Major health stories last week

Hospital with pregnant women [Photo: The New York Times]
Hospital with pregnant women [Photo: The New York Times]

Nigeria could save $1.5 billion yearly – UNFPA

The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, said Nigeria would be saving $1.5 billion annually by investing in maternal health.

The Deputy Representative of UNFPA, Eugene Kongnyuy, said investing in maternal health is a smart investment as it will translate to reducing the number of women dying.

He said more than 55 per cent of pregnant women still gave birth without any assistance from a skilled health worker and only 12 per cent of pregnant women who needed emergency obstetric care services received them.

He said the costs of not taking action now would mean that poverty eradication efforts would be undermined, economic growth affected, inequalities sustained and countries will miss out on a vast source of human capital needed to take sustainable development forward in the 21st century.

1.7 million child deaths

The World Health Organization has attributed more than one in every four deaths of children under the age of five to unhealthy environments.

Recent health reports show that 1.7 million children under the age of five die every year due to environmental risks such as indoor and outdoor pollution, second-degree smoke, unsafe water, lack of sanitation and inadequate hygiene which are preventable by interventions known to reduce environmental risks.

The agency called for reduction in air pollution, improved safe water and sanitation, improved hygiene and building safer environments.

Community loses pregnant women monthly

A community in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, says it loses not less than five pregnant women monthly due to lack of access to healthcare services.

Danlami Barde, the District Head of Jagindi Tasha of Godogodo Chiefdom, said at an event by the National Orientation Agency, NOA, and UNICEF that five women died in January on their way to Kafanchan General Hospital for delivery.

The area has only a clinic with no qualified health officer to ensure safe delivery. As a result, pregnant women from the community lose their lives while struggling to access nearby Kafanchan general hospital which happens to be more than 35 kilometres from Jagindi Tasha.

Abuja Airport: Five hospitals for emergencies

Ahead of the closure of the Abuja International Airport to pave way for the maintenance of the runway, the Federal government has selected five hospitals to treat serious accident victims and provide other emergency healthcare services.

Three of the hospitals are in Kaduna State while the other two are in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. First Aid Centres and Primary Health Care Centres along the Abuja-Kaduna highway are also being upgraded to take care of minor injuries.

The five hospitals are the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base Hospital, 44 Army Brigade Hospital, and St. Geralds Catholic Hospital located in Kaduna metropolis, as well as the National Hospital, Abuja and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada.

Increased disease rate in Nigeria

The change in lifestyle of people and the economic recession has been pointed as reasons for increasing rate of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cancer and hypertension in the country

The President of Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, Olusegun Elegbede, said there is evidence that non-communicable diseases are undermining the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals. He also said the World Economic Forum has reported it as a leading macro-economic risk at global level.

U.S envoy commends Nigeria’s fight against Hiv/Aids

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, commended the federal government and agencies involved in the provision of care and treatment for HIV/AIDS patients.

The envoy gave the commendation after inspecting a laboratory and other equipment donated by the U.S to the Aids Prevention Initiative Nigeria (APIN), a Public Health Initiative in Jos, Plateau State.

The Nigerian government as well as other donor agencies have been involved in providing care and treatment to HIV and AIDS patients in collaboration with the American Presidential Emergency Plan for aids relief since 2004.

Abuja hospitals get accreditation

Three general hospital owned by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) located in Maitama, Wuse and Asokoro have secured full accreditation from the National Post Graduate Medical College of Nigeria and West African College of Physicians for post graduate residency.

The FCT Acting Secretary of Health, Grace Achu-Odey, said that the hospitals were accorded full accreditation for residency training in obstetrics and gynaecology for five years with effect from July, 2016.

This means that we would have our doctors carrying out their training within our facilities, while providing services to the populace of Abuja, she said.

One million women infected with HIV annually

The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said a million women and girls became newly infected with HIV per annum, and 470,000 women and girls died of AIDS-related illnesses.

A new report released to commemorate the International Women’s Day said that there was an urgent need to scale up HIV prevention and treatment services for women and girls.

“Nearly one million women are becoming infected with HIV every year and only half of all women living with HIV have access to lifesaving treatment. It makes AIDS now the leading cause of death worldwide among women between the ages of 30 and 49,” the agency said.

Nigeria launched mobile health education

The Federal Government has launched a programme to use mobile phones in informing pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers across the country about health and nutrition issues.

The programme, “mNutrition,” is using mobile technology to send text messages to Nigerians with a view to expanding access to health and nutrition services.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said the programme was a step towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC)and fight malnutrition. He said malnutrition slows economic growth and perpetuates poverty by reducing children’s brain development, their ability to learn and be productive citizens during their adult years.

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