Editor's Focus

Health News Watch: Nigeria’s Immunization Figures Improves… Canada’s Prime Minister approved Governor’s General BioLab Launch.

Today on Health News Watch, we gladly announce that we are back, big and better. It was necessary we reorganized the team for a greater efficiency. We promise not to disappear for so long again.

Since we have got that out of the way, first, some sad news;

Annually about 7million people die from air pollution-related diseases. The World Health Organization announced this much to the world. Who would ever believe that so many people would die from the bad and polluted air?

Imagine dying from breathing bad air. Most of these come from industrial waste, domestic wastes and lack of will to change the tide.

Then some good news:

CANADIAN GOVERNOR-GENERAL BOOST NIGERIA’S HEALTHCARE WITH NEW BIOLAB.

Canadian Governor-General Hon. Julie Payette inaugurated a biosecurity laboratory in Lagos, today. She has since been welcomed by President Buhari at the State House.

Her Official State Visit was announced on the Canadian Government Website, to be a 3-Day State visit (28 – 30 October 2018). This visit was at the request of Prime Minister Justine Trudeau of Canada.

While in Lagos, she Launched a BioLab funded by Canada in partnership with the state government.

The Lab would serve as a repository for high-concentration pathogens.

It will also help the state mitigate post-EVD threats and build capacity for prevention, detection, and response to future outbreaks in Nigeria and West Africa.

Listen to her at the launch today;

“I must say I had a thought knowing that we were coming here to open such an important facility.

A facility to prevent, detect and respond to about the worst calamities possible outcomes that could happen. The incidence of infectious disease if not contained could do so much damage and could ravage so many lives.

It is absolutely essential to have a facility like this to make sure that it never happens. As serious as the outbreak was here in Nigeria and elsewhere in West Africa, it could not have been much more and worse. We will continue to collaborate with you in this important effort. We also work in Canada in our microbiology laboratories to contain other infectious disease and still working on Ebola and other treatments.

The disease is very deadly. We have experimental treatments that are now coming up so that the possibility that we can cure or treat diseases better is in front of us. And we have to continue toward that goal so that diseases like Ebola do not anymore mean a death sentence.”

IMMUNIZATION FIGURES IN NIGERIA LOOKING UP.

Immunization is a process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Nigeria has not been getting things right in this regard.

It is either the vaccines did not reach the expected recipients or it was not just sufficient to go round to all who needed it. Sometimes, funds are not made available for its procurement, or the ones procured became denatured while in transit.

However, the news directly out of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) gives room for a sigh of relief. Data available puts the yearly increase of the use of routine immunization as significant.

It was her Executive Director, Faisal Shuaib, that stated this on Monday in Abuja at the 36th meeting of the Expert Review Committee on Polio and Routine Immunisation in Nigeria.

“We have done over 25 months now surveillance showing clearly that we are not missing wild poliovirus cases in any of these areas.

If this positive trajectory continues in the next 11 months and if we do have access to those obscured areas in the Northeast, it is very likely that the certification organization institutions would review the progress that Nigeria has made in the lack of poliovirus transmission and very likely in the next few months Nigeria would be declared polio-free.

One of the greatest challenges we face is the inability of caregivers bringing their kids for routine immunization, we still have that challenge because some of them do not realize the importance of immunization.”

You should know that the fight against wild poliovirus is still ongoing in three remaining endemic countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

Nigeria has however made a significant impact as there has been no record of a wild polio outbreak in the country in the last 25 months.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COMMENTS ON NHIS BOSS SUSPENSION CONTROVERSY… FINALLY!!!

The Nigerian government is investigating the leadership crisis at the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said.

Mr. Mohammed spoke on a television programme on Sunday, over a week after the health agency spiraled into fresh upheaval following the refusal of its Executive Secretary, Usman Yusuf, to accept his suspension by the governing council of the agency.

If you missed out on the whole gist on the in-house fighting between the NHIS Council and the NHIS Executive Secretary, read it all HERE.

The council announced the indefinite suspension of Mr. Yusuf on October 18 and said it had set up a panel to investigate allegations of fraud and misconduct leveled against him. But Mr. Yusuf has refused to be sacked, insisting that only Mr. President can sack him.

Mr. Lai Mohammed said;

“In the case of the NHIS, Dr Usman Yusuf, the matter is being handled at the highest level. The government is on top the matter and in a very short while, we are going to find a resolution to it,”.

But Mr. Mohammed’s claim appeared to contradict an earlier reaction by the Presidency.
On Tuesday, a presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, queried the powers of the council to sanction Mr. Yusuf.

“Did the board follow due process in suspending this gentleman?

There are opinions that said, ‘No, they haven’t,” Mr Shehu told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

“Again, we all have to do the right thing all of the times.”

The NHIS Act gives the president alone the power to appoint or sack the Executive Secretary.

 

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Dr E
The Admin is a Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria Certified Medical Doctor, with profound expertise in Medical Content Creation and Medical Citizen Journalism. He is popular for being a fast-rising online voice in Nigeria, with a flair for animated writing. He is a professional health content writer. He loves to swim, read and play board games. He sees himself as one who is destined to play a role in the way health services are rendered to the human race.
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