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FCT official urges council chairmen to help end polio



Malam Musa Abdulraheem, Acting Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS) Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) wants council chairmen in the territory to be part of efforts at ending polio.

Abdulraheem made the call on Friday, at the launch of implementation of the first round of Polio National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDs) in the FCT, scheduled to hold between July 20 and 24.

He called on the area council chairmen and traditional leaders to take up the challenge and be personally involved in the campaign to eradicate polio virus in the FCT and environs.

He charged the chairmen and traditional rulers to strengthen routine immunisation through active supervision of all NIPDs and Routine Immunisation (RI) activities in their various councils and communities.

According to him, they should make sure there was no case of non-compliance in their domains.

The Acting Secretary also urged them to ensure the release of area council counterpart fund at least one week prior to Out Break Response (OBR) immunisation and attending daily evening review meetings.

He said that the Federal Government had earlier this year, demonstrated its commitment to the achievement of the goal of achieving polio eradication and institutionalisation of quality routine immunisation in Nigeria.

“With the support of all relevant stakeholders, FCT was able to immunise 845, 924 eligible children with potent Oral Polio vaccine, achieving a 97.3 per cent monitoring coverage between Jan. 26 and Jan. 28 OBR.

“The FCT task force on polio eradication initiative and strengthening routine immunisation is the relevant structure necessary to institutionalise quality planning, implementation and evaluation of all supplementary and routine immunisation activities in the FCT since 2016.

Abdulraheem said the FCT administration was committed to the cause of ending the virus and called on all stakeholders to ensure the success of the forthcoming exercise.

Mr Ndaeyo Ewot, Acting Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Board, said the board was ready to embark on the exercise, adding that 9,000 field workers were already on ground to cover.

Ewot said the board would ensure that field workers reached Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the FCT and Ruga communities to administer vaccines to children in those settlements.

Malam Usman Nga-Kupi, the Chief of Garki, promised to mobilise his community for the exercise.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that a representative of the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was at the event.

The UNICEF representative is in the country to certify that Nigeria is totally free from the virus after the immunization.


Lagos Govt boosts PHC services in Eti-Osa



The Lagos State Government says it has completed yet another Maternal and Childcare Centre (MCC) located in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the state to increase residents’ access to qualitative maternal and child healthcare.

The state Commissioner of Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, made this known on Wednesday in Lagos during an advocacy meeting with community leaders and residents of Badore.

Abayomi was represented by the Director of Projects, Ministry of Health, Dr Olusola Oduwole.

He said that the continuous implementation of strategic maternal child survival interventions, policies, programmes and projects by the government was geared toward reduction of maternal and child mortality in the state.

According to him, the local and national statistics of maternal and child mortality and morbidity rate are of utmost concern to the government hence, the adoption of various strategies to combat it.

“One of these strategies is the construction of MCC, a specialised healthcare centre for mothers and children.

“It is aimed at taking maternal and child healthcare closer to the people by reducing the travel time and improving the quality care to the highest possible standard,” the commissioner said.

Abayomi said that the MCC was located on Ogombo Road along Abraham Adesanya Estate in Eti-Osa local government area.

According to him, the facility is a four-floored 110-bed complex designed to respond to maternal and child health issues.

“It will provide quality services for the restoration, improvement and promotion of the health and well-being of women, babies and children in the local government area and adjoining communities.

“It has two theatres where surgeries can be done; consulting rooms; treatment rooms, antenatal and post natal wards; baby nursery; pharmacy, laboratory and offices, among others,” he said.

Abayomi said that the construction of MCCs in the state was designed to stem the tide of maternal deaths which occurred as a result of delivery by unskilled birth attendants, haemorrhage, infection, obstructed labour and malaria, among others.

He said that women should not die in the course of life procreation process.

“The concept of the construction of MCCs was mooted with the conviction that these interventions will impact positively on the health indices of our mothers and children who constitute a significant percentage of clients attended to at public health facilities.

“The Eti-Osa MCC will commence operation before the end of the week and will serve as a referral centre to all primary health facilities in Eti-Osa local government and accompanying communities.

“It will yield the much desired and anticipated impact towards the reduction of maternal and child mortality in the area,” the commissioner said.


Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Kwara Govt. pledges partnership with PSN, others to fight drug abuse 



Kwara Govt. pledges partnership with PSN, others to fight drug abuse


By Toba Ajayi

Ilorin, Aug. 21, 2019 ( NAN) Kwara State Government has expressed its readiness to partner the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and other health stakeholders to fight the menace of drug abuse in the state.

Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said this on Wednesday when he received some members of the PSN led by its President, Mr Sam Ohuabunwa, who paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Ilorin.

The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, also said the state government would collaborate with PSN to improve the health of the people of the state.

AbdulRazaq stressed the importance of the PSN in quality health care delivery and called on stakeholders in the health sector to play critical role in the fight against drug abuse in Nigeria.

He implored members of the society to champion the fight against the high rate of misuse of drugs as the menace was really consuming lives in Nigerians.

The governor pledged the state government’s commitment to formulate policies that would enable pharmacists to hold critical posts in the health sector in Kwara.

Earlier, the PSN President said the society was ready to partner the state government to control drug abuse in order to improve health care delivery in the state.

Ohuabunwa also called on the state government to expand and upgrade its essential drugs programme to meet the health need of the people.

He called for improvement in the welfare of pharmacists in the state as well as improvement in the status of the various health facilities.

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Health ministers assume office, restate commitments to health security, UHC



Dr Osagie Ehanire and Sen. Adeleke Mamowora, the new Minister of Health and Minister of State for Health, assumed office with commitment to boost health security and Universal Health Coverage, (UHC).

Ehanire, who was the immediate past Minister of State for Health, stated this while interacting with newsmen shortly after assuming office on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that they intend to expand the UHC and improve quality of healthcare services in hospitals.

He assured that they would focus on health security which is in the purview of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and primary health care revitalisation.

Enahire said the ministry would enhance synergy with other relevant stakeholders to improve access to quality healthcare.

On his part, Mamowora promised to work with his closely with colleagues to achieve the three-point agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari in the sector.

Mamowora, also a medical practitioner, said the ministry would work to end inter and intra professional rivalry in the health sector.

He described healthcare sector as a team, but not a solo event, where everybody is important.

Mamowora said the ministry would also strengthen its collaboration and partnership to address access to water and power in health facilities and communities.

“One of the things we were told at the medical school was that some things occur commonly; you talk of cholera and diarrhoea, which occurs due to poor water supply,’’ he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that shortly after the inauguration of the 43 ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja, the ministers stepped into the office complex at the Federal Secretariat at about 2 p.m.

The ministers were received by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Abdulaziz Mashi.

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Psychiatric resident doctors vow to continue strike



The Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, has resolved to continue its ongoing indefinite strike demanding for optimal mental healthcare for patients.

The President of the association, Dr Afeez Enifeni, said in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos that the strike would continue until the management addressed the work experience of the overworked doctors.

Enifeni said that the doctors had on Aug. 19 held a meeting to review the current industrial action.

The doctors accused the hospital management of being insensitive to the plight of the in and out patients, who according to him, are receiving suboptimal mental health services.

“The hospital management has blatantly refused to replace the annual exit of resident doctors for the past four years.

“Instead, they have let patient load and clinical work increase significantly for hapless resident doctors whose health and academic pursuits have suffered irreparably.

“In the light of the above, the management’s insistence on employing only five locum doctors is highly provocative of our demands.

“It hardly improves the status quo which already puts overworked resident doctors at the brink of academic failure, health challenges and malpractice suits,” he said.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the hospital’s management to do the needful in line with the administration’s next level agenda.

The Nigeria News Agency recalls that the resident doctors had embarked on an indefinite strike on July 31 over non-employment of more resident doctors at the hospital.

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Polio: Nigeria marks 3 years free of wild polio, significant milestone for Africa



Nigeria on Wednesday marked three years free of endemic wild polio, the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, has said.

Moeti made this known on Wednesday during telenews conference, saying it shows that Africa had passed a milestone threshold of three years with no case of wild polio virus detected.

“It also signifies that the nation’s progress in fighting the crippling viral disease can result in the whole of WHO Africa region to be certified and declared polio-free early 2020,” WHO director said.

Moeti said that this three-year landmark sets in motion a comprehensive evaluation process by the Africa Regional Certification Commission to determine if the entire WHO African Region of 47 countries could be declared to have eradicated Wild Polio Virus.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Africa’s last case of wild polio was recorded in Borno on Aug. 21, 2016.

Polio is a highly infectious viral disease that invades the nervous system.

It can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours; the virus is transmitted from person-to-person through ingestion of infected fecal matter

Following infection, the virus is shed intermittently in excrement for several weeks with little or no symptoms in majority of cases.

The initial symptoms of poliomyelitis include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, neck stiffness and pain in the limbs.

The latest Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) figures show that there have been a total of 65 cases of wild polio worldwide- 53 in Pakistan and 12 in Afghanistan- so far recorded in 2019.

Moeti, “We are confident that soon we will be trumpeting the certification that countries have, once and for all, kicked polio out of Africa.”

The director commended the continent’s resilience and strong commitment to stopping the virus in overcoming the tough challenges.

“The path to eradicating polio in Africa has been a monumental effort of multinational coordination on an unprecedented scale.

“It involved providing vaccinations to hundreds of millions of children and conducting immunisation campaigns in some of the most remote locations in the world, with vigilance and exhaustive surveillance to timely detect outbreaks, including among people on the move.

“It has involved men and women volunteering in the thousands, sometimes putting themselves in harm’s way, some even sacrificing their life for this work,” she said.

Moeti noted that the successes recorded were possible with the perseverance of countries and partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative who have mobilised the financial and technical resources to get the job done.

On the challenges that could hinder progress, she said they included inaccessibility due to conflict and insecurity in some areas.

“Variations in campaign quality, massive mobile populations and, in some instances, parental refusal have prevented health workers from reaching all children everywhere with polio vaccines alongside suboptimal routine immunisation coverage.

“As a result, outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived polio virus– a rare occurrence in communities with low levels of population immunity– are still possible in several countries across Africa.

“This August’s milestone on wild polio is a positive sign of progress across the continent, but our work has not yet done,” Moeti said.

The WHO director urged Nigeria and other African countries to remain vigilant in the immunisation and surveillance efforts.

“Every country must continue to ensure that it is closely looking for the virus and reaching every child with vaccines,’’ Moeti said.



Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

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