Health, The Imo State government has commissioned a 24-hour emergency response centre aimed at delivering quality healthcare to the people of the state.

Governor Rochas Okorocha explained that the gesture by the state government was to address the deficiencies in the health sector.

He added that it would also cater for the tough challenges faced by people with petty and immediate health issues before being referred to a bigger hospital for treatment.

The Governor enjoined the people of the state to take advantage of the newly commissioned facility.

He noted that his administration was committed to delivering quality and qualitative healthcare to the people of the state, saying it has been demonstrated in the building of 27 general hospitals across the state and the ‘health at your door step initiative’.

The launch comes few days after the state government floated a new airline for commercial purposes.

In her address, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Ngozi Njoku, revealed that the centre, which is located in the heart of Owerri, has state of the art medical facilities that can cater for immediate health challenges.

She said it also has a 24-hours rapid response telephone services and stationed ambulances to help discharge its primary duties as stipulated.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who was a special guest at the event, commended the Imo State government for the development.

Professor Adewole described it as a laudable gesture that would add value to the healthcare delivery system in the state.

NAFDAC Laboratory Gets International Accreditation

NAFDAC, Drug MonitoringThe National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has received accreditation for the testing of raw materials at its Southeast Zonal Laboratory in Anambra State.

The accreditation certificates were presented to the agency by the International Organisation for Standards (ISO) and the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC).

Speaking during the auspicious event, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, congratulated NAFDAC for the feat, but reminded the agency that the major challenge ahead was in maintaining the accreditation,

“It will be a major shame to lose it,” he warned.

Professor Adewole responded to issues concerning tariff paid on raw materials in the pharmaceutical sub-sector and maintained that he had taken up the issue to the Federal Government for immediate reappraisal to save the local industry.

The usually quiet premises of the South-east Zonal office of NAFDAC in Agulu, in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State came alive with sounds of music and presence of dignitaries from far and near including the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Nkem Okeke, the Minister of Health and the Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Mrs. Yetunde Oni, among other important personalities.

They had gathered to witness the presentation of the certificates of accreditation for testing of raw materials in respect of 17025/2005 of the South-east Zonal NAFDAC Laboratory by the ANSI-ASQ International Accreditation Board.

The Acting Director General of NAFDAC told the gathering that the accreditation from the two bodies that promote standards globally would not only enable the laboratory to undertake multiple pharmaceutical testing tasks but stressed that it depicted that the South-east Zonal laboratory was competent and internationally recognised to produce valid and accurate results.

The representative of the Accreditation body, Dr. Jude Nwokike, pointed out that the feat achieved by NAFDAC was indicative of its competence in the pharmaceutical analytical process.

Rounding off the speeches, the Deputy Governor of Anambra State commended NAFDAC for efficient services, but decried the activities of fake drugs dealers and distributors in the state.

He highlighted the efforts of the state government in checking the menace.

The event is wrapped up with the presentation of the certificates to the Acting Director General of NAFDAC, an inspection tour of the Laboratory facility and a group photograph as a memoir of the special occasion.

FG Launches Guidelines For HIV/AIDS Prevention

Nigerian Government Launches Action Plan Against PneumoniaThe Nigerian government has launched a national guideline for the treatment, prevention and care for people living with HIV/Aids in Nigeria as part of the activities to mark the 2016 World Aids Day.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole at a conference in Abuja, stated that the new guideline will provide the needed guide for government and development partners towards eliminating new infections.

For four days, representatives of the federal government, development partners in the health sector and networks of people living with HIV and Aids converged to celebrate the 2016 World Aids Day in the FCT.

The Minister of Health who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, gave the assurance that government would give more commitment to funding HIV prevention efforts while appealing for prudent use of resources.

“I am aware of the challenges that have risen in the last few years with regards to the delivery of HIV services in the country. I hereby reaffirm our commitment and ensure accountability and transparency in the HIV sector,” he stated.

He, however, advised that funds earmarked for the control and treatment of the virus must be used judiciously.

The Minister then proceeded to launch the national guideline for the treatment and control of HIV and Aids in Nigeria

Prior to this, the Country Director for the United States Centre for Disease Control, Hank Tomilinson, explained how much the American government has invested in treatment and care for HIV in Nigeria with the belief that more could be achieved.

“Nigeria has since 2003 received almost four billion US dollars to address HIV prevention in Nigeria. So far the results are encouraging but we are not satisfied,” he said.

FG Launches Guidelines For HIV/AIDS Prevention

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Network of People Living With Aids in Nigeria (NEPWA), Abdulkadri Ibrahim, decried the lack of access to medications by his members

“We have less than one million that are having ARV treatment.  We have a long way to go. Nigeria accounts for 3.5 million people living with HIV/Aids in this country. We have to fast-track anti-retroviral therapy,” he urged.

The Director General of the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Sani Aliyu, described the current status of the virus and the challenges he faces trying to control its spread.

“Almost one in ten people living with HIV globally are in Nigeria. About 600 people acquire the infection every day in our country.

“Now is the time to tackle the challenge of inadequate domestic funding, shrinking donor support, a weak health care support system and a poorly coordinated national response,” he said.

Nigeria recorded 250,000 new infections in 2015, raising the profile of the virus in Nigeria to 3.5 million people.

Only an estimated 800,000 of this population have access to medications.

Tristate Heart Foundation Targets 150 Surgeries For Children

PneumoniaTristate Heart foundation (THF) on Wednesday held its first Annual Black Tie Gala and fund raising dinner in support of cardiovascular care in Nigeria.

At the event held in Lagos were top government functionaries and other special guests, with an intention to make cardiovascular care more affordable in Nigeria.

The evening though relaxed and entertaining, highlighted the fact that Heart diseases are the leading cause of death in non-communicable diseases (NCD) globally.

In his opening remarks the Chairman of THF, Mr Bisi Akande, said one in ten children in Nigeria do not make it to their first birthday and five in ten adults have elevated blood pressure challenges.

He told the gathering that the foundation planned to use donations to provide solutions to the cardiovascular healthcare delivery by carrying out 150 open heart surgeries especially for children under 10.

The problems of Non communicable-diseases, as highlighted by the Health Minister, Professor Isaac Adewole, who was the keynote speaker, are of great concern to the government.

He said solutions include a nationwide survey on NCDs geared towards effective planning.

Professor Adewole pointed out that service delivery in partnership with private sector was already in place.

On the backdrop of all the health focused entertainment of the evening, the President and CEO Tristate Heart Cardiovascular Associates, Professor Kamar Adeleke, said the Centre had been helping both the poor and rich to access required Medicare.

He proposed further solutions to the cardiovascular healthcare delivery by carrying out 150 open heart surgeries especially for children under 10, fund cardiovascular researches peculiar to Nigerians and campaign for healthy lifestyle and care to get seven in ten Nigerians to survive a heart attack.

Four state governors, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state, Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State led the donations to the foundation.

As part of an exciting evening, the Vice Chairman of the Tristate Heart Foundation, Mr John Momoh, on behalf of the foundation presented awards in recognition of individuals who have impacted the society in various ways.

They include Mrs Clare Omatseye, and Professor Paul Davis and Funmi Roberts.