Major health stories in the news last week

Sniper Insecticides used to illustrate the story (Photo Credit: Cleaneat Integrated Services)
Sniper Insecticides used to illustrate the story (Photo Credit: Cleaneat Integrated Services)
Suicide: Nigeria bans ‘Sniper’ chemical

The Nigerian government has placed a ban on the manufacturing of small bottles of ‘Sniper’, an agro-chemical that has increasingly become a choice for persons contemplating suicide.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control said the ban became necessary because of the recent wave of suicide cases across the country linked to the intake of Sniper.

Many Nigerians have been calling on the government to check the proliferation and ease to access Sniper because of its wrong use.

Sniper is sold openly in the Nigerian market.

FG denies reports of Ebola case in Nigeria

The federal government has debunked the report of the discovery of a case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)in Nigeria.

The Ministry of Health in a press statement signed by its director of media, Boade Akinola, described as false the message circulating on social media claiming a reported case of Ebola in the country.

According to the statement, the permanent secretary of the ministry, Abdulaziz Abdullahi, urged Nigerians to disregard the rumour.

Mr Abdullahi also warned against the “circulation of any unverified information which could cause harm to innocent people and unnecessary panic among the citizens.”

Egypt to help fight hepatitis C

The Egyptian government has announced its intention to provide hepatitis C treatment for one million people in 14 African countries.

This promise was reportedly made by the Egyptian Minister of Health and Population, Hala Zaid, at the opening of the African Hepatitis Summit 2019, in Kampala, Uganda.


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It is the first African Hepatitis Summit to be held by the World Health Organisation (WHO) African Region.

The summit discussed the high prevalence of hepatitis B and C in Africa, the slow rate of government intervention and also finding a lasting solution to the disease on the continent.

Ebola: FG orders total health surveillance at ports, borders

The federal government has directed port health service officials and other relevant agencies at the points of entry to Nigeria to heighten surveillance toward ensuring that all passengers coming into the country are screened to forestall Ebola.

The Permanent Secretary of the health ministry, Abdulaziz Abdullahi, gave the directive in Lagos while inspecting health facilities at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Mr Abdullahi also appreciated the efforts of Lagos State Government on preparedness and surveillance system against the Ebola virus.

Borno needs 4,000 more health personnel – Health Union

The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Borno chapter, says additional 4,000 health personnel are required for effective health services delivery in the existing health facilities in the state.

The MHWUN state chairman, Yusuf Inuwa, said in Maiduguri that inadequate health personnel in the state-owned health institutions was affecting health care delivery in the state.

He added that retired workers must be replaced to change the trend.

WHO speaks on epilepsy

More than 75 per cent of people with epilepsy in low-income countries are at the risk of premature death, due to lack of access to antiseizure medicines, according to the first global report on epilepsy by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

About 80 per cent of people with epilepsy live in low- and middle-income countries. Appropriate use of antiseizure medicines that are cheap and effective can make up to 70 per cent of people with epilepsy seizure free, showed the Epilepsy, a public health imperative report.

The report was released on June 20 by WHO and two non-governmental organisations for epilepsy — the International League Against Epilepsy and the International Bureau for Epilepsy.

U.S. inaugurates $225 million health programme in Nigeria

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a 225 million dollars new flagship health activity to help five states in Nigeria improve access to primary healthcare services.

The embassy in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja said that the five years Integrated Health Programme (IHP) would also help improve essential commodities and increase demand for services of those states

The mission said that IHP inaugurated would be implemented in Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto, with two more states to be added soon.

Adamawa declares cholera outbreak

The Adamawa State Government has declared an outbreak of cholera in three local government areas in the state.

The state ministry of health made the declaration in a press statement on June 18, after notifications of newly confirmed cases from Yola North, Yola South and Girei LGAs.

As at June 17, a total of 76 cases have been reported, including one death from three LGAs Yola North (44 cases including 1 death), Yola South (1 case) and Girei (31 cases).

The state health ministry, with technical support of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other partners, has activated the Emergency Operation Centre to coordinate the response and deployed Rapid Response Teams to the most affected communities.

PCN seals 231 illegal facilities in Nasarawa

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has sealed 231 drug dispensing facilities in Nasarawa State over illegal practices.
The Director of Enforcement of the council, Stephen Esumobi, said in Lafia that the action followed a week-long monitoring exercise across the state by the enforcement team.

According to him, the sealed premises comprised 18 pharmacies and 213 illegal patent medicine shops.

He listed some of the offences committed by the operators of the outlets to include: poor sanitary conditions, none availability of pharmacists, poor documentation and non-display of premises and pharmacists annual licences.

Niger health sector suffers from brain drain

Primary healthcare centres in Niger State are acutely in need of doctors and midwives thereby putting the few secondary and tertiary institutions in the state under severe pressure, findings by PREMIUM TIMES show.

The situation stifles any plan by the state towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) if not addressed. Providing adequate access to care for the entire population of the state will require enough professional hands, especially in the hinterlands.


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