Major health stories in the news last week

File photo of Resident Doctors
File photo of Resident Doctors

Sweden faces shortage of doctors, nurses

Swedes are frustrated over their universal healthcare, one of the main pillars of their cherished welfare state, with long waiting queues due to a shortage of nurses and doctors in some areas.

The AFP citing official data said 80 percent of the healthcare sector is in need of nurses. Online services where patients see a doctor via webcam, have mushroomed as a result of the shortages.

The health crisis is a major issue for voters as the country gets set for another election on September 9.

Swedes, who on average pay more than half of their income in tax, see access to healthcare as the most important issue in the general election, polls suggest.

Council inducts 45 foreign trained laboratory scientists

The Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) has inducted 45 foreign graduates of Medical Laboratory Science.

Tosan Erhabor, Acting Registrar of the council, at the induction in Abuja said the graduands have scaled through the seven months pre-qualification training and examination.

Mr Erhabor, who described the induction as third in the series, noted that no fewer than 179 foreign trained scientists have so far been inducted by the council since the commencement of the pre-qualification training programme and examination.

While congratulating the inductees, he urged them to brace up for the challenges ahead.

Chinese scientists develop new wound healing material

Chinese scientists have developed a new kind of adhesive antibacterial hydrogel that can be used in wound healing treatment.

A dressing material is essential for skin wound healing. Designing wound dressing materials with antibacterial properties, therapeutic effects and suitable mechanical properties has practical significance in health care.

Hydrogel wound dressings have gained popularity in recent years, but they have shortcomings such as an inability to fit the skin and a lack of antibacterial properties.

Researchers at Xi’an Jiaotong University in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province have designed a self-healing, injectable hydrogel that has multiple functions as a wound dressing, especially for joint skin damage.


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Rising HIV infections in Kenya

The government of Kenya has raised concern over the increase in new HIV infections among the adolescents and the youth. Over 40 per cent of new HIV/AIDS infections occur among youth in the 15-24 age bracket.

It described the trend a drawback in the fight against the disease.

The Kenya Standard newspaper reported Kenya Health Secretary, Sicily Kariuki, as saying the 2018 Global Progress Report by UNAIDS confirms that attainment of 90:90:90 targets by 2020 may be an uphill task if interventions are not scaled up where new infections and stigma levels are concerned.

She also expressed concern over funding urging a relook at the financing models to ensure a sustained resource base for HIV and AIDS response.

Scientists reveal best combo drugs to prevent heart attack

Researchers from the William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University London in the United Kingdom have made public the results of a large long-term study that looked at the efficiency of different treatments in keeping cardiovascular disease and heart attack at bay.

A combination of blood pressure-lowering drugs and statins (which are drugs that help regulate cholesterol levels) shows the best results, the experts explained.

They presented the study’s results at the European Society of Cardiology annual congress, held in Munich, Germany, and they featured them in a dedicated paper now published in The Lancet.

“Patients in their mid-60s with high blood pressure were less likely to die from heart disease or stroke by age 75–80 if they had taken both calcium channel blocker-based blood pressure lowering treatment and a statin,” explained Ajay Gupta.

Nigerian doctors give Buhari administration deadline to constitute crucial medical board

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has given the Nigerian government till the end of September to constitute the Board of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) or face its wrath.

The President of the association, Francis Faduyile, who announced the ultimatum on Thursday, said the association was prepared to approach the court on the issue.

Mr Faduyile said it is saddening that three years after dissolving the last board, the government was yet to constitute a new one.

He said the action of the government has badly affected health delivery in the country, as the profession has gone unregulated.

ABUTH to conduct first open heart surgery in Northern Nigeria

The Chief Medical Director of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Lawal Khalid, says the hospital will carry out its first open heart surgery by the end of September.

Mr Khalid, a professor, said the exercise will be the first in northern Nigeria.

He said the surgery will be conducted in collaboration with a University in Ghana and University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, which is a national centre for open heart surgery in Nigeria.

According to him, the surgery was the culmination of several years of careful planning and upgrade of the capacity of ABUTH.

Nigerian govt approves N6 trillion health development plan

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday approved a N6.01 trillion National Strategic Health Development Plan II.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said the new plan which covers 2018 to 2022, involves the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The minister revealed that the plan was approved at the National Council of Health’s meeting that took place in Kano on June 21.

Maiduguri Teaching Hospital gets new CMD

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Ahmed Ahidjo as the Chief Medical Director for University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri, Borno State.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, while congratulating the new CMD on his appointment, reminded him of the enormous responsibility of his office and the yearning of Nigerians for an effective and responsive healthcare delivery system.

Mr Adewole also advised Mr Ahidjo to justify the confidence reposed on him by the president, working with all stakeholders to ensure industrial harmony in the health sector.

Mr Ahidjo’s appointment is a four years term with effect from September 3.

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