Major Health stories last week

Deserted corridors of the National Hospital
Deserted corridors of the National Hospital during the JOHESU Strike
FG, JOHESU still at loggerheads

The Federal government and the Joint Health Sector Union, (JOHESU) are yet to reach an amicable agreement in spite of meetings by both parties.

The health workers who have been on strike for five weeks have paralysed most health activities at the secondary and tertiary healthcare institutions across the country.

In recent development, the striking health workers were directed through a court injunction from the Industrial Court sitting in Abuja to return to work.

However, JOHESU claimed they did not know about the court sitting and as such would not be obeying.

JOHESU also called for the sack of the minister of health, Isaac Adewole, claiming he has been sabotaging the efforts of the government to finding a lasting solution to their demands.

The minister had directed heads of health institutions across the country to provide adequate security for workers working as there are allegations of harassment and molestation of working staff by JOHESU members.

Despite calls for his sack, the minister has expressed the government’s commitment to end the strike. The strike however is still ongoing.

2018 Budget: NMA commends lawmakers on healthcare fund

The Nigerian Medical Association has hailed the inclusion of one per cent of the consolidate revenue fund in the allocation to the health sector in the 2018 budget as ‘monumental’.

The Senate and House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the budget after increasing it from N8.6 trillion to N9.1 trillion, six months after it was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The lawmakers earmarked N57.15 billion for the basic healthcare provision fund as mandated by the National Health Act, a law passed in 2014 but which has not been fully implemented.

“For the first time the Senate has put the Consolidated Health Care Fund on the budget. That one percent will go into revamping the Primary Health Care system and the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS,” the newly elected president of the association, Francis Faduyile, said.

Immunisation: Jigawa targets 1.6 million children

The Jigawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, is targeting immunising 1.6 million children in the state against polio.

The Executive Secretary of the agency, Kabiru Ibrahim said at the sidelines of the exercise that enough personnel had been engaged to conduct the exercise simultaneously across the 27 local government area.

This is to ensure that all children under five are immunised against the disease. He added that the agency had received enough oral polio vaccines (OPVs) from the Federal Government for smooth conduct of the exercise.

Nigerian nurses lament quackery in the profession

The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, (NANNM) has called for concerted effort of partners to curb the menance of quackery in the profession.

The President of the association, Abdulrafiu Adeniji in commemoration of the International Nurses Week and International Day of Midwives identified quackery, mismanagement, insecurity, poor remuneration, inattention to the plights of nurses and other health workers as major challenges affecting the profession.

He said this hinders the goal of providing quality services to the citizens and that quackery could create great danger to the healthcare system

Kenyan women march against ‘public breastfeeding discrimination’

Dozens of women demonstrated n Kenya’s Capital to protest against what they say is discrimination against mothers who breastfeed in public.

The demonstration was prompted by a Facebook post on May 4, that saw user Betty Kim accuse a Nairobi restaurant of discrimination after she was asked by a waiter to cover up as she was breastfeeding her baby.

Women’s groups and mothers with babies participated in the march, with some carrying placards reading “respect nursing mothers” and ‘Breastfeeding mothers have rights”.

With infant mortality still a problem across Africa, WHO proposes breastfeeding for the first six months in order to achieve optimal growth and development.

Pathologist denies stealing heart of corpse

Kenya’s former Chief Government pathologist, Moses Njue, accused of stealing the heart of a corpse at Lee Funeral Home three years ago has denied the allegation.

The doctor, charged alongside his son, Lemuel Anasha Mureithi, who was his assistant pathologist was accused of stealing the heart of Timothy Muumbo while performing autopsy on June 2015.

Though the son was not in court, Mr Njue however denied stealing and destroying the heart to conceal evidence knowing that the autopsy report would be used as evidence in a case pending in court.

NAFDAC returns to seaports, borders

Officers of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC) have returned to seaports and land borders to control importation of unregulated products.

The agency is collaborating with relevant Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA’s) and with active support of the office of the National Security Adviser, Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council and Ministry of Transport.

According to the agency, this is to effectively control importation of unregulated products, falsified and substandard drugs, unwholesome foods, narcotic drugs and hazardous chemical substances and food into the country.

World Hypertension Day: Be active, do exercise to avoid disease- Experts

To lower the risk of having hypertension, health experts have urged Nigerians to do regular exercise and reduce sedentary way of life.

They gave the advice to mark the World Hypertension Day, which is being celebrated across the world May 17.

A medical doctor, Omoteniola Taiwo-Ojo, said sedentary lifestyle, junk food and high salt intake contribute to the risk of hypertension.

According to her, some people’s risk of having hypertension is higher than others because it is hereditary. Unfortunately, the kind of life they live increases the risk.

Obese people more likely to smoke – Research

A new research indicates that people who are genetically prone to being overweight have a higher risk of taking up smoking, WHO scientists said.

According to Paul Brennan, a genetic epidemiology expert with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), obese people are also likely to smoke more than average. IARC is a WHO agency, mandated to conduct research on the causes of cancer, and its prevention.

Mr Brennan said around 70 genes have been identified for the first time that could explain this behaviour.

The study was published on Thursday in the British Medical Journal, and funded by Cancer Research UK.

Nigerian govt, UNICEF to procure therapeutic food for malnourished Nigerian children

The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to provide malnurished children in Nigeria with Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF).

RUTF is an energy dense, micronutrient enhanced paste, used in therapeutic feeding. The primary ingredients of RUTF include peanuts, oil, sugar, milk powder, vitamin and mineral supplements which provide all the nutrients required for recovery from malnutrition.

According to the Federal Ministry of Health, the agreement is for counterpart contribution for the procurement and distribution of the commodity across the country. There is an estimated 2.5 million Nigerian children under the age of five who have severe acute malnutrition.

Records from the ministry indicate that about about 20 per cent of these children would die if nothing is done.

About 90 per cent of the cases are in North-west and North-east Nigeria, the records further revealed.


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