Health stories that made the headlines last week

Ogbonna Chimela
Vice Chairman of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), Ogbonna Chimela

JOHESU prepares for nationwide strike

The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) held a crucial meeting on Thursday in preparation for the resumption of the nationwide strike it suspended last year May.

The meeting was called ahead of the expiration on Sunday of the two-week ultimatum it gave the government to resolve “issues in there dispute” elapsed today.

“The meeting will determine the format of the strike and how it should go,” Ogbonna Chimela, the national vice chairman of JOHESU said.

JOHESU is the body of all health workers, except doctors. Since 2014, it has been asking the government to increase the pay and improve the working conditions of its members, among other demands. This has resulted in strike actions over the period.

Nigeria records 42 deaths from Lassa fever – Official

Health officials have confirmed the death of 42 persons from a Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on January 21 declared the outbreak following an increase in the number of cases.

NCDC situation report for week four on the outbreak of the disease shows that from January 1 to 27, 538 suspected cases were reported from 16 states. Of these, 213 were confirmed positive, two probable and 325 negative.

Since the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 42 deaths in confirmed cases.

How I’ll transform UCH – New CMD

The Chief Medical Director-designate of the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, Jesse Otegbayo, has pledged to transit the facility from a tertiary to a quaternary healthcare institution.

“Tertiary is the 3rd level while quaternary is the last and the 4th level and that is where we want to go,” Mr Otegbayo said.

He said there are lots of clinical services and investigations that are highly technical that are done at the quaternary level and may not be available at the tertiary health level.

“Things like Assisted Reproductive Technology- Invitro Fertilization (IVF), Heart transplant, Cardiac Catheterisation and all kinds of transplantation including Liver, Kidney and so on

Why we still charge Nigerians fees for birth certificate despite Reps resolution – Agency

Despite a resolution by lawmakers that birth certificates should be issued free of charge to Nigerians, the National Population Commission (NPC) has continued to charge a fee for the document.

The House of Representatives last year declared as illegal, payment of money to the commission to obtain birth certificates for newborn babies.

The NPC, however, says it is yet to be formally notified of the resolution by the lawmakers.

PCN licenses 78 pharmaceutical stores in Gombe

The Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) in Gombe State said it gave licences to 78 pharmaceutical stores in 2018.

The state officer, Rhoda Stephen, said the stores were registered after the agency sealed over 596 pharmaceutical stores after inspection and monitoring activities.

She said before the inspection, there was no regulation in Gombe. She said the people were doing as they liked and so many illegal practices were going on.

Resident doctors, FG partner on Lassa fever

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has concluded plans to partner the Federal Ministry of Health to bring the outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria under control.

The NARD National President, Olusegun Olaopa, and the Secretary-General, Anthony Ude, said that the recent resurgence in reported cases of Lassa fever was worrisome.

Lassa fever is caused by the Lassa fever virus. It is transmitted directly to humans through contact with infected multimammate rat, its urine and faeces. It is also transmitted indirectly through contact with household items, foods which are contaminated with rodent’s saliva, blood, graces, urine and person to person contact.

Many health workers have succumbed to the deadly disease, which has been a source of concern for the government.

Six out of 10 people in Nigeria have cataract — Ophthalmologist

Six out of 10 people in Nigeria from age 60 years and above have some evidence of lens opacity otherwise known as cataract, an Ophthalmologist, Gboyega Ajayi, has said.

Mr Ajayi drew the figure from the 2009 National Survey on Blindness and Low Vision as well as other local studies carried out by experts.

He also said that old age and injury are among the factors responsible for nine out of ten cases in the country.

He.said everyone is a potential cataract patient because the most important cause of cataract is age. He advised people to get regular eye check as they grow older.

Doctors’ strike cripple activities in Nepal hospitals

Doctors in Nepal shut hospitals across the country in solidarity with one of their colleague who has been on hunger strike for 23 days.

The doctors asked the government to accept the demands of Govinda KC, a senior orthopaedic surgeon, who embarked on hunger strike demanding amendments to a medical education bill that would reform the country’s medical education system.

The 61-year-old doctor’s demands include healthcare services for poor people in remote regions and an end to the commercialisation of medical education.

Nursing assistant arrested for performing illegal plastic surgery

A South Korean nursing assistant was arrested for illegally performing plastic surgery on about 1,000 patients for the past three years, Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday citing Police.

The nursing assistant, only identified as a 70-year-old man, posed as a doctor from 2015 to 2018, performing some 1,500 illicit cosmetic surgeries on 1,000 victims.

Through the illegal medical practices, he earned about 1 billion won (about $900,000).

Waist-stature ratio can indicate the risk of cardiovascular disease

Health experts have warned for years that men and women with excess abdominal fat run a greater risk of developing cardiovascular problems. However, individuals with abdominal or central obesity are not the only ones in danger, according to a new study.

The study found that physically active men who were not overweight but whose waist-stature ratio (WSR) was close to the risk threshold were also more likely to develop heart disorders than individuals with lower WSRs.

The study was conducted by Brazilian researchers affiliated with São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Presidente Prudente and Marília in collaboration with colleagues at Oxford Brookes University in the UK. The study resulted from a research project supported by São Paulo Research Foundation — FAPESP and is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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