HEALTH NEWS THIS WEEK: NHIS controversy continues, Lassa fever in Plateau

Health Minister, Isaac Adewole
Health Minister, Isaac Adewole

REPS REJECT NHIS BUDGET

The House of Representatives rejected the 2017 budget proposals of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS.

The lawmakers said they will not attend to the budget until the Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, appears before them to explain the reason he suspended the Executive Secretary of the agency, Usman Yusuf.

Mr. Adewole had earlier this month, suspended the NHIS boss instructing him to hand over to the most senior officer at the agency, Attahiru Ibrahim.

WOMEN MORTALITY IN NIGERIA

The heavy disease burden especially at the primary health care level is destabilising the health equilibrium in the country by pushing up the mortality rate of women and children.

Ben Anyene, a medical doctor and chairman of the Health Sector Reform Coalition, said the phenomenon needs to be checked.

He noting that the burden of disease in Nigeria is very high and worrisome and 70 per cent of these are at the Primary Health Care (PHC) level, thus posing a great challenge for every woman and child in Nigeria.

DISPOSE STIGMA, TABOOS ABOUT MENSTRUATION – WATERAID

WaterAid Nigeria has called on all stakeholders to make pragmatic efforts to break the stigma and taboos relating to menstruation in the Nigerian society.

Blessing Sani, WaterAid Communication and Advocacy Assistant, said menstrual hygiene management in the country concern issues pertaining to human rights infringement, social inclusion, education, as well as health and livelihoods.

She said some cultural beliefs and myths about menstruation in the society often portrayed women and girls as inferior to men and boys respectively.

HIV PREVENTION: VAGINAL RING SAFE, EXPERTS

Researchers say monthly vaginal ring and daily oral tablet, both containing anti-HIV drugs, are safe and acceptable in adolescent girls.

The results of a study presented at the ninth IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris, France revealed that the use of dapivirine vaginal ring by adolescent girls, most or all of the time, reduces the risk of HIV infection in women by no less than 56 per cent.

Adolescent girls and young women, ages 15 to 24, are at particularly high risk for HIV infection. They accounted for 20 per cent of new HIV infections among adults globally in 2015.

11 JAILED FOR FAKING BABY POPULAR FORMULA

Eleven people in China have been sentenced to between three and 15 years in prison for faking and selling popular baby formula brands.

The convicts were said to have been involved in producing and selling counterfeit baby formula imitating popular foreign and domestic brands.

The convicts copied the designs and logos of another baby formula brand filling them with cheap and inferior formula from other brands.

AIDS RAVAGING SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Medecins Sans Frontieres says the tide may have turned in the global fight against AIDS, but too many people in sub-Saharan Africa are developing and dying of AIDS-related diseases due to limited testing and problems with treatment.

UN says more than half of people infected with HIV worldwide are now getting drugs, and AIDS-related deaths have almost halved since 2005, putting the world on track to hit the target of 30 million people on treatment by 2020.

However, MSF said in spite of much improved access to Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs in sub-Saharan Africa, an “unacceptably” high number of people are developing AIDS and dying due to drug resistance, treatment being interrupted and late diagnoses.

LASSA FEVER: ONE CASE CONFIRMED IN PLATEAU

The Plateau State Commissioner ‎for Health, Kuden Deyin, confirmed another case of Lassa fever in the state, making it the fourth case recorded in the state.

Three out of the four patients are responding to treatment at the Jos University Teaching Hospital while one patient died.

The commissioner advised the public to ensure that they maintain a very high standard of personal hygiene, ensure that their environments are kept clean and foodstuff should be kept in rodent-proof containers.

NEW HEPATITIS C TREATMENT EFFECTIVE IN AFRICA

A new treatment for Hepatitis C is effective in Africa from results of preliminary clinical trials in the region.

Karine Lacombe, an associate professor at Saint-Antrine Hospital, Inserm, France, made the disclosure at the Ninth IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris.

“The treatment of chronic Hepatitis C by Direct-Acting Antivirals (DAAs) is possible in the African context with good adherence, good safety and a laboratory follow-up that poses no particular difficulty,” she said.

Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis virus and of various types.

The World Hepatis Day was also celebrated on July 28.


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