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Productivity: Expert task workers on safety at work

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Productivity: Expert task workers on safety at work

Ergonomics

Lagos, June 11, 2019 A Consultant Ergonomics Physiotherapist, Dr Chris Okafor, has advised workers to apply ergonomics at the work places to prevent health hazards and increase productivity.

Okafor, who gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos, said that awareness about ergonomics was low in the country.

He said that the poor awareness had led to many workers developing complications including back, neck pains and other musculoskeletal disorders.

According to him, ergonomics is the science that deals with the individual, how he fits into the work environment in relations to his health and productivity at the office.

“Every work an individual does has a bearing on his health and productivity; ergonomics looks at the well being of the worker, vis-à-vis the nature of his office environment.

“For an individual whose nature of work often involves sitting down for a long time, ergonomics emphasises on that individual making every effort to ensure that his sitting is optimal.

“That is, he sits in the right posturing; correct chair that does not make him develop back or neck pain, or challenges that has to do with the muscular system or the bone.

“It affects every aspect of the workforce including drivers, who sit for long periods; engineers, who work on high buildings; pharmacists or nurses who are always on their feet.

“Ergonomics practice is global and tries to correct some of these challenges; however, in Nigeria, the awareness is low,’’ he said.

Okafor also said that there was need to increase the awareness on ergonomics to enable workers understand the importance of their health rather than working to earn salaries.

He urged workers to call on the attention of their employers or management to address their working positioning in order to improve their productivity at work.

“Workers should make basic demands to use good working tools, which if there are none, can lead to health problems like back or neck pain for those whose work involves sitting for long hours.

“Also, those whose work involves standing for long periods need to be protected; those in engineering that involves climbing high buildings need protection as well,’’ he said.

Okafor also called for the inclusion of ergonomics in school curriculums including secondary and higher institutions.

“Most higher institutions do not offer courses in ergonomics; so, many people got to know about it through interactions, but hardly by content of what the curriculum says.

“Also, secondary schools should have some good elementary curriculum of all about ergonomics in their programmes,’’ the consultant said.

Health

AIDS: Society identifies self-stigma as more destructive than HIV/AIDS

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Mr Ikenna Nwakamma, first Co-chairman of the society, told the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja that it was the major reason people living with HIV default from treatments.

Nwakamma, who called for the incorporation of mental health services in the national HIV programme, said it was imperative to rescue patients from the dangers of self-stigma.

“Very important, the issues of self-stigma is hardly talked about and that is even more destructive; it is the major reason people living with HIV default in their treatment,” he said.

The society’s co-chairman explained that mental health would make people living with HIV become co-managers of their health.

According to him, mental health problems among people living with HIV is the new epidemic and we must deal with it squarely.

Nwakamma restated the plans of the society to set up a monitoring system that would capture and report cases of stigma and discrimination in health facilities.

He promised that any identified case would be used to send a strong warning to others.

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NHIS: I will rebrand scheme for better performance – Prof. Sambo

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The newly appointed Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Mohammed Sambo, has promised to rebrand the scheme for better performance by ensuring all Nigerians have access to quality healthcare.

Sambo disclosed this to the Nigeria News Agency on the sidelines of a two-day Top Management Committee Retreat on Wednesday in Kaduna.

NAN recalls that Sambo assumed office as the 12th executive secretary of the scheme on July 15 and promised to work hard in repositioning the scheme through execution of his three-point agenda.

He identified challenges that had hindered the scheme from meeting its objectives since its establishment in 20 years to include high turnover of the Chief Executive Officers, numbering 12 in 20 years.

Others are lack of internal cohesion between implementing units, incessant squabbles and union activists, among others.

Sambo said NHIS was a grade `A’ parastatal, a priority agency of the Federal Government, with the presidential mandate to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The NHIS boss added that the scheme was very important in the global development agenda which controls resources necessary to achieve its mandate by ensuring all Nigerians have access to quality healthcare with financial risk protection.

He said some ways in which the scheme would achieve its mandate was by ensuring judicious use of funds made available through the National Health Bill passed into law since 2014.

“ The national health bill which was passed into law since 2014 has made provision for funding for the vulnerable groups from the consolidated revenue account.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2018 approved that the proportion for the vulnerable group should be budgeted for and the funds is currently been sent to the Ministry of Health.

“This will then be sent to state health insurance boards which will cover vulnerable groups in communities; however various states will take inventory of those to benefit from the programme and purchase health services for them.

“When we eventually roll out this basic healthcare fund into the states and we develop other innovative financing we will be joining to achieving UHC,’’ he said.

On achieving UHC through the NHIS, Sambo acknowledged that globally it has been agreed that health insurance must be made compulsory; however it is still optional in Nigeria.

He further noted that a bill in ensuring that health insurance was made compulsory in the country was passed by the eighth Assembly but yet to be assented to by the President.

“We have a presidential mandate to achieve UHC and if NHIS is not made compulsory we cannot achieve our mandate, the bill is however widely accepted by stakeholders who said it will help us achieve UHC.

“Part of our rebranding agenda is to discuss with the Senate and members of House of Representatives, and develop high power committee to undertake advocacy to ensure the bill is assented to by the president.

“This will therefore ensure all states, informal sectors and organised private sectors join NHIS, which will make us have a good financial pool that will assist the vulnerable in the society with healthcare,’’ Sambo explained.

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2019 Maternal Week: Kano spends N350m on working facilities 

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The Kano State Government says it has spent N350 million on the provision of working facilities for the successful conduct of 2019 Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week in the State. 

Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje disclosed this during the formal flag-off of the 2019 second round of the programme held at Karaye Local Government Area.

‎Represented by his Deputy, Dr Nasiru Gawuna, the governor said the exercise, which targets over 3.5 million children and 90,000 mothers as beneficiaries, would be conducted in all the public hospitals across the 44 local government areas of the state. 

This is contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the deputy governor, Malam Hassan Musa Fagge, and made available to newsmen in Kano on Tuesday.‎

He revealed that the state had already procured enough medicines, vaccines, mosquito nets and other facilities needed for the effective commencement of the programme.

“The issue of health remains central area of focus to the present administration and that is why we upgraded some hospitals in the state from Primary Healthcare Centres to General Hospitals, and not only that arrangements have reached advanced stage to establish 400 beds hospitals in each of the five Emirates of the state.

“In our General Hospitals, we are equally making arrangements to establish a special unit on eye treatment which is also part of the Government’s commitment towards supporting healthcare delivery system in the state,” the statement added.

According to him, the state was recognised as one of the best states in terms of healthcare delivery by development partners and this has signified bold commitment on health programmes.‎

He added that the state had extremely performed very well as it now recorded over 60 months without polio virus, noting that the administration had also recorded achievements in its fight against malaria and HIV diseases.

The governor further expressed gratitude to the traditional rulers in the state for mpbilising their subjets to accept various aspects of healthcare and other development programmes initiated by the government. 

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Health, Alhaji Usman Bala, announced that the exercise which is conducted from time to time by the ministry, would last from Aug. 19 to Aug. 23, 2019, across the 44 local government areas of the state. 

“In February 2019, the week was conducted with huge success recording 80 per cent of pregnant women and children under the age of five years who greatly benefited from the exercise. 

“During this round again,100 per cent of these targets are expected to benefit from the programme,” he added. 

He said the ministry had made sufficient arrangements including the provision of qualified personnel in all the 1,200 Primary Healthcare Hospitals and 40 General Hospitals across the state to actualise the intended goals.

In their separate remarks, the Emir of Karaye, Dr Ibrahim Abubakar II; the Emir of Rano, Dr Tafida Abubakar illa, and the Emir of Gaya, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir, pledged their coorperation and readiness to continue to enlighten their people on the importance of the exercise.

MNT/MST

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Moeti nominated for 2nd term as WHO Regional Director for Africa

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The 47-Member States of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) African Region has nominated Dr Matshidiso Moeti to serve a second five-year term as Regional Director for Africa.

A statement signed by the Communication Manager, Collins Boakye-Agyemang, in Abuja said that the nomination took place on Tuesday during the 69th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa.

The statement said WHO Regional Committee for Africa was the governing mechanism involving health ministers from all the Member States.

It added that Moeti’s candidacy was endorsed by the African Union Executive Council earlier this year, stressing that her nomination will be ratified by the 146th WHO Executive Board at its January 2020 session.

The statement explained that if Moeti’s nomination is ratified by the session, her second term will begin on March 1, 2020.

It quoted Moeti pledging her continued commitment to transforming the WHO Secretariat as it works with countries in tackling the health challenges facing the region.

She added that she was much honoured to be nominated for a second term as Regional Director for Africa.

“During the past five years, I had worked to transform the WHO Secretariat to respond to the health needs of millions of Africans.

“This nomination is an endorsement of the many achievements we have reached together with health ministries. I intend for us to scale more mountains together over the next five years,” she said.

Moeti promised to work with member states and partners to address health challenges within the global WHO Transformation framework and the Thirteenth General Programme of Work 2019–2023, if appointed by the Executive Board.

“My vision is of African people of all ages, all income levels and social groups, and in all places, enjoying good health and well-being, through accelerating towards universal health coverage.”

Moeti reiterated her commitment towards preventing and controlling outbreaks and emergencies, and creating environments that promote healthy lifestyles in the region.

The statement said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, congratulated Moeti on her re-nomination.

It added that the WHO boss said Moeti has done an outstanding job over the past five years, stressing that under her leadership, the region is making very encouraging progress.

“Her nomination for another term demonstrates the confidence and the trust that the Member States have in her.

“It’s been an immense pleasure to work with her, and I look forward to our continued collaboration during her next term,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reportsthat Moeti is a public health specialist and medical administrator.

She was born in South Africa.

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New NHIS boss adopts 3-point aggressive rebranding

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The Newly appointed Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme(NHIS), Prof. Mohammed Sambo, says he has adopted a three-point aggressive and purposeful strategy to rebrand the scheme.

Sambo disclosed this at a two-day retreat for the top management committee of NHIS in Kaduna on Tuesday.

He said the scheme has a presidential mandate to achieve Universal Health Coverage through the three-point agenda towards the realisation of its core mandate.

“Am a public health physician and I work with evidence. I am trying to take a comprehensive stock of what has been happening in NHIS.

“The first step in our rebranding agenda is that we will embark on an aggressive and purposeful strategy that will reorient the organisation.

“This will however develop into a very good value system which will bring stability in the health insurance system.

“I am going to be systematic and purposeful, and the way to do it is to generate and gather evidence, by taking stock of all stakeholders,’’ he said.

Sambo said the management would be embarking on a purposeful stakeholder’s engagement with the Health Management Organisations (HMOs) and Health Care Providers to have a very transparent discussion in line with the accountability agenda of the current administration.

He added that problems would be collectively identified and solutions proffered by all stakeholders.

Sambo said that part of the reform agenda is also to catalogue how many Ministries, Departments and Agencies are under the Federal Government.

He added that the exercise would determine the total number of federal government employees who have subscribed to the scheme and thoes yet to be enrolled.

He noted that the scheme was meant to be compulsory for all federal government employees, assuring that the scheme will design a strategy to ensure all the workers enrol in line with the presidential mandate.

According to Sambo, the three-point agenda include “firstly, restoring value system that would transform NHIS into a credible and result driven organisation.

“Secondly, engendering transparency and accountability in the entire operation of the scheme, and

“Thirdly, accelerating the drive of the scheme towards achieving a universal access to quality healthcare for all Nigerians’’.

Prof. Gbenga Sunmola with the University of Ibadan, the Facilitator of the retreat, said it was very timely, important and significant.

Sunmola said without health there cannot be good quality of life, and without health there cannot be peace and security in the country.

He said it was important to reposition relevant organisations that are responsible in bringing good health to the nation, by restructuring their thinking and behaviour for the benefit of the masses.

“We want to strengthen NHIS to better position itself for universal coverage, because there are many demands from the government, enrolees and the public.

“It needs to strengthen its internal mechanism and respond appropriately with a new value orientation that would accelerate work practices in a way that is compatible to efficient service delivery,” said the don.

Prof. Abdullahi Musa with the Kaduna State University, another facilitator, said the objective of the retreat was to rebrand public organisations.

He explained that rebranding was a means of developing strategies to do something differently.

“One effective strategy that is being adopted globally to ensure organisations achieve efficiency and effectiveness in their work practices is to ensure that they have a balance value system in an organisation.

“Once there is balance it will drive behaviour for efficiency that will lead to excellence, improvement in productivity and the core mandate of the organisation will be achieved,” Musa said.

TIM/MST

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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