Major health stories across Nigeria last week

STRESS CAN LEAD TO MENTAL ILLNESS

Nigerians have been warned not to put themselves under undue stress which can lead to mental illness.

A consultant psychiatrist at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Alfred Makanjuola, gave the advice at the 2016 Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) held in Ilorin, Kwara.

Mr. Makanjuola said there has been a steady rise in cases of mental illness due to the dwindling economy of the country.

He said Nigerians are faced with problems emanating from genetic, environmental, economic and societal factors, adding that these could cause mental illness if not managed.

1,477 MIDWIVES DEPLOYED

1,477 midwives have been deployed to rural communities in the northern part of Nigeria for their one year mandatory midwives service scheme.

The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency disclosed this at the flag-off orientation and documentation of basic midwives in Kaduna.

It said the aim of the deployment was to reduce maternal and child death rates in the areas.

According to official statistics, 33,000 mothers die in Nigeria each year, with three quarters of the deaths said to be preventable.

946,000 children under the age of five and 241 newborns also die yearly.

UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE

Health unions have appealed to the federal government to pay attention to issues of universal health coverage in Nigeria.

They made the appeal at a march in Abuja to mark the 2016 Universal Health Coverage Day.

The unions asked for the government to increase health budget from the current 4.5 percent of national budget to 15 percent adopted by the African Union 15 years ago.

Also, the President of the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, Akinkunmi Afolabi, on Wednesday called for the adoption of the World Health Organization’s 15 per cent budgetary allocation to the sector, to enable Nigeria achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The federal government had earmarked N221.7 billion naira out of the N6.08 trillion to fund the health sector in 2016.

Participants in the march however alleged that the reality in the sector was a far cry from what government claimed to have spent.

STIGMATIZATION OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS

The joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS, has appealed for a stop to the stigmatisation of people living with HIV/AIDS so as to be able to curb the epidemic.

The organisation made the appeal on Monday, December 11 while commemorating the 2016 Human Right Day.

Warning that the world would never achieve an end to AIDS unless bold actions were taken to advance human rights, especially for stigmatised people, UNAID vowed to stand up for the protection and promotion of the rights of the stigmatised members of the society.

HIGH RATE OF MOTHER-TO-CHILD TRANSMISSION OF HIV

The Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Sani Aliyu, has voiced concern over the rate of mother to child transmission of HIV in Nigeria.

Speaking in Abuja at the Annual Health Correspondents Dinner last week, Mr. Aliyu said Nigeria is among countries with slow reduction in mother-to-child transmission.

Mr. Aliyu, who took office in July, said the agency under his leadership would give priority to curbing mother-to-child transmission of the virus. He said anyone who is pregnant should have an HIV test.

Recently, a UNICEF HIV specialist had disclosed that Nigeria accounted for one third of new HIV cases.

The Director-General said the agency was collaborating with other health agencies towards solving the HIV problems in Nigeria.

GLOBAL FUND TO INVEST N1 BILLION IN NIGERIA

Global Fund, an international financing organization, has arranged to invest about N1 billion in the Nigerian health sector over the next three years.

Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, disclosed the Fund’s plan for Nigeria during the National Supply Chain Integration Project (NSCIP) retreat, held on Tuesday in Abuja.

The minister said the organization, which as at July had disbursed $30 billion to countries and communities in need across the globe, has the aim of attracting and disbursing resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

He said accurate data and health commodities were essential for an effect health facility management.

Mr. Adewole said health facilities and data available on the effectiveness of the facilities, rather than buildings and the human resources, make the health system.

He said data help harmonize the procurement and effective distribution of drugs on HIV/AIDS, malaria among others and also help donor agencies and development partners to keep records of stocks.

According to the minister, the retreat, under the theme “Ownership and Sustainability”, was part of the move by the Federal Government to address the constraints and inefficiencies in the country’s supply chain.


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