Last week, Nigeria’s minister of health and the 36 state health commissioners met at the 62nd National Council of Health Meeting to discuss the state of health care delivery in the country.
On the international scene, the World Health Organisation responded to a rumour of death from an unknown illness in Tanzania; while Kenya joined Ghana and Malawi in rolling out a new malaria vaccine.
Here is a round-up of the major news in the sector last week
Nigeria to investigate diversion of drugs
The federal government said it will sanction parties whose actions or inactions led to the diversion of anti-malaria drugs (ACT) supplied to Nigeria by Global Fund.
Evelyn Ngige, the Director of Public Health at the Federal Ministry of Health, disclosed this at the 62nd National Council of Health Meeting on Friday in Asaba.
Mrs Ngige said Global Fund financed the procurement and distribution of 16,290,250 ACTs to health facilities in 13 states in 2018.
“However, only 8,189,226 malaria cases (presumed and confirmed) were reported as treated with ACTs across the 13 states for the same year.”
‘Vaccine-derived polio won’t stop Nigeria from being certified free’ – Official
The Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, is optimistic that Nigeria will not suffer a setback in the success recorded on wild polio eradication in the country.
He said though the country has been experiencing another type of polio known as the ‘vaccine-derived polio’, this will not stop the country from being certified free.
He said the certification will be given to Nigeria “after it succeeds in eradicating all forms of wild polio in the country”.
Nutrition studies now in schools curricular – Nutrition Society of Nigeria
Nutrition has been included in the curricula of primary and secondary schools in Nigeria as part of efforts to promote nutrition in children for sustainable development.
Vice President, South, Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), Wasiu Afolabi, disclosed this in an interview on the sidelines of the society’s 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja.
He said the curricular which had been established in primary and secondary schools in the country would soon be extended to the polytechnics and universities.
He said apart from promoting nutrition in children, government and stakeholders want to ensure that Nigerians eat quality food no matter the age.
Vaccination: European Commission, WHO join forces to promote vaccines
European Commission and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have co-hosted the world’s first Global Vaccination Summit in Brussels.
WHO said the summit was aimed at accelerating global action to stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases. It is also aimed at advocating against the spread of vaccine misinformation worldwide.
Opening the summit, President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, called for an urgent intensification of efforts to stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles.
Healthy living – WHO task Nigerians to exercise regularly
The Officer in –Charge, World Health Organisation (WHO), Nigeria, Clement Peter, has advised Nigerians to exercise regularly to live healthy lives.
Mr Peter gave the advice at the second edition of the Abuja Walk the Talk held under the theme: “The Health for All Challenge.”
He said the walk was organised to raise awareness about Universal Health Coverage (UCH).
The Walk the Talk is also part of the activities leading to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) high-level meeting on UHC to be held in New York on the September 23.
Kenya introduces malaria vaccine
Kenya on Friday introduced the world’s first malaria vaccine, joining Ghana and Malawi to roll out the landmark vaccine for the control of the deadly disease.
The vaccine, known as RTSS, was launched in the western port of Homa Bay by the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
WHO Representative to Kenya, Rudi Eggers, said the vaccine will be available to children from six months of age in selected areas of the country in a phased pilot introduction.
He said the vaccine is the first and only vaccine to significantly reduce malaria in children.
Nigerian disburses N6.5bn Basic Health Care Fund
The federal government has shared N6.5 billion from the Basic Health Care ProvisionFund (BHCPF) to 15 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is to receive 50 per cent of the fund, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) 45 per cent, and the Health Ministry will receive 5 per cent for outbreaks and emergency responses.
Kano received the highest allocation with N948 million, closely followed by Lagos and Katsina with N672 million and N638 million respectively.
Nigeria needs more field epidemiologists – Experts
The Nigerian government needs to train more field epidemiologists to be able to face the daunting challenge of disease outbreaks in the country, an official from the U.S. Center for Disease Control, Bolu Omotayo, has said.
Mrs Omotayo made this appeal at the 4th Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (NFELTP) Annual Scientific Conference in Abuja.
Mrs Omotayo urged the government to establish a standard health institution where field epidemiologists can be trained in order to strengthen the health security of the nation.
WHO deploys technical team to Tanzania
The World Health Organisation on Thursday said it has deployed a team of technical experts to Tanzania to investigate the rumour of unknown illness in the country.
The health agency said it received news of the death of a person due to an unknown illness in the country. WHO said it has reached out to the country’s Ministry of Health officials for further details and have offered their support.
“In line with our responsibility under the International Health Regulations, WHO regularly receives and investigates numerous rumours of public health event. WHO will be informing member states of the outcome of this investigation through their national International Health Regulations focal points,” it said.
CDC announces 380 cases of lung disease linked to vaping
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday announced it had identified 380 confirmed or probable cases of lung disease that are associated with vaping.
The announcement of the cases, which span 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, came after six people in six different states died from lung diseases linked to e-cigarette use. The deaths were reported in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota and Oregon.
The CDC last week discouraged people from using vaping products as it investigates the slate of lung illnesses.