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World Hepatitis Day: NGO urge Govt, stakeholders to invest on cure, prevention

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A Non-Governmental Organisation, Kings Health and Development Initiative and the Coalition on Hepatitis Civil Society on Monday call on all tiers of Government to save people’s lives by investing on eradication of Hepatitis in Nigeria.

Mr Ayo Olanipekun, the Project Lead for Kings Health and Development Initiative made the call, during an awareness campaign across Ilorin metropoly to celebrate the World Hepatitis Day.

According to him, over 325 million people worldwide are living with Hepatitis, while the viral Hepatitis B and C is 50 to 100 percent more infectious than HIV/AIDS.

He explained that 780,000 persons die every year from the disease, and about 80 percent have no access to to testing and treatment.

“The prevalence of Hepatitis B is highest in Sub-Saharan African countries such as Nigeria, with majority developing chronic infections,” he said.

Olanipekun who observed that the theme for the 2019 World Hepatitis Day is: “Invest in eradication of Hepatitis,” also appealed to governments, corporate bodies and other stakeholders to invest in preventable means.

He disclosed that, according to a research by the Federal Ministry of Health, Kwara records the highest in Hepatitis C in North Central states.

He explained that the campaign is to create awareness on the burden of Hepatitis and the menace of the disease and the need to help people access health care.

He added that millions of people infected with Hepatitis were unaware of their condition, and that people should avail themselves of the free Hepatitis vaccine currently available for the duration of marking the World Hepatitis Day.

Speaking at the sidelines of the awareness campaign, Dr Michael Oguntoye, Director Primary Health Care Agency of the Ministry of Health, noted that Hepatitis B virus can cause acute disease with symptoms lasting several weeks including yellowing of the skin and eyes.

Other symptoms, he said included, extreme fatigue, nausea,and abdomen pain among others.

According to him, Hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body for at least seven days which can cause infections if it enters the body of a person not infected.

“Hepatitis B is deadly and common,. Everyone is at risk of the disease because it spreads very easily through infected mother to child during birth, injections, sexual activity and sharing of needles among others,” he said.

The Epidemiologist said the government is trying to expand and create capacity in screening and vaccination, especially in hepatitis C, adding that hepatitis C is preventable.

Oguntoye urge people across the state to get screened, and also get treatment for Hepatitis C, while noting that there is vaccines for Hepatitis A and B but no vaccines for Hepatitis CDE types

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Group tasks govt. on preparedness for outbreak of epidemics

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The National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP) has urge all State Governments to improve on their alertness and preparedness in curtailing spread of epidemic diseases in Nigeria.

The call was made in a Communique made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday and signed by Dr. Abubakar Ayinla, President of NAGGMDP and Dr. Nura Abubakar, General Secretary, of the association.

The Communique was issued by NAGGMDP, at the end of the National Executive Council Meeting of the association, which took place in Abeokuta, Ogun State between Sept. 26 to 29th.

The communique explained that the need for government at all tiers to be at alert on outbreak of epidemics, stems from re-emergence diseases in other countries of the world.

It urges all state Governors not to renege in their constitutional role of entrenching an effective Secondary health care system as they strive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage in their respective domain.

The Communique reiterates that human resource for health is a key component of an effective health care delivery in the supply chain for an appropriately managed health care system.

It stated therefore that government and all stakeholders in health care should show increased commitment to accomplishing the various components to further strengthen the nation’s health care delivery.

The Communique appeal to State Governors to revisit their perspective on their employees and see them as key stakeholders and an inevitable tool that must be well catered for.

It also commends State Governors and Governments like Ogun state that have now begin to see their health work force as an important partner and stakeholder in the accomplishment of their health policies and mandate to the people.

“We implore State Governments that are yet to be up to date in the payment of salaries and allowances of their respective health care work force to do so in the best interest of the citizens.

“State Governments should give necessary support to the health care system towards strengthening it and eliminating drawbacks as occasioned with ‘last miles’, expiration of scarce consumables while under storage,” it said.

The Communique also commended President Muhammadu Buhari on his commitment to health care and for placing ‘round-pegs’ into ‘round holes’ in the appointment of Ministers into the health ministry.

It therefore appeal to all the State Governors to follow suit in assigning roles to appropriately trained and medically qualified persons as Honourable Commissioners for Health and other
key functional offices to discharge effective and qualitative health care to the citizens.

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National hospital @20: Over 3,000 Abuja residents get free medicare

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Aminat Isah, Abuja

Over 3,0000 Kuchingworo residents have received free medical Check-up during a medical outreach programme to mark the 20th anniversary of National Hospital Abuja.

The Chief Medical Director of National Hospital Abuja, Dr. Jaf Momoh, while speaking to newsmen at a press briefing to mark the hospital’s 20th anniversary said the National Hospital management would not relent on its oars in ensuring every patient gets the best service delivery from the hospital.

According Jaff. “As a pioneer staff, I have had the rare honour to have witnessed the various developmental stages of the hospital with successive boards and respected senior colleagues who had steered the ship of the top management of this great institution.

“I acknowledge your various contributions towards the development of this citadel of excellence and the noble feats the hospital has attained. To the esteemed and invaluable staff of this hospital, I commend your immense efforts, toil and sweat to bring this hospital to a lofty height.

“The National Hospital started on September 1st, 1999, 20 years ago. The hospital started as a 200-bed hospital with approximately 400 staff, with about 30 specialists’ consultants.

“Today, the hospital is 450 beds, 2,000 staff with 120 specialist consultants in various fields.

“It is now a national center of excellence in cancer care, neonatology, in-vitro fertilization, trauma care with a sub-regional level 1 trauma center. Its services are now computerized.

The CMD further revealed that a number of milestones have been a

achieved since 1999 with 2,345,437 outpatients already treated, while over 172,783 were on admission.

He also said “155,663 were discharged, 30,094 deliveries, 29,065 live birth, 202,844 ANC, 10,909 road traffic accident, 50,249 operations, 446,951 Radio Dianostic, 8, 543 Hemodialysis and 818 IVF success.”

The Chairman Governing Board of Abuja National Hospital Rt Hon. Olubunmi Patricia Etteh said the guidance and tremendous support given to the hospital by the Federal Government in the midst of dwindling financial resources is what has keptnit afloat.

Etteh, who was a former Speaker House of Representatives, said the present board was commissioned barely a year and a half ago, precisely on 6th March, 2018, and have recorded some modest achievements among which are: commissioning of national Cancer Centre, pgrade/expansion of private wing to ‘executive private wing’ for hospitalization of top Nigerians, Commissioning of 2 Linac Machines, Commissioning of CT Scanner, Provision of an archive for long-term documentation/record keeping as well as Slight dredging of Erosion Site.

The permanent secretary office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Dr. Amina Shamaki, at the flag-off of the medical outreach in Kuchingoro Community, commended the management of the hospital for the gesture and said it would help in improving the health indices of people in the country.

Others activities lined up for the celebrations includes anniversary lecture, endowment, a tour of the hospital new facilities, Jumat prayer, sporting activities, walk for life, novelty football match, gala/award night and finally a thanksgiving church service.

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World Pharmacy Day: PSN condemns online purchase of drug

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The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) on Wednesday in Ilorin caution people on use of online pharmacy in purchasing prescription drugs.

Mr Aliu Bakau, Chairman of PSN, Kwara Chapter made the warnings during an Press Conference to mark the World Pharmacy Day Celebration 2019, themed:” Safe and Effective Medicines for all”.

Bakau said prescription drugs must be authorised and prescribed by doctors and pharmacists, adding that the requirements for prescription drugs is interface between the patient and doctors and the pharmacists.

The PSN Chairman explained that PSN is not averse to technological innovations and development, however observed that technology has its own limitations.

“Drugs are not commodities that should be sold through superarkets, kiosks and hawkers. There are standardized outlets for pharmaceuticals,” he said.

He advised people to schedule visits with their doctors and pharmacists, adding that diseases can be manage and patient need not die from their diseases.

He advised people to always keep their drugs at required temperature, while pledging that pharmacists are ready to partner with States and Federal Governments to provide safe and effective medicine for the people across the country.

Also speaking, the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Kwara Ministry of Health, Dr Barakat Olarewaju said the PSN, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other relevant agencies are cooperating to to fight the menace of drug abuse in Nigeria.

She explained that the watch word is to reduce demand for controlled drugs and only make it available to patients who have legitimate need for them.

Olarewaju said that even pharmacist are required to sell these drugs under stringent condition.

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