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Health minister scores Nigeria high in HIV/AIDS fight



Health minister scores Nigeria high in HIV/AIDS fight

Dr Osagie Ehinare, Minister of Health on says Nigeria is on track in the fight against .

Ehinare who was represented by Mr Araoye Segilola, National Coordinator, Department in the ministry, said Nigeria had made tremendous success in reducing the scourge.

He noted that years back, discrimination against persons living with the disease was very high, saying that today the story had changed.

Ehinare who reiterated calls for more to be done in saving lives, said identifying communities with most infections was imperative for making more progress.

“We need to work with the communities and engage them in order to save them because we do not want them to die,” the minister said.

Earlier, Sen. Chukwuka Utazi, Senate committee chairman on Primary Health care, described World AIDS Day as a day of celebration of the heroes of AIDS.

Utazi reiterated expressed government’s commitment to winning the war against AIDS by ensuring that those on treatment achieved viral suppression in line with UNAID’s 2020 Goal.

He explained that the National Assembly would continue to work in synergy with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), in taking the campaign to the grassroots.

Dr Gambo Aliyu, Director General NACA, restated the agency’s renewed commitment to the fight against AIDS.

Aliyu said that the agency had taken drastic steps by establishing six zonal offices in Nigeria, aimed at penetrating the grassroots.

The NACA boss said that the day was a commemoration of the role communities played in the fight against AIDS.

He listed the communities as people living with , as well as their supporters.

Aliyu commended the community of people living with AIDS for their resilience even in the face of stringent funding.

He reminded the communities of their role in holding government and stakeholders accountable.

NAN reports that the World AIDS Day is marked every Dec. 1.

2019 celebration has as theme: “Communities make the difference.”

Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)

Ikenna Osuoha: 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]


Group advises rape survivors to take PEP after 72 hours



The New HIV Vaccine and Microbicudes Advocacy Society (NHVMAS), on Tuesday said that survivors of rape should endevour to take Post-Exposure Prophylaxsis (PEP), after 72 hours of the act, to prevent HIV infection.

Mrs Florita Durueke , Executive Director, NHVMAS, during a Weekly online training for journalists on HIV Prevention Research, said that access to PEP was necessary due to the increasing number of rape cases recorded in the country.

Recently, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, said that about 717 rape cases have been recorded in Nigeria by the Police between January and May 2020.

Durueke said rape victims may not know if the rapist had HIV or not, hence the need to take PEP after being raped.

She explained that PEP is an antiretroviral drug taken to reduce the likelihood of HIV infection after potential exposure either through occupational hazards or sexual intercourse.

“Rape is on the increase in Nigeria and there is the need to scale up acces to PEP. It is an Antiretroviral drug to be commenced after 72 hours of exposure and taken daily for 28 days for maximum protection against HIV infection.

“We also see cases  of children being raped,  Aside adults, children who are above two years old should receive PEP to avoid becoming infected.

“Lack of awareness and stigma have been a serious challenge and we need the media to promote this intervention to reduce the burden of s in the country.

PEP is available in all HIV treatment and prevention cites in Nigeria at no cost, but certain tests will be cartied out and may be paid for, before being placed on PEP, “she said.

Also speaking, Mr Oluwatosin Alaka, Programme Cordinator at NHVMAS, said there was the need to reduce risky behaviours and promote Abstenance and being faithful to a partner, to reduce the burden of HIV infection in the country.

“There are millions of HIV infection in Nigeria and we can not rely on treatment alone, we still need to prevent new infections.

“People need to go for HIV counselling and testing or even do self-testing to know their status. The male and female condoms are also available to prevent HIV infection.

“Also, the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC), which is the reduction or removal of the fore skin of the penis, reduce the chances of contracting HIV by 60 per cent.

” The fore skin can habour micro organisms that could cause infection such as HIV. This is why VMMC has been adopted in the s prevention strategy, “he said.

Alaka said the training was to stimulate thinking and amplify news stories promoting  HIV prevention research in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that NHVMAS is a non-governmental organisation that monitors global HIV  prevention research.

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)

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Medical expert tasks Nigerians on hepatitis test



Dr Olumuyiwa Balogun-Oluwa, the Deputy Medical Director of Ijede General Hospital in Ikorodu, Lagos State,

has advised Nigerians to go for hepatitis test to ensure early detection of the virus.

He gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos.

He said that hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver, is deadly, and it is categorised into Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E.

Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness, caused by the Hepatitis A Virus (HAV),

transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infected person.

Almost everyone recovers fully from hepatitis A with a lifelong immunity.

Hepatitis B, also a liver infection, is caused by a virus called the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). It can be serious and

has no cure but it is easy to prevent by getting the Hepatitis B vaccine and having safer sex.

Hepatitis C, which is caused by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is transmitted through direct contact with infected

body fluids, typically through injection drug use and sexual contact, while Hepatitis D, also called delta hepatitis,

is a serious liver disease caused by the Hepatitis D virus (HDV) contracted through direct contact with infected


Hepatitis E is a waterborne disease caused by the Hepatitis E Virus (HEV), mainly found in areas with poor sanitation

and typically results from ingesting fecal matter that contaminates the water supply.

The medical director, therefore, added that “the world should not be afraid of HIV, rather, they should

be scared of hepatitis because it is highly contagious.

“To find the missing millions of people living with hepatitis, people need to go for test, know their status and get vaccinated.

“Through research, medications are coming up to help manage the virus or combat the hepatitis scourge.”

Balogun-Oluwa explained that the signs and symptoms of hepatitis could take up to 10 to 15 years to manifest, which

would have resulted in severe liver damage.

He added that “the symptoms at this stage include jaundice, loss of weight, pains in the upper right flang and weakness.”

He urged pregnant women to check their status in order not to infect their unborn babies with the virus.

The deputy medical director also urged mothers to ensure that their babies were vaccinated immediately after birth.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)

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COVID-19 Update in Nigeria – NCDC Coronavirus Records




COVID-19: FCT leads with 130 cases, as Nigeria records 386 new infections
August 2, 2020 6:14 am By Abujah Racheal

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) led the pack on Saturday with 130 Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases as the country recorded 386 new infection in the country.

Data from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC ) showed that the cases were spread across 18 states and the FCT.

The NCDC said that FCT topped the list for the of states with higher daily cases of COVID-19 for the third time consecutively with 130, while Lagos, the epicentre of the virus, reported 65.

Other states with new cases were Ondo, 37, Osun, 29, Plateau, 23, Rivers, 15, Enugu, 14, Nasarawa, 12, Bayelsa, 11, Ebonyi, 11, Ekiti, 9, Oyo 8, Edo, 8, Abia, 6, Ogun, 3, Katsina, 3, Imo 1 and Adamawa 1.

The health agency said that Nigeria had now successfully treated 20,087 COVID-19 cases following the discharge of 522 additional patients in the last 24 hours.

The health agency noted that four more persons have died from the disease.

According to the NCDC, till date, a total of 43,537 cases of the virus have been confirmed, 20,087 cases discharged and 883 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The NCDC noted that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) activated at Level 3 would continue to coordinate the national response activities across the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria conducted 145,454 tests in July and recorded 17,457 positive cases during the same period.

It said compared to June, the figures represented 95 per cent increase in testing numbers and 12 per cent increase in positive cases.

”It is good news that Nigeria significantly stepped up testing in July. The 95 per cent increase in testing in July compared to June only resulted in 12 per cent increase in positive cases.

”June, 74,580 tests, 15,532 positive cases. July, 145,454 tests, 17,457 positive cases. July also recorded one of the lowest monthly test positivity to date.

”July test positivity is 12 per cent . June test positivity is 21 per cent. May test positivity is 17 per cent. July also records 51 per cent of cumulative test in the country,” it said.

The Agency said that states that had made this possible by their daily increase in testing were, Kano, Plateau, Oyo, Lagos, FCT and Rivers States in July. (NAN)



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Nasarawa govt to train 77 health workers on viral hepatitis mgt.



Mr Ahmed Yahaya, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, on Wednesday said that the state government plans to train 77 health workers in the management of viral hepatitis.

Yahaya stated this at a press briefing in Lafia to mark the 2020 World Hepatitis Day in the state.

According to the commissioner, the training was conceived by the state’s Viral Hepatitis Technical Working Group (VHTWG), to build the capacity of 77 health workers across ten health facilities in the state on the management of the disease.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that World Hepatitis Day, observed on July 28 every year, aims to raise global awareness of hepatitis — a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E — and encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The Nasarawa Viral Hepatitis Technical Working Group set up by the state government in February  is charged with the responsibility of planning, driving, implementing and monitoring the hepatitis elimination progress.

Yahaya said that in line with global target of eliminating all forms of hepatitis by 2030, the state government had so far in 2020 approved certain stringent steps to eradicate the disease in the state, one of which was the approval for training of the 77 health workers.

He said the training would equip the health workers with the capacity to manage all forms of hepatitis efficiently thereby  reducing the mortality rate from the disease in the state.

The commissioner said that other measures taken by the government towards eradicating the disease include approval of fund for the procurement of 5,000 anti hepatitis C rapid testing kits to facilitate screening for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) patients enrolled to care, and distribution of screening registers and patient chart for data capturing.

“The TWG will also engage multiple pharmaceutical companies to explore opportunities for collaboration and partnership.

“They will also roll out phase one screening across two secondary health facilities and subsequently expand to additional three facilities.

“So far, over 1,000 HIV patients have been screened with 174 testing positive to hepatitis and awaiting treatment. No fewer than 2,000 persons are estimated to be Hepatitis B positive in the next three months in the state. This calls for immediate action,” he said.

On the commemoration of  2020 World Hepatitis Day, Yahaya said series of events have been outlined which included screening of first 1,000 patients, commencement of phase two of targeted screening, media tours and radio jingles to increase awareness.

“These activities  commenced from July 27 up to this press briefing. We intend to flag off the screening of the first 1,000 patients at Shabu General Clinic at date to be announced soon,” Yahaya added.

NAN reports that the 2020 theme is “Hepatitis-free future”. Emmanuel Nwoye and Isaac Ukpoju

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