Major health stories in the news last week

Medical doctors used to illustrate the story [Photo Credit: Medicalworld Nigeria]
Abuja doctors threaten to embark on strike

The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Abuja chapter, says it will commence an indefinite strike on August 25.

The union in a statement jointly signed by its president, Michael Olarewaju, and secretary, Roland Aigbovo, said the impending strike follows the failure of FCT Administration to repay “obnoxious” tax deduction from July salaries of staff, among other demands.

The association had earlier condemned the tax deduction of N78, 000 from each of its members’ July salaries. It said the current deduction was against the initial N36, 000 deductions imposed on the doctors.

Court strikes out suit against genetically modified crops in Nigeria
The Federal High Court in Abuja struck out a suit filed against the issuance of permits and subsequent release of Genetically Modified (GM) crops including BT cotton in the country.

Though a cause of action was established, Justice Ahmed Mohammed held that the court was compelled to strike out the suit because it appeared statute barred.

This means that the suit was brought a year after the permits had been issued.

WHO donates 31 million doses of Yellow fever vaccines to Nigeria
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has pledged to donate 12 million doses of Yellow fever vaccines in 2018 and 19 million in 2019 to support Nigeria’s campaign against the disease.

Charity Warigon, WHO Communications Officer, said that the intervention would be carried out with the support of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance. The campaign will protect at least 154,131 people from the disease.

Ms Warigon said it would ensure all persons aged nine months to 45 years were vaccinated during the ongoing yellow fever campaign in Danja Local Government Area of Katsina State.

USAID donates $11 million to Nigeria for health survey
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated $11 million for the conduct of the 2018 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS).

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said the survey will be conducted by his ministry and the National Population Commission from August 15 to December 15 in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.

The survey is a five-year periodic worldwide survey programme designed by USAID with support from international donor organisations to assist countries in households sample surveys to monitor changes in population, health and nutrition.

Scottish women retain right to take abortion pills at home

The Scottish government’s decision to allow women to take the abortion pill in their homes has been upheld following a legal challenge by the society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) Scotland.

Doctors welcomed the ruling by the Court of Session in Edinburgh as a very significant step forward after the anti-abortion campaign group argued that the licensing of the drug misoprostol for home use was “unlawful” and a threat to women’s health and that of their unborn babies

Across Scotland, England and Wales, most abortions take place before 12 weeks with the use of drugs to induce miscarriage. These medical abortions accounted for 82.9% of terminations performed in Scotland in 2016.

Ondo state government approves 5 mother/child hospital

Ondo state government has approved five more Mother and Chilkd hospitals to render qualitative healthcare services to pregnant women and under five years old children at no cost.

The five hospitals will be sited in Ikare, Owo, Ore, Okitipupa and Igbojoda making seven with two of such hospital already established in Akure and Ondo.

Over 500 health facilities across the state would continue to serve as mini centre for the vulnerable.

Nigeria loses N6.6 trillion annually to inadequate breastfeeding – UNICEF Offficial
UNICEF says when the cost of low cognitive development and low intelligence quotient (IQ), as well as health cost are added, inadequate breastfeeding is estimated to cost the Nigerian economy US$21 billion (N6.6 Trillion) per year, or 4.1 per cent of its gross national income.

Philomena Irene, UNICEF nutrition specialist, said breastfeeding benefits not only individual children and families, but also the entire economy.

The World Bank’s new investment framework for nutrition notes that every dollar invested in promoting breastfeeding can generate a return of $35 in economic benefits.


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