One of the major events in the health sector last week was the celebration of the first World Patient Safety Day across the globe, including in Nigeria. The day emphasises the need to ensure that patients do not get harmed while receiving medical attention.
Here is a round-up of the major news in the sector last week
Doctors’ association tasks governors on quality healthcare
The North Central Caucus of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has urged the Nigerian Governors Forum to focus attention on quality health care delivery for their citizens.
The NARD leader, Agbo Ede, said the government needs to start renovation and upgrading of health facilities.
Mr Ede who lamented the deplorable state of many state-owned secondary and tertiary health facilities said state governments need to domesticate the Medical Training Act 2017.
NAFDAC warns against consumption of non-iodised salt
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised Nigerians to stop consuming non-iodised salt as “it is dangerous to human health.”
The director of public affairs of the agency, Abubakar Jimoh, said NAFDAC is making an effort to stop the consumption in some rural communities where unprocessed local salt is still consumed.
Mr Jimoh said there are four areas in Nigeria where traditional salt are still being traded. He said the consumption of such salt could lead to goiter and other dangerous diseases.
Nigeria records 23 deaths linked to yellow fever in Bauchi
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) said 23 persons have so far died since an outbreak of yellow fever was reported in Alkaleri Local Government Area in Bauchi State.
NCDC, in its situation report, said that 23 people have died since the confirmation of the first case linked to Alkaleri on August 29.
According to a statement issued by the agency on Thursday, as of September 11, there had been 169 clinically suspected laboratory cases of the disease, with 15 confirmed in the laboratory.
The agency, however, said further sample testing was ongoing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory in Abuja.
Four out of 10 patients ‘harmed’ while seeking medical treatment — WHO
The World Health Organisation said four out of ten patients are ‘harmed’ during the process of medical care.
Many of these injuries can be prevented through quality healthcare services, it noted.
In order to raise awareness on the importance of patient safety globally, the 72nd World Health Assembly agreed that the World Patient Safety Day should be celebrated every September 17.
The new international day is part of the strategies to call the attention of the government and policymakers across the world to making healthcare safer.
This year is the first edition and the theme is “Patient Safety: A Global Priority.”
Tanzania government debunks claim of Ebola virus
The Tanzanian government has denied any case of Ebola virus disease in the country.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday said it had received formal notification from the government that there are no cases of Ebola virus disease in the country.
This followed earlier rumours of the death of one person and illness in a few others.
The Tanzanian authorities did not indicate what the cause of the illnesses might have been.
Nigerian govt. interrupts river blindness transmission in some endemic states
The Federal Ministry of Health has announced that Onchocerciasis (River Blindness disease) has been interrupted in Plateau, Nasarawa and Kaduna States.
The ministry also said the transmission of the disease is suspected to have been interrupted in Zamfara, Kebbi, Oyo and Bauchi States.
The Permanent Secretary, Abdulaziz Abdullahi, said the achievement implies that a total of 4.2 million persons no longer need to be placed on the mass administration of medicines for Onchocerciasis in the endemic local government areas of Plateau, Nasarawa and Kaduna states.
With these achievements, the three states in Nigeria has joined countries like Columbia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico in the Americas and Awi Zone in Ethiopia in the interruption of transmission of river blindness. Uganda also interrupted river blindness in 15 out of 17 foci.
Diseases: Group urges Nigerian govt to implement comprehensive healthcare
The Nigerian government needs to implement a comprehensive health intervention that addresses all cases of communicable and noncommunicable diseases in the country, rather than focus on a selected few.
The Nigeria Implementation Science Alliance (NISA) made this call on Tuesday at its 2019 conference in Abuja.
The Chief Executive Officer and Co-chair of NISA 2019 conference, Patrick Dakum, who was speaking to journalists at the conference, stressed that every disease is crucial.
Mr Dakum said that a key objective of the conference was to ensure an increase in low uptake of health service outcomes in the country, in a collaboration with the public and private sector.
More women and children survive today than ever before – UN report
More women and their children are surviving than ever before, a new child and maternal mortality estimates released by United Nations groups led by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) has shown.
Since 2000, child deaths have reduced by nearly half and maternal deaths by over one-third, mostly due to improved access to affordable, quality health services.
Still, the new estimates reveal that 6.2 million children under 15 years died in 2018, and over 290 000 women died due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth in 2017. Of the total child deaths, 5.3 million occurred in the first 5 years, with almost half of these in the first month of life.
Bill Gates to African Leaders: Invest more in girl-child education, health
Bill and Melinda Gates has called on African leaders to invest in quality girl-child education and health in order to achieve the sustainable development target.
The couple, in their 2019 annual Goalkeepers Report released on Tuesday, said for Sub-Saharan countries, particularly Nigeria, to make progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the governments need to focus on tackling gender inequities in the countries. Gender inequality has been noted as one of the bedrocks on which poverty thrives
The couple harped on the need for African leaders to invest and develop human capital as “the best way for a country to unlock productivity and innovation, cut poverty create opportunities and generate prosperity.”
34,000 children face acute malnutrition in Taraba –UNICEF
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has said over 34,000 children in Taraba State are at risk of severe acute malnutrition if urgent measures are not taken to save the situation.
UNICEF Nigeria, Bauchi Field Office, Bhanu Pathak, during a courtesy call on the state governor, Dairus Ishaku, in Jalingo said Taraba State has an estimated 34,419 severe acute malnutrition cases.
Mr Pathak said with no health facilities to provide treatment for these children, they are at the risk of dying and urged the government to intervene appropriately and on time.
He also lamented that more than 75,000 children under five were yet to be fully immunised from polio and other child-killer diseases. He said the state government need to step up actions to address the issues.
Nigeria’s Postgraduate Medical College Laments Exodus of Young Doctors To Other Climes
The National Postgraduate Medical College, on Thursday in Abuja, admitted 477 convokes into the fellowship of the college.
Da Lilly-Tariah, the president of the college, made this disclosure at the 37 convocation ceremony of the college.
He said the Faculty of Obstetrics and Gynecology had the highest number with 100 convokes while the Faculty of Paediatric and Internal medicine had 59 and 51 respectively.
Mr Lilly-Tariah said that Family Dentistry, ORL-HNS, and Anaesthesia had four, five, and seven convokes, adding that the number of candidates applying for the examination had been on the decline.