A two-day National Health Dialogue organised by Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, PTCIJ, the Project for Advocacy in Child and Family Health, PACFaH, and the Project Pink Blue was held in Abuja during the week to discuss the challenges and prospects of Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria.
The event which had in attendance policy makers, health experts, traditional rulers, civil services organisations, patients and those concerned with the health sector served as a platform to discuss and create a stronger awareness on the barriers to actualising Universal Health Coverage in the country.
After the dialogue, various recommendations were made on how the government can achieve actionable strategies for sustainable health care financing.
Journalists were also tasked to hold the government accountable and advocate for stronger health policy change; and map out an advocacy action plan towards realising a comprehensive UHC.
OVER 57 MILLION NIGERIANS LACK POTABLE WATER – UNICEF
Over 57 million Nigerians still drink water from rivers, lakes, ponds, streams and irrigation canals, a United Nation Children’s Fund, UNICEF, specialist, Moustapha Niang, said.
Mr. Niang said unless government puts in more effort to ensure accessibility to water supply, Nigeria is unlikely to meet the SDGs Goal 6 by 2030. SDG goal 6 aims at ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
He noted that access to safe water can save the lives of most under five children that die annually from preventable diseases, as most of the diseases are caused by poor access to water.
CELL PHONE RADIATION CAUSES MALE INFERTILITY
Radiation from cell phones are a likely cause of male infertility, says medical experts.
Ganiyu Arinola, a Senior Lecturer of Immunology at the University of Ibadan, said there had been growing concerns on safety radiations from laptops on laps and cell- phones on belts and in pockets, and on sperm damage.
Radiation from cell phones is said to affect sperm structure, mobility/movement, number, vitality or being alive for expected length of time.
NO LASSA FEVER OUTBREAK IN KWARA – COMMISSIONER
The Kwara State Government has dismissed reports of an alleged outbreak of Lassa fever in the state saying only two isolated cases were recorded.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Babatunde Ajeigbe, said though there was a reported case of the disease in Babanla, Ifelodun Local Government Area, the state government has sent sample of the eight people in contact with the victim for testing. He said the father of the boy also tested positive to Lassa fever.
He however assured the people of the state not to panic as there was no cause for alarm because the government was up to the task.
ZIMBABWE RECORDS INCREASED HIV DRUG RESISTANCE CASES
Zimbabwe is recording increased cases of drug resistant HIV which have contributed to shortages of Abacavier, a drug administered to patients, said a senior government official.
Abacavier is administered to patients who would have failed or reacted to initial drug combinations.
An estimated 1.2 million people are living with HIV in Zimbabwe.
POULTRY ASSOCIATION DENIES IMPORTATION OF EGGS
Ayoola Oduntan, President of Poultry Association of Nigeria, has debunked the report that some of its members imported raw eggs into the country.
Mr. Oduntan while reacting to allegation that rotten eggs were being imported into the country, said the only egg being imported into the country is egg powder and that goes to some manufacturing companies that need them.
He however explained that what the association was worried about was the smuggling of live chickens into the country, adding that most of those chickens, mainly layers, might have been sprayed with chemicals which find their ways inside the eggs.
73,000 CHILDREN RISK HUNGER IN KENYA
Aid Organisations have warned that 73,000 children in Kenya are severely malnourished and are at risk of dying from hunger due to a severe drought.
The warning comes amidst results from joint nutrition assessments conducted by the County Departments of Health and UNICEF, and nine aid organisations working on the ground, including Save the Children.
The county has witnessed extreme deterioration in nutrition and food security and the aid organisations are urgently calling on the national and local governments to prioritise critical funds and support for the response.