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NMA commends FG for improvement in PHC centres

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The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has commended the Federal Government for improvement in infrastructure of the Primary Health Care (PHC) centres in the country.

Francis Faduyile, the President of NMA, made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NMA) on Friday in Abuja.

Faduyile said that NMA had always expected that with improvement infrastrure, PHC would cater for up to 75 per cent of the populace, mostly in the rural areas.

He said that the move by the  government to meet this target was commendable.

He, however, said that facilities at PHC centres across the country needed corresponding improvement in the number and qualities of staff, including doctors and other health workers.

The NMA chief noted that this would address a lot of diseases, and other medical burdens in the rural areas.

According to him, medical and health personnel retention at the rural level has been low as a result of poor remuneration.

Faduyile called for the strengthening of primary health centres and states’ participation to improve the standard of health in the country.

He said the association had always advocated uniform pay for all medical and dental practitioners, irrespective of their employers,to retain  health professionals in the rural areas.

He said that remuneration  of medical and dental professionals, at all levels,would stabilise and improve the health sector.

Health

WHO 2020 Certification: Nigeria marks 3 years of free Polio

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Nigeria has achieved three years without a case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) since the last isolated WPV case in Borno on Aug. 21, 2016.

Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), disclosed this at news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

The briefing was organised by the agency to mark Nigeria’s achievement of three years without a case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV).

Shuaib said the NPHCDA was acknowledging milestone for this great achievement which kicks-in the process of attaining WHO certification of polio free nation by 2020.

He added that attaining three years without new case of WPV means that all the efforts and strategies of the Federal Government to end the circulation of WPV was working.

He assured that the agency would do everything possible to ensure that the gains are not reversed.

Shuaib said the current situation calls for a continuous vaccination of all the children.

He said that it is imperative that all stakeholders continue to support the polio programme through technical, financial support and political oversight to prevent the re-occurrence of WPV.

He added that the support was required to stop the spread of all the other types of polio virus in Nigeria.

“We need to collectively address the remaining challenges facing the programme, including the poor access to children in some parts of the country due to insecurity, poor health seeking behaviour of our people and vaccine hesitancy, among others,’’ he said.

Dr Clement Peter, the Officer in Charge, World Health Organisation (WHO), said as the last polio endemic country in Africa, Nigeria passing three years without WPV case was a step towards certifying Africa WPV free by mid-2020.

He added that following three-year mark, Nigeria has commenced the process of documentation towards the final certification by the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC).

Peter said Nigeria would submit its final country data for evaluation in March 2020, provided there were no new polio cases.

He said if ARCC was satisfied with the country’s documentation, Nigeria would be certified WPV free between March and June 2020.

Dr Paul Basinga, the Country Director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, however urged the federal government not to take the current success for granted.

He reiterated the commitment of the foundation to work with the agency to reach the last child with life saving vaccines.

He added that the foundation was also committed at strengthening the surveillance to detect and respond to any threat of outbreaks especially in hard to reach and conflict-affected communities.

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Youth development in focus as Dare assumes duty

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The newly appointed Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has promised to intensify efforts at youth development along side sports during his tenure.

Dare said this in Abuja on Wednesday as he assumed work to a rousing reception by staff of the ministry.

He said that the ministry was integral to the achievement of government’s agenda for growth and development of the nation.

“In this ministry we have youth, we have sports. Youth development is integral to the success of the administration because we have a massive youth population.

“This is a ministry that is close to the hearts of Nigerians. Beyond soccer, we have other sports; and beyond sports there are other ways we can develop the youths.

“Our mandate is very clear, there is need for us to broaden our horizon and to deepen the work we do,” he said.

The minister said that he would use is over two decades media visibility to ensure that the works of the ministry were effectively projected by the media.

“I know that the media is an integral part of youth and sports development, and I have a massive media background of more than 28 years.

“We will find a way to take sports out of the back pages to the front pages,” he said.

He urged staff of the ministry to intensify work on the ministry’s 2020 budget to meet President Muhammadu Buhari’s submission deadline of September.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Olusade Adesola, expressed willingness of staff to work harmoniously with the new minister.

“The ministry is lucky to have a minister who is very friendly with the press.

“I welcome you, and I assure you that we are all committed to work with you to ensure that we take the ministry to the next level,” Adesola said.

Also present at reception was the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, as well as heads of other agencies under the ministry.

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Revive free antenatal service, Gombe CSO appeals

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The Network for Maternal and Newborn Child Health Initiative (NMNCHI), a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has appealed to the Gombe State Government to revive free antenatal services.

Malam Alhassan Yahaya, the Chairman of the group, made the call during an advocacy visit to the newly appointed Executive Secretary of Gombe State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA), Dr Abdulrahman Shuaibu.

Yahaya said revitalising policy would address the poor indices of the state in terms of maternal and neonatal child mortality, which is among the worst in the country.

He recalled that previous administrations in the state supported the free antenatal service for women from conception of pregnancy up to delivery, even if it is through caesarean section.

According to him, the programme was suspended three years ago during the second term of former governor Ibrahim Dankwambo.

He noted that the programme touched so many lives particularly the less privileged who cannot afford hospital bills when it was initiated by ex-governor Danjuma Goje.

He therefore called on Gov. Inuwa Yahaya to revive the programme because it will go a long way in reducing the maternal and under-5 mortality in the state.

He explained that the aim of their visit was to familiarise themselves with the new executive secretary and also share ideas towards reducing and improving maternal mortality in the state.

Responding, Shuaibu commended the good work the network had been doing and solicited for a robust collaboration with the CSOs to complement the efforts of the agency.

He acknowledged the huge impact made by the Village Health Workers scheme and called for its sustenance to redress the poor mortality health indices of the state.

HUL/MST

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Lagos Govt boosts PHC services in Eti-Osa

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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.

EEI/MST

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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

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

Partnership

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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