Major health stories in the news last week

Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health.

These are some of the major health reports that were published last week.

Bauchi records 507 suspected cases of measles — WHO

The Bauchi state Health Educator, Ribado Jibrin, said the state would conduct the 2017 measles campaign in two phases to capture eligible children from nine to 59 months and also to ensure that the 1.7 million eligible children were effectively captured.

He said the first phase will hold between November 30 and December 5 in Alkaleri, Bauchi, Bogoro, Darazo, Dass and Giade, Jamaáre, Kirfi, Tafawa Balewa, Toro and Warji.

He said the second phase which will hold on a date to be given later will take place in Dambam, Gamawa, Ganjuwa, Itas Gadau, Katagum, Misau and Ningi local governments.

The World Health Organisation, WHO, Measles Consultant, Bezu Beshir had earlier said 507 suspected cases of measles were reported from the 20 local government areas of the state between January and October 2017 in which 162 specimen were collected and 56 patients tested positive of the virus.

More life threatening diseases may ravage Nigeria

There may be outbreaks of more deadly diseases in the future if people continue to tamper with the ecosystem and adequate expertise is not applied to wild life conservation and management.

George Ogunjemite, a professor at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA said life threatening diseases like HIV, Ebola and Monkeypox may be mild compared to other diseases outbreak that may occur in future if the ecological community of primates and mammals are not handled by humans with utmost care.

The professor said because of the remarkable genetic and physiological similarities between most mammals and man, most of the infectious agents affecting apes can affect humans and vice versa.

Senate to pass bill establishing Nigeria disease centre

A bill for an Act to establish the National Centre for Disease and Control, NCDC, will be passed by the National Assembly before the end of the year, the chairman, Senate committee on primary healthcare and communicable diseases, Mao Ohuabunwa, has said.

The senator at the launch of the NCDC Strategy and Implementation Plan (2017-2021) said the senate was committed to the development of the health sector especially to achieve success in disease prevention and control in the country.

He added that the lawmakers are ready to support NCDC, National Agency for Control of AIDS, NACA, and primary health care by implementing the basic Universal Health Care, UHC, law which stipulates clearly that one per cent of the consolidated revenue should be dedicated to health.

Fistula patients to get free surgical, laboratory services

The federal government has approved free surgical and laboratory services for all fistula patients in all Federal Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centres in the country.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said that Engender Health/Fistula Care Plus, an NGO, would support all the facilities with consumables and supplies for the free surgeries.

Obstetric fistula commonly known as ”VVF” in Nigeria is a condition were women cannot control leakage of urine and faces and this is usually caused by prolonged labour.

Only one-third of Nigerians in need of HIV treatment are getting it – NACA

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, has urged state governments to invest in HIV/AIDs programme to enable more people with the virus get treatment as only about one in three persons who need treatment for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria are getting the life-saving treatment.

According to the agency, about three million people in the country need the treatment with only over one million people receiving it.

The minister said with three million Nigerians requiring HIV treatment at about N50,000 per patient per year, that translates to about N150 billion which is 60 per cent of the 2017 ministry of health budget.

The health official said it is only in about nine states in the country that more than half of people living with HIV are on treatment.

German doctor found guilty for advertising abortion

A German Gynaecologist, Kristina Haenel, was fined $7,150 by a court in Germany after being found guilty of “advertising” abortion by providing information about the procedure on her website.

Ms. Haenel, a 61-year-old medical doctor posted information on her website in April 2015 about the legal and medical aspects of the procedure in German, English and Turkish. This, the court found, violated a law that forbids advertising abortion services in a way that is to the person’s own economic advantage.

The doctor who has performed abortions for 30 years, said she was only fulfilling her ethical duty by providing information to women considering ending their pregnancies.


The Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria, SOGON, will spend N4 million on free treatment and specialised surgery to indigent women in Sokoto rural communities.

Yakubu Ahmad, the Chief Medical Director of Usmanu Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, UDUTH, Sokoto said the free surgeries organised as part of the 51 Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference would cover combined specialised surgeries, medication and other chains of treatments.

According to him, 200 women are been targeted for surgeries for cases which include VVF, cancer and others.

Diabetes association demands testing, medication centre

The Diabetic Association of Nigeria, DAN, Jigawa chapter, has appealed to government to establish testing and medication centres for its members.

The chairman of the association, Bashir Ringim, said that the centres could also be used for enlightenment, sensitisation and managing people living with diabetes, and added that diabetes was more dangerous than HIV/AIDS.

He explained that people with diabetes need special care because of the nature of the disease which sometimes leads to amputation of limbs of the victims when they have injuries.

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