Major health stories in the news last week

Health Minister, Isaac Adewole
Health Minister, Isaac Adewole

These are some of the major health issues in the news last week:

Nigerian health workers pass vote of no confidence on Minister

The professional rivalry in the Nigerian health sector is threatening to boil over as other unions in the sector have accused the ministry of showing blatant favouritism to medical doctors. They have thus passed a vote of no confidence on the minister, Isaac Adewole.

The Joint Health Sector Union and Assembly of Health Care Professionals, JOHESU/AHPA, said that it is only the medical practitioners that are in the Ministry of Health. They demanded a restructuring of appointments at the ministry to accommodate allied health professionals in the political leadership of the sector.

Community health workers to begin administering contraceptives in Nigeria

The Nigerian government has given its nod to Community Health Extension Workers, CHEW, to begin administering family planning contraception and implants for women, in an effort to increase family planning coverage across the country.

According to the Federal Ministry of Health, the policy authorises lower cadres of health workers, including CHEWs, to administer implants and intra-uterine contraceptive devices (IUCDS). Until the policy was unfurled, that responsibility was undertaken only by trained nurses and midwives.

Two states, Kaduna and Ondo, have been selected as pilot states to kick start the programme.

Aisha Buhari’s clinic for women opens in Daura

A 50 -bed capacity maternal and children clinic built and equipped by the Aisha Buhari Foundation State was inaugurated by the wife of the president in Daura, Katsina State.

Mrs. Buhari decried the poor state of maternal and child health in Nigeria, saying that maternal and child mortality are serious health challenges which require support from all quarters before it can be tamed.

She added that the health of women and children was at the front burner of development discourse and that the National Health Policy had been drawn to lay emphasis on primary healthcare as the bedrock of the national health system.

300 doctors abandon Nigeria

Three hundred Nigerian doctors left the country in 2016, the National President, Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Mike Ogirima has revealed.

Mr. Ogirima said this at the association’s National Executive Council, NEC which had the theme, “Exodus of Healthcare Professionals, Time to Act is Now.” He said more doctors have already joined the migration train this year, though he did not give any statistics.

According to some reports, an estimated 35,000 Nigerian doctors are practising abroad, out of the 72,000 registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. The United Kingdom and the United States are the top destinations of the migrant doctors.

The NMA President said that the responsibility to check the migration lies with the government, the people and professionals to provide good working environment.

Nigerian nurses lack life support skills

Inspire Nurses Network Africa,INNA, an NGO, has said 90 per cent of Nigerian nurses lacked basic life support skills on emergency care.

Josiah Okesola, leader of the group, emphasised that every nurse was supposed to be trained on emotional intelligence and critical thinking as well as basic life support skills as these would enable them to respond effectively to emergency anywhere they found themselves.

He lamented that majority of nurses in Nigeria lacked such training and skills to arrest heart attack or prevent sudden death .

Experts tackle drug resistant tuberculosis

Health experts have urged the three tiers of government to show more commitment at eradicating drug-resistance tuberculosis in order to free Nigerians from the scourge.

Omosivie Maduka , Programme Manager, Drug Resistant Tuberculosis Treatment Centre, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, UPTH said that health workers should always treat their drug resistant tuberculosis patients properly.

Mr. Maduka emphasised that health workers should always be happy and ready to treat the drug resistant tuberculosis patients in any situation or challenge. He said communicating with tuberculosis patients was very important to reduce the rate of stigma related with the disease.

He explained that there were several things governments could do to reduce drug resistant tuberculosis which include providing drugs and equipment for treatment.

Senate to battle drug abuse in Kano

In keeping to its resolution to fight the abuse of drugs and other substances by Nigerian youth, the Senate is to hold a roundtable to discuss ways to fight the menace.

The Senate’s roundtable will hold in Kano State and will have in attendance state governments, local governments, traditional rulers, the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria and NGOs.

The expected outcome of the discussion includes gaining a better understanding of drug use, prevalence, trends and patterns in Nigeria.

According to the National Drug Law enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kano State has the highest number of youth engaged in drug and substance abuse.

Kogi doctors extend strike notice till December 31

The Kogi chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, says it has extended to December 31, an ultimatum it gave to the state government to meet its demands or face strike.

Godwin Tijani, the state chairman, said in Lokoja that the extension of the date was due to the reassurances from the state government to meet the demands before December 31.

“However, with effect from Janyary 1, 2018, NMA will be left with no option but to commence total withdrawal of services in all hospitals in Kogi if the condition that the state government fails to properly address the demands on or before December 31,” Mr. Tijani said.

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