European Union donates Seventy Million Euros to Support Nigerian Health Project
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Federal Government and the European Union, EU, for a 70 million euros donation by the union to support the revamping of Nigeria’s health sector.
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said the fund will be used to strengthen the nation’s weak health system and the final push to eradicate polio.
Michel Arrion, EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, emphasised the need to concentrate on reducing the nation’s burden of maternal child mortality.
About 2.7 million children under five years of age and pregnant women are expected to benefit from this funding in Adamawa, Bauchi, and Kebbi states.
Eight people were confirmed dead in the latest outbreak of Lassa fever in Nasarawa State.
Ibrahim Adamu, the Director of Public Health at the Nasarawa State Ministry of Health, said out of the 11 confirmed cases recorded since the index case in November 2016, eight have died while three others are responding to treatment at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) in Lafia.
Mr. Adamu said that the number of people who had contact with the patients and were being monitored had risen to 82 from 66.
He said the state government had shown commitment towards fighting the outbreak by providing the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and drugs for the treatment of the disease.
The Commissioner for Health in Ondo State, Dayo Adeyanju, has disputed claims of new cases of Lassa fever in the state from last December. He said the figures released by the Federal Ministry of Health concerning the state were inaccurate.
Elsie Ilori, Director of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, had said 44 cases of Lassa fever had been reported since December 2016 in nine states including Ogun, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba, Edo, Nasarawa, Rivers, Ebonyi and Ondo, with some of the cases classified as probable.
Mr. Adeyanju said the cases cited by the agency occurred “a very long time ago,” and that no new case had been recorded since December.
He said the Ondo State Ministry of Health had only undertaken a state-wide sensitisation campaign following a recurrence of the epidemic in neighbouring states like Ogun in December.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Lanre Tejuosho, said incessant strike in the Nigerian health sector has had adverse effect on progress in the sector.
Speaking during the budget defence of the Ministry of Health and its agencies, Mr. Tejuosho said that the implementation of the National Health Act, 2014 will go a long way in improving the health sector.
The implementation of the Act would aid growth in the health sector as the one per cent consolidation fund enshrined in the Act has not been realised because the Act has not been implemented, he said.
The Act also has the purpose of providing healthcare insurance to poor Nigerians.
The National Health Act seeks to establish a framework for the regulation, development and management of a national health system, to set standards for rendering health services in Nigeria and other matters concerned therewith.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved a new National Health Policy titled “Promoting the Health of Nigerians to Accelerate Socio-economic Development,”
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, while briefing the media at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday in Abuja said the new policy is the third in the history of Nigeria, coming after those of 1988 and 2004.
Mr. Adewole said the new policy will also provide “direction necessary to support the achievement of significant progress in terms of improving the performance of the national health system.
The new policy was formulated by a technical working group chaired by former minister of Health, Eyitayo Lambo, “to look into the country’s context, the challenges, what went wrong in the past and how we can reposition the health sector,” Mr. Adewole said.
The Chairman of Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare, Communicable and Non Communicable Diseases, Mao Ohuabunwa, has called on the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, to verify the claim of a Nigerian university don, Maduike Ezeibe, of having produced a cure for HIV.
Mr. Ohuabunwa said it is not proper to dismiss the professor’s claim without verification by relevant bodies without subjecting the claim to scientific analysis in order to arrive at a definite decision.
Mr. Ezeibe, a researcher in Veterinary Medicine at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, was reported to have discovered cure for HIV/AIDS.
Reacting to the claim, Executive Secretary of the NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, said they were satisfied with the stand taken by NACA and the Centre for Disease Control on the issue.
According to Mr. Shuaib, anyone announcing cure for any disease must follow some rigorous steps. He said based on the evidence and records that the professor provided, the claim falls short of what is expected in terms of rigour and what is acceptable.
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has said Nigerian doctors offer better services than their counterparts abroad.
Mr. Adewole stated this during the commissioning of the Maternity and Neonatal Wards and Central Pharmacy Building at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife in Osun State.
He canvassed patronage of Nigerian medical practitioners.
He commended the hospital management for its services to the masses, charging the management to publicise the hospital services for more patronage.
He dismissed claims that the hospital’s services were limited and that it had no effective medical equipment.
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Victor Adetiloye described OAUTHC as the best hospital in the country.
Kenya court frees jailed doctors
Jailed officials of Kenya Medical Practitioners’, Pharmacists and Dentists Union have been ordered to be released to continue negotiations with the government over a strike that has paralysed the public health sector.
The order was given by the Court of Appeal in the country after the officials were ordered to serve a one-month jail term by a lower court which found them guilty of contempt of court in relation to a strike which started in December.
According to Kenya’s Nation newspaper, lawyers for the Council of Governors and Kenya Medical Practitioners’, Pharmacists and Dentists Union agreed to have the doctors released immediately to carry on with talks.
They are expected to craft a return-to-work formula that will be presented in court on February 23, meaning doctors may have to vacate the 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement they have been pushing their employer to effect.
Doctors in public hospitals in Kenya have been on strike since December 5 over pay and conditions.