Major health stories in the news last week

Monkeypox
Monkeypox victim used to illustrate the story [Photo: Outbreak News Today]

These are the major health reports published last week.

Monkeypox: Nigeria records one death, confirms 61 cases

Fourteen weeks after the first suspected monkeypox case in the country, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, reported the first death from the disease. The agency also announced 61 confirmed cases.

NCDC said there has been a decline in the number of new suspected cases reported over the last five weeks. It, therefore, deactivated the monkeypox Emergency Operations Centre, EOC.

Since the onset of the outbreak, a total of 172 cases (suspected, confirmed and probable) have been recorded from 22 States and the Federal Capital Territory. The total confirmed cases were 61 in 14 states.

Borno Govt vaccinates 1.6 million children against measles

The Borno State Government says it has inoculated 1.6 million children against measles in the past three weeks.

The state Commissioner for Health, Haruna Mshelia, said the immunisation which was done in collaboration with World Health Organisation, WHO, and other humanitarian partners helped controll the outbreak.

Mr. Mshelia disclosed that the first phase conducted in Borno South senatorial district and four local government areas of the central zone recorded 92 per cent coverage, while the second phase was conducted in the northern part of the state and the remaining four local governments of the central senatorial district.

Report Illegal Drug Production

The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has called on Nigerians to report the production of fake drugs around them, in line with the whistle blowing policy of the federal government.

Christiana Adeyeye, NAFDAC Director-General, urged the public to blow the whistle whenever they discover any form of illegal manufacturing or production of drugs within their vicinity because most of these illegal production of drugs are done in the night.

The agency admitted that one of its greatest challenge in the fight against counterfeit has been the shortage of manpower because Nigeria is a large and complex country, and “its little manpower cannot be everywhere.”

Drug Abuse: Senate Goes After Importers, Distributors

The Senate has vowed to tackle the menace of drug abuse from its roots by going after importers and distributors of drugs.

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki stressed that the tackling the interplay between dirty money and drug importation and distribution would help tackle its prevalence.

The Senate held a roundtable with state governments, local governments, traditional rulers, the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria and NGOs, to tackle the menace.

Increased Investment In Health Sector

The federal government has pledged to increase investment in the health sector, so as to halt the mass migration of health professionals from the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari while receiving the executive members of Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, appreciated the concern expressed by the association on the state of the health sector in the country, and promised to implement the association’s recommendations to improve the health sector.

The President of MDCAN, Ngim Ngim, also urged for a single term of five years for Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of tertiary hospitals. He called for the establishment of medical universities in each geo-political zone and appealed for action on the resolution of inter-professional rivalry in health care in the country.

Cholera In Yemen

The number of suspected cholera cases in war-torn Yemen has reached one million, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

The World Health Organisation warned in November that some 2,200 people have already died from the waterborne disease, which has propagated rapidly due to deteriorating hygiene and sanitation conditions.

Marc Poncin, the emergency coordinator for Doctors Without Borders, MSF, in Yemen, said that cholera mortality rates had been on a downward trend in recent months but warned that the disease was far from vanquished as next year’s rainy season could bring an uptick in the outbreak.

Diphtheria Kills 21 in Bangladesh Rohingya Camps

Twenty one deaths from Diphtheria have been reported among the Rohingya population in the Cox’s Bazar camp in Bangladesh, said the World Health Organisation.

The health agency also said 1,571 suspected cases of the bacterial disease were registered in the Rohingya refugee camps of South-east Bangladesh between November 10 and December 17. The agency has also started a second vaccination drive to rein in the outbreak.

Diphtheria is a highly contagious disease that mainly affects the nose and throat and can cause breathing problems. It can be fatal if left untreated, but has become increasingly rare in recent decades because of high vaccination rates.


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