Major Health Stories Last Week: Bird flu in seven states, nine new tobacco regulations, others

Poultry farm

BIRD FLU IN SEVEN NIGERIAN STATES

The Federal Government alerted the public to the outbreak of Avian Influenza or bird flu in the FCT and seven states of the country.

Gideon Mshelbwala, the Director of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, stated this at a meeting with state Commissioners of Agriculture in Abuja and listed the states affected by the outbreak to include Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Nasarawa, Plateau, FCT and Kaduna, which reported a case on May 30.

He said that the disease had spread across 26 states of the federation and the FCT since it started in 2008 affecting 800 farms in no fewer than 123 local government areas.

He, however, warned poultry farmers against illegal vaccination of birds, saying that it was a deadly alternative to the control of the disease.

NIGERIA INTRODUCES TOBACCO REGULATIONS

Marking this year’s World No Tobacco Day, Nigeria’s Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, announced nine regulations in the Nigeria Tobacco Control Act that would be implemented by the federal government.

The National Tobacco Control Act was signed into law in 2015 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Ahead of this year’s celebration, the World Health Organization revealed that tobacco kills over seven million people annually, and is an increasing risk factor in non-communicable (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease, cancers and chronic obstructed pulmonary disease.

AIDS EPIDEMIC NOT YET OVER

Amina Mohammed, Deputy UN Secretary-General, said globally, more than 36.7 million people are living with HIV/AIDS and warned that the pandemic was still far from over.

She called for a reinvigorated global response to HIV/AIDS and said tackling it required a life-cycle approach based on community-level solutions and adequate funding which remains critical to meet the objectives as about $7 billion funding gap is needed for the global AIDS response.

BREASTFEEDING REDUCES RISK OF UTERUS CANCER

Researchers at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia said that women who breastfeed their children have been found to be at substantially less risk of developing uterus cancer.

Susan Jordan, head of the Cancer Causes and Care research group, said they found that the longer women breast-fed each child, the more their risk of uterine cancer reduced. Women who had ever breastfed had an 11 per cent lower risk of developing uterine cancer than women who had never breastfed.”

Ms. Jordan said since not every woman is able to breastfeed, other things that women can do to lower the risk of endometrial, or uterus cancer is taking the oral contraceptive pill which can reduce the risk of endometrial cancer; but probably the best thing to do is make sure you have a healthy lifestyle.

FEC APPROVES NIGERIA, MAY & BAKER VACCINE PRODUCTION

The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved joint venture agreement between the Federal Government and May & Baker to produce vaccines from 2017 to 2021.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, who confirmed the approval revealed that the federal government would own 49 per cent of the joint venture while May and Becker would own 51 per cent.

According to the minister, the company is expected to meet the nation’s basic vaccines requirements in the next four years with a take-off capital of N100 million. May and Becker would make an equity contribution N1.3 billion while the federal government would contribute N1.2 billion.

BRITISH EBOLA NURSE SURVIVOR RETURNS TO SIERRA LEONE

British nurse Pauline Cafferkey who survived the Ebola virus after contracting it while on duty in Sierra Leone in 2014 has returned to the country to see M’balu, an Ebola patient she was trying to save when she was affected.

Ms. Cafferkey returned to Britain in December 2014, after six weeks volunteering with Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, only to find she too had caught the disease.

Dubbed the Ebola angel for her selfless efforts during the epidemic – which also spread into neighbouring Liberia and Guinea, killing 11,000 in total – Pauline was diagnosed with the a bid to find “closure”.

WORKERS SHUT BINGHAM UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL

Striking workers of the Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos, on Wednesday locked the hospital’s gates, vowing to keep the hospital shut until their salaries were paid.

The angry workers did not allow anyone into the premises.

A worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, accused management of being insensitive to the welfare of workers.

Nuhu Asama, the hospital’s Director of Administration, however, said the anger was “based on emolument arrears owed them” and the management is working very hard to resolve the issues.

RENOVATION OF SULEJA GENERAL HOSPITAL TO COST N1.1 BILLION

The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, said that N1.1 billion will be required for the total renovation of Suleja General Hospital.

Mr. Bello said listed the rehabilitation of wards, consulting rooms, installation of state of the art medical equipment, laboratory facilities, doctor’s and nurses’ quarters as what is involved in the project.

He said the decision to renovate the health facility was in compliance with his administration’s restoration agenda following the infrastructural decay in the hospital due to many years of neglect and with the rate of population expansion of Suleja.


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