Major health stories last week

abuja national hospital

Senator decries Nigeria’s budgetary allocation to health

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Lanre Tejuosho, has decried budgetary allocation to the health sector in Nigeria, saying it was disproportionate to its mandate.

Mr. Tejuosho at a news briefing in Abuja said allocation to the sector had continued to “show no break in gloomy pattern over the years, in spite of being a signatory to the 2001 African Union Abuja Declaration”.

Nigeria is yet to meet an agreed15 per cent of the total annual budget to health. In the 2017 capital budget of N2.24 trillion, the health sector was allocated N51 billion, representing 2.78 per cent.

The lawmaker also decried the high infant and maternal mortality rates in the country. He said legislators believe that they can through policies, reduce mortality rate and set Nigeria’s health sector on a right footing.


Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health
Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health

Nigerian agencies  fault Professor’s HIV cure claim

The National Centre for Disease Control and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS have faulted the claim by a Nigerian professor of discovering the cure for HIV.

Maduike Ezeibe, who is a Professor of Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Virology, had claimed he had produced a drug that could cure HIV.

Reacting to the reports, federal health authorities, including the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, called for caution over the claim.

Sani Aliyu, the Director of NACA expressed displeasure with the publicity given to the claim by the don from Michael Okpara University, Umuahia.

The centre for disease control also said the claim was yet to pass through the necessary clinical trials and therefore could not be certified to be true.


Cigarette smokingSmokers, sex merchants stand high risk of cancer

Smokers and sex merchants have been pinpointed to be more susceptible to cancer disease.

Quudus Yusuf, the Director of Public Health, Ogun State Ministry of Health, said during a cancer enlightenment campaign in Ogun State that heavy smokers and sex workers stand 95 per cent risk of getting infected with cancer.

He said cervical cancer, which is the most common of the disease in women, could also be sexually transmitted if not detected early.

He however noted that with regular medication and radiotherapy, cancer could be managed.


RatsLassa fever: Nigeria to take new preventive measures

The federal government has said it is set to taking new preventive measures to reduce the rate of Lassa fever infection across Nigeria.

Chike Ihekweazu, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, said at a media advocacy meeting on Lassa fever outbreak that the National Reference Laboratory for rapid testing of cases of Lassa fever, will be operational by the second quarter of this year.

He said though over the last few years Lassa fever had broken out in several states across the federation with increasing prevalence, the new preventive measures taken by the government had reduced the rate of Lassa contraction by 20 per cent.


Cancer Tumor [Photo Credit:Daily Express]
Cancer Tumor [Photo Credit:Daily Express]
WHO calls for increased effort against cancer 

The World Health Organisation, WHO, has called for increased effort in the fight against cancer. The organisation made the call as part of its efforts commemorating the World Cancer Day

A statement by the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said February 4 was a day to reflect on how cancer affects everyone in different ways, and how everyone can be part of the effort to reduce the impact on individuals, families and communities.

He said it is urgent to do so because cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, with approximately 8.8 million cancer-related deaths in 2015.

This figure is expected to double within the next 20-30 years, and African countries are likely to be the most affected, he said.


genital mutilationUNFPA praises Nigeria’s ban on genital mutilation

Nigeria and Gambia have been recognised among countries that have banned female genital mutilation.

The UN Fund for Population Activities, UNFPA, in a report on the of 2017 International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation commemorated on February 6, stressed the urgent need to abandon the practice.

Female genital mutilation refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury of the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is a deeply entrenched social and cultural norm in many societies.

UNFPA, jointly with UNICEF, is leading the largest global programme to accelerate the abandonment of female genital mutilation, it said.


Cervical Cancer [Photo: www.medicinenet.com]
Cervical Cancer [Photo: www.medicinenet.com]
Teenage sex risks cervical cancer,  kills 250,000 women

Research has shown that women who engage in active sex before age of 18 are more prone to cervical cancer.

The Plateau Commissioner of Health, Kunden Deyin, said this occurs because the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) easily infects a young woman’s cervix due to premature cells in the cervix.

Mr. Deyin also said women who have multiple sexual partners also have increased risk of developing cervical cancer.

In a similar vein, the World Health Organisation reported that no fewer than 250,000 women are killed by cervical cancer every year, with 85 per cent of them from low and middle income countries.

According to a report released by (WHO), the deaths occur mainly in countries in Africa and Asia.


Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of State for Health [Photo credit: howng.com]
Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of State for Health [Photo credit: howng.com]
Nigeria gets committees on healthcare

Nigeria has inaugurated the technical and steering committees to drive the process of improving quality healthcare for mothers, newborns and children.

Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of State for Health, while inaugurating the steering and technical committees in Abuja, said it was in direct response for the admission of Nigeria into the World Health Organisation’s network on quality healthcare for mothers, newborns and children.

The members of the steering committee are the Minister of Health, Minister of State for Health, ministers of Women Affairs and Social Development; Finance; Agriculture; Education; Water Resources; Environment; and Information and Culture.

The technical committee will contribute to the development of national quality of care strategies of health services and develop an action plan/road map to improve national quality of care of health services.


Diane Gashumba, Rwanda Minister for Health [Photo Credit: Rwanda Updates]
Diane Gashumba, Rwanda Minister for Health [Photo Credit: Rwanda Updates]
Rwandan medics banned from using cell phones

Rwanda has banned the use of cell phones by medical workers while on duty.

The country’s ministry of health directed that effective March 1, healthcare providers will be prohibited from using personal phones during working hours to “ensure better service delivery and speed up healthcare service delivery to patients.

Diane Gashumba, Rwanda Minister for Health, confirmed the development, saying that the use of cell phones by medical workers on duty was a challenge to improved healthcare services to patients.


human_eye_with_blood_vessels-resized-800In Nigeria, glaucoma affects south east region most

Nigerians have been advised to go for eye tests at least once in a year to make sure they do not have glaucoma.

An ophthalmologist, Nkiru Akaraiwe, gave this advice in Enugu during the Enugu Glaucoma Symposium.

Mrs. Akaraiwe, who was the facilitator of the symposium, said Glaucoma could only be checked if patients visit medical experts on time before their condition deteriorates.

The president of the Ophthalmologist Association of Nigeria, Sebastine Nwosu, at the forum offered to partner Nigeria’s federal government in creating public awareness of the disease throughout the country.

He pointed out that the South-east has the most cases of Glaucoma in Nigeria, adding that severe visual impairment of persons over 40 years in the region is two per cent with Glaucoma blindness standing at 1.2 per cent, compared to 0.3 per cent in other regions.


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