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131,000 women, 373,000 children to enjoy free healthcare services in FCT

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Federal Government says no fewer than 131,000 women and 373,000 children under five years will enjoy free basic healthcare in the next nine months in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Alhaji Abdullahi Mashi, made the disclosure at the launch of the Basic HealthCare Provision Fund for the FCT at Kuchigoro Primary Health Care Centre in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said FCT residents would benefit from basic healthcare services worth N224 million over the next nine months.

He added that “the amount is equivalent to payment for the management of 131,000 pregnant women for

normal deliveries and 373,000 under-five childhood illnesses or 280,000 malaria cases.”

The permanent secretary said “in addition, 62 public sector facilities will become truly functional following the launch of the fund.

Mashi said that the launch was a demonstration of the commitment of the FCT Administration to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

According to him, 70 per cent of total health expenditure in the country is borne out of pocket, which is far higher than the globally acceptable rate of 30 to 40 per cent and remains a barrier to accessing healthcare.

He added that “the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to reversing this ugly situation and promoting shared prosperity, with the launch of this fund, I am convinced that we will turn the tide on this.”

The ministry boss said that government developed the dedicated funding mechanism to create  additional fiscal space for primary health care services.

He explained that an inter-fiscal transfer of resources from the Basic Health Care Provision Fund Account at the Central Bank of Nigeria, through Federal and State

agencies’ accounts would be made directly to facilities to enable them to deliver care adequately.

He expressed optimism that the programme would help to reverse the poor health indices in the country.

“With this programme, our children will no longer have to die as a result of vaccine preventable diseases or other common ailments.

“They would also have access to healthcare without financial hardship or the lack of capacity to pay.

“To ensure equity in the disbursement of funds, we have allocated resources per state, based on the incidence of poverty and also on a per capita basis.

“This guarantees that the programme will help reduce inequality in use and access of services particularly by the most vulnerable.”

Prof. Mohammed Sambo, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), said the scheme would work with the State Health Insurance schemes to purchase healthcare services from designated healthcare facilities for the benefit of enrollees.

He said “let me assure you that under my watch as the chief accounting officer of the NHIS, all funds entrusted under my care for the provision of these health services will be judiciously used as prescribed in the programme guidelines to improve the health status of Nigerians.”

Health

Truancy: Enugu Govt warns health workers

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The Enugu State Government has warned health workers in the state against truancy, including absenteeism and lack of commitment to duty.

Dr Okechukwu Ossai, the Administrator, Enugu State Hospital Management Board, issued the warning in an interview with the News Agency on Friday in Enugu.

Ossai said that truancy, lousiness, laziness, absenteeism and lack of dedication to work would henceforth attract severe disciplinary actions.

He noted that the major challenge observed in most of the state government hospitals is the absenteeism of health workers.

According to him, laziness, truancy, lousiness and absence from duty by the medical and health workers in the hospitals was eroding the confidence of communities and patient in healthcare service delivery.

The administrator explained that he was mandated by the state government to bring health personnel back on their feet and to work towards re-building citizens confidence in them.

“As the hospital administrator of Enugu State, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has given me the mandate to get the staff back to work and carry out their duties effectively.

“The state government has spent so much resources in providing medical equipments and free maternal and child care treatment as well as training of the health workers in the state,” he said.

Ossai therefore advised the health workers to make good use of the knowledge acquired during their training because acquiring knowledge without making use of it is a waste of time and government resources.

“Try and give back to the society whatever knowledge you acquired in the course of your job and training so as to be relevant to yourselves, the society and to the government that employed and trained you,” he said.

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Health

Community advocates rights for women living with HIV/AIDS in West Africa

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President of the community, Astou Diop, made the group’s position known  in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

Diop stated that a meaningful engagement of women and adolescent girls living with HIV in planning, implementation and monitoring of programmes toward checking the spread of the scourge would guarantee women’s right to health.

She urged governments at all levels in West Africa to fulfil the highest attainable standard of health for all citizens, especially women living with HIV.

She noted that governments should ensure that women were consulted to make informed decisions and choice of preference with respect to Anti Retroviral (ARV) regimen.

Diop noted that political leadership, dwindling funding for HIV and AIDS, the lack of patient centred care, respect for human rights were responsible for the region’s backwardness in the fight against AIDS.

She called for strengthened partnership of Joint UN Programmes on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), World Health Organisation (WHO) and Nigeria’s Ministry of Health to support the leadership capacity of Community board members.

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Health

Doctors want new Health Minister to improve on nation’s health sector

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Doctors, under the aegis of the Medical Guild, have called on the new Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, to improve on the nation’s health sector and start from where his predecessor, Prof. Isaac Adewole, stopped.

The Guild Chairman, Dr Babajide Saheed, told the Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Lagos that a lot needed to be done to improve the healthcare system.

The Medical Guild is the association of doctors under the employment of the Lagos State Government.

“First, the new minister should make sure he finds ways to achieve Universal Health Coverage for the country, which has only covered about five per cent of the population.

“He has to make sure that the primary healthcare system is in place and functional before he goes to the secondary and tertiary healthcare.

“There should be infrastructure development in terms of the secondary and tertiary level of care.

“It has to be developed to the standard where qualitative healthcare will be delivered to the populace,’’ Saheed said.

He said that the policy on immunisation should be made more proactive to ensure that the country was completely free of diseases including polio and to prevent recurrence of the disease.

The chairman said, “The minister should also ensure that the new vaccine on meningitis should be taken more seriously to reduce the incidence of the disease, especially in areas that were mostly affected.”

Saheed said that the key to any health system was a health insurance that was functional.

According to him, a health insurance has to be accessible, affordable and easy for the populace to tap into.

“If all these are put in place, the healthcare system of the country will be developed and it will be better off for Nigerians,” the guild chairman said.

He called for a National Health Summit where all stakeholders in the Federal, State, and Local Government levels would discuss issues affecting the development of the health sector.

Saheed said that there was a need for these levels of government to have policies that would ensure good referral system in the three levels of healthcare.

“If the primary healthcare is functional, it will reduce the burden on both the secondary and tertiary levels of healthcare.

“We should have specialisation at the tertiary level of care and ensure that the teaching hospitals are well developed and equipped.

“Finally, the rivalry among health workers in the country should be resolved; in that way, the health system will be improved,” he said.

Also, Dr Oluwaseun Ayotola, a General Practitioner at a private hospital, Ajayi Medical Centre, said there was need for the minister to address the issue of medical brain drain by creating incentives for health workers to encourage them to stay.

“There is a need to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts and contributions of Nigerian doctors to the health and wellbeing of the citizens; because healthy populations live longer and are more productive,” Ayotola said.

He also urged the minister to employ more health workers, saying that the numbers of doctors, nurses and laboratory scientists were insufficient to cater adequately for the nation’s vast population.

Ayotola urged the minister to evolve initiatives, policies and adequate investment in infrastructure and equipment toward discouraging medical tourism.

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Health

Nutritionist warns against late dinner, says it affects sleep

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Dinner

By Toba Ajayi

Ilorin, Aug.23,2019 ( NAN) An Ilorin-based Nutritionist, Mrs Dorcas Olarotimi, has cautioned against late dinner, saying it is unhealthy and affects sleep.

She told Nigeria News Agency in Ilorin on Friday that eating late at night may have negative impact on the quality of sleep and caused disruptions to healthy sleep pattern.

She said “eating in the evening hours near bedtime may make your body less prepared to sleep and can have adverse effects on memory, leading to deficit in learning, concentration.

“When the stomach is struggling to digest food while you lie in bed, you are putting yourself at risk, also, late night dinner can lead to weight gain.

“The ability to gain or lose weight does not just depend on food choices but also the timing of your meals and it is very dangerous when you eat more in the evening because of the risk of  higher marker of inflammation.”

She, therefore, advised small, high-protein snack like nuts instead of carbohydrate at night before bedtime.

She stressed that ” people should avoid large meals within a few hours to bedtime. Instead, go for fruits like apple, banana and nuts for good health.”

The nutritionist also advised a two-to- three-hour gap between meal and bedtime to prevent night time reflux.( NAN)

 

 

 

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Task force seals 10 patent medicine shops in Ondo

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The Ondo State Joint Task Force on Fake and Counterfeit Drugs on Thursday carried out a raid on illegal patent medicine vendors, sealing 10 shops in Ayede Ogbese and Shasha Market in Akure metropolis.

Mr Olugbenga Lasekan, Chairman of the task force, who led the team to the areas, decried the recalcitrant attitude of most patent medicine vendors who opened premises without recourse to rules of the practice.

Lasekan said that by rules laid down by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) no medicine outlet should be opened without approval by the council, nor be cited in filling stations, markets, motor parks or be operated in containers.

“Medicine shops that open without following laid down rules and are not licensed are illegal, while drugs without NAFDAC registration are fake.

“By the rules of practice, patent medicine vendors have list of drugs they are permitted to sell, which does not include antibiotics, injections and control drugs.

“Hawking of drugs is not allowed because drugs are supposed to be stored under certain temperature which the practice of hawking violates thus making the drugs dangerous for human consumption,” he explained.

The official said that the state had zero tolerance for fake, adulterated and unwholesome products as well as illegal premises and would not rest on its oars until the state was rid of violators.

The chairman warned that the state would not hesitate to prosecute recalcitrant vendors and leaders of patent medicine associations who aided and abetted illegality.

He advised patent medicine vendors in the state to go and obtain their licenses from PCN, to avoid constant harassment and embarrassment.

Lasekan expressed delight at the success recorded during the exercise, adding that the right signal had been sent.

He advised residents to always buy their drugs from licensed patent medicine vendors or pharmacies.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that control drugs found in possession of some patent medicine vendors were confiscated.

NAN also reports that the task force comprised officials of the Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, NDLEA, PCN and the Nigeria Police Force.

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