Major health reports of last week

adewole-health-minister
Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health.

Lassa outbreak: Minister blames doctors for infections

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has blamed the increasing number of health workers infected with Lassa fever on their refusal to take necessary precaution while treating patients.

The Minister who said this in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, when he paid a courtesy call on Governor David Umahi, described the recent outbreak in the state, which killed four health workers, as unfortunate.

According to the Minister, most doctors treat the deadly disease as if it “is any other ordinary disease” and thus fail to wear protective medical apparels while treating patients.

FG/WHO begins yellow fever vaccination in three states

The federal government began a mass vaccination campaign to prevent the spread of yellow fever in the country.

The vaccination kicked off in three states: Kogi, Kwara and Zamfara states; and is expected to move to Borno where the campaign would focus on the camps for internally displaced persons and surrounding host communities.

The preventive vaccination campaign is said to be the largest yellow fever vaccination drive in the history of Nigeria and it targets 25 million Nigerians.

The goal of the ongoing immunisation campaign is part of the efforts to eliminate yellow fever epidemics globally by 2026.

Nigerian govt releases $1 million for contraceptives

The Federal Government has released $1 million for the delivery of contraceptives to enhance quality family planning among Nigerians.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole said plans for the procurement has begun. The family planning campaign is expected to help Nigeria reduce maternal and child mortality rates and the impending population explosion.

To achieve this, the federal ministry of health last year launched a new family planning logo “green dot” which would help notify Nigerians on availability of family planning services across most primary health care centres in the country.

Expert advocates policy against medical tourism

Health expert had called on the government to adopt a pragmatic policy to regulate medical and health tourism in Nigeria.

Titus Ibekwe, an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, attributed the decay in the country’s health system as reasons for the huge amount of funds being taken abroad to access healthcare services.

He advised that policies that would encourage investors to invest in the nation’s healthcare system thereby raising it to acceptable standard should be encouraged. He said this
would further reverse health tourism and reposition the country as a destination point.

In Liberia, genital mutilation now for adults only

Liberia has imposed a one-year ban on Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, a highly contentious issue in the West African country, but campaigners said it may not be enforceable.

The ban came into force after former leader Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf signed an executive order before stepping down.

The ban makes it an offence to perform FGM on anyone under 18 but it can still be carried out on adults with their consent.

Campaigners however said FGM should be banned outright as even women who gave consent often did so under pressure.

How low carbohydrate intake leads to birth defects

A new study has shown that pregnant women who avoid carbohydrates diets have bigger risk of having babies with neural tube birth defects.

The study, published in the journal Birth Defects Research, found that women with low carbohydrate intake are 30 per cent more likely to have babies with neural tube defects.

The defects are malformations of the spine, spinal cord and the absence of major portions of the brain and skull, when compared with women who do not restrict their carbohydrate intake.

Neural tube defects are major birth defects of the brain and spine that occur early in pregnancy due to improper closure of the embryonic neural tube.

Zimbabwe on high alert after cholera outbreak

Zimbabwe is on high alert following Cholera outbreak in Chegutu town that killed four people and 32 other cases reported, Health and Child Care Minister, David Parirenyatwa, said.

The outbreak comes at a time when neighbouring Zambia is battling a cholera outbreak that has claimed more than 67 lives.

Water-borne diseases have become endemic in Zimbabwe’s cities in recent years due to deteriorating water and sanitation conditions.

In 2008, the country recorded its worst cholera outbreak in history when more than 4,000 people died from the disease.


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