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World Blood Donor Day: Expert commends blood donors for voluntary services



Dr Lanre Ayomide, a medical practitioner in Benin has commended blood donors for their voluntary and life-saving gift of blood to save lives.

Ayomide made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin on Friday as the country marks the World Blood Donor Day (WBDD), on June 14.

He said that the World Blood Donor Day provided a global platform to thank individuals who donated blood and to encourage those who had not donated to do so.

“The theme of the 2019 Blood Donor Day is “Blood donation and universal access to safe blood transfusion”.

Ayomide said that the event was ”to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gift of blood.”

“Donation of blood acts as a life-saving operation to replace blood cells or blood products lost through bleeding or due to depression of the bone marrow of a patient,” he said.

He said the aim was to promote the adoption of the Club 25 approach in various countries to encourage a commitment to regular and voluntary blood donation by young people at low risk of transmitting infection through their blood.

Ayomide said that giving out blood helps the body function well and generates fresh blood “which is also good for human health’’.

NAN reports is day set aside to thank voluntary and unpaid blood donors for donating their blood to save lives.

It is also a day to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure that all individuals and communities have access to affordable and timely supplies of safe and quality-assured blood and blood products.


DASH performs over 10 surgeries daily – CMD



The Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia, Nasarawa State, says the facility is performing an average of 10 surgeries daily.

Dr Hassan Ikrama, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital disclosed this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Lafia.

According to him, the specialist hospital has sufficient technical and other specialists to cater for the increasing number of patients patronising the facility daily.

He said that the hospital at the moment has the highest number of Consultants at the different speciality of medical profession.

“We have 37 permanent and other visiting consultants in different fields, over 100 Doctors apart from Nurses, Pharmacists and Laboratory Technicians, among others.

“There is no Specialist Hospital in the entire country at the moment that has the number of consultants we have.

“The government has also acquired brand new machines for the newly constructed neurology Block recently built by the state government.

“The government has also bought brand new city scan and digital Xray machines that patients were hitherto sent to Keffi or Jos because we do not have them.

“Already, the digital Xray machine is being used, but we are currently training personnel on how to operate the city scan machine,” the CMD added.

Ikrama also assured members of the public that the management of the hospital would do everything possible to ensure better service delivery.


Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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



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



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 



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.


Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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



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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