WHO Rejects Calls To Move Rio Olympics Over Zika Outbreak

Zika, WHO, Rio OlympicsThe World Health Organisation (WHO) has rejected calls to move or postpone this summer’s Rio Olympic Games over the Zika epidemic.

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

At least 100 prominent scientists said in an open letter to WHO that new findings about the Zika virus made it “unethical” for the games to go ahead.

The experts have also asked the global organisation to revisit its Zika guidance.

FG Promises To Treat Safety Of Highway As Priority

boboye oyeyemi road safety bossThe Federal Government of Nigeria has promised to treat the issue of road safety on the nation’s highway as a matter of priority.

The Permanent Secretary in the office of the Secretary to the Government, Dr. Ray Ugo, on Tuesday, made the pledge at a meeting in Abuja, the nation’s capital city.

Dr. Ugo announced that the government planed to increase funding of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to ensure that the spate of accidents on the nation’s highway would reduce.

According to the FRSC Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, recent statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that road traffic injuries remained a major public health problem and a leading cause of death, injury and disability around the world.

“Road crashes causes not only economic loss to a nation, but also has developmental consequences,” he stressed.

The Country Representative of the World Health Organization, Rui Vaz, however, proffered solution on what should be done to reduce road accidents, stressing the need for implementation of policies.

Officials at the event were hopeful that more funding and rehabilitation of existing roads were steps in the right direction.

UK Records Four Cases Of Zika Virus

MosquitoFour cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in the United Kingdom.

A public health doctor in England, Dilys Morgan, said four “travel-associated” cases of the virus had been found in the last six weeks.

The main concern surrounding the virus is a possible link between the virus and a rise in cases of microcephaly, a birth defect characterised by an abnormally small head that can result in developmental problems.

Zika is spreading rapidly through Latin America and most people who contract it have either mild or no symptoms.

The World Health Organisation declared Zika a global emergency last month, with some countries discouraging nationals from travelling to Latin American counties.

Zika Virus: Rare Case Of Sexual Transmission Reported In US

MosquitoA rare case of the Zika virus being transmitted through sex, not a mosquito bite, has been reported in the US.

The BBC reports that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said a patient infected in Dallas, Texas, is likely to have been infected by sexual contact.

The person had not travelled to infected areas but the partner had returned from Venezuela.

Zika is carried by mosquitoes and has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains.

It is spreading through the Americas and the World Health Organization has declared the virus a global public health emergency.

This case in Dallas would be the first known infection to take place in the mainland US, though Texas has seen seven other Zika cases all related to foreign travel.

A principal deputy director for CDC, Anne Schuchat, said this was the first case it had dealt with involving a “non-traveller”.

“We don’t believe this was spread through mosquito bites, but we do believe it was spread through a sexual contact.”

A statement issued by the CDC said the best way to avoid Zika virus infection was “to prevent mosquito bites and avoid exposure to semen from someone who has been exposed to Zika”.

The case is “significant” if it was definitely transmitted through sexual contact.

“This significance is parallel with the HIV/Aids case. It’s worse in some ways, because there are two modes of transmission,” a senior fellow for public health at the UN Foundation, Alaka Basu, explained.

Group Urges Buhari To Approve Disability Bill

Group Urges Buhari To Approve Disability BillThe Centre for People living with Disability has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to give assent to the National Disability Bill.

The Director of the centre, David Anyaele, made the call on Wednesday at a conference organised  to mark the 2015 International Day For Persons With Disabilities in Abuja.

Mr Anyaele said discrimination against persons with disability was a burden even in states where there were established laws to protect their rights.

He lamented that government had not given enough attention to their plights especially during population census, which he said was critical for planning.

The Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Roy Ugo and the Director of Planning and Research, National Population Commission, Oloyede Olanipekun, who were present at the gathering assured the group of the government’s support.

There is no clear statistics of people living with disabilities in Nigeria, but the World Health Organisation said there was an estimated 1.9 million people with disabilities as against the 1.8 million estimated by the National Population Commission in 2011.

WHO De-lists Nigeria From Polio Endemic Countries

PolioThe World Health Organisation has removed Nigeria from the list of polio endemic countries.


The Regional Director of W.H.O, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, who is in Nigeria, broke the news to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja on Monday.

He urged the Nigerian government to sustain the efforts ahead of the 2017 target when Nigeria is expected to be declared polio-free.

Dr Moeti, who had been earlier received by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Linus Awute, along with the W.H.O delegation, also warned against complacency already displayed in some states in their efforts toward eradicating polio and other communicable diseases.

President Muhamadu Buhari expressed his satisfaction on the current polio status and vowed to maintain the status in order to meet up with the 2017 target.

Nigeria has successfully interrupted polio transmission in the last 14 months.

If the records are sustained till 2017, Nigeria will be completely certified as a polio-free country.

Three years without cases are required before a country can be declared polio-free.

The de-listing of Nigeria means that there are just two endemic countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan – where transmission of the paralysing virus has never been interrupted.

Polio is spread by poor sanitation and contaminated water which usually affects children.

The virus attacks the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis – usually of the legs – within hours.

In September when the news of Nigeria’s de-listing broke, President Buhari called for continued vigilance to ensure that Nigeria maintains this new status.

He directed all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies involved in the Polio eradication effort, to remain proactively engaged and on guard against the re-emergence of the virus in Nigeria.

He assured the WHO and the global community that the Federal Government would ensure that immunisation and surveillance activities continue across Nigeria, to keep the country Polio-free.

Polio-Endemic Countries: Buhari Applauds Nigeria’s Removal From List

buhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has commended the announcement by World Health Organisation (WHO) that Polio is no longer endemic in Nigeria.

A statement released by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed that President Buhari is delighted by the announcement, which follows the absence of any case of the wild Polio virus in Nigeria since July 24, 2014.

Buhari also applauded the concerted efforts of government officials, health workers, volunteer groups, civil society, religious leaders, traditional rulers and international partners, which resulted in this historic achievement.

While he joins other Nigerians and the global community in celebrating this achievement, President Buhari urged for continued vigilance to ensure that Nigeria maintains this new status.

He directed all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies involved in the Polio eradication effort, to remain proactively engaged and on guard against the re-emergence of the virus in Nigeria.

He assured the WHO and the global community that the Federal Government would ensure that immunisation and surveillance activities continue across Nigeria, to keep the country Polio-free.

WHO To Remove Nigeria From List Of Polio Endemic Countries

polioAfter years of intense efforts to eradicate Polio in Nigeria, and successful recording of one year without a case of the disease, Nigeria is set to be officially removed from the list of Polio endemic countries.

The announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) is expected at a meeting of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in New York.

Three years without cases are required before it can be declared polio-free.

This will mean that there will be just two endemic countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan – where transmission of the paralysing virus has never been interrupted.

UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria, Jean Gough, described it as an important milestone, but warned that “efforts must be sustained at every level, if Polio is to be eradicated”.

Polio is spread by poor sanitation and contaminated water which usually affects children.

The virus attacks the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis – usually of the legs – within hours.

Obiano Promises To Tackle Health Illiteracy In Rural Areas

Obiano Assures To Tackle Health Illiteracy In Rural AreasThe Anambra State Governor has promised to tackle health illiteracy among women in the rural areas of the state.

According to Governor Willie Obiano, the development is to ensure proper infant and maternal healthcare in Anambra State, south-east Nigeria.

He made the declaration on Wednesday during the first round of the 2015 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW), at Ifite-Ogwari in Ayamelum Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The MNCHW is a programme which gives mothers equitable access to a package of high impact survival and developmental drugs in a very cost effective manner.

It also gives children access to receive routine immunisation against diseases as well as malarial drugs and nets.

Governor Obiano captured the whole problem and tagged it to catching the girl child young and giving them the best of education in order to conquer maternal and infant mortality.

According to the Chairman of Ayamelum LGA, Paul Obiora, illiteracy and poverty contributes in major terms to the death of mothers and infants in the agrarian community.

He decried that about 95% of the women are not educated, adding that the issues of health were not been taken seriously on grounds that they are mostly farmers.

Responding to Obiora’s submission, Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Akabuike, used the opportunity to highlight the essence of antenatal care.

Similarly, the Governor’s wife, Mrs Ebele Obiano, appealed to the women to have their children immunised as they are the future leaders of the world.

In another development, a representative of the World Health Organisation, Dr Willy Onuorah, commended Anambra State Government for the giant strides it had taken in healthcare services which includes the area of maternal and child health, as well as upgrading the selected health care facilities in the state.

He also urged mothers to take advantage of the free immunization and ensure that their children are taken to centres where the vaccines would be administered.

The event came to conclusion with the Governor and his wife administering the polio vaccines to infants, as well as handing treated mosquito nets to mothers.

Ministry Plans Survey In Ekiti To Tackle Soil Transmitted Helminthes

Laboratory test for Soil Transmitted HelminthesThe Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria is set to conduct a survey in Ekiti State to tackle Soil Transmitted Helminthes (SHT) among children in the south-west state.

Soil Transmitted Helminthes (STH), is a health condition caused by a group of worms which exist as parasites in the intestine of infected people.

For the survey, samples of stool of 50 to 60 students would be collected under the guidance and supervision of school teachers and examined within the school premises, using mobile laboratories.

The effect of STH include; Anaemia, Vitamin A deficiency, malnutrition, loss of appetite, retarded growth and reduction in learning ability.

STH is said to affect mostly young children between the ages of five to 15 years living or playing in areas where sanitation is poor.

The Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, urged teachers to cooperate with health officials who would be visiting schools to conduct the survey.

Governor Fayose also advised parents not to panic over the exercise, as it was aimed at the well-being of children in the State.

The result of the survey would be used by the Ekiti State Ministry of Health to receive free drugs from the World Health Organisation.

Symptoms Of Ode-Irele Disease Not Similar To Ebola – Mimiko

mimiko-on-ode-irele symptomsThe Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has disclosed that the symptoms observed in Ode-Irele, where a strange ailment broke out, bear no resemblance to those associated with the Ebola Virus Disease or any known epidemic disease.

Governor Mimiko made the statement during a statewide broadcast on the strange ailment which has killed about 17 people in the last few days.

The Governor added that investigations thus far have been in conjunction with development partners, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and from the report sent to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. There are no new cases of the ailment in the last 48 hours and none in the hospital.

He further stated that trained volunteers for active surveillance and case management have been deployed, while advocacy and sensitization efforts are ongoing in print and on electronic media.

Governor Mimiko further said that the final laboratory results of cerebro spinal fluid, blood and urine specimens of victims taken for examination are being awaited as this would help in surmounting the challenge as soon as possible.

The Governor equally advised the people of Ondo State to adhere to strict demands of hygiene such as regular washing of hands and covering of mouths while sneezing.

Mali Declared Ebola Free

Ebola_VictimMali’s Health Minister declared the West African nation free of Ebola on Sunday following a 42-day period without a new case of the deadly virus.

Mali recorded six deaths from Ebola, which, according to World Health Organization data, has killed more than 8,400 people in neighbouring Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in the worst epidemic of the viral haemorrhagic fever on record.

“I declare on this day, January 18, 2015, the end of the Ebola epidemic in Mali,” Ousmane Koné said in a statement in which he thanked the country’s health workers and international partners for their work to halt the outbreak.

The country “had come out” of the epidemic, confirmed Ibrahima Soce Fall, the head of the Malian office of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).

Mali’s last infected patient recovered and left hospital early last month. At one point health officials had been monitoring more than 300 contact cases.

Mali became the sixth West African country to record a case of Ebola when a two-year-old girl from Guinea died in October. It was close to being declared Ebola free in November before a second wave of infections hit the country.

At least 21,296 people have so far been infected with the virus, the WHO has said.