Top health stories last week

Herbs used to tell the story.
Herbs used to tell the story.

The increasing cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was of concern to international health experts last week. The current outbreak in the Central African country has claimed about 2,000 lives since it started in August 2018.

On August 31, Nigeria joined other African countries to celebrate Africa Traditional Medicine Day. On that occasion, Nigeria Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, called for the study of African herbal medicine in Nigerian universities.

PREMIUM TIMES brings you a roundup of some of the major news in the health sector during the week.

Kwara commits N232m to maternal, child health, others – Governor

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara on Monday said his administration has paid N232 million in counterparts funding to address maternal and child health, nutrition and malaria in the state.

The governor disclosed this at a two-day health symposium held in Ilorin with the theme: “Partnership for Health Innovation in Kwara State.

The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Kayode Alabi, said the fund would enable the state to provide subsidised healthcare delivery to the poor and the vulnerable.

Incorporate traditional medicine into Nigerian university curricula – Mamora

The Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, has called on Nigerian universities to introduce the Bachelor of Science Degree programme in Herbal Medicine.

Mr Mamora said this during a press briefing in Abuja to commemorate the 2019 African Traditional Medicine Day.

Olurunimbe Mamora
Olurunimbe Mamora

He said the development of traditional medicine in the country will provide jobs in the area of conservation, cultivation, and harvesting of medicinal plants.

He said the Federal Ministry of Health is reviewing the Nigeria Herbal Pharmacopoeia 2008 in order to incorporate more indigenous medicinal plants.

WHO reports measles setback in Europe as infections reach 90,000

Measles infections in Europe have surged to around 90,000 cases in the first half of 2019, more than all of 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported on Thursday.

Guenter Pfaff, a Senior German Health Official, who heads a WHO Advisory Panel on measles, disclosed this in Geneva.

Four countries – Albania, Britain, Greece and the Czech Republic – have lost their measles-free status, the Geneva-based agency said.

The agency warned that Europe was falling behind in its efforts to eradicate the preventable but potentially dangerous virus.

Borno Govt to establish 3 medical referral centres

The Borno State government on Wednesday said it had concluded plans to set up three major referral centres to enhance healthcare service at the grassroots.

The commissioner of health, Salisu Kwaya-Bura, said the new referral centres would be sited in Bama, Monguno and Biu local government areas of the state.

Mr Kwaya-Bura said the government would establish an additional college of health to enhance training and manpower development of health personnel in the state.

Ebola: Guterres leads senior UN officials to DRC

Senior UN officials, led by Secretary-General António Guterres, on Saturday began a three-day visit to the Ebola-hit Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Central African country is facing insecurity and ongoing health emergencies, including a year-long Ebola epidemic that has claimed more than 2,000 lives.

In a statement, the UN said the team arrived in the town of Goma, located in the North Kivu region of the country, which is at the centre of the Ebola epidemic.

The officials were said to have been received by Leila Zerrougui, special representative of the Secretary-General in the country.

Katsina recruits additional 1,000 health workers

The Kastina State Government has recruit 1,000 additional healthcare workers as part of efforts to improve healthcare service delivery in the state.

Governor Aminu Masari during the launch of a campaign for maternal, new born and child health week said the measure was aimed at addressing a critical shortage of health workers in government hospitals.

Mr Masari said the government had rehabilitated and upgraded some hospitals to enhance healthcare delivery.

WHO introduces global registry on human genome editing

The World Health Organisation (WHO) expert advisory committee has approved the first phase of a new global registry to track research on human genome editing.

The UN health agency on Friday said the 18-member committee announced an online consultation on the governance of genome editing.

The headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) is pictured in Geneva [Photo Credit: VOANEWS]
Human genome editing has been raising controversy in the international medical space as there is no regulating body or laws to monitor what scientists do.

WHO last month strongly warned against clinical modification of the gene of eggs, sperms or the embryo to produce genetically edited babies.

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