Medical doctors urged to draw line between profession ethics and business



Dr Richardson Ajayi, a Consultant Gynaecologist, has advised medical doctors to always draw a line between the cardinal call to save lives and the quest to make profit while running private medical outfits.

Ajayi, the Executive Vice-Chairman of Bridge Clinic, Abuja gave the advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency , in Abuja on Wednesday.

The gynaecologist proposed a number of strategies to effectively balance the two objectives

“The Nigerian health sector has observed an increased interest by investors into healthcare delivery, but experience has also shown that the best healthcare systems are those managed by doctors with management experience.

“Nigerian doctors must embrace modern management trends to create an enabling environment for industry consolidation.

“Such consolidation leads to greater economies of scale, reduced rivalry among doctors, and, more importantly, increased market power against partners like HMOs.

“The objective can also be achieved by organising the industry through licensing and enforcement of standards which can be made effective in a service platform model,” he said.

Ajayi called for a sustainable transformation of the healthcare system, saying that a first step would be to identify the problem and work toward tackling it.

He highlighted the connection between the practice of medicine and the profession of healthcare, and stressed the need for a paradigm shift from the independent/sole proprietorship model, to a combined practice of medicine with the business of healthcare.

“To effectively render a sustainable service that does not put patient lives at risk requires a careful balance of various components.

“This matrix drives the value chain of primary and support activities,” he explained.

He called for clear lines to be drawn to define the ideals which, he noted, were critical to the successful outcome within the healthcare system.

“This model of separation between healthcare-as-service and healthcare-as-business has led to many medical breakthroughs across several hospital groups in the UK, India and other developed nations,” he said.

Edited by Moses Solanke and Ephraims Sheyin


NGO calls for a youth-centred drug policy



Youth Initiative for Drug Research Information Support and Education (YouthRISE) Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation, has called for a youth- centred drug policy to address the rate of illicit substance use in Nigeria.

Mr Adeolu Ogunrombi, Project Coordinator of the organisation, said this on the sideline of a one day national symposium and open house event in Abuja.

The event was organised in collaboration with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, PITCH and Open Society Foundation.

The theme for the event is ‘Drug Control Beyond the Rhetoric: Focusing on What Works’.

Ogunrombi said that an effective drug policy must be youth-centred as the effect of any policy adopted by a country directly affects the youth.

He added that the tagging of young people who used drugs by the law as “criminals is inappropriate.

“The current drug law does not make a clear distinction between a person who is involved in the use of drugs and those involved in trafficking.

“The incessant arrests and incarceration of young people who use drugs, by the police under guise of drug control often result in recidivism, extortion and series of human rights violation.

“Stigma and discrimination against young people who use drugs is causing more harm than good.

“This is one of the reason why some youths are sent out of their homes by family members who cannot bear the stigma.

“The drug laws in the country are those developed mainly to counter drug trafficking and diversion of controlled drugs.

“The development of the laws can be said to be reactive rather than being proactive taking into account the realities of the issue and how it affects the growing population.

“There is therefore need for young people and political leaders to reform these laws for an effective drug control response in the country,” he said.

Edited by: Kayode Olaitan


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NYSC partners FRSC to protect corps members



The Ondo State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Rotimi Adeleye, has said that the FRSC has received marching orders to protect corps members nationwide.

Adeleye said this when the state NYSC Coordinator, Mrs Grace Akpabio, paid an official visit to his office on Friday in Akure.

According to the commander, the directive came from the Corps Marshall, Boboye Oyeyemi, after he met with the Director-General of the scheme, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the NYSC director-general had visited Oyeyemi to solicit for assistance to curb unnecessary journeys embarked upon by corps members.

The visit was also aimed at mapping out strategies to end persistent accidents that had claimed the lives of some corps members.

Oyeyemi promised to visit the camp before the end of the ongoing orientation course, to sensitise corps members on the need to resist the urge to embark on unnecessary journeys.

The FRSC sector commander said that he had briefed his men to ensure that all corps members in the state were adequately monitored to ensure that no life was lost during the festive season and beyond.

He appealed to the NYSC coordinator to encourage the corps members to join first responders’ team so as to immediately report any untoward occurrence that could threaten human lives.

“I want to appeal to you to encourage your corps members to act as first responders immediately there is any traffic gridlock or accident.

“The NYSC management is worried that some of our children, who are serving the nation, are losing their precious lives to road traffic accidents, which could be averted,” he said.

Earlier, Akpabio had said that NYSC management had resolved to make the relationship between the two federal agencies more robust so as to achieve no loss of corps members’ lives.

Akpabio thanked the FRSC for the roles it had been playing in ensuring that corps members serving in the state received priority attention always.

The state coordinator promised to mobilise her field officers to address corps members during their weekly community development meetings not to travel late in the evening or overnight.

She urged the FRSC to always liaise with the various road transport unions to assist corps members navigate the state rather than extort them.

“I want to enjoin you to encourage the transport unions not to take advantage of the corps members serving in the state to extort them, as majority of them are visiting this part of the country for the first time,” she said.

Akpabio stressed that the scheme would be grateful to the FRSC if it could enforce night travel ban on corps members and apprehend the recalcitrant ones.

NAN recalls that the NYSC had expressed concern over the rate at which corps members were losing their lives during needless trips.

Edited by: Emmanuel Okara and

(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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HIV: NGO to capture, place 22,000 persons on drugs in Nasarawa



An NGO and an Implementing Partner (IP) for programmes — Achieving Health

Nigeria Initiative (AHNi) — on Friday, announced plan to capture and place 22,000 unidentified persons living with HIV on drugs in Nasarawa State.

The group made this known at the end of a five-day workshop in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, to develop 2020 Annual Operational Plan on AIDS

and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD).

Nigeria News Agency reports that AHNi is one of the IPs supporting the fight against the spread of in the state.

It is an indigenous non-profit affiliate organisation of Family Health International (FHI 360), registered in Nigeria in 2009. It

aims to provide technical assistance to the government and people of Nigeria in the implementation of public health and

development programmes.

Dr Terfa Kene, the Institutional Capacity Strengthening Adviser of AHNi in charge of North-Central, said the group

was working to identity the 22,000 persons living with the virus but failed to avail themselves for testing.

He added that once such persons were identified, tested and placed on drugs, it would go a long way in stopping the spread of the scourge.

He said “if we are able to stop the spread, it means that we are moving toward achieving zero per cent spread.”

Kene, therefore, appealed to those who knew their status to come out to access drugs and desist from self inflicted stigmatisation.

He also appealed to the public, especially health personnel, to avoid disclosing peoples’ status to the public.

Mr Olukunle Daramola, the Zonal Team Leader of AHNi North-Central, said the workshop was aimed at developing the

2020 plan to tackle HIV scourge in Nasarawa State.

He said that with the strategic plan for 2020, areas of challenges and difficult terrains that needed more attention would be given

priority “to see that HIV is eventually tackled in the state.

“With this, we will know where to intervene more through sensitisation, drugs and partnership with other stakeholders toward

ending the spread of HIV in the state and even beyond.

The Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, Ahmed Yahaya, had at the opening ceremony of the workshop announced that

government would boost the fight with N1.8 billion.

Edited by: Abdullahi Mohammed/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu


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GBV: Older persons are being raped too – Sen. Ajoku



Sen. Eze Ajoku, President, Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) on Friday said that older persons were also being violated and raped and called for urgent action to curb such nefarious acts.

Ajoku told the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja that such crime was being perpetrated in silence and without any one talking about it.

He called on government at all levels and stakeholders to rise to the occasion by including the protection of older persons in the campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV).

“Older persons are being abused every day. Older women are being raped by young persons, even older men. A woman of over 80 years in a Nigerian village said she was raped.

“After she made the revelation, about 26 older women came out to say that they were raped too and this thing thrives in silence,” Ajoku said.

The COSROPIN President who condemned all forms of Gender Based Violence, challenged Nigerians to break the silence which according to him is unacceptable.

He said that it was time to collectively put an end to sexual violence against women especially older persons for a prosperous and disciplined country.

Ajoku wondered how some people had delighted in rape and forceful violations of others, saying that it was time to address the menace.

He, however, appealed to Nigerians to eliminate all forms of elder abuse either in the form of gender violence or abuse by care providers and family members.

According to him, old age is a blessing and old people should end their journey on earth on a joyous note.

“Young people also abuse their parents by neglecting them,’’ he added.

NAN reports that the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has declared war against Gender Based Violence (GBV) through its programme tagged “Call to Action” aimed at achieving reduction in cases of gender violence.

Edited by: Donald Ugwu


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AIDS: PEPFAR advocates change of narrative in perception



Dr Murphy Akpu, Deputy Coordinator, U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has called for a change of narrative from deadly perception and nomenclature of AIDS in the rural areas.

Akpu made the call at the Candlelight Memorial by Network of People Living with in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) to remember fallen heroes and heroines of AIDS.

He said that it was time to flow with the progress so far made in the fight against by changing the name from the dreadful to a lighter name.

“HIV is no longer as deadly as it is being represented by the name in our different local languages.

“So we need to change that dreadful former name in our localities to what it is really today,” Akpu said.

The PEPFAR boss, who saluted the patient community on behalf of the U.S embassy, commended them for their efforts in the war against AIDS.

Dr Gambo Aliyu, Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), reiterated the determination of the agency to continue to support the activities of NEPWHAN.

Aliyu, who was represented by Mrs Josephine Kalu, Director in the agency, expressed desire of NACA to end the epidemics in Nigeria.

He said that the agency had prioritised issues of prevention, treatment and sustainability in ensuring victory over the epidemics.

Also speaking, Mr Adeolu Adebiyi of World Health Organisation (WHO) appreciated the progress so far made in the fight against.

Adebiyi explained that the community should be celebrating access to treatment regiment unlike in the past.

He expressed satisfaction with the availability of facilities today for those living with.

According to him, AIDS is no longer a death sentence; therefore, we need to collectively fight against stigma and discrimination because it has no medication.

Mrs Chidubem Momah, Senior Programme Officer, FHI 360, said that today the epidemic was no longer in control of the community.

Momah commended the community for their relentless efforts in stemming the epidemic as well as reducing the stigma and discrimination.

She however expressed hope that there would be light at the end of the tunnel with collective responsibility and commitment of all.

Mr Ikenna Nwakamma, first co-chairman of Coalition of Civil Societies Network for in Nigeria (CCSNHAN) urged the community to see themselves as lucky people with the introduction of “Undetectable=Untransmitable” campaign.

Nwakamma called for continuous battle to win the war against HIV with awareness and public enlightenment on grey areas such as discrimination and stigma.

Mr Abdulkadiri Ibrahim, National Coordinator, NEPWHAN, described the day as a day to remember the sacrifices of those that died fighting AIDS and those living with the virus.

Ibrahim, who thanked all the partners of the network for their support, promised to continue to speak against discrimination and stigma.

He called on governments at all levels to take critical steps in encouraging the war against AIDS.

According to him, those living with HIV should see Undetectable=Untransmitable campaign as a message of hope because it ensures access to treatment and viral suppression.

NAN reports that candlelight memorial is a continuation of the world AIDS day in which those that have fallen for AIDS are remembered.

Edited by: Donald Ugwu


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