By Joan Nwagwu
The Federal Government has proposed 65 years retirement age for doctors, health workers and 70 years for consultants in the country.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige said this at a meeting between the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PSC) relevant Federal Government stakeholders, Health Sector Professional Associations and Trade Unions on Tuesday in Abuja.
The meeting was called to discuss the Issue of Hazard Allowance and Retirement Age for Health Sector Workers in Government Health Establishments.
Ngige, while addressing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, said the proposal had become necessary to improve the conditions of service of Nigerian health workers in order to retain their services within the country.
The minister also said the meeting had made progress and had ironed out issues on the permanent hazard allowance and retirement age for doctors and other health workers.
According to Ngige, part of the measures to retain the health workers is giving them better conditions of service, including increase in hazard allowance and their retirement age.
“We have taken their proposal. The government side will firm up its own proposal and we are reconvening June 1, so that we can have an agreed hazard allowance for health workers in Nigeria.
“We also discussed the issue of retirement age for health workers, being that we want to keep our health workers here in Nigeria.
”A lot of people are coming here to poach and take away people we have trained at very great cost.
”It takes a lot of funds to train a medical doctor, nurse or even a laboratory technologist or physiotherapist. So, we want to retain them here,” he said.
Ngige explained that they could be retained for a longer time by making their retirement age to get up to 65 for normal health workers and doctors and 70 years for consultants.
The minister said in principle, the government agreed to the proposal of the health workers and to put up the necessary machinery in motion for its actualisation.
He added that it was something that would not happen in one day. It has to go from the Council on Establishments to Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly, being something that needed legislation.
”We are making progress. The health workers are happy and we, in the government side are happy also. We need them to keep our health system alive.
“Nobody in government is opposed to the proposal. It is a proposal that is realistic. It is a proposal that we all agreed to last year when COVID-19 erupted.
”Remember that we were even calling back people who are retired. We delayed retirement age by six months for health workers so that we can fight COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic is not yet over. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. We are not praying for any other pandemic but we have to be battle ready at all times, health-wise.
“We have of course done a lot of stock up. We have rehabilitated a lot of health facilities and they are now in top form. We have molecular laboratories all over the place,” Ngige said.
He also noted that each state had one, including isolation centres, Intensive Care Units, oxygen plants, storage facilities for drugs, vaccines among others.
He also said the pandemic had its bad sides as it had woken up Nigeria from slumber in the health sector.
The President of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Prof. Emmanuel Ujah and his counterpart of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) Josiah Biobelemoye expressed optimism that they would reach an agreement to give Nigerians quality healthcare services.
Others at the meeting were, the Minister of Heath, Dr Osagie Enahire, Director General of Budget Office, Dr Ben Akubueze, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Abdulaziz Mashi and his Labour and Employment counterpart, Peter Tarfa.(NAN)(NAN)
The theme for World Asthma Day is “Uncovering Misconceptions About Asthma,” which challenges long-held misconceptions that prevent people with asthma from making the most of advances in asthma management. 'asthma; In Africa, over 40 million people are estimated to be living with asthma; AstraZeneca PUMUA Africa Initiative (www.AstraZeneca.com) is a collaboration with ministries of health, local health providers, healthcare companies and respiratory health experts to redefine asthma care in Africa
To mark World Asthma Day (WAD) on the 5the in May, the Global Pharmaceutical Company AstraZeneca officially opened and delivered the first PUMUA nebulization stations in 4 countries: Kenya, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Ethiopia. The nebulization stations, the first of 1,000 targets to be implemented this year, are part of AstraZeneca's Africa PUMUA initiative, which means “breathe” in Swahili.
The PUMUA Africa Initiative seeks to overcome the barriers that currently prevent access to care for asthma patients. It was designed in consultation and collaboration with ministries of health, local health providers, health care companies and respiratory health experts to strengthen local health systems and centers to improve the management of asthma in children and adults in the public and private sectors.
The theme of this year's World Asthma Day event, hosted by the Global Asthma Initiative (GINA), is'Discover misconceptions about asthma', calling for action to address the widely held asthma myths and misconceptions that prevent people with asthma from making the most of major advances in asthma management. In Africa, over 40 million people are estimated to be living with asthma [II] and the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that more than 80% of asthma-related deaths occur in low- and lower-middle-income countries. [III]. This figure underlines the importance and urgency of ensuring that people at risk or living with asthma have rapid access to health services, such as proper diagnosis, a direct link to care and reliable access. to quality treatments to achieve control. This is at the heart of the PUMUA Africa Initiative, which contributes to this effort by partnering with and supporting local health actors and health systems in Africa.
Barbara nel, Said AstraZeneca National President for the African Cluster: “On this World Asthma Day, we join the respiratory community around the world to challenge long-held misconceptions about asthma to define the priorities needed to achieve better outcomes for people with this disease. . We are delighted to mark this important week of the respiratory calendar with the kick-off of nebulization station and nebulizer machine installations in four countries across the continent as part of our PUMUA Africa Initiative. By joining forces with the Ministry of Health, respiratory societies and our other partners, we can achieve results that go beyond what any individual stakeholder can achieve. This is the value of public-private partnerships, with the patient at the center.
[I] Estimation of the prevalence of asthma in Africa https://bit.ly/3ekdofV Last accessed October 13, 2020
[II] Estimation of the prevalence of asthma in Africa https://bit.ly/3ekdofV Last accessed October 13, 2020
[III] Global, regional and national incidence, prevalence and years of life with disability for 328 diseases and injuries in 195 countries, 1990-2016: a systematic review for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet 2017; 390: 1211–59 https://bit.ly/33jHMk2.
By Abujah Racheal
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has expressed concern over new paediatric HIV infections in children aged 0-4 years.
He expressed his worry during a national dialogue on Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dialogue was organised by the National AIDS/STIs Control Programme of the Federal Ministry of Health.
He said that in spite of significant achievements in HIV Programme, there were persisting poor outcomes in PMTCT, noting that the dialogue was prompted by the urgency to scale-up sustainable programmes for PMTCT of HIV to eliminate new HIV infections among children.
He said “Nigeria, being one of the 21 priority countries in Sub-Saharan Africa for the elimination of vertical transmission of HIV, committed to and endorsed The Global Plan.
“We agreed to be held accountable for achieving the set targets by 2015. Since then, we implemented several pillars cutting across leadership, policy and coordination.”
He, however, said that “data still points to overall underachievement in key result areas, including PMTCT.
“For example, PMTCT coverage is only 37 per cent and 21,000 new paediatric HIV infections recorded in children aged 0-4 years in 2019.”
According to him, the growing cases is unacceptable.
Ehanire explained that major bottlenecks impacting PMTCT negatively included the variable coverage of Antenatal care (ANC) services, unmet need for family planning, poor testing coverage for pregnant women and poor tracking and retention in care for HIV exposed infants, among others.
“Overall, we estimate that 88 per cent of pregnant women who test positive are on anti-retrovirals (ARVs).”
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mr Adulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, said the dialogue was to provide a platform for all actors to agree on key next steps toward achieving the goal of elimination mother-to-child transmission of HIVAIDS in the country.
Abdullahi added that the ministry expected stakeholders to review efforts, political and technical issues hindering the achievement of the set goal.
He noted that special attention was paid to optimising PMTCT at health facilities and scaling up targeted community testing of pregnant women, improving demand creation and HIV case finding among pregnant women and improving Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) services.
Dr Gambo Aliyu, the Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), however, said that in spite of unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, 350,000 Persons Living with HIV (PLWHIV) were identified in the last 18 months.
He added that “the 350,000 people identified were put under treatment in the last 18 months in spite of COVID-19.
“This number is a break from the previous 50,000 to 60,000 a year.”
Aliyu said NACA accessed some rural communities and maintained services to be able to identify cases.
He explained that “from a few numbers of one-stop shops, it increased to 60 one-stop shops all over the country and all these accounted to the 350,000 we were able to identify, instead of the traditional 50,000 to 60,000 people.
“Results from the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) conducted in 2018 shows about 1.9 million people under the age of 64 are living with HIV.”
On mother-to-child HIV transmission, Aliyu said there was need to tweak the existing strategy to stop the transmission.
The NACA boss, who said that the number of women on HIV treatment had greatly improved between 2006 and 2019, emphasised that “it is not the PMTCT that is not working, it is the strategy that we have to tweak.
“If you look at the numbers we had as far back as 2006, we had about 13,000 women on treatment.
“As of 2019, about 421,000 women on treatment; this is over 200 per cent increase.”
He, however, lamented that six million out of eight million pregnant women were not attending antenatal care.
“So, we are battling with two million that are attending antenatal care in implementing these services; for those that we have access to the services are delivered well.”
He noted that the only way to eliminate MTCT was to take services to the community level, adding that “if we can do that, I guarantee all of us that in the next 18 months, we will see huge rebound that we noticed with ART surge.” (NAN)(NAN)
The twelfth Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was officially declared over on Monday, just three months after the first case was reported in North Kivu, but marks the end of the fourth outbreak of the deadly disease in the country in less than three years, said the World Health Organization (WHO).
NEW YORK, USA, May 4, 2021, - / African Media Agency (AMA) / - The virus, an often fatal disease spread through contact with bodily fluids, which kills, on average, about half of those infected - resurfaced in February, nine months after another outbreak in the same province was declared over.
In a press release, WHO congratulated DRC health authorities and health workers "on the ground for their swift response, which was based on the country's previous experience in fighting Ebola outbreaks." .
Eleven confirmed cases and one probable case resulting in six deaths and six recoveries have been recorded in four health zones in North Kivu, since February 7, when the Ministry of Health announced the resurgence of Ebola in Butembo.
The results of genome sequencing carried out by the country's National Institute for Biomedical Research found that the first case of Ebola detected in the outbreak was related to the previous outbreak, but the source of infection has not yet been determined.
"Great credit should be given to local health workers and national authorities for their prompt response, tenacity, experience and hard work that managed to control this outbreak," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. "Although the outbreak is over, we must remain vigilant for a possible resurgence while using the growing experience in emergency response to address other health threats facing the country."
The response was coordinated by the Provincial Department of Health in collaboration with WHO and its partners.
With nearly 60 experts on the ground, WHO helped local workers trace contacts as soon as the outbreak was declared, providing treatment, involving communities and vaccinating nearly 2,000 high-risk people, including more than 500 first-rate workers. line.
"Today's declaration of the end of the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a testament to the professionalism, sacrifices and collaboration of hundreds of true health heroes, in particular the Congolese first responders," said the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. in a statement issued later Monday. "The World Health Organization is committed to helping national and local authorities, and the people of North Kivu, prevent the return of this deadly virus and promote the general health and well-being of all communities at risk."
The response was often hampered by insecurity due to armed groups in the troubled region, near the Ugandan border, and social unrest, according to the WHO, "which at times limited the movement of first responders."
There were also concerns about the possible cross-border spread of the outbreak. However, due to the effective response, the outbreak was contained in North Kivu province.
"While the 12th outbreak is over, it is necessary to continue to monitor and maintain a strong surveillance system, as possible outbreaks may occur in the coming months," WHO said.
It is important to continue sustained surveillance of the disease, monitoring alerts and working with communities to detect and respond quickly to any new cases, and WHO will continue to assist health authorities in their efforts to quickly contain a sudden recurrence. Ebola, the UN added the health agency.
WHO continues to work with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to combat other public health problems such as measles and cholera outbreaks and, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest WHO figures show more than 22,000 cases and 144 deaths attributable to the coronavirus.
The 2018-2020 outbreak was the 10th in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the deadliest in the country, with 3,481 cases, 2,299 deaths and 1,162 survivors.
An ongoing Ebola outbreak also broke out in Guinea, West Africa, beginning in February.
Coronavirus - Eritrea: Ministry of Health announcement (April 29, 2021)
By Lucy Ogalue The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) urged port health services to maximize customs clearance time and implement the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM) for the efficiency of the port system in the country. Mr. Hassan Bello, executive secretary / director-general of the NSC, made the call when he visited the director of port health services of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Geoffery Okatubo, on Friday in Abuja. Bello stressed that the cargo dwell time should be three to seven days compared to 20 to 21 days. “So, like any port health agency, we want to be aware of the weather. Time is running out for customs clearance at the port. So when they get on the ship, it should be as soon as the ship arrives. "And it should last at least 30 to 45 minutes and the number of officers on board should be three at most." He noted that if all of this was done, it would attract international shipowners to Nigerian ports. According to Bello, there is a need for the NPPM to be owned by the relevant agencies and stakeholders to ensure better port services. “It's an important manual. Our ports are not doing well, they are improving every day, but we have to recognize what we are supposed to be doing. “Everyone in the port must have a standard operating procedure (SOP). We can't just be there in the ports like carefree chicken flowing all over the place. "Everyone has their function, where, how, why and who should do what function, so that if there is order, efficiency, there will be a reduction in corruption," he said. He described the manual as the bible of port operations, stressing that everyone should obey the rules. “This SOP has been led, streamlined by NPA, NSC, and many agencies, launched in 2020 by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, but somehow it is not effective because there is no has no one to own it. “There is no leadership in this program, so recently the vice president appointed NSC as the lead agency. “And our role is not to do anyone's SOP but to coordinate, oversee and see that all of these things are done to make our ports efficient so that our ports don't get corrupted. “We want an efficient port because we are in competition with the region of West and Central Africa. “We want all cargo to arrive in Nigeria first before it goes to other countries, but now it's the other way around. “So we have to clean up our ports and one of the things we have that concerns your authority / your services is the health of the port,” he said. In his response, the director of port health services assured the NSC of the services' support, in particular, to ensure the reduction of the corruption perception index. Regarding the turnaround time, Okatubo said the time agreed for the manual was sufficient, but called for it to be relaxed for the time being due to the COVID-19 pandemic and guidelines. “The timing you mentioned is great for us, but in this COVID-19 season, there are certain port health activities that we are supposed to conduct, especially for any ship arriving for the first time. “So, for this period, I want to appeal to you, let's not follow this strictly because at the moment there are some countries that interest us a lot; Brazil, South Africa, and India. “I want to assure you that port health is firmly behind you. We are with you and will do everything to help you reduce the Port Corruption Perception Index, '' Okatubo added. (NAN)
Kenya on Monday launched a national information platform to help address the growing challenge of malnutrition in the country.
According to Eric Wafukho, Chief Administrative Secretary of the National Treasury, the project is designed to popularize the production of data and the dissemination of information with the aim of improving the nutritional status of local communities.
“The project brings together and analyzes existing information and data from all sectors to support the development of evidence-based policies and programs to improve human nutrition,” Wafukho said at the launch in Nairobi.
He said the project aimed to improve information dissemination and provide a better understanding of Kenya's nutritional status among national leaders and policy makers.
Wafukho said the National Food Security and Nutrition Information Platform project “should help accelerate the achievement of Kenya's national and international food security and nutrition goals.
“We are racing against time to achieve Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goal 2 to end hunger and reduce levels of malnutrition and stunting as we pledged.
Veronica Kirogo, head of the Nutrition Division at the Ministry of Health, said the country faces a triple burden of malnutrition - nutrition, overweight and obesity and micronutrient deficiencies.
Kirogo therefore called for multi-stakeholder collaboration to tackle the triple burden to give people better lives by reducing malnutrition and stunting.
The nutrition project will be implemented jointly by the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. (Xinhua / NAN)(NAN)
Uganda will import five million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine next month after new variants of COVID-19 are found in the country, President Yoweri Museveni said.
In a televised address to the nation on Friday evening, Museveni said the vaccines would be used to immunize at least 80% of the 5.5 million elderly people.
People under the age of 50, with underlying medical conditions at high risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, will also be vaccinated.
Uganda aims to immunize more than 21.9 million people who are most at risk of infection, including health workers, teachers, social workers and security personnel, the elderly and the elderly. suffering from underlying health problems.
“The government is working hard to ensure that we deliver an additional five million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of May to complete the immunization threshold and ensure that those vaccinated before they receive the second booster dose, ”Museveni said.
“Vaccines are the most effective intervention we have against COVID-19.
“The government and its partners are working hard to bring vaccines to most adults in Uganda to protect them and help us reopen the economy and get all of our children back to school.”
Henry Mwebesa, director general of health services, said last week that Uganda is expected to receive around two million additional doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in May through the COVAX facility.
Uganda has so far received 964,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX vaccine exchange program and the Indian government.
As of April 16, a total of 220,893 people had received AstraZeneca's first COVID-19 vaccine, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health.
The country has reported the emergence of the highly transmissible variants of COVID-19 which were first reported in Britain, South Africa and Nigeria.
Data from the ministry showed that as of April 16, Uganda had recorded a cumulative total of 41,340 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 40,898 recoveries and 338 deaths. (Xinhua / NAN)(NAN)
Japan began vaccinating its elderly against the coronavirus on Monday amid growing concerns over another wave of new infections.
The country is said to vaccinate around 36 million people aged 65 and over, which represents 29% of its population.
Since its launch in mid-February, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines had been extremely slow. Only 0.4% of the population had been fully vaccinated on Friday, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Affairs.
Also on Monday, the government extended a semi-state of emergency in the prefectures of Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa, as areas have seen an increasing number of new cases of the coronavirus due to the rapid spread of new variants of the virus.
Tokyo, which would host the postponed Olympics in less than four months, confirmed 421 new infections on Sunday after surpassing 500 new cases daily for the fourth day in a row.
Japan has so far reported around 507,600 known infections and more than 9,400 COVID-19-related deaths, according to a tally from broadcaster NHK.
The central government adopted a semi-state of emergency in Osaka, Miyagi and Hyogo prefectures a week ago.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Friday that the new variants made up around 70% of infections in the western prefectures of Osaka and Hyogo and around 20% in Tokyo.(NAN)