World Pneumonia Day: Nigeria contributes highest number of child pneumonia globally – UNICEF



As the World marks the Pneumonia Day on Tuesday, a new analysis by the UNICEF says Nigeria contributes the highest number of global pneumonia deaths.
The UNICEF analysis produced in September 2019 is based on WHO and Maternal and Child Epidemiology Estimation Group (MCEE) interim estimates and the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation estimates for the year 2018.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that pneumonia is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, and leaves children fighting for breath as their lungs fill with pus and fluid.
The World Pneumonia Day is commemorated annually on Nov. 12 and the theme for 2019 is “Healthy Lungs for All”.

According to the analysis, Nigerian children made up the highest number of those who died, with an estimated 162,000 deaths in 2018 – 443 deaths per day, or 18 every hour.
It said that pneumonia claimed the lives of more than 800,000 children under the age of five last year globally, or one child every 39 seconds.
In Nigeria, 19 per cent of child deaths were due to pneumonia in 2018, and it was the biggest killer of children under-five in 2017.
More children under the age of five died from the disease in 2018 than from any other, 437,000 children under-five died due to diarrhoea and 272,000 to malaria.
Five countries were responsible for more than half of child pneumonia deaths: Nigeria 162,000; India 127,000; Pakistan 58,000; the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 40,000 and Ethiopia 32,000.
Remarking on the situation, Pernille Ironside, Acting UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, said: “Pneumonia is a deadly disease and takes so many children’s lives – even though this is mostly preventable.
“And yet, this killer disease has been largely forgotten on the global and national health agendas. We can and must change this.
“Increased investment is critical to the fight against this disease.
“Only through cost-effective protective, preventative and treatment interventions delivered to where children are, including especially the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach, will we be able to save hundreds of thousands of lives in Nigeria,’’ Ironside said in a statement.
According to UNICEF, the biggest risk factors for child pneumonia deaths in Nigeria include malnutrition, indoor air pollution from use of solid fuels, and outdoor air pollution.
Also, living in areas with high levels of air pollution and unsafe water, are at far greater risk.
To address the disease, UNICEF says it can be prevented with vaccines, and easily treated with low-cost antibiotics if properly diagnosed.
A joint global call to action by six health and children’s organisation to tackle the epidemic includes that governments in the worst-affected countries should develop and implement Pneumonia Control Strategies to reduce child pneumonia deaths.
They also called for improved access to primary healthcare as part of a wider strategy for Universal Health Coverage as well as increased funding for research and innovation.
Also, richer countries, international donors and private sector companies are urged to boost immunisation coverage by reducing the cost of key vaccines and ensuring the successful replenishment of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola


Doctors map out measures to forestall litigations over management of patients’ ailments



In a bid to forestall litigations that may arise from the management of patients’ ailments, medical practitioners in Nigeria, have mapped out strategies to sensitise members.

Dr Ayokunmi Sowade, President, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Ebute Meta chapter, made this known on Saturday in Lagos.

Sowade spoke on the sidelines of the first Scientific Conference of the association with the theme: “Health Practices and Medical Jurisprudence”.

She said that doctors had all concluded and agreed that it was better to stay in harmony with their patients than to resort to legal actions.

“In order to achieve this, doctors will ensure there is adequate communication in a language that their patients understand to avoid litigations against them,” Sowade said.

She said doctors had also made it a point of duty among members to “write down all discussions between them and their patients in black and white to ensure that they are free from legal action”.

Contributing, Dr Victor Fakunle, Vice President of ARD, said it was no longer news that there were many legal actions against doctors in Nigeria in the course of management of their patients.

Fakunle said that many patients were now aware of their rights, and often times, doctors found themselves in the court room answering questions about how they managed a patient.

He said that because of the numbers of litigations against many doctors nowadays, “we felt it’s time for us to sensitise them.”

According to him, this is to let them know what should be done for a patient, so that they won’t infringe on his rights in the course of caring for him.

“To avoid losing our hard earned licences in the course of trying to care for patients, we felt this is the time to bring up this kind of discussion to enlighten our doctors.

“This is to let them know how to manage a patient in order to prevent undue litigation,” he said.

Also, a Public Health Physician, Dr Deji Esan, said that there had been a lot of issues concerning healthcare, doctors, patients and generally, the whole public.

Esan said that theme of the conference was very important, because doctors had seen a lot of cases whereby the hospital was sued for act of negligence.

“This is why doctors should also be aware of the law and what they should do in trying to prevent legal actions.

“Also, the healthcare system in Nigeria is being over worked and doctors are humans.

“They also face the same challenges the society is facing: poor salaries, the economy and that is why we need an improved workforce in the country.

“Improved packages and salaries for doctors also; so they should be able to give their best, which makes the topic very apt,” he said.

Esan said that the topic was to help prevent legal actions in the health sector.

Edited by: Olagoke Olatoye


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NMA lauds Gov. Ganduje for appointing 4 medical doctors as Commissioners



The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has commended Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State for appointing four medical doctors in his cabinet as commissioners.

This was contained in a statement by Abba Anwar, the Chief Press Secretary to Ganduje and issued to newsmen in Kano on Friday.

According to Anwar, NMA President, Dr Francis Faduyile gave the commendation while presenting an Award of Excellence to Ganduje after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association tagged “Kano 2019”.

“Ganduje is an achiever in the overall health sector, who agrees to enlist the sector among key top most priority areas of his administration.

“Permit me to congratulate Kano state for its various positive contributions to commerce and agriculture in the country over the years, and the contributions of the he governor towards effective healthcare delivery in the state.

“I also want to congratulate the governor for appointing four medical doctors in his cabinet as commissioners. I believe our members will greatly contribute to the success of the administration,” faduyile said.

The NMA president, said part of the reasons for the special award to the governor, included his unflinching support and concern for the health care delivery system.

He also commended Ganduje for completing the Ultra Modern Specialist Hospitals of Khalifa Isyaku Rabiu Paediatric Hospital, Zoo road and Muhammadu Buhari Specialist Hospital, Giginyu.

In his response, the governor appreciated the association for choosing Kano state to host the NEC meeting.

“We are doing our best to strengthen our health care delivery system in the state. That is why we allocated 16 per cent of our budget to the healthcare sector, “ Ganduje said.

Some of the dignitaries at the event were Dr Tanko Yusuf-Sununu, Chairman House Committee on Health, and Dr Nasir Gwarzo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health.

Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Ali Baba-Inuwa


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Aisha Buhari urges governors’ wives to advance community health



Aisha Buhari Foundation (ABF) under the aegis of Future Assured programme has urged  wives of Governors to actively encourage community health in their respective states.

Buhari also urged them to encourage their husbands to invest more in health care services.

Wife of the President made the call in her speech, read by Hajiya Bilkisu Halilu, on Friday in Abakaliki during her visit to the state for a mission outreach organised by the foundation.

Mrs Buhari said that upgrading community health would ensure better healthcare in facilities, adding that her outreach programmes were aligned with her vision of assuring health and well-being of communities in the country.

She said that food items and packs of provisions presented at Mile Four Maternity Hospital and Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital (AE-FETH) both in Abakaliki were for patients at the hospitals as part of the foundation’s vision of support.

“It gives me pleasure to be in Ebonyi for a mercy mission outreach organised by Aisha Buhari Foundation under the future assured programme as a gift for the benefit of people in the hospital.

“I call on governors’ wives to promote community health in their respective states for better life and well-being of people,” Mrs Buhari said.

She, however, commended Gov. David Umahi on the attention being given to health care in the state and his wife for being a pillar of support for the women.

Hajiya Mariam Hadi, leader of the delegation appreciated the hospitality witnessed in the state while she commended the numerous achievements made in the state.

Mrs Rachael Umahi, while commending the delegation and the kind gesture from the  Buhari Foundation, expressed satisfaction with her encouragements to the state that had been regular.

“I am delighted over your frequent support given to patients in the state and assure more upgrade in healthcare services, ” Umahi said

Dr Emeka Ogah, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of AE-FETH, said the governor and wife had been supportive in offsetting medical bills of indigent patients as well as procurement of equipments and vehicles for the hospital.

Ogah who was represented by the Chairman, Medical Advisory Council (CMAC) of AE-FETH, Dr Robinson Onoh, said  the visit of the foundation was unique as it aimed at giving attention to patients in the state.

“For us, the visit to the hospital and gift to patients is unique. We appreciate her coming and support,” Ogah said.

The Hospital Administrator of the Mile Four Maternity Hospital, Sister Charity Munonye, commended the advocacy of the foundation and its support.

Munonye explained that since 1946 the hospital had been focused mainly on health care of mothers’ and children’s well-being and other services rendered for humanity.

She also applauded  numerous supports from the governor’s wife project, Family Succour and Upliftment Foundation, in upgrading and advancing the  well-being of people in the state.

“We have been looking forward to her coming because she has  been coming to the hospital with support,” Munonye said.

Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu


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Abia Assembly pledges legislative support to universal health coverage



The Abia House of Assembly has expressed its readiness to ensure that the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) becomes functional in the state through effective legislation.

Mr Stanley Nwabuisi, Chairman, House Committee on Health and Women Affairs, made the assertion on Friday at a press conference held at the assembly complex in Umuahia to commemorate the 2019 Universal Health Coverage Day.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the event, which is celebrated annually on December 12, aims to raise awareness on the need for strong and resilient health system and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners.

He said that the universal health coverage would help to ensure that people had access to health care they needed without suffering financial hardship.

Nwabuisi, who described health as a foundational investment in human capital and economic growth, pledged the Seventh Assembly’s resolve to ensure the success of UHC in the state through its legislation and oversight.

The lawmaker, representing Ikwuano State Constituency, said the house was committed to performing its statutory responsibility by creating a strong enabling regulatory and legal environment responsive to people’s needs.

Also, the House Committee Chairman on Appropriation, Mr Kennedy Njoku, described the issue of health as very important, not only to the state but the entire nation.

Njoku gave the assurance that his committee would give priority attention to the health sector with respect to funding during the consideration of the 2020 Appropriation Bill.

Earlier, Mr Sebastine Ikejide, the Team Leader of Health Policy Plus in Abia, said that their mandate was to support the state government to carry out the necessary reforms in the health sector to the hinterlands.

(Edited by: Chidi Opara/Sam Oditah)





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NYSC to consider amputee member for Presidential Award



The Director General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim says the scheme may consider a serving corps member who lost his limb for Presidential Award.

Ibrahim disclosed this on Friday when he led other officials of the NYSC to visit the corps member, Mr Nuruddeen Tahir at his family house in Gwarzo in Kano state.

According to him, the award will give the corps member the opportunity to get automatic employment with Federal Government.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Tahir was involved in an auto crash on his way back home after the 2019 Batch B stream ll orientation course in Taraba resulting in the amputation of his right arm.

Tahir had ealier lost his left arm to a grinding machine at the age of 16.

The DG said that the NYSC had also paid N32 million to provide artificial limbs for the corps member.

He added that the artificial limps would enable him do things like writing and lifting of objects without problem.

Also speaking, the father of the 27 year old corps member, Alhaji Dahiru Dalhatu expressed gratitude for the gesture.

Dalhatu also commended the NYSC for paying for the replacement of his son’s limbs.

NAN further reports that the doctor who was expected to administer the limbs, Dr Rufus Arumugam, said an order had already been placed for the artificial limbs in Scotland.

Arumugam added that the limbs would be delivered in a few days.

According to him, the limbs would come with remote control which would be used to move the hands based on what actions the patient wants to perform.

Edited by: Dorcas Jonah/Ali Baba-Inuwa


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