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NMA calls for mandatory enrolment into NHIS



The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has called for mandatory enrolment of formal and informal sectors into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Dr Ekpe Uche, the Chairman, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Chairman, made the appeal at the 2019 Physicians’ Week of the association on Wednesday in Abuja.

The theme of the 2019 Physicians’ week is: “Care of the unknown patient: An overview”.

The call came against the backdrop of the need for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the challenges facing healthcare delivery in the country.

He said that the topic for the 2019 became imperative because it bothered on the care of those who might not had the means at the time of illness or incapacitation.

According to him, this can be anybody and we have seen firsthand how the management of these patients can be unattractive.

He said that their enrolment should be the indicator that would access the country it was heading towards UHC.

“This is very important; think about a road traffic accident where an unidentified patient is managed without cost,” he said.

The Obstetrician Gynecologist said that the care of the unknown patients was multi-sectoral as well as multidisciplinary.

Dr Ezeichila Joseph, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the event, said that the 2019 physicians’ week provided the association another opportunity to review its practice.

He added that it also provided the privileged to update themselves as well as interact with each other and the rest of the world.

He stated that this was aimed at service delivery to the patients and giving back to the society.

According to him, doctors and other health givers are facing an ever more ethical challenge in the course of caring for patients.

These challenges, according to him, include questions on who should make medical treatment decisions for patients unable to speak for themselves.

“And who are unknown and unknowable to the hospital staff and take care of their medical expenses,” he said.

He stated that after the initial medical emergency had passed, medical treatment decisions must be made that could either prolong or curtail a life, noting that who should make those decisions and they should be make. (NAN)


Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola


Plateau Chief Judge frees 88 inmates



Plateau Chief Judge, Justice Yakubu Dakwak, has freed 88 inmates serving their jail terms at the various correctional centres in the state.

ASC Martha Banda, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Plateau Comamnd of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NSC) made the disclosure in statement on Wednesday in Jos.

According to her, the CJ’s action was part of his second quarter jail delivery exercise aimed at decongesting the correctional facilities in the state.

Banda explained that the CJ visited the various facilities and carried out exercise on June 1 and 2.

The Chief Judge of Plateau, Justice Yakubu Dakwak,  during his second quarter jail delivery, released 88 inmates in the state.

 “This is part of effort to decongest correctional facilities in the state.

 “At the Jos custodial centre, 49 inmates, seven at shendam, 15 at Lantang, 14 at pankshin and three at Wase  custodial centres were set free

“All the inmates discharged were those on awaiting trial category with minor offenses,” he said.

 Banda said the inmates who benefited from this exercise were grateful and assured that they would turn a new leaf.

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COVID-19: Edo NMA donates support items to UBTH



The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Edo branch, has donated protective items to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) to support the response to COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Presenting the materials, the state NMA Chairman, Dr Valentine Omoifo, appreciated the UBTH management for protecting health workers while ensuring adequate healthcare even in the face of the  pandemic.

This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen by the branch NMA Public Relations Officer, Dr Eustace Oseghale, on Tuesday in Benin.

The association assured that presentation of such items to UBTH would be sustained.

“This would be a continuous thing as more personal protective equipments and other materials will be provided to UBTH soon,” it said.

Receiving the items, the Chief Medical Director of UBTH, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, thanked the NMA for the support.

Obaseki informed them that the hospital gates remained open and the hospital currently has about 400 in patients.

“Though this is telling on the hospital revenue as materials to protect staff and patients are now very expensive,” he said.

Obaseki encouraged NMA affiliates to copy the emulate Edo NMA as the hospital needs support.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items presented included cacatin face shields, face masks, sanitiser, washing soap and gloves.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Myanmar reports 4 more COVID-19 cases, 232 in total




The total number of COVID-19 cases in Myanmar has risen to 232, with four more confirmed cases reported on Tuesday, according to a release from the Ministry of Health and Sports.

Of the newly confirmed cases, two patients are from Shan state and one each from Yangon region and Chin state, the release said.

According to the release, all patients were not in close contact with previously confirmed patients, but three of them were under quarantine as they had travel history in the past 14 days.

According to the ministry, 143 patients have recovered from the disease so far.

Myanmar has reported six deaths from COVID-19 as of Tuesday.


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10 killed, 28 injured in strong winds across Myanmar in 2 months




Ten people were killed and 28 others injured in strong wind assaults across Myanmar in nearly two months, a government offical told Xinhua on Tuesday.

Since April 9, Kachin state and Magway region suffered the most casualties due to the strong winds, said Phyu Lei Lei Tun, director of the Disaster Management Department under the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement.

During the nearly two-month period, 987 houses and six religious buildings were destroyed by the strong winds while 13,121 houses and 247 religious buildings were unroofed, she added.

It was learnt that the ministry has provided humanitarian assistance to the disaster-hit victims.

Also, people are urged to take precautionary measures against strong winds and hailstorms in the pre-monsoon months of March, April and May in the country.


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Over 2,800 Myanmar nationals arrive home by relief flights




A total of 2,830 Myanmar nationals have arrived back home by relief flights as of Monday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

So far, Myanmar authorities have repatriated its citizens who were stranded in 22 foreign countries and region due to the suspension of international commercial flight during the COVID-19 pandemic, an official from the Consular and Legal Affairs Department under the ministry told Xinhua.

Recently, 83 Myanmar citizens from Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea arrived back home by a relief flight on Monday.

“About 80 to 100 Myanmar nationals from Germany will arrive in Yangon on June 4,” the official said.

It was learnt that the returnees will be put under quarantine at designated facilities or hotels in Yangon region for 21 days on their arrivals.

According to the Health and Sports Ministry, Myanmar has reported 228 COVID-19 cases and six deaths as of early Tuesday.


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Myanmar extends entry restrictions for travellers to June 15 to contain COVID-19 spread




Myanmar’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Monday announced extension of temporary entry restrictions for travellers from all countries until June 15, as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 outbreak.

The extension will be effective to the ministry’s announcements of precautionary measures for the travellers which were set to be in force until May 31.

Complying with the restrictions, all incoming travelers including Myanmar nationals and all diplomats accredited to Myanmar and the United Nations officials working in Myanmar must follow the existing directives issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports on their arrival in Myanmar.

Also, the suspension period of all types of visas including social visit visas and visa exemption services has been extended to June 15, the ministry’s announcement said.

Myanmar has reported 228 confirmed COVID-19 cases with six deaths so far since the infectious disease was first detected in the country on March 23.


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COVID-19: 50 awaiting trial inmates released in Plateau



The Chief Judge of Plateau , Justice Yakubu Dakwak, on Monday discharged 50 awaiting trial inmates who had been in custody at the Jos Correctional Centre over different minor offences.


Dakwak said that the release of the suspects was in line with the decision of the Federal Government to decongest the custodial centres in the country, as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The Chief Judge, however, said  that those standing trial over alleged violent offences like murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, and rape did not benefit from the reprieve.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that those discharged committed minor offences such as: theft, breach of trust and inciting public disturbance.

NAN reports that the suspects had been on remand for many months with some spending over a year in jail without going on trial.

The Chief Judge while discharging the suspects, however, said they were discharged of the offences but not acquitted.

“I want to tell all of you that you have been discharged but not acquitted.

“If you go out there and commit another crime, you will come back here and we will reopen this case and still try you for the new one you committed.

“We expect you to be of good behaviour and take this as a chance to turn a new leaf and shun crime,” he said.

Dakwak said  that the exercise would continue quarterly in all the correctional centres in the state to help decongest the facilities and also promised to ensure speedy trials for accused persons.

The Controller of Corrections, Plateau  Command, Mr Samuel Aguda, said that the Command had 1,441 inmates in the state, with the Jos Custodial Centre alone accounting for 888 inmates out of the number.

Aguda said that there were 652 awaiting trial, 572 convicts and 228 condemned convicts.

He lauded the decongestion initiative stating that it would give room for social and physical distancing in the facilities in view of the rampaging effect of the Coronavirus disease.

The Controller, however, said that the permanent solution to custodial congestion was for stakeholders to look inwards and start the full implementation of the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2018 of Plateau state.

Aguda also appealed to lower court judges to start sentencing minor offenders to community service instead of sending them to custodial sentences.

Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Peter Dada (NAN)



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COVID-19 cases in Myanmar rise to 228




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General news

Gov. Okowa congratulates new NMA President, Prof. Ujah



Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has congratulated Prof. Innocent Ujah on his election as the President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

The governor’s felicitation was conveyed in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, on Sunday in Asaba.

Ujah, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, was the immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos.

He was elected with 347 votes at the association’s Annual General Conference and Delegates Meeting held online on Saturday, to defeat his closest rival, Oguzie Jerry, who got 19 votes.

Okowa described Ujah as a “distinguished medical scholar and outstanding patriot.”

He said that Ujah had distinguished himself as a professional with proven progressive experience in National Maternal Health policy development in Nigeria.

He noted that the new NMA president was involved in national integrated planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation activities in the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory.

The governor further noted Ujah had contributed to the institution of safe motherhood activities in Nigeria since 1990.

Okowa urged Ujah to bring his wealth of experience to bear on his new task, saying that he should give prime attention to adherence to medical ethics by medical practitioners.

“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate you, Professor Innocent Ujah, on your election as President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

“It is a thing of joy to note that you won the election with a very wide margin which indicated the overwhelming acceptance of your competence and ability to lead the professional body of medical doctors in Africa’s largest country.

While I congratulate you on this victory, let me remind you that the task ahead is daunting and onerous and you must bring your wealth of experience to bear in the discharge of your duties as president of the association.

“I, therefore, charge you to remain committed as you lead the NMA to promote universal health coverage and to ensure that Nigeria flattens the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Okowa said.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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