Major health stories last week

Ebola Volunteers
File photo of health workers in the aftermath of the Ebola virus
Ebola outbreak hits DRC

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has sparked an emergency response from health agencies and countries, especially in the West African region.

Health officials said at least 17 people have died around the village near the North-western area of the country where the virus was detected. The World Health organization and other health response team are already in the country trying to contain the disease.

This is the ninth time Ebola has been recorded in Congo and this comes less than a year after the last outbreak killed four people. The Nigerian government has also put in place screening mechanism at the ports to prevent the risk of importing the disease into the country.

Nigeria declares Lassa fever outbreak over

The Federal Ministry of Health has declared over the emergency phase of the Lassa fever outbreak which ravaged the country since the beginning of the year.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole said the declaration follows the epidemiological review by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

This is coming four and half months after the country combated the largest Lassa fever outbreak in its history. Between January and May 7, a total of 423 confirmed cases of Lassa fever were reported, causing 106 deaths.

Also, the minister explained that giving the epidemiology of Lassa fever in Nigeria, it is likely that the country will continue to record cases of Lassa fever.

Nigerian doctors threaten strike if govt implements JOHESU demands

Nigerian doctors have threatened to withdraw their services across health institutions in the country if the federal government accedes to the demands of other health workers who have been on strike the past three weeks.

The strike by JOHESU (Joint Health Sector Union) has crippled healthcare delivery across the country, and has left millions without care.

The Nigerian Medical Association ,in a statement signed by its newly elected president, Francis Faduyile, said it reached an agreement with the government in 2014 not to accede to demands of other health workers relating to salary adjustments and harmonisation.

U.S. govt donates $90 million for HIV survey in Nigeria — Minister

The United States government has donated about $90 million to support the forthcoming HIV survey in Nigeria.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, while the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the survey said it will begin in June and last for about six months across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT). It aims to reach a sample size of about 170,000 people.

The agreement was signed by the minister, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, and the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA).

The survey, tagged Nigeria Aids Indicators and Impact Survey (NAIIS), is the largest in the world and Nigeria is the 12th country conducting it. The resource for the survey is largely from the US government.

Bayelsa enrolls 80,000 in health insurance scheme

The Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme, has registered more than 80,000 public sector enrollees less than a year after it began operations, its Executive Secretary, Zuoboemi Agadah, has said.

Mr Agadah said in Yenagoa while signing a Memorandum of Understanding with an Heath Maintenance Organisation, United Healthcare International that the State Government started an health insurance scheme for its workforce in June 2017 with plans to extend the scheme to cover the informal sector in due course.

According to him, feedback from the enrollees and other stakeholders in the health sector, shows that the scheme is doing well.

Nigerian nurses, midwives call for salary harmonisation

The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has called for the harmonisation of salaries and better remuneration of nurses and midwives in the country to prevent migration of professionals.

Margaret Akinsola, National Chairman, NANNM-Midwives said that the harmonisation would ensure nurses and midwives in the rural areas at par with their counterparts in the state and federal payroll.

She frowned at the disparity in remuneration between Federal, State and Local government staff, describing it as a contributing factor to the inadequacy of manpower at rural areas as well as the burden of maternal and newborn mortality rate in the country.

Overweight: Nutritionist cautions housewives against fat, oil intake

A nutritionist at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Bartholomew Brai, has advised full time house wives to minimise fats and oil intake to keep their weights in check.

Mr Brai said sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity could cause harmful ailment to an overweight body.

He advised that full house wives imbibe self-discipline and avoid overeating in order to have risk of overweight and obesity, increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and certain cancers.

The nutritionist said it is helpful to have up to four servings of vegetables and fruits in a day, minimising the intake of fats and oils, drink clean and safe water. Menopause, lack of sleep, not eating enough as well as birth control pills could also add to a woman’s weight.

NBTS raises alarm on declining number of blood donors

Jane Akubuiro, the Donor Care Manager, National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), has expressed concern over the daily decline in the number of blood donors in the country.

She said the least expected daily number of donors per day ought to be 30 to be able to cater for the needs of the public. She said the service recorded five walk-in donors on the average per day in recent times.

Allaying the misconception among some donors that blood donation could be dangerous, she said “when blood is withdrawn, the donor’s body immediately begins to replenish the lost blood.

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