Polio: Nigeria Scales Through First International Assessment, Says WHO Reps

 

Nigeria is set to eradicate Polio as it approached the third year of international certification, leading to a polio-free country.

This is according to the representative of the World Health Organisation in Adamawa state Mr Abdulrahman Pela during the flag-off ceremony of the 2019 first-round Maternal New-born and Child Health Week campaign in Pela, Adamawa state.

“We have had the first international assessment which we have passed. We are expecting the second assessment in September and what we experience in the first assessment, Adamawa state was among the state selected, likewise the second assessment.

“We hope that at the end of the assessment, Nigeria will be among the other countries that have been certified polio-free.”

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He explained that more needs to be done to maintain the polio-free certification, which he mentioned an improved routine immunization.

“That is not the end though, what remains is the sustainability of what is put in place, especially in the improvement of our routine immunization, provision of maternal and child health services and surveillance, in order to identify and clampdown on the ongoing vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Also present at the flag-off were officials of the Adamawa state Ministry of Health, the Saving One Million Lives, the Adamawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency.

North Korea Marks World Blood Donor Day

North Korea held an event marking World Blood Donor Day on Wednesday June 14 in Pyongyang.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) were among the organisations represented at the event.

June 14 is the World Blood Donor Day which is initiated by the WHO to build awareness of importance of safe blood and blood donation.

This year’s theme of the campaign is “What can you do? Give blood. Give now. Give often”, according to WHO’s website.

Kogi State Records Case Of Lassa Fever

Kogi State Records Case Of Lassa FeverThe Kogi State Government has confirmed a case of Lassa fever in Lokoja, the state’s capital in North-central Nigeria.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, who confirmed this to Channels Television, said the affected patient was diagnosed after returning from a trip outside the state.

He explained that the patient was rushed to the emergency unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja after he was discovered to show signs and symptoms indicating haemorrhagic fever.

Dr. Audu said the patient was eventually transferred to the Federal Specialist Hospital, Irrua in Edo State for optimal care.

“The confirmation was done after a patient who is a resident in Old Market area in Lokoja reported at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja with signs and symptoms suggestive of haemorrhagic fever.

“The state epidemiologists immediately responded by sending the patient’s blood sample to the designated laboratory at the Federal Specialist Hospital, Irrua, Edo State for analysis which came back positive for Lassa fever,” he said.

The Commissioner noted that following a meeting with the State Rapid Response Team, provisions were made for contact tracing and prophylactic treatment for medical personnel who had contact with the patient.

“All these have been concluded as all those who have had contact with the patient are currently being monitored.

“It is important to note that the patient had travelled to Ilorin, Kwara State where he stayed for two weeks; he only developed symptoms of haemorrhagic fever two days after his return,” he added.

Dr. Audu stated that since the incubation period for Lassa fever is between six to 21 days, the State Government cannot completely say it has curtailed the menace.

He, however, said that they have put in place measures to prevent the spread of the disease in the state.

Earlier, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was notified of 273 cases of Lassa fever, including 149 deaths in Nigeria between August 2015 and May 2016.

The organisation added that 165 cases and 89 deaths have been confirmed through laboratory testing.

Expert Advocates More Measures To Curb Tuberculosis

Expert Advocates More Measures To Curb Tuberculosis
courtesy: www.bolopakistan.pk

A medical expert, Alex Nkwuda, has advocated more precautionary measures to members of the public in order to curb the spread of tuberculosis.

He made the advocacy in an interview to commemorate World Tuberculosis Day in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital.

The 2017 Tuberculosis Day themed: “Unite To End Tuberculosis”, was focussed on leaving no stone unturned to save lives.

Speaking on the significance of the day, the expert said it is mostly observed to sensitise the public on the dangers of the disease and how it affects the lives of humans.

Mr Nkwuda stated that the communicable disease could be contracted in an overcrowded environment and also through having a close contact with an infected person although it is curable.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO), has decided to map out strategies to put an end to the disease because it is actually curable and can be stopped.

“They are trying to map out strategies to see how they can unite with health workers, government, individuals, communities and social organisations to see how to end the disease”, he stated.

He, however, called the public to take health precautions such as sleeping in ventilated rooms, eating balanced diets and taking regular vaccination as well as going for regular check up to ascertain their status.

Mr Nkwuda also made a case for synergy between government and non-governmental organisations towards intensifying sensitisation efforts so as to curtail the disease collectively.

The World Tuberculosis Day is one of the eight official global health campaigns designated by the W.H.O to create enlightenment that tuberculosis remains an epidemic in most parts of the world which causes the death of nearly 1.5 million people each year.

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.

Borno Govt. Confirms First Case Of Lassa Fever

Lassa Fever, Plateau State, Kamshak KundenThe Borno State Government has confirmed the diagnosis of Lassa fever in a 32-year-old woman in Zabarmari, a village located on the outskirts of Maiduguri metropolis.

The Commissioner of Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia, who said this noted that incident was the first to be recorded in the state in northeast Nigeria.

Dr. Mshelia said the survivor fell sick last week and was admitted at a government hospital in Maiduguri, while a sample of her blood was taken to Lagos for test and returned positive.

He said though the situation was under control as the victim was responding to treatment, the ministry had to summon all stakeholders, including traditional rulers to sensitise the public on the need to ensure proper sanitation and avoid eating rodents, especially rats.

The commissioner noted that officials from the ministry had visited Zabarmari where they identified 23 people who had contact with the victim.

“So far we are in contact with 23 of her relations and we are following them up; all of them are healthy.

“But this disease takes between two to 21 days to develop; so we will not stop following them up until this period elapses,” he said.

Dr. Mshelia stressed further that those suspected to have personal contact have been quarantined.

He hinted that the ministry would soon embark on house-to-house fumigation, assuring the people of the state that there was no cause for alarm.

“We have formed teams that are to follow the relations, teams that are to go to the hospital and ensure that single case is treated properly and nobody catches the disease, and we have enlightened teams among others,” he said.

The incident management team, according to the commissioner, comprises “the state ministry of health, the Federal Government’s Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and our partners chiefly the World Health Organisation and the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency (BOSEPA)”.

Mshelia explained that “the role of BOSEPA is to move to Zabarmari and we will try to see if we can catch few of the rats for examination.

“Then the whole town will be fumigated house-to-house, to get rid of the rats that are there that could be infected”.

A report published in January 2017 by the NCDC had warned on the increased number of Lassa fever cases, even as it advised increased focus on prevention and preparedness.

The report indicated that from December 2016, Nigeria has recorded 19 cases of Lassa fever and six deaths in seven states.

2017 Budget: House Decries Low Allocation To Health Sector

House of Representatives, Health, 2017 budgetThe House of Representatives has faulted the allocation of 304 billion naira to the health sector in the 2017 budget.

The Chairman of House Committee on Health Services, Chike Okafor, expressed his disapproval for the allocation on Monday at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The lawmaker was speaking at a meeting of lawmakers, health workers and representatives of donor agencies, where they discussed how to ensure the speedy revitalisation of primary healthcare centres across Nigeria.

Representative Okafor said that the funds allocated to the Ministry of Health would not in any way address the needs in the sector.

He highlighted the Federal Government’s revitalisation programme of about 1,000 primary healthcare centres as one of the needs in the sector.

Meanwhile, the Country Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Wondimagegnehu Alemu, and the Deputy Director of Family Health Department at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ovuoraye John, commended the revitalisation programme.

They stated that the programme would address the challenges of manpower and equipment faced by the centres.

The experts, however, said that the programme must be backed by support from both the Federal Government and international agencies.

Other participants noted that although there was 80% improvement in terms of capital expenditure of the 2017 budget compared to that of 2016, the proposed health budget was cumulatively lower than that of 2016 due to naira devaluation.

NDLEA Arrests Nine Suspected Drug Traffickers In Kaduna

NDLEA, Drug Traffickers, Kaduna
Samuel Azige

The Kaduna State Command Of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) has arrested nine suspected drug addicts and peddlers while seizing illicit drugs worth over 30 million Naira from them in Zaria, Kaduna state.

Parading the suspects before journalists at the command’s headquarters in Kaduna, the NDLEA State Commander, Samuel Azige, said that the suspects were arrested during a raid at their hideouts in Zaria where they stored the illicit drugs in a warehouse.

According to him, preliminary investigations revealed that they stored the cartons of banned Tramadol drugs, weighing over 500g, inside a warehouse from which they sell them to ready buyers.

NDLEA, drug trafickers, KadunaHe explained that the drugs, apart from being banned by the World Health Organisation, had also expired and had therefore become harmful for human consumption.

The NDLEA boss who stated that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded, said they had constituted a nuisance as they were also engaged in all forms of vices in the area.

Furthermore, he said the command had made several seizures of illicit drugs amounting to over 20 tons as well as over 50 arrests since the beginning of 2016.

Mr Azige vowed that the agency would not relent on the war against drug abuse and trafficking.

He also warned parents to be mindful of the activities of their children, stating that they are the most vulnerable to drug abuse.

Physiotherapists Lament Lack of Conducive Working Environment

Physiotherapists Lament Lack of Conducive Working EnvironmentPhysiotherapists in Nigeria are lamenting that the profession is yet to be given its due recognition by government in spite of the major role they play in the overall well-being of citizens.

President of the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapists, Dr Taiwo Oyewumi stated this at the 56th annual scientific conference of the association in Kaduna state.

While lamenting the lack of conducive working environment for the practitioners, he said that physiotherapists in Nigeria are ready to pilot projects that would make the country a medical tourist destination.

According to experts, Nigeria presently has only one physiotherapist attending to 30 patients in most hospitals across the country, a situation experts in the study and practice of Physiotherapy say it is a far cry from the World Health Organisation’s recommendation.

The World Health Organisation recommends one physiotherapist to eight patients.

President of the association attributes the situation to lack of adequate recognition of the profession by government.

Chairman of the association in Kaduna state, Stephen Obajuluwa, lamented that the state has only seven physiotherapists to carter for the over eight million citizens of the state.

This figure, he said, is totally unacceptable.

He called on the state government to create more awareness on physiotherapy in the 23 local government areas of the state.

FG To Increase Health Budget In 2017 – Udoma

Budget, Udo Udoma, HealthThe Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, says that the Federal Government will increase budgetary allocation to the health sector in the 2017 budget, in its commitment to improving the sector in Nigeria.

Mr Udoma made this known when the Regional Director of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, visited him in his office in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

“This administration is committed to providing adequate fund for the health sector.

“We hope to upscale the budget for health next year compared to what is obtained in this year’s budget. Also we are designing effective policies to improve the sector,” he said.

While commending the WHO for aligning their programmes with government’s priorities, the Minister stated that healthcare provision was a top priority for the present administration.

He congratulated Dr. Moeti for being the first woman to hold the office of the WHO Regional Director and also praised her for fighting against diseases such as AIDS in Africa.

In an earlier speech, the WHO official commended Nigeria for its success in handling a number of diseases such as Ebola and also removing Nigeria from the list of endemic countries suffering from Polio.

She further solicited for efforts to sustaining the gains achieved so far.

“How Nigeria has successfully handled number of diseases like Ebola and Polio has been commendable especially in the area of preparedness, surveillance.

“We need to sustain the polio gain until totally removed,” she said.

Dr. Moeti said that WHO is pleased with Nigeria for identifying and making the health sector a top priority.

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.

Zika Virus: Andy Murray To Seek Advice Before Olympics

Andy Murray, Olympics, Zika VirusWorld’s number two, Andy Murray, says he will seek medical guidance on the Zika virus before travelling for the Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.

According to Murray, his decision was as a result of recent alarms raised by prominent scientists that it was “unethical” for the summer Olympics and Paralympics to take place.

The 29-year-old British number one told BBC that he would speak to a couple of doctors about Zika and see what their advice would be.

“I plan on playing for sure but don’t know the exact situation there now.

“I need to get a little bit more information first before making a decision,” he said.

The International Olympic Committee has said it sees no reason to delay or move the Games because of the mosquito-borne virus, which is linked to serious birth defects.Andy Murray, Zika

The global health body said that the call would “not significantly alter” the spread of the virus, which is linked to serious birth defects.

Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes. People with Zika virus disease can have symptoms that can include mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache which normally last for 2-7 days.

There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available. The best form of prevention, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) is protection against mosquito bites.

The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.