Health Care Federation of Nigeria

EBOLA 300x168New research has revealed that Ebola can survive in detectable concentrations in wastewater for eight days – a finding that has implications for the disposal of contaminated liquid waste during epidemics and outbreaks. The study, by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Drexel University, both in Philadelphia, and the National Institute of Health (NIH), is published in the Environmental Science & Technology Letters. According to the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) situation report, there have been 28,005 confirmed cases and 11,287 deaths as a result of the virus since cases were first reported in March 2014.

In their background information, the authors note that in the wake of the outbreak, there remained significant questions on the appropriate handling of virus-contaminated liquid waste and one of these concerns is the persistence of Ebola in wastewater. Studies have indicated that the virus can persist in survivors. For example, one study describes how viable Ebola virus was found in the eye of a survivor months after recovery. In contrast, there is limited data on the fate and transport of Ebola in wastewater collection systems.

USAID Logo 300x174The United State Agency for International Development (USAID) on Thursday began the construction of its warehouse for proper storage of essential medicines and health products in Nigeria. Speaking at the Ground Breaking Ceremony in Lagos, its Director, Mr Mike Harvey, said the project was a state-of-the-art warehouse. The “Warehouse-In-a Box’’ is sited at the Federal Medical Store Oshodi, Lagos. “This warehouse will serve as a storage facility, one of those planned to be built in Lagos with the support of the U.S. and the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria.

“This facility will support the country’s pharmaceutical supply chain, and once this is up and running, the warehouse will make sure that women, children and families in Nigeria get quality drugs. “It will also help to provide quality drugs in every part of the country,’’ Harvey said. He added that the warehouse would be funded by USAID and the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria. “The total fund for the construction would be five million dollars, with USAID providing four million, while Global Fund and the private sector will source the rest,’’ he said.

african american doctor 2 660x330The federal medical center just recently returned to work after medical services were suspended for over three months. The cause was the faceoff between members of the house unions and the chief medical director. A similar situation appears to be unfolding at the Federal Medical Center, Owo, Ondo state as members of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) are demanding that the Federal Ministry of Health recalls Dr. Adediran Kolajo, the administrator of the hospital who is acting on interim basis. They are making the demand on the grounds of his victimization of her members.

The association also wants the Ministry to investigate projects executed before and during the tenure of Dr. Kolajo. Dr. Isaiah Oke, the president of the association disclosed these at a press conference held inside the hospital. The association is also alleging that the hospital’s new management led by the CMD has declared to make life unbearable for her members and the hallmark of this undesirable attitude was the destruction of their lounge located inside the hospital complex.

ndama 618x330A 42 day countdown to declare Sierra Leone Ebola free started on Tuesday, 25th August 2015 following the discharge of the last patient, Adama Sankoh from hospital. The 42 days is double the incubation period of 21 days. The incubation period is the time between contraction and manifestation of symptoms in an infected person. The discharged patient contracted the virus after her son died from the disease late last month. She was presented with a certificate by President Ernest Bai Koroma following her discharge.

“The Ebola fight is not yet over – go and tell members of your community that” the president said. “Go back to your community and continue to live life as you used to.” The Independent reported that Sankoh, whose 23-year-old son contracted Ebola in the capital, Freetown, before traveling to his home village, thanked everyone who provided her care during her illness. She also vowed to be the last person infected in Sierra Leone with the virus. “Although my child died of Ebola I am very happy that I have survived today,” she said upon leaving the Ebola treatment centre in Mateneh village on the outskirts of Makeni, the president’s hometown.

Medical and DentalThe furor over the proposed policy of Private Public Partnership (PPP) in the health sector cannot be wished away because of its likely implications for access to healthcare by majority of poor Nigerians. The Yayale Committee Report on disharmony in the health sector gave a hint of government’s preparedness to adopt the policy. The report calls for the privatisation of federal hospitals in the country through the system of PPP. In retrospection, we recollect that the debate over the suitability of the idea started since 2006 when the National Council on Health (NCH) purportedly looked into the idea and approved it initially under former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration and last year under the President Jonathan’s administration.
 
Sadly however, the initiative has thrown the health sector into avoidable pandemonium with the medical doctors supporting the idea and other stakeholders in the sector opposing it. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) and Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) have been at daggers drawn over the suitability or otherwise of the policy idea. Clearly, the medical doctors are in support of the idea while those belonging to sister associations are against the idea. This altercation becomes unfortunate because the health care sector in recent times has faced damning strikes and other avoidable challenges including inadequate funding and corrupt disposition by personnel. So, any attempt, in our view, at ignoring these discordant tunes might further aggravate an already bad situation.
isStatistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have revealed that an estimated 1.5 million children around the world still die each year of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines that already exist just as 1 in 5 children still do not receive routine life-saving immunizations. According to a statement from the organization, people who delay or refuse vaccines for themselves or their children are presenting a growing challenge for countries seeking to close the immunization gap. In a special issue of the journal Vaccine, guest-edited by WHO and published last week, experts review the role of vaccine hesitancy in limiting vaccine coverage and explore strategies to address it. Vaccine hesitancy refers to delay in acceptance or refusal of safe vaccines despite availability of vaccination services.
 
The issue is complex and context specific, varying across time, place and vaccines. It is influenced by factors such as misinformation, complacency, convenience and confidence. “Vaccines can only improve health and prevent deaths if they are used, and immunization programmes must be able to achieve and sustain high vaccine uptake rates. Vaccine hesitancy is an increasingly important issue for country immunization programmes,” says Dr Philippe Duclos, Senior Health Adviser for WHO’s Immunization, Vaccines and Biological Department and guest editor of the special issue, entitled WHO recommendations regarding vaccine hesitancy.
world health organization2Health workers in Nigeria waste thousands of expensive malaria drugs prescribing them to patients who do not have malaria, a new research by experts at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has revealed. About 5,000 health workers working in public health facilities, pharmacies and drug stores from 40 communities in Enugu State were involved in the research. According to the study, patients are often given malaria drugs based on their signs and symptoms, contrary to standard recommendations by the World Health Organisation that patients’ blood should be tested for the presence of malaria parasites before confirmed cases are treated with Artemisin-based Combination Therapy.
 
Some of the implications of treating without testing, according to the investigators, are disability, death, adverse drug reactions, malaria parasite becoming resistant to the drug and drug failure. The research finding which was published in PLOS ONE, an international health journal, stated that the use of simple diagnostic tools, such as the Rapid Diagnostic Test among health workers remained less than 50 per cent in spite of three training programmes given to them by experts.

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