Health Care Federation of Nigeria

red meat 300x225Last week the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) cancer arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), announced that the consumption of processed and red meat is associated with an increased risk for colorectal cancer.Professor Vikash Sewram, the Director of the African Cancer Institute at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, who also chairs the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Prevention and Control of Cancer, answers some tough questions about this important announcement.

Who Made The Evaluation: The assessment was part of the IARC’s Monographs Programme that has been involved since 1971 in evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans – whether it be exposure to chemicals, complex mixtures, biological agents, occupational exposures or lifestyle factors. The evaluation of a risk factor takes place over a period of time and entails interdisciplinary working groups of expert scientists, selected from all over the world, reviewing published studies and evaluating the weight of the evidence that an agent can increase the risk of cancer. Once the evidence has been evaluated and a consensus reached, the agent is classified into one of five categories: Group 1: carcinogenic to humans; Group 2A: probably carcinogenic; Group 2B: possibly carcinogenic; Group 3: not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity; and Group 4: probably not carcinogenic to humans.

g55 Linus Awute As part of government’s efforts towards a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all by 2020, the Federal Ministries of Health and Communication Technology, on Monday commenced the process of meeting the health needs of 90 million Nigerians, using a new national electronic-health framework. The digital framework, THISDAY learnt will be implemented in synergy with the United Nations Foundation (UNF), the Save-One-Million-Lives-Initiative (SOMLI), is part of a prepatory meeting towards an all-inclusive African Health Summit slated for 2016. Speaking at the technical meeting, in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary, of the Ministry of Communication Technology, Dr. Tunji Olaopa, who was represented by Tope Fadeshemi, a Director in the Ministry, said government through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has developed an e-governance based master plan that would help in speeding up progress on the provision of e-health solutions for Nigerians. 

He said: "In developing the master plan, it was clear that we looked at all the sectors and health is an area that cannot be kept aside, and with this realization and also in fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Ministry of health and ICT came together with the support of the United Nations Foundation (UNF) to form  a framework toward providing healthy solutions for all Nigerians." According to Olaopa, the strategic partnership of all the stakeholders will help in the direction of having the UHC, in Nigeria in 2020, adding that one of the roles of ICT health is the development of national framework to guide and provide direction for the deployment and utilization of ICT in health care.

PHNA Nigeria-made malaria test that can diagnose the disease within 25 minutes using just drops of patients’ urine sample has won the inaugural 2015 Health Innovation Challenge Awards. The awards was instituted by the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) through the Nigeria Health Innovation Marketplace (NHIM). Urine Malaria Test (UMT), which is endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and approved by the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and developed by Fyodor Biotechnologies was the first among the five winning innovations from the 2015 Health Innovation Challenge. The overall performance of the UMT is equivalent to that of the Binax NOW blood test, the only malaria rapid test approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The award given to Fyodor UMT comes with a grant of $100,000 and enrollment in the accelerated programme of the NHIM. The presentation was made  in Lagos, at the 2015 Nigeria Health Innovation and Impact Investment Summit. The Nigeria Health and Innovation Impact Investment Summit event was tagged “2015 Disrupting Healthcare, Saving Lives.” The activation of the PHN was formally endorsed by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Mr. Bill Gates, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, Mr. Jim Ovia, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Mrs. Sola David Borha and other corporate leaders in Nigeria to mobilise the broader business and corporate community as well as the private health sector towards a multi-sectoral coalition to improving health outcomes.

El Rufai2Kaduna State gov­ernment unveiled its new pri­mary healthcare law. Addressing the second Kaduna State Healthcare Partners’ Summit, Gov­ernor Nasir el-Rufai com­mended the state’s House of Assembly for the speedy passage of the law. According to the gover­nor, the new law would per­mit the state to organise its primary healthcare activi­ties under one roof, adding that implementation of the law would transfer work­ers in primary healthcare centres from local govern­ments to the state’s civil service. El-Rufai said: “When we had the first summit on June 16, 2015, our young government was delighted by the turnout and your willingness to work with us. Health is one of the pri­ority sectors for this gov­ernment, and I must thank you for sharing our goal to deliver for Kaduna State citizens a better health and longer life expectancy.

“During the first sum­mit, we shared with you some of the dismal indices of our state in infant and maternal mortality, malar­ia treatment, measles vacci­nation and HIV/AIDS prev­alence. We did that not for purposes of pointless lam­entation, but to underline the scale of the challenge and our duty to deliver bet­ter healthcare outcomes to our people.” “One of our key goals is to place our state in the top tier for healthcare delivery. Participants responded positively to our request for coordination and col­laboration among partners and donors to support our government’s healthcare programme.

download 1The federal government says its recent facility-based study shows that the global stroke crisis kills 39 per cent of its survivors in Nigeria within three months while another 12 per cent develop severe disability afterward. This is coming as Nigeria marks this year’s World Stroke Day yesterday to underscore the serious nature and high rate of strokes, create awareness on prevention, treatment option, better care and support for survivors. The permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Linus Awute said at the event in Abuja that over 15 million people suffer from stroke attack each year and about 6 million of them die from it globally, urging against lifestyle changes that trigger the condition.

He said: “Stroke is a common complication of hypertension, diabetes and sickle cell disease and this conditions share similar risk factors like unhealthy nutrition- fast foods, excess salt and sugar intake, with attendant overweight and obesity- lack of physical activity, excess alcohol intake and tobacco use.” According to Awute, the government is concerned about the increasing burden caused by stroke and other non-communicable diseases which has led to the flag off of the National Stroke Prevention Programme and the inauguration of the National Stroke Reference Group. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that stroke is the second leading cause of death among people above 60 years and the fifth leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 59.

The clinicThe Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria has raided a hospital in Ilorin, Kwara State, identified as Springsway Hospital. It learnt that many documents and a medical certificate believed to have been stolen from their owners were found during the raid on Saturday. The Head of Inspectorate, MDCN, Dr. Okwuokenye Henry, who was in Ilorin on the instruction of the council’s registrar, Dr. Abdulmumini Ibrahim, said the council got a report that a doctorate degree holder in Human Kinetics and Health Education, Dr. Olaitan Lanre, established and operated the facility in Oko Erin area of the state. He added that Lanre had allegedly been working as a doctor, carrying out surgery and fertility operations on patients in the clinic which operates 24 hours services.

According to him, Lanre also claimed to be a lecturer at the University of Ilorin. The head of the MDCN inspectorate stated that the council had already informed UNILORIN about the illegal activities of the fake doctor who claimed to be a lecturer at the varsity. Henry ordered the closure of the facility pending the resolution of the matter. He also urged the police to arrest Lanre. He added that the raid was to prevent the fake doctor from endangering the lives of unsuspecting patients. He stated that the two doctors indicted by the recovered documents at the hospital had been summoned to appear before the MDCN.

SuyaThe World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that Nigeria’s most patronized barbeque, Suya and Kilishi, can cause cancer. This came to light in WHO's anticipated report on the link between red meat and cancer. According to the report, which did not categorically mention Suya or Kilishi, stated that 50g of processed meat a day increases the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18%. A BBC report on Monday, October 26, defined processed meat as meat that “has been modified to increase its shelf-life or alter its taste – such as by smoking, curing or adding salt or preservatives”. However, Suya is processed red meat, and when prepared, it is seasoned with salt, pepper and groundnut powder. Kilishi, on the other hand, is a drier version of suya.

The WHO report also said high temperature cooking on a barbeque can create carcinogenic – cancerous chemicals. “For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal (bowel) cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” Kurt Straif from the WHO said. According to estimation, 34,000 deaths from cancer every year could be down to diets high in processed meat. A professor from the Cancer Research UK and the University of Oxford, Tim Key, said; “This decision doesn’t mean you need to stop eating any red and processed meat, but if you eat lots of it you may want to think about cutting down.

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