It is like the whole country is swamped in excitement over Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo who turned 81 yesterday, 5th March. A great achiever in every right, Pres Obasanjo have every reason to be bright and gay. He did not disappoint in this regard.

In a gathering of friends and eminent leaders and personalities, the Former President blurted out some a major regret in his ‘long life’… He regrets his parents did not live long enough to witness him become one of Nigeria’s most successful leaders. He was speaking at the iconic Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library. You can almost hear the sadness in his voice, for he truly miss his Mum and Dad.

We sincerely wish President Olusegun Obasanjo more strength and grace as he marks another year.


The Health News Watch is a new feature on where topical health news and issues are analysed for our readers to be better informed. 

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Suspends Medical Activities In Rann

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), also called Doctors Without Borders, teams have been providing medical care to the 40,000 people in Rann, since January 2017. Mobile teams delivered assistance on a regular basis, and a permanent medical team has been based in Rann since September 2017. The people in Rann are extremely vulnerable, many have sought shelter there after fleeing their homes.

MSF has mainly been treating people for malaria, malnutrition and illnesses linked to poor living conditions. The town was cut off from the outside world during the months of the rainy season and no food or aid supplies were brought in during this time.

Now they are gone.

This followed a violent attack in Rann, Borno state, on Thursday 1 March. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have since suspended its medical activities in the town and evacuated 22 national and international staff. It is still unclear how many people were killed and injured but before leaving, MSF medical staff treated 9 wounded patients.

They worry that 60 malnourished Children under their care may die because of their suspended activity, while 40,000 others depended on them for medical care in the troubled Rann Community of Borno State, one of the three states worst hit by the deadly Boko Haram insurgents.

The Nigerian Government, through the National Emergency Management Agency, have promised to fill in the gap of the MSF.

Sokoto Zakkat Commission Settles Bills of The Needy

The Sokoto State Government through her Zakkat and Endowment Commission settles the bills of the needy in the state. For this month, it has earmarked  N7.9 million to settle the medical bills of the less privileged in the state. The funds will be distributed to the state government partners, including hospitals, pharmacies etc.

This is more of a social health insurance for the less privileged of the state… Noble right?

Out-Of-Pocket Financing Slows Nigeria’s Progress

You know how it is when you are made to pay for health consultations in hospitals by paying ‘cash’ to the hospital? The experience is usually unsavory with millions of Nigerians having to ‘squeeze out’ the fee for necessary health service. This is called Out-Of-Pocket Spending in Medical Economics.

In Nigeria, Out-Of-Pocket spending by Nigerians account for 75.2 per cent of total health expenditure – among the highest in the world.

In order to address this, the Nigerian government in 1999 established the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to complement government health financing, pool health risk, and provide greater financial protection to households. However, as of 2016, only 7.9 million people (about 4.2 per cent of the population) were covered – predominantly federal government civil servants and their dependents.

This much was revealed in a THISDAY Summit on Healthcare Financing Policy.

The NHIS have really not been very effective and have been embroiled in leadership crisis. But it seems there is light at the end of the tunnel with the reinstatement by the sacked NHIS Boss, Prof Yusuf, who have stated his intention to first get all Health Maintenance Organizations in Nigeria re-accredited, as a key step to sanitizing the health insurance sub sector.

In the coming days, the NHIS will be giving the HMOs some major nudges to do the right thing..

Now for some International News… Keep Reading

Brain Surgery For Wrong Patient?

Crazy as it sounds, it is true and it happened in Kenya at the Kenyatta National Hospital. In what is now described as the worst case of medical malpractice to ever come public, the authorities of the hospital have promptly announced the suspension of medical workers; including the Neurosurgeon, the ward nurse, theatre receiving nurse, and the anaesthetist.

Two men had been wheeled into KNH unconscious last Sunday. One needed head surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain, while the other only required nursing and medication to heal a trauma swelling in his head, medically known as closed head injury.

They discovered the costly mix up, hours into the surgery, when the surgeon could not see the blood clot.

What a costly mistake. But this is rather an exception than the norm. Neurosurgeons are quite detailed and careful people, at least by training. It is quite possible the health facility, a referral hospital, is overwhelmed with large turn out of patients on a daily basis, with inadequate staff, poor or no equipment to work with etc. It is a manifestation of a bigger issue… the cracks and decay the health system is characterized with.

At least the Medical Association in Kenya agrees with this position

President Weah of Liberia Asks President Buhari of Nigeria for Medical Volunteers, 6000 Teachers

Liberia, as country on the West African sub region, would naturally turn to her neighbours especially Nigeria, for aid and assistance. This is not out of place. The fact that the country, recently elected a former football player to be their President, speaks more about the legitimacy President George Weah Presidency… It is a solid one.

Now President Weah, as is expected have come to Nigeria to seek for the countries continuous support. He requested among other things, Medical Volunteers, Nigerian Teachers. Boldly he put number to one of the request when he said;

“Your sustained technical assistance for capacity building in these sectors is most welcome. For example, Nigerian teachers and medical volunteers to Liberia, under the Technical Assistance Corps, TAC, Agreement with Liberia, have been very crucial in boosting capacity development in Liberia…

More specifically, under the Bilateral Teacher Exchange programme, we are seeking 6,000 plus teachers to make up for the shortage of good teachers in our educational system”

He was direct and clear…

‘6000 plus teachers’ who will make up for the shortfall of ‘good teachers’… By extension, ‘good medical volunteers’.

Nigeria have never fallen short of being a big brother on the continent, serving as major stabilizing force in the North, South, West and East of Africa. President George Weah captures this point succinctly in a press briefing after a closed door meeting with President Buhari;

“…gratitude and respect for the extraordinary and exceptional role that you, our Nigerian brothers and sisters, have played and continue to play in maintaining peace and stability in the West African sub-region, and more particularly, in Liberia.

…with the most powerful army in our sub-region, you have never used your wealth and military prowess to expand your territory, threaten your neighbours, or destabilise any sovereign nation in the region”

This is indeed the way to go for Africa!!!



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