Health

VASA survey: Data collection on infant mortality commences in Ebonyi

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The National Population Commission (NPopC) has commenced the 2019 Data Collection of Verbal and Social Autopsy (VASA) on infant mortality in 12 Local Government Areas of Ebonyi State.

The data collection is also taking place simultaneously across the 36 states of the federation and FCT.

The Acting Chairman, Bimbola Salu-hundeyin of the commission made this known on Monday in Abakaliki during a press conference on the commencement of 2019 Verbal and Social Autopsy (VASA) Survey.

Salu-hundeyin, represented by the State Coordinator, Mr Edward Ogbu, said that VASA was a research study that sought to obtain data to determine the causes and contributory factors to deaths in children aged 0-5 years old.

The acting chairman said that objectives of the survey were to get updated information on early childhood mortality rate and estimate of the prevalence.

He said others included determination of cultural, behavioural, social and health system factors, infant and under-five mortality among other objectives of the survey.

He said that the agency was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health and other key Ministries, Departments and Agencies to conduct the survey to assist policy makers with reliable data to plan.

Salu-hundeyin added that the survey would also formulate policies for health sector to maternal and child health in the country.

The acting chairman said the result of the survey would provide major causes of under-five mortality in the country from the year 2013 to 2018.

“The 2019 edition of the VASA survey is second in the series conducted by the commission.

“The most common causes of neonatal deaths in children are the early birth, severe infections such as septicemia, pneumonia, menine, tetanus among others.

“For the 2019 VASA survey, there will be focus more on responses from caregivers in households, group discussions and in-depth interviews within the community.

Salu-hundeyin however, stated that the commission was strategically prepared and committed to generating data to aid planning in health sector.

He urged government officials at the state and local level, traditional rulers, religious and community leaders and the media to give necessary support to successful implementation of the exercise.

Edited & Vetted By: Maureen Atuonwu
(NAN)

 

Health

2030: FHIS seeks adequate policies to achieve UHC

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Dr Ahmed Danfulani, the Director, FCT Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS), on Thursday advocated adequate policies to drive and achieve the agenda of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) before the year 2030.

Danfulani made the call in Abuja during a rally to acknowledge the effort of FHIS and to gather support towards achieving the goal of UHC before the deadline.

According to him, there is need for adequate policies to ensure that we have universal health coverage in this country, especially for the residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

To achieve this, there must be collective activities by all healthcare providers to ensure that we have quality healthcare services.

More importantly, all of us must come together to achieve UHC by the year 2030, UHC requires that nobody must be left behind, everybody must be carried along and when you carry them along, they must not suffered any financial hardships.

Health expenses must stop, there must be access to quality healthcare and facilities in the shortest bridge of all our communities, people must not travel long distance before they can access quality healthcare.

Adequate policy, adequate fund release, adequate provision of law and order, adequate equipment of human resource and without these sir, we cannot achieve the universal health coverage that we are building,’’ he said.

Danfulani thanked the Federal Government for signing the 2014 UHC Act into law that gave birth to the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), adding that it was in the right direction.

He also thanked the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) for playing their role towards the achievement of the goal.

Speaking also, the FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, said that the FCTA was committed to keeping the promise of meeting the deadline of 2030 for UHC for all and sundry in the FCT.

The minister, who was represented by Dr Lazarus Gaza, the Director of Human Resources Management, said that it was necessary for the nation to have healthy individuals for economic progress.

We have a saying that health is wealth, if a nation has healthy citizens; it means that nation is wealthy and it goes to say that health is assets that the nation can have.

If we have healthy citizens, it means the nation can be wealthy and productive, the FCT administration is committed to achieving the UHC by year 2030,’’ he reiterated.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the rally/road walk took off from the FHIS office in the Central Area, down to Area 10 through the Festival road to Area 11.

Edited by: Oluyinka Fadare/Felix Ajide
(NAN)
(NAN)

 

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Ondo State: 400,000 residents to benefit from health scheme

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The state government is also considering procurement of health insurance cover for people with disabilities. This is to ensure universal coverage of the vulnerable in the state,” he stated.

Oyeneyin said that apart from the vulnerable persons, all other residents were expected to pay a premium for their health insurance under the ODCHS.

We promise that these packages for the formal and informal sectors will be robust and affordable to ensure we grow the coverage every year till we have universal health coverage in the state.

Our health insurance policies will run for one year and cover the principal enrollee, a spouse and 4 children.

The hospitals to be accredited and put forward as providers of the scheme shall be both public and private hospitals found suitable in all the 18 local government areas of the state,” he said.

Oyeneyin urged the governments, citizens and donors to contribute to the scheme, which in his words: ”health insurance is the most effective and evidence-based contributory mechanism for health across the world”.

He called on well-meaning individuals and bodies to procure health insurance plans for their aged parents, family members and friends, adding that churches and mosques should also do it for their indigent members.

Edited by: Victor Asije/Yemi Idris-Aduloju
(NAN)
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Use National Health Act to fast track UHC, Anthropologist tells FG

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Mrs. Abieyuwa Abel, a Social Anthropologist, has called on the Federal Government to use the National Health Act (NHA), 2014, to fast track Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.

Abel made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency , on Wednesday in Abuja.

She was speaking ahead of the commemoration of International Day of UHC, slated for Dec. 12.

NAN reports that on Dec. 12, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously endorsed a resolution urging countries to accelerate progress toward UHC.

The idea was that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality, affordable health care as an essential priority for international development.

In 2014, the UN started to observe Dec. 12 as UHC Day to commemorate the date on which the General Assembly officially recognised the importance of UHC.

NAN reports that the theme of the 2019 UHC Day is ‘Keep the Promise’

The social anthropologist said that the NHA was a viable framework, the implementation of which could help the country and its people achieve UHC.

This Act sets the background to earmark adequate public resources to health towards strengthening primary health care through the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.

Fifty per cent of the fund will be managed by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), to ensure access to a minimum package of health services for all Nigerians.

forty-five  per cent of the fund will be deployed to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCA), for primary health-care facility upgrade and maintainable provision of essential drugs, and deployment of human resources to primary health-care facilities.

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) will manage the remaining five per cent for national health emergency and response to epidemics.

Counterpart funding from state and local governments is at the core of the National Health Act implementation,” she said.

According to her, resource mobilisation and accountability are key factors for successful implementation of the National Health Act.

She said that though there was substantial evidence that public financing was key to the achievement of UHC, government expenditure on health remained had low, with domestic resource mobilisation weak.

Abel said that President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration should creatively and aggressively explore innovative domestic financing despite attendant fiscal constraints.

She said that tax avoidance and inefficient tax collection were the major roadblocks that the President should tackle to improve domestic revenue generation.

The social anthropologist said that sufficient funds could be obtained through taxes on products that pose risk to health such as tobacco and alcohol, and progressive levies on phone calls or mobile phone purchases.

Other sources of income she identified included taxes on air tickets, foreign exchange transactions, and luxury goods.

Abel said that the government could also generate substantial fiscal capacity to fund national health reforms by cutting the country’s enormous budget for fuel subsidies.

Buhari-led government can also ‘assert vision and control’ to mobilise and align resources from domestic and external sources, and ensure efficient use of such resources to increase access to high-quality health care for Nigerians.

The government should implement the 2001 Abuja declaration by allocating at least 15 per cent of its budget to health.

With all of these in place, the government can demonstrate its political will to achieve the 2014 Presidential Summit Declaration on UHC and secure the crucial public support needed for other reforms,” she said.

According to her, government should make health insurance compulsory by facilitating the amendment of the 1999 NHIS Act 35.

Abel said that with full implementation of NHIS, the 36 states of the federation and FCT should create their health insurance agencies with guidance from the NHIS, and implement innovative ways to capture the formal and informal sectors.

She described UHC as a political choice, which required vision, courage, and long-term thinking.

“It is the best investment for a safer, fairer and healthier Nigeria that is needed for people’s health and sustainable development.’’

She said that universal health care could be cheaper if Nigerians had the courage to fight the existing powers and corporations.

Forty-nine of the 50 most developed nations in the world have universal health care.

The one nation where it is not yet a reality is the one we are living in. It can be a reality here only if our government keep to its promise.

NAN recalls that the UHC international day has become the annual rallying point for the growing global movement for Health for All.

The day aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage.

Each year, on Dec. 12, UHC advocates raise their voices to share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, to call on leaders to make bigger and smarter investments in health, and to remind the world that Health for All is imperative to create the world we want.

Edited by: Bayo Sekoni and Ephraims Sheyin
(NAN)
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NYSC to review collaboration with NHIS on healthcare of corps members

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National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has reiterated its determination to review an existing collaboration with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) on provision of free healthcare services to corps members.

The information is in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja by Mrs Adenike Adeyemi, Director, Press and Public Relations of NYSC.

Adeyemi stated that the NYSC Director General, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, made this known  when he received Prof. Mohammed Sambo, the Executive Secretary of NHIS in his office.

She quoted Ibrahim as saying “the collaboration between the two establishments dated back to 2016 at the instance of the Federal Government which directed corps members to enroll in NHIS.”

Ibrahim who restated the scheme’s zero tolerance to night journeys by members, stressed the need for urgent attention to the health needs of corps members.

Sambo then congratulated Ibrahim on his appointment as 18th Chief Executive Officer of NYSC.

He also commended the NYSC management “for its untiring efforts in preventing unqualified persons from participating in the National Youth Service Corps programme with its punitive measures.”

The chief executive promised that NHIS would deploy resources within its reach to ensure that Nigerians accessed quality healthcare.

He added that NHIS would consolidate on its previous achievements and also device new strategies to reach out to oganisations in the country to enroll their employees in the scheme.

Sambo said that the NHIS was also making efforts toward ensuring that Nigerians in the diaspora benefitted from the scheme.

Edited by: Bayo Sekoni/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
(NAN)
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FG says tackling global health problems requires global disciplinary cooperation, expertise

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The Federal Government says tackling complex global health problems in the country requires interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral expertise and cooperation from agencies outside the health sector.

Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora, the Minister for State for Health, stated this on Wednesday at the five-year National One Health Strategic Plan launch in Abuja.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the Nigeria One Health initiative has the vision of creating a nation of healthy people and animals in a balanced ecosystem.

NAN reports that co-launchers of the strategic plan are the Federal Ministry of Health, (FMoH), through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Environment.

Mamora said that most times when there were cholera outbreaks in the country, the public was quick to question the roles of FMoH and NCDC.

According to him, majority of Nigerians are also quick to forget that cholera outbreaks happen due to poor water and sanitation facilities, factors that are not under the direct control of FMoH.

It is therefore critical for us to come together to develop joint preparedness and response plans for the infectious disease outbreaks that affect us.

One Health offers us the opportunity to acknowledge these shared interests, set common goals, and drive towards team work to benefit the overall health of a nation,” he said.

The Minister, however, noted that Nigeria had developed a strategic plan to meet its human, animal and environmental health challenges.

He said the approach would drive innovations that were important to managing outbreaks, as well as offer synergy across various ministries.

Mamora said that the goal of the strategic plan would result in improved communication, evidence-based solutions, improved surveillance, decrease in long time response to outbreaks, and an overall improved economy.

Several factors have enabled the One Health movement in Nigeria, including the strong platform provided by NCDC as the national One Health secretariat.

Today, our disease technical working groups and Rapid Response Teams for yellow fever, Monkeypox, Lassa fever and cholera have representatives from FMoH , Agriculture and Environment.

We must recognise that there may be barriers to implementing this strategy. However, it is up to us all across the three ministries to dedicate the required resources for Nigeria’s One Health strategy implementation,” he advised.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General NCDC, said that the five- year plan would integrate human, animal and environmental health management for improved health security in the country.

Ihekweazu said that the strategic plan, jointly developed by the three ministries, signified a high priority to the One Health approach.

The NCDC boss said that the coordination Unit would be critical to ensuring health security for the country.

He stated that the collaboration would also address the emerging health challenges arising from the animal human interface and attaining the core capacities of International Health Regulations.

Ihekweazu noted that the Plan was a significant document that would ensure the readiness of Nigeria in response to zoonotic disease outbreaks.

He, however, said that NCDC remained fully committed to working with sister agencies and all relevant stakeholders to achieve the Plan.

Dr Dooshima Kwange, a Director and representive from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that one of the challenges the country faced was the spread of infectious diseases.

Kwange said that dealing with such challenges called for a stronger collaboration between human and animal health organisations.

Edited by: Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
(NAN)
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