Major health stories last week: NHIS suspension controversy, Lass Fever outbreak, others

Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf [Photo: Concise News]
Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf [Photo: Concise News]

NHIS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY DEFIES SUSPENSION

The Federal Ministry of Health reacted to the response of the embattled Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Usman Yusuf, to his suspension.

Mr. Yusuf officially replied the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, saying he would not comply with the July 6 suspension order.

Mr. Yusuf, in a July 12 letter addressed to the Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, said he would not obey the suspension order, listing five reasons for his decision.

Mr. Yusuf was suspended last week over allegations of fraud, some weeks after the Senate launched investigations into his activities as the NHIS chief.

The NHIS chief has denied any wrongdoing.

FGC STUDENT DIE OF LASSA FEVER

A student at the Federal Government College, Langtang, Plateau State was confirmed dead while two others have been hospitalised, following an outbreak of Lassa Fever in the school.

The state health commissioner, Kuden Deyin, confirmed the incident saying four students who displayed symptoms of Lassa fever were rushed from the school clinic to the Jos University Teaching Hospital. Three tested positive to the disease.

Deyin advised members of the public to pay attention to personal hygiene and keep the environments clean, while foodstuff should be protected from rodents.

BREAKTHROUGH REPORTED IN SEARCH FOR GONORRHOEA VACCINE

Researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand have for the first time tested a vaccine that could protect an individual against gonorrhoea, according to a study published in medical journal The Lancet.

The research found that people, who were injected with a vaccine against meningitis B, were about 30 per cent less likely to contract gonorrhoea than a control group.

“Although the Auckland study is seen as breakthrough, there is still no gonorrhoea-specific vaccine in the horizon,” the study’s lead author Helen Petousis-Harris said.

DRINKING COFFEE INCREASES LONGEVITY, STUDY INDICATES

Researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer and Imperial College London, in a new study, found that coffee could extend people’s life span, lowering risk of death, especially for heart diseases, cancer and diabetes respiratory disease, kidney and liver disease as well as stroke, among others.

However, sceptics said that it was impossible to validate the relationship between coffee and longevity, because the study had too many variables between coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers and that the effects of caffeine vary from person to person.

FCT HEALTH WORKERS TRAINED ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH DELIVERY

Women Friendly Initiative, an NGO, has embarked on the training of health workers for comprehensive sexual reproductive health services in Kuje Area Council of the FCT.

Francis Eremutha, Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, said that the training would reduce maternal morbidity and mortality in the area. It will also check life-threatening complications arising from pregnancy by placing emphasises on the benefits of contraception, ante-natal attendance, supervised delivery, infection prevention and immunisation services for mother and child.

NMA alerts Nigerians on Lassa fever, Ebola

The Nigerian Medical Association has alerted Nigerians on the need to raise their guard against another outbreak of Lassa fever and Ebola.

Tunde Olawepo, the chairman of the association in Kwara, warned the country not to let down its guard against the Ebola and Lassa fever noting that government and people have relaxed measures that were initiated to contain the spread of Ebola at its outbreak in 2013.

He added that the surveillance of travellers entering the country has stopped just as people had relaxed with personal hygiene like regular washing of hands and use of sanitisers.

EXCESSIVE INTAKE OF SOFT DRINKS CAUSES ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

A new research has shown that excessive intake of soft drinks is one of the leading causes of erectile dysfunction, (the inability to develop and maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse).

The research also shows that large percentage of men do not limit the volume of soft drinks in their diet and consume them much more often than women.

The research focused on the potential role of soft drinks, particularly the sugar component in the pathogenesis of erectile dysfunction, and noted that soft drinks have detrimental metabolic effects nowadays and their consumption should be well limited.

NIGERIA REACHES MAJOR LANDMARK IN FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS

Nigeria has reached a landmark in the fight against HIV/AIDS as fewer people newly get infected than those on treatment.

The Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, Sani Aliyu, said with the feat, the country has crossed the “tipping point” for the epidemic.

Mr. Aliyu explained that the tipping point for the epidemic is when more people are going on treatment than people getting newly infected.

ACUTE HEPATITIS E ON RISE IN BORNO

Health officers are reporting increasing cases of Hepatitis E in Borno State, North-east Nigeria. The Nigerian Ministry of Health had on June 18 had notified the World Health Organisation, WHO, of an outbreak of the disease in the state.

As at July 2, 146 confirmed and suspected cases had been reported from three local government areas: Ngala (112), Mobbar (19), and Monguno (14).

Out of the cases reported in Ngala, 25 were pregnant women with two deaths recorded. Ngala also had the highest number of cases with 29 reported from June19 to July 2.


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