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Sickle cell: Association presents Bill to Kebbi House of Assembly



The Kebbi State Sickle Cell Association (KESCA) has presented a draft bill on sickle cell aimed at curbing sickle cell disorder circle in the state.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the bill was tagged “Kebbi Sickle Cell Law”.

The bill was presented to the Speaker of the House, Alhaji Abdulmumin Kamba, on Friday in Birnin Kebbi by the State Coordinator and Founder of KESCA ,Hajiya Hadiza Shantali.

While presenting the bill, Shantali said the proposed law was necessary because of the financial, economic and emotional trauma patients and parents of sickle cell go through.

According to her, the individuals with sickle cell disorder also go through lot of pains and constant hospitalisation from the time it manifests from six months to the end of their lifetime.

“They go through constant hospitalisation, and are always in need of blood because of the anaemia.

“In this regard, we are happy to inform you that KESCA is collaborating with 21 NGOs ,CSOs and CBOs soliciting for your immense support and that of the entire members of Kebbi State House of Assembly to consider this bill into law,” she pleaded.

The coordinator expressed optimism that if the law was implemented, it would assist individuals living with sickle cell disorder to get proper care and attention during crises and emergencies at hospitals.

“If implemented, it will stop sickle cell cycle in Kebbi state; if genetic counselling is made into law, new unborn babies will be free from inheritance of sickle cell genes,” she said.

Responding, Kamba commended the group for collaborating to present the bill to the state legislature.

The speaker promised that the house would do justice to the bill.

“It is important to people of Kebbi state, especially people living with sickle cell disorder,” he said.

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola


Centre treats 50 VVF patients in Kebbi



The Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF) Centre in Kebbi, in collaboration with Fistula Foundation, an NGO,

treated 50 fistula patients in the state.

The Manager of the centre, Dr Abubakar Dakingari, made this known in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday.

He said that the patients were treated during one week free medical outreach on VVF disease at the VVF centre in Birnin Kebbi.

VVF is an abnormal fistulous tract extending between the bladder and the vagina that allows continuous involuntary discharge of urine into the vaginal


Dakingari said “our expectations were to treat 50 women but we treated 48 out of the 50 and the two would also be treated.

“We have 15 doctors from Fistula Foundation, as well as nurses and other medical practitioners helping in the exercise.”

The manager said that the drugs and other necessary facilities provided by the state government and the foundation made the exercise successful.

He added that “the patients came from various places within and outside the state, as well as neighbouring countries of Niger and Benin Republics.

“Most patients were affected due to prolonged labour while giving birth and genital mutilation.

“The centre offers free treatment to patients from within and outside the country.

“Many women affected by the condition are from remote villages that lacked roads and functional healthcare facilities.”

He commended the foundation for complementing the efforts of the state government toward improving healthcare delivery in the state.

Edited by Cecilia Odey/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)

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Board Chairman tasks UCH management on international best practices



Alh. Ibrahim Shettima, Chairman, Board of Management, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, has tasked the management and members of staff of the hospital on international best practices to make hospital the leading medical service delivery centre in Nigeria.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Shettima stated this in Ibadan at the award night/dinner marking the 62nd anniversary of the hospital.

Shettima stated that UCH, University of Ibadan and the College of Medicine have a symbiotic relationship and as such, they must collaborate to serve as benchmark in health care delivery in the country.

He lamented on the downward slide in the ranking of the three institutions in Africa as well as the latest ranking by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

“I came here to challenge the management and staffers of these three institutions. I want to let us know that we are in the era of competition.

“You cannot rest on your oars. Your good is not enough and like the saying goes, good is the enemy of great and we have always wanted to be great.

“If you look at our vision, UCH is to be a flagship for West Africa and the first choice in medical services in Africa.

“If you look at our core values, some of them were implemented in collaboration with other parties, but we need to do more so that UI, UCH and the College of Medicine will be leading light in medical services and tertiary education in Nigeria.

“As we are celebrating, we should know that the road ahead is still very rough and we need to guard our loins so that we can forever retain our pride position of leadership for which Ibadan is known,” he said.

Shettima noted that with the research incentives for staff put in place by the management of the hospital and others, he was hopeful that the hospital would be better for it.

He, however, charged the management to faithfully implement the two communiqués, which were based on the core mission and vision of the hospital for a better result.

Earlier in his address, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, highlighted his achievements and that of his management team in less than a year in office.

He stated that the hospital got a Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award as the best tertiary healthcare provider in 2019 by the National Healthcare Development Agency.

He, however, solicited for support from well-meaning Nigerians to contribute to the development of the hospital.

Otegbayo stated that the hospital had continued to prioritise quality service delivery and staff welfare.

“We have achieved the following, among others, since we assumed office: renovation of dilapidated staircases in the east wing of the hospital, renovation of Otunba Tunwase Children Emergency Ward (OTCHEW), provision of stainless chairs for patients’ relations and acquisition of new lift,” he said.

NAN reports that the event featured award of grand patrons to Pastor Enoch Adeboye of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Chief Subomi Balogun and the Etsu Nupe, Dr Yahaya Abubakar.

Other awardees were Sen. Hoses Agboola, Chief Bamidele Dada and some corporate organisations including the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), for their contributions to the development of the hospital.

NAN also reports that some members of staff in both the junior and senior cadres received various awards at the event.

Edited by Saidu Adamu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Zaria: College BoT chairman harps on character molding above learning



Alhaji Sambo Idris-Sambo, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Muslim Community College of Health Science and Technology (MCCHT), Funtua has said that the college places high premium on character molding above learning.

Idris-Sambo, who is District Head of Funtua, said good character was key to positive values, societal transformation and national growth and development.

This is contained in a statement by the college Public Relations Officer (PRO), Malam Abdullahi Lawal, made available to Nigeria News Agency in Zaria, Kaduna State on Thursday.

The PRO said the BOT Chairman made the disclosure at the 2019/2020 matriculation ceremony of the college held in Funtua, Katsina State.

“The college attaches high premium to character above learning. This is because learning without good character will only lead to destruction of the custodian of such knowledge and the society at large.

“Hence, any conduct capable of corruption and against our collective morality engenders serious undesirable repercussions upon the person in breach,” he said.

According to him, the name of the college underscores the commitment to the societal norms, communal heritage and good cultural practices that constitutes its core values.

He said any infractions of the core values would be decisively dealt with by both the college management and the Board of Trustees.

In his speech, Provost of the college, Alhaji Umar Aminu-Imam charged the matriculating students to accord due priority to culturally accepted dress code.

He assured that the college was striving to promote academic excellence by putting in place measures to encourage achievers and discourage failures.

“In line with our policy of calling a spade a spade, we will not hesitate to withdraw weak students that could not measure up academically and who show no readiness to work hard and achieve academic excellence.

“All institutions of learning aspire to produce graduates that excel in both character and learning; hence, our college embedded Islamic moral values in the training curricula of its students.

“The curriculum of the institution is replete with Islamic moral precept and culturally acceptable values that will help in making the graduates more attuned to our social values,” he said.

Aminu-Imam reminded the new students that the college would prioritise academic excellence, positive character molding and efficiency in service delivery.

He said the college was adequately prepared to offer skilled health workforce to the nation’s health system, adding that it was one of the reasons the college employed the best brains in various fields of endeavour.

The Provost said in line with this, the college provided conducive environment and adequate facilities for effective teaching and learning.

He charged the students to shun vices like drug abuse, cultism and absenteeism in order to positively reap the fruits of their stay in the college.

edited by Emmanuel Nwoye/Ismail Abdulaziz

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NGO promotes demand for nutrition, health services in Kaduna rural communities



Save the Children International (SCI), an NGO, on Thursday said that it had intensified community dialogue and awareness campaign to increase demand for nutrition and health services in rural areas of Kaduna State.

SCI’s Nutrition Advocacy Advisor, Malam Isah Ibrahim, made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Kaduna.

Ibrahim said that the measure was to reduce the burden of malnutrition and child mortality in the state.

He pointed out that poor maternal nutrition and health among young women, as well as poor access to health services were among key drivers of malnutrition in rural communities.

He described the low uptake of nutrition and health services in healthcare facilities in Sambam Ward and other wards in Jaba Local Government Area as “very disturbing’’.

According to him, the development is negatively impacting on antenatal care, child delivery, early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices with accompanying consequences on healthy growth and development of children.

Ibrahim said that to address the problem, the NGO had recently supported a community dialogue and awareness campaign at Sambam Ward to improve the uptake of nutrition and health services in the area.

The advisor said that the dialogue was part of strategies to address the scourge of malnutrition, which was closely associated with poor health status of women and children.

He said that the goal was to get community members and relevant stakeholders in the area to look at the low patronage of healthcare facilities during child delivery in the community.

“The meeting was particularly designed to build a common understanding in promoting individual, family and community action that would improve maternal, infant and young child nutrition in the community.

“Such dialogue provides the opportunity to raise awareness and understanding about critical nutrition-related health issues and mobilise support for action,” Ibrahim said.

He said that responses during the meeting showed that the women were not often motivated to access health services in government facilities because of the cost, attitude of health workers and transportation cost.

“For example, some of the women identified physical and emotional abuses by health workers as barriers that discouraged them from patronising public health facilities for delivery.

“They also identified non-availability of health workers to provide 24-hour services and high cost of the services even when available.

“The women particularly appealed for the recruitment and redeployment of health personnel from urban to rural areas where their services are highly needed.

“This is a good feedback that will enable policy makers take necessary action,” he said.

Ibrahim added that the women were sensitised on the importance of optimal and appropriate feeding of children under two years, through early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding practices.

He described optimal and appropriate infant and young child feeding, access to health services and childcare as “essential elements for the prevention of malnutrition, illness and mortality among children in the state’’.

“High rate of malnutrition pose significant public health and development challenges for the state and the nation in general.

“Stunting for example, in addition to its increased risk of death, is also linked to poor cognitive development, low performance in education and low productivity in adulthood,”  Ibrahim said.

Edited by Saidu Adamu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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UHC in Nigeria achievable through institution of quality control mechanisms – NHIS



Prof. Nasir Sambo, Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme, (NHIS) says Universal Health Coverage (UHC), is achievable if Nigeria institutes a mechanism to control quality of health services in the country.

Sambo said this while, delivering a keynote address at the Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference, organised by Nigeria Infectious Disease Society (NIDS), on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the theme of the conference is; “The Role of Universal Health Coverage in Control of Infectious Disease in Nigeria”.

The Executive Secretary said that a multi-sectoral action was also required to achieve UHC in the country.

“Actions like ensuring the provision of critical physical and human resources essential to the functioning of health facilities and services from other sectors.

“Ensuring alignment of health governance mechanisms, policies and programmes of other sectors to address key health determinants and immediate threats.

“Monitoring the health system and impacts of interventions that are the core business of other sectors,” he explained.

Speaking on infectious diseases, Sambo said in spite of the growing significance of non-communicable diseases, communicable diseases remained the biggest threat to human existence.

According to him, infectious diseases such influenzas, Ebola, Cholera, Measles, and Meningitis, pose a great global health threat to humanity.

He noted that the growing significance of antimicrobial resistance was making the threat very scary.

Sambo said that most countries in the world were not ready to prevent, detect and effectively respond to epidemics of infectious diseases.

He stated that when these diseases crossed international borders, they had become a global health security.

The Executive Secretary advised infectious disease physicians to also expand their focus to external factors for efficiency in dealing with such outbreaks.

He disclosed that NHIS was currently undergoing transformation based on a three point agenda.

“We are restoring a value system that will transform NHIS into a credible result-driven organisation.

“Engendering transparency and accountability in the centre of operations of the scheme.

“Accelerating the drive towards achieving universal access to quality healthcare for all Nigerians, ” he said.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said that the center was working with the 36 states of the federation to prevent, detect, and control public health diseases.

Ihekweazu, who was represented by Dr Priscilla Ibekwe, Director, Health Emergency Preparedness and Response, NCDC, said that with its current population density, tropical climate, high level of movement and migration, Nigeria was at a high risk of disease outbreaks.

The NCDC boss said that the centre had evolved a project to support each state with a Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, aimed at improving coordination of outbreak response in the country.

He said NCDC had also deployed Surveillance, Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System for digital surveillance, and training of state epidemiologists.

The director-general also said that the centre would strengthen the capacities of states for outbreak preparedness and response through the Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers.

“We have no choice but to improve our level of preparedness and capacity to respond to disease outbreaks,” he said.

Earlier in his address, Prof Abdularazaq Habib, President NIDS, said that the society had regrouped and formed working committees to facilitate its day to day operations.

Habib said that the clinical guidelines committees had been active in formulating and disseminating best ways of controlling meningitis during the 2014-2017 outbreak.

He said that the research committee had succeeded in putting together a multi-centre proposal on control and prevention of infectious diseases by gathering data from participating investigators and facilities across the country.

Edited by Saidu Adamu/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)

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World Antibiotic Awareness: Misuse of antibiotics dangerous to health- WHO warns




Abuja, Nov. 20, 2019 The World Health Organisation (WHO), says misuse of antibiotics is dangerous to health and can put people at risk.

that it killed 700, 000 people worldwide annually.

endangered health security and “our progress towards universal health coverage, by threatening to reverse medical advances of the twentieth century.

“It reduces our ability to treat diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea and cancer. AMR also threatens our ability to conduct surgeries and to care for premature babies.

“This silent pandemic is already leading to about,  700, 000 deaths worldwide each year and if left unchecked, AMR could cause up to 10 million deaths annually by 2050.

“People living in developing countries and those in fragile contexts, affected by conflicts and violence, are particularly vulnerable,” she said.

Moeti, represented by WHO Officer-in-Charge, Dr Clement Peters said, “We are seeing high resistance to common pathogens such as 98 per cent fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli, meaning there are limited treatment options for people that get this infection.

“Key challenges in combating AMR include: weak regulatory systems facilitating proliferation of substandard and falsified medicines; limited implementation of standards for clean water, sanitation and hygiene, and to prevent and control infections; and a lack of reliable data,”  the expert explained.

 were working with countries to address these challenges by implementing “One Health” national action plans. “

 bring together different sectors and disciplines to build stronger regulatory systems, to improve surveillance, and to develop policies to promote appropriate antibiotic use among humans, and in livestock and agriculture.

According to her, in the African Region, nine of 47 countries now have functioning multisectoral working groups on AMR and 19 countries have enrolled in the Global AMR Surveillance System (GLASS).

“Twenty-four countries have legislation on the prescription and sale of antimicrobials for human use and six have national monitoring systems for consumption and rational use of antimicrobials in human health.

“Together, we need to accelerate action to reduce the increasing prevalence of drug-resistant infections,” she said.

Moeti urged Nigerians to do more to handle antibiotics with care, adding that governments could adequately ensure national action plans, promote AMR governance, facilitate multisectoral collaboration, and increase access to clean water and sanitation.

She said that patients should only use antibiotics prescribed by a certified health professional.

The Regional Director urged health workers to always follow infection prevention and control practices, and only prescribe and dispense antibiotics when they were truly needed.

According to her, the private sector can invest in research and development of new antibiotics while the agricultural industry can reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock farming.

“Working together and taking a holistic approach to safeguarding antibiotics, will help to ensure that we can all look forward to a healthier future,” she said.

This Nigeria News Agency reports that the 2019 theme is “handle antibiotics with care.”

Edited by Saidu Adamu/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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