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NGO inaugurates clinic for sickle cell patients



The WarriorStory Initiative, an NGO, on Sunday in Lagos inaugurated a “WarriorStory Sickle Cell Clinic’’ for carriers.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the aim of the initiative was for sickle cell patients to have access to affordable, fast and reliable monthly check ups and first aid care.

Ms Abimbola Ogunmekan, Founder and Coordinator of the NGO, told NAN that the clinic would afford carriers opportunity to meet with different consultants and specialists on the same day.

“We decided to start the clinic, this month, to commemorate the World Sickle Cell Day which was on June 19. After today, we will be doing it monthly, most likely every last Saturday of the month.

“We have about six consultants in the clinic and they will all see patients without any consultation fee for three months,” she said.

According to her, the clinic will allow carriers to see consultants ranging from Surgical Units to Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and Haematologist among others on the same day.

“I have been running this support group for about three years now.

“It is observed that people self-medicate, either because they don’t have enough money to go to the hospital or because they don’t want to go through the stress of hospital processes.

“So I decided to talk to some of my bosses who are consultants in various fields at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, that cater for sickle cell patients to come here, at least, once a month to see these patients.

“They are all here today talking to them, letting them know how to care and manage their health; those who need referral are given and sent to the best specialists for further diagnosis and treatment,“ she said.

Ogunmekan, urged carriers not to wait till they were faced with problems before they visit hospital for check-up.

According to her, sickle cell patients are supposed to see their doctors at least twice a month.

“You should see a doctor even when you are feeling fine.Go for random check so that if there is any issue coming up, it will be dictated and managed in good time.’’

She said at the end of the support programme, patients would be required to pay a token for subscription to access care.

The founder said carriers wanting to see the calibre of doctors her group got outside of the clinic would probably be paying N30, 000 and above to see one consultant.

Dr Seun Odiase, a General Practitioner and and advocate for sickle cell awareness in Nigeria, urged carriers to be optimistic that they would live and grow old in the condition.

“We always advise people we call sickle cell warriors that, sickle cell is not a death sentence.

“There is even more than hope for them because we have medications, and other forms of treatment for people living with sickle cell basically.

“The people with sickle cell have children and they live long; so for whatever young age that you are, you should have positive mindset.

“Take your medication and meet with the right consultants and doctors and everything will be fine,’’ he urged.

Ms Elemoro Latifat, a carrier, expressed joy that she was able to meet with specialists who  specialised in caring for sickle cell patients.

“This is a good opportunity for me to see all my doctors in one place, because I have always been having issues at my clinic.

“Due to the rigorous activities over there, and the fact that when you get there sometimes they would tell you that you are late. So I don’t visit clinic at all.

“They will never get your card on time and when they manage to bring out your card, they will tell you this specialist is not on seat come back another day.

“That is why I always prefer to stay in my house, but here we have all of them in one place; very friendly and relating to us as if we are colleagues,’’ she said.

NAN reports that the programme was in conjunction with Doctoral Health, a health facility for medical practitioners and Thalamus Health, Haematology among others.



NGO, Govt. collaborate on fight against pneumonia in Jigawa




Abdullahi Shugaba

Dutse Nov. 16, 2019 (NAN An NGO, Save the Children, says it is collaborating with the Jigawa government and traditional institutions to ‘knock out’ pneumonia in state.

The Project Manager of the organisation, Mr. Abdullahi Magama disclosed this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Dutse on Saturday.

He said that as effort was being made by the government in the areas of maternal mortality, ante-natal, post-natal, routine immunization, polio eradication, among others, less was being done in the issue of pneumonia phenomenon.

The project manager lamented that over one million children’s lives were being lost annually in Nigeria as a result of pneumonia but the society was doing nothing to arrest the situation.

Magama stressed that pneumonia is a preventable and curable disease.

He said that it is in view of this that the NGO has selected Kiyawa as a pilot Local Government Area to sensitize, educate and enlighten the people on the possible causes and treatment of pneumonia.

According to him, good health practices like routine immunization, exclusive breast feeding, good nutrition, improved indoor ventilation, environmental hygiene and sanitation will prevent pneumonia.

Magama stated that Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by bacterial or viral infection, in which the air sacs is filled with pus and may become solid which is accompanied with difficulties in breathing.

He said that pneumonia can be caused by a variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi.

The Project Manager said that the signs and symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain, cough, fatigue, fever, sweating and difficulties in breathing, among others.

Magama disclosed that relevant stakeholders like the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, UNICEF, WHO, Nigerian Medical Association, Civil Society Organizations, traditional institutions, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria have pledged to assist in the fight against pneumonia in the state.

The District Head of Kiyawa, Alhaji Adamu Aliyu told the Nigeria News Agency in an interview that the NGO should take their sensitization and enlightenment campaigns on pneumonia to market squares at the grassroots

The Jigawa Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abba Umar has pledged the commitment of the state government to assist in the fight against the scourge in the state. .

Edited by Tukur Muntari.

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Oyo govt., NGOs partner to combat diseases among school pupils




Ibadan, Nov. 16, 2019 The Oyo state government has expressed its readiness to collaborate with Non-Governmental organisations to curb the menace of neglected tropical diseases among primary school pupils.

Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, said this in a statement in Ibadan.

He quoted Dr Nureni Adeniran, the Executive Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), as saying this when he received executive members of the State Primary Health-care Board and a non-governmental organisation, Evidence Action, in his office.

According to the statement, the NGO is on an advocacy visit to the SUBEB boss.

“Adeniran, on behalf of the state government, promised to lend necessary support required to the team, so as to ensure that Primary schools across 33 Local governments are reached by the programme.

“We would ensure Universal Basic Education Authorities across the 33 Local Governments receive circulars alerting them of this exercise ahead of its commencement on Nov. 26,’’ he said.

The SUBEB boss said the board was also looking into ways of engaging in preventive other than curative measures.

He noted that it was practically impossible for the state government alone to engage in such activities without involving NGOs.

“School-based de-worming exercise for primary school pupils in the state is an exercise which should not be taken with levity, considering the havoc some of these neglected tropical diseases may have caused in some parts of the country,” he stressed.

He added that the state government was fully aware of the dangers involved in the neglect of tropical diseases.

“This is why the government is lending its full backing of the de-worming exercise,” he said.

He also expressed optimism that deworming exercise would be extended to out-of-school children in each local government area of the state.

The statement further revealed that the visit by the team was to intimate the SUBEB of the forthcoming de-worming exercise, which serves as curative measure for some tropical diseases, especially in rural areas.

“The Nov. 26 annual outreach exercise is organised by the State Primary Health-care Board in collaboration with Evidence Action, targeted at primary school children.

“De-worming drugs would be administered to every child, while it would end on Nov. 29,” the statement said.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi/Donald Ugwu

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Kebbi Govt. begins vaccination of 978,000 children against measles, meningitis



The Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammadu Bashar, on Saturday urged parents in Kebbi to get their children vaccinated against measles and meningitis, to safeguard their health status.

The emir, who made the call in Birnin Kebbi at the official flag off of measles and meningitis vaccination campaign in the state, said it was in the interests of the parents to do so.

”We are calling all parents to have their children vaccinated against measles and meningitis across the state because measles and meningitis are killer diseases, so that we stand the best chance of permanently eradicating the diseases.”

The emir directed all village and ward heads in his domain to mobilise people under them to avail their children for  the vaccination.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Hajiya Halima Dikko, who was represented by Dr Abubakar Bature, said 978,000 children would be vaccinated against measles and meningitis across the 21 local government area of the state.

Dikko explained that the measles vaccination was for children aged 9-59 months, while the meningitis vaccination was for children between 12 to 59 months.

She assured parents that the vaccines were effective, safe and free.

”This campaign for the two antigens would be done concurrently by 4,000 trained health workers at 400 vaccination points in all the 225 wards across the state ”, she added.

She thanked Gov. Abubakar Bagudu and development partners such as WHO and Unicef for their support.

Also, the representative of National  Primary Health Care Development Agency, Mr Akuso Yahaya, urged parents to use the opportunity to bring their children for the vaccination.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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NAFOWA to partner with KDSG in assisting VVF patients



Resident of Hayin Banki queuing to receive medical treatment during a Community Health Outreach organised by NAFOWA in Kaduna on Saturday.  Pic NAN.

NAFOWA to partner with KDSG in assisting VVF patients

Medical Outreach

By Mohammad  Tijjani

Kaduna, Nov. 16, 2019 The Nigerian Airforce Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA) says it will collaborate with Kaduna State Government towards assisting Vesico-vaginal Fistula (VVF) patients in the areas of recovery and rehabilitation.

Dr Safiya Suleiman, NAFOWA Chairperson at the Air Training Command Kaduna, stated this while flagging off a Community  Health outreach program at Hayin Banki  community in Kaduna, on Saturday.

“Presently the Ministry of Health is in the process of collaboration with NAFOWA ATC chapter  to provide  assistance to VVF patients in Kaduna State in areas of both recovery and rehabilitation,” she said.

Suleiman explained that the association has been engaging into other initiatives aimed at empowering women in the barracks.

The Nigeria News Agency reports  that  some of the services offered at the medical outreach programme included optical, dental, family planning and immunization services.

Other include deworming, provision of treated mosquito nets and other consumables like clothings.

NAN also report that  the outreach is targeted at over 1,500 residents of Hayin Banki community members.

According to Suleiman, the association will delve into wet dry season rice farming and will upgrade its bakery to boost the financial status of the chapter.

The Chairperson express appreciation to the NAFOWA National  President, Hajiya Hafsat Sadiq for having  the vision and ability to add value to human lives within the nooks and cranny of the country.

Also speaking, the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command, AVM  Mohammed  Suleiman noted that the Airforce has always placed great value to the development and provision of adequate health facilities, to take care of its personnel and host communities.

Suleiman commended NAFOWA for impacting tremendously on the lives  of Nigerians through its programmes.

In her remarks, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza  Balarabe expressed hope that such initiative would enable bonding and regeneration of the spirit of oneness for which Kaduna is known for.

The Deputy Governor was represented by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr Mahmud Shuaibu.

Balarabe commended NAFOWA for the offer of free healthcare to communities and said the state government would collaborate with the association to provide assistance to VVF patients.

“The initiative is worthy of emulation by all other agencies and organisations domiciled in Kaduna State.

“On my part, we will not fail in providing the needed nod of approval for any venture which would be of benefit to the people  of Kaduna state, ” she said.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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Adamawa launches measles, meningitis vaccination campaign



The Adamawa State Government has commenced mass vaccination of children against measles and meningitis ‘A’ across the state.

The exercise, tagged: “2019 Integrated Measles and Miningistis ‘A’ Vaccination Campaign’’ was launched at a ceremony on Saturday, in Girei, headquarters of Girei Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The Deputy Governor of Adamawa, who is also the Chairman Taskforce on Immunisation, Chief Crowther Seth, urged all stakeholders to ensure the success of the exercise.

Seth urged parents and caregivers to avail their children the opportunity to be immunised.

While calling for sustenance of the exercise, the deputy governor lauded the effective role of the media, traditional and religious leaders, in mobilising the public for the vaccination.

He also commended development partners such as WHO, UNICEF, and others, for their support to the state in delivering quality healthcare services.

Seth directed local government chairmen in the state to show serious commitment by attending evening review meetings on the exercise to address any challenges.

In her remarks, the Executive Chairperson of Adamawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Batulu Muhammad, said measles and meningitis were highly contagious and dreaded diseases that needed to be contained with the coming dry season.

Muhammad said the state was targeting more than 800,000 children for measles vaccination and 750,000 children for meningitis in the two-week exercise.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mr Kennedy Bartimaus, said the ministry had enough doses of vaccines for the exercise; adding that parents needed to know that getting children vaccinated was a right and not a privilege.

Speaking on behalf of development partners, Mr Iyobosa Igbinovia of WHO, lauded Adamawa for embarking on and being part of the mass exercise.

Igbinovia assured the state of sustained support from the partners in areas of healthcare delivery.

In their respective remarks, the Chairman of Girei LGA, Alhaji Mohammed Njidda and the District Head of Girei, Alhaji Ahmed Mustafa, lauded the choice of Girei for the launch and assured their commitment to mobilise for its success.

Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore

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Lawmakers set agenda for achievement of Universal Health Coverage



The three-day Health Summit, organised by the National Assembly, ended on Friday with lawmakers setting out milestones to be met in order to attain the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country.

Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, who presented a four-year Strategic Framework Legislative Health Agenda (LHA), and a 2020 Activity Work plan for the achievement of UHC in the country, said the legislature would among other things ensure passage of an amended law on health insurance.

Olroriegbe said lawmakers would also ensure increase in budgetary allocations to the health sector.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the summit’s theme is “Efficiency in the Health Sector and the Role of Legislators”.

Oloriegbe, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, said that the agenda was to explore ways the legislators could apply their functions in achieving the set goals.

He said the legislators had identified some critical issues affecting the achievement of UHC in the country such as the absence of a health agenda to guide legislative actions towards achieving Universal Health Coverage across the country, among others.

The chairman said that in view of this, the summit resolved to ensure finalisation and implementation of legislative health agenda at national and state levels towards achieving UHC.

He said they also resolved to ensure collaboration between governments, the private sector, development partners, and civil society organisations, towards ensuring that every Nigerian accessed a full-range of health services at all levels.

Oloriegbe noted that the summit also recommended that government should ensure that all financial risks associated with seeking health care were mitigated.

He said that in order to achieve these targets, the summit suggested that the National Assembly should amend relevant sections of the National Health Act and ensure speedy review, passage and assent to the National Health Insurance Commission Bill.

According him, the summit also called for speedy passage of State Health Insurance (SHIS) Bills in states without a health insurance scheme.

Speaking of on the role of the legislative arm, Oloriegbe said that the National Assembly would ensure full implementation of legislative health agenda at national and state levels.

“Ensuring revision of the present Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), guidelines to be in consonance with the Act and providing oversight of operations of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

“Providing oversight to operators of tertiary health institutions and ensuring the BHCPF guidelines reflect the provisions of the Act.

“Monitoring and evaluating implementation and impact of BHCPF; ensuring that government and the private sector are accountable,” he said.

On appropriation, the lawmaker said they would ensure an increased allocation to the BHCPF, and work towards increasing overall Health Budget.

Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore

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