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Health: Association intensifies action to curtail maternal mortality



Health: Association intensifies action to curtail maternal mortality


Abuja, April 26, 2019 The Association of Resident Doctor (ARD) said that it has intensified routine enlightenment, training and retraining of members to curtail maternal and neonatal mortality in the country.

Dr Rowland Aigbovo, President of the Association said this while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.

According to him, as an association, “we are striving to give our best in the area of maternal health by carrying out routine enlightenment on maternal health to women of child bearing age.”

He said the association had also embarked on training and retraining of members on the recent advancement in the managements of obstetrics and gynaecological emergencies.

“All the efforts are geared towards reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality in the country, this association will stop at nothing to address the menace.

“It is necessary to train medical personnel because of high rate of maternal and neonatal mortality especially in the rural areas. Training will go a long way in improving services in health facilities.

“We believe that it will reduce the prevalence of maternal and neonatal mortality, some of the causes of these deaths are treatable and preventable,’’ he said.

He sought the cooperation and support of government, communities, traditional rulers and political leaders in addressing the menace of maternal and neonatal mortality.

Ummul Idris: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]


News analysis: Experts say Egypt’s COVID-19 coexistence plan to benefit economy, while urging caution




Egypt will lift a curfew and allow cafes and restaurants to operate with limited capacity from June 27, as it gradually reopens the economy after three months of suspension over COVID-19 concerns.




“These measures would completely stimulate the economy, ease the sufferings of the daily workers, and increase the levels of factories operation,” said Waleed Gaballah, professor of financial and economic jurisdictions at Cairo University.

Lifting the night curfew is very important to facilitate the movement of workers, many of whom are working in places far away from home, Gaballah, also a member of the Egyptian Association for Political Economy, told Xinhua.

Restaurants, cafes, cinemas, and sporting clubs will be allowed to reopen on July 27, with a capacity initially capped at 25 percent, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in a televised press briefing on Tuesday.

Mosques and churches will be allowed to reopen, but weekly mass prayers on Friday and Sunday will remain suspended. Beaches and parks will continue to be closed.

Public transport will be allowed to run from 4 a.m. local time (0200 GMT) until midnight, while shops and malls will be closed by 9 p.m. and restaurants by 10 p.m.

The economic expert said the “Egyptian economy has lost 125 billion Egyptian pounds (7.74 billion United States dollars) of the GNP (Gross National Product) since the virus appeared in February,” adding that the growth rate, expected to reach 5.8 percent in the current fiscal year ending in June, has declined to less than 4 percent.

He also pointed to the sharp slump of foreign investments, and the decrease of tourism revenues and expatriates’ remittances driven by the country’s lockdown.

The state budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021, which is difficult to be changed based on the constitution, puts the government before challenges because it allocated high expenditures for education, health, and increase of salaries, according to the expert.

The government will be forced to raise the rate of borrowing or take strict austerity measures if the revenues from tourism and taxes could not cover the gape of expenditures, he added.

Whether the Egyptian economy could restore its level before the spread of coronavirus, it also depends on the international partners, he said, adding that the Egyptian decision to resume air traffic and international tourism wouldn’t be effective without other countries’ approval.

He further added that the return of international trade will positively impact the Suez Canal revenues, and the opening of activities in the Gulf countries would attract the Egyptian workers and increase Egyptians’ transactions abroad.




Magdy al-Dahshan, former deputy manager of Al-Azhar Medicine University, agreed that the recent government decisions are “good for gradually restoring the ordinary life.”

“Reopening of cafes, restaurants and entertainment centers at 25 percent could contain further increase of the infections,” al-Dahshan told Xinhua.

The number of infections is high now, but the virus seems to be going to stay for the time being and no country could afford to endure more economic losses, he said.

Gamal Esmat, consular to the World Health Organization, warns that the lifting of restrictions would possibly further increase the COVID-19 cases.

He said he would prefer the government to open activities in provinces with fewer cases, adding that though the death rate in Egypt is “moderate,” the spread of the virus has lasted for five months which is a long time.

Egypt reported 61,130 cases of COVID-19 and 2,533 deaths in the lastest update of the health ministry on Thursday.


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Lagos needs 260,000 units of blood annually– Health Commissioner



The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, says Lagos will need about 260,000 units of blood annually to meet the growing blood transfusion demand at its health facilities.

Abayomi made this known through a virtual meeting organised on Sunday by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) to commemorate the World Blood Donor Day.

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated annually on June 14 globally, to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood.

The theme for the Blood Donor Day 2020 is “Safe Blood Saves Lives”, with the slogan “Give Blood and Make The World A Healthier Place”.

Abayomi noted that the state was making efforts to meet and surpass its requirement through recruiting and retaining voluntary blood donors.

“To maintain an adequate blood supply, one to two per cent of the population needs to become regular blood donors.

“This is about 260,000 in a growing population of over 26 million in Lagos State.

“The regular supply of blood is essential as the life span of blood is very short. Each unit of blood donated remains viable for 35 days,” he said.

The commissioner said that the state was collaborating with the private sector, non-governmental organisations, religious bodies, and youth organisations to achieve its target requirements.

On the theme of the World Blood Donor Day, Abayomi said that encouraging and promoting voluntary blood donation in a safe and conducive environment was the goal of the state.

“This year’s theme has come in at a time the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the various phases of lockdown and travel restrictions have brought about some challenges to our blood donation drives.

“The need for blood transfusions and medications based on blood components has, however, continued in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The LSBTS voluntary blood donation centres were opened, all through, with an extension in our opening hours.

“Scientifically, there are no confirmed reports of Coronavirus being transmitted by blood transfusion anywhere in the world.

“Strict additional safety measures, including more handwashing sites, use of hand sanitisers, use of personal protective equipment, as well as maintaining social distancing are being practiced at the blood collection sites for donors and staffs,” Abayomi said.

He added that making the world a better place was not only about blood collection from donors, but the collection of convalescent plasma from recovered patients of COVID-19.

According to him, the plasma collection is in preparation for an interventional study in the treatment of patients with severe Coronavirus.

Abayomi noted that there was no substitute for blood, adding that the lives of hundreds of patients, including pregnant women, children with severe anaemia, accident victims, patients with cancer and haemoglobinothies were saved by blood transfusion.

He added that adequate and timely supply of safe blood was needed to continue helping those people who are in need of blood transfusion.

“We, therefore, cannot over emphasised the need to ensure availability of blood in our blood banks where patients who require blood transfusion can be readily supplied.

“I would like to say a big thank you to all voluntary blood donors who have made it a duty to give the gift of life– blood.

“I would also like to use this medium to encourage citizens who are healthy and fit, and aged from 18 to 65 to please give blood.

“People in good health who have never given blood, particularly young people, should begin to do so,” Abayomi said.

Also, Dr Bodunrin Oshikomaiya, Executive Secretary, LSBTS, said the campaign to increase voluntary blood donation drive had been intensified and sustained to meet with the blood transfusion needs in Lagos State.

She noted that LSBTS was working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to improve access to blood transfusions and promote blood safety.

Oshikomaiya said that the work with WHO was centred on centrally coordinated blood transfusion service, collection of blood exclusively from voluntary donors from low-risk populations.

Others are testing of all blood for compatibility and transfusion-transmissible infections, and reduction of unnecessary transfusions.

She added that health workers involved in blood transfusion had been trained on documentation, quality assessment and on the rational use of blood and blood products to reduce unnecessary transfusions.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Members of Chinese medical team visit Palestinian Health Ministry’s Central Health Laboratories




Members of a Chinese medical team meet with Palestinian medical experts in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 14, 2020. A Chinese medical team arrived in Palestine on June 10 to help Palestinians fight against COVID-19. The 10-member team, sent by China‘s National Health Commission, consists of experts specialized in various medical fields including infectious diseases, virus examination and health management. The week-long visit until June 17 is aimed at enhancing bilateral relations in the health sector and the exchange of expertise in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Ayman Nobani/Xinhua)


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Health safety is top priority for Greece as tourism season starts: PM




Greece is ready to welcome visitors again with health safety as the top priority in the new COVID-19 era, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday during a visit to the Santorini Island.

This year’s summer tourism season opens on June 15 with the resumption of international flights for tourists to Athens and Thessaloniki airports, later than previous years due to the epidemic.

Mitsotakis gave a press conference to international media on Saturday on the picturesque Aegean Sea island to convey the message across the globe that Greece has taken all necessary measures for the reopening of tourism after this spring’s lockdown.

“We are opening up to visitors, but we are doing it with your safety as our utmost priority. We have worked very hard to ensure our guests will be safe and stay healthy,” Mitsotakis said.

“If at any stage we are faced with a localized outbreak, we have the medical and civil protection infrastructure in place to tackle it swiftly and effectively,” he stressed.

The country was in full lockdown from March 23 until May 4 and in recent weeks is gradually entering the new normalcy, after managing to flatten the curve.

Tourism, one of the key motors for the Greek economy for decades, was one of the last sectors to restart.

As of June 15, travelers from 29 countries with positive epidemiological data, including China, will be subject to sample testing only upon arrival.

All other visitors from countries on the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) list of affected areas with a high risk of transmission of COVID-19 will, until June 30, have to be tested upon arrival and spend at least one night at a designated hotel at the expenses of the Greek state.

As of July 1, Greece will fully open all its airports to flights from abroad and to all sailings from other countries. Seven overland border points will also reopen. Tourists will be subject only to random sampling.

Due to the pandemic, Greece expects this year only a fraction of the 33 million arrivals registered last year, Mitsotakis said, stressing that the country is seizing the opportunity to review its tourism model in the coming years to focus on sustainability as well.

Greece also aims to extend its tourism season, building more on its rich cultural heritage for travelers all year round and for those who have more interest in archaeological sites, like Chinese tourists, said the prime minister, when responding to a question by Xinhua.

“We hope there is not going to be a second pandemic wave so our plan is certainly to be able to extend our season…The more we can extend our season towards October or even November in terms of our summer product the better it will be,” Mitsotakis added.

The fusion between culture and tourism is for us a great opportunity to extend our season, he told Xinhua.

Before the press conference, Mitsotakis visited the archaeological site of Akrotiri, a prehistoric settlement that was destroyed by the eruption of Santorini’s volcano.

During a visit to the island’s general hospital, he was briefed on the readiness of the local healthcare system to cope with any potential cases.

According to the latest update from the Greek authorities on Saturday, a total of 3,112 confirmed infections of COVID-19, including 183 deaths, have been registered in Greece since Feb. 26, when the first case was diagnosed.

Four new infections and no deaths were reported within the past 24 hours.


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