Monkey POX (1)

Monkey Pox: Nigeria Records 41 Confirmed Cases, one fatality – NCDC

The Nigeria Center For Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday  says Nigeria has Confirmed 41 cases of monkey pox and one death from the virus, as at June 19, 2022 

Director general of the NCDC, Doctor Ifedayo Adetifa, gave the update at the bi- weekly Ministerial briefing of  the Ministry of health in Abuja.

According to him, despite the 41 cases reported so far, there has been no evidence of any new or unusual transmission of the virus, nor any mutations 

He also noted that the NCDC will continue in its vigilance, but  encourages states  to step up their diseases surveillance mechanism, and ensure that monkey pox is given its appropriate priority

Read: FG IN TALKS WITH W.H.O FOR MONKEY POX VACCINES

Globally, between the 1st of January to the 15th of June 2022, a cumulative total of 2,103 laboratory confirmed cases, have been reported to the WHO from 42 countries.

The report also shows that the disease is common with men aged 0 – 65, and also among homosexuals 

blood donation

One Unit of Blood can save Three Patients Lives- WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says donating just one unit of blood can save the lives of up to three patients.

The is a message from the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti in commemoration of the 2022 World Blood Donor Day.

According to him the African Region sees a disproportionate number of conditions requiring donor blood, impacting as many as seven million patients every year compared to other Regions globally.

He said while the need for donor blood is universal, access for everyone who needs it is not.

In the African Region he said demand regularly outstrips supply, negatively impacting timely access for all patients who need safe and quality-assured blood to save their lives.

Dr. Moeti said countries across the African Region have worked hard to improve blood donation frequency, and the situation is showing signs of stabilizing.

He said blood transfusion services in many countries reached out to blood donors through public awareness campaigns, transporting donors from and to their homes, using digital platforms and establishing call centres.

Read: WHO-Africa Region joins global call for regular voluntary blood donors

He said the situation remains challenging, and it is exacerbated by issues such as staff shortages and limited funding from governments and partners organizations for effective blood donor education, recruitment, and retention.

He urge African governments and political leaders to prioritize the provision of adequate human and financial resources to secure the future of national blood transfusion services.

A blood service which gives patients access to safe blood and blood products, in sufficient quantities, he says is a key component of an effective health system.

Read: Stakeholders Calls on Lawmakers to Give bite to blood Policies.

He said donating blood is an act of solidarity noting that by becoming a blood donor, you will help ease the pressure on health systems still struggling under the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Blood Donor Day is celebrated globally on the 14th of June and it focus on the gift of life from voluntary unpaid blood donors around the world.

The theme of the year is; donating blood an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives, highlights the critical role of voluntary blood donations in saving lives, and enhancing community solidarity and social cohesion.

blood donors

WHO-Africa Region joins global call for regular voluntary blood donors

June 14 every year, the global community marks World Blood Donor Day to focus on the gift of life from voluntary unpaid blood donors around the world.
According to statement released by the World Health Organisation Africa Regional office to mark the 2022 World Blood Donor Day, WHO in the African Region said it was once again joining the call for more people to become regular blood donors.

The statement was based on message from the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti.
The theme for this year, “Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives”, was described as highlighting the critical role of voluntary blood donations in saving lives, and enhancing community solidarity and social cohesion.

Read: FG Set to Build Database to Regulate Supplies of Blood

It further stressed that donating just one unit of blood can save the lives of up to three patients.
“Compared to other Regions globally, the African Region sees a disproportionate number of conditions requiring donor blood, impacting as many as seven million patients every year. Examples include hemorrhage associated with pregnancy and childbirth, severe anaemia due to malaria and malnutrition, bone marrow and inherited blood disorders, trauma and accidents, as well as man-made and natural disasters.

Read: Stakeholders Calls on Lawmakers to Give bite to blood Policies.

“While the need for donor blood is universal, access for everyone who needs it is not. In the African Region, demand regularly outstrips supply, negatively impacting timely access for all patients who need safe and quality-assured blood to save their lives.”
The statement also noted that as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, voluntary unpaid blood donations dropped significantly – Malawi, for example, registered a 46% decrease in donations.
“Countries across the African Region have worked hard to improve blood donation frequency, and the situation is showing signs of stabilizing. Blood transfusion services in many countries reached out to blood donors through public awareness campaigns, transporting donors from and to their homes, using digital platforms and establishing call centres.
“The situation remains challenging, and it is exacerbated by issues such as staff shortages and limited funding from governments and partners organizations for effective blood donor education, recruitment, and retention.”

WHO in the African Region it provides support to countries at various levels, including resource mobilization for the implementation of national blood transfusion plans, advocacy for integrating blood safety in these plans, and strengthening the legal and regulatory framework for blood safety.


“On World Blood Donor Day today, I urge African governments and political leaders to prioritize the provision of adequate human and financial resources to secure the future of national blood transfusion services. A blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products, in sufficient quantities, is a key component of an effective health system.
“Seeking out opportunities for partnerships and collaborations with media, the private sector, and faith-based and non-governmental organizations, will help increase the recruitment and retention of voluntary unpaid blood donors.”

Read: CUCUMBER AND MEN’S SEXUAL HEALTH BENEFITS

Dr. Moeti thanked Africa’s blood donors for their selfless contribution to national health systems, through this life-saving gift to patients who need transfusion therapy.
She also acknowledged the tireless efforts of blood services staff who are deeply committed to maintaining critical blood supplies, of the research and development professionals pursuing new technologies and uses for donated blood, as well as the medical teams who use blood rationally to save lives.

“Donating blood is an act of solidarity. By becoming a blood donor, you will help ease the pressure on health systems still struggling under the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Monkey pox

FG IN TALKS WITH W.H.O FOR MONKEY POX VACCINES

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SAYS ITS IN TALKS WITH THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION AS WELL AS THE UNITED STATES CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL TO ACCESS MONKEY POX VACCINES, AS AN ADDITIONAL PREVENTIVE MEASURES TO CURB THE SPREAD OF THE DISEASE

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE NATIONAL PRIMARY HEALTH CARE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, DOCTOR FAISAL SHUAIB STATED THIS AT THE OFFICIAL FLAG-OFF CEREMONY OF COMMUNITY COVID -19 VACCINATION IN ABUJA.

ACCORDING TO HIM, THE AGENCY IS ALSO IN CONSTANT DISCUSSION WITH THE NIGERIA CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL TO CURB THE SPREAD.

THE EVENT, WHICH IS THE OFFICIAL FLAG-OFF CEREMONY OF COMMUNITY MASS COVID 19 VACCINATION, IS AN INITIATIVE OF GOVERNMENT TO MOBILIZE COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS WHO WILL HELP CURB THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS.

ACCORDING TO DOCTOR FAISAL, THE RATIONALE BEHIND THE COLLABORATION WITH THE ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS IS TO HELP PROVIDE THE NEEDED TRAINING, AND  ALSO TO MAKE EVERY PHARMACISTS A VACCINATOR IN THEIR COMMUNITIES, WITH THE HOPE OF SCALING UP VACCINATION AGAINST COVID 19, AND OTHER  DISEASES

Read: Monkeypox: U.S. debunks reports of U.S-controlled Laboratories in Nigeria

THE CAMPAIGN WHICH KICKED OFF BY THE VACCINATION OF SOME FEW INDIVIDUALS ON SITE, IS BELIEVED THAT IF PROPERLY DRIVEN, WILL HELP TO REDUCE THE BURDEN OF DISEASES IN THE COUNTRY

ON THE SIDELINE OF THE EVENT, THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF NATIONAL PRIMARY HEALTH CARE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, SPEAKS ON WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING TO CURB THE SPREAD OF MONKEY POX.

THE NIGERIA CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL HAS RECORDED A TOTAL OF 21 CASES OF MONKEY POX AND ONE FATALITY, BETWEEN JANUARY AND  MAY 29 THIS YEAR, MAKING THE DISEASE A NEW SOURCE OF CONCERN FOR MANY, AFTER COVID 19.

trachoma

WHO declares Togo Trachoma free as 26 African countries remain endemic

The World Health organization, (WHO) says Togo has eliminated trachoma, an eye disease that can cause permanent blindness, as a public health problem.

A statement from the UN Organisation stated that the West African nation becomes the fourth country on the continent to be validated by World health Organization (WHO) as having reached the elimination milestone after Morocco in 2016, Ghana in 2018 and The Gambia in 2021.

It explained that Trachoma is a neglected tropical disease, caused by bacteria and mainly affects children; in adults, women are up to four times more likely than men to be affected mainly due to the close contact of women with infected children.

“Repeated infection can severely scar the inside of the eyelid, turning it inwards and causing the eyelashes to rub against the eyeball. This results in constant pain and light intolerance. Left untreated it leads to visual impairment or blindness.”

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti was quoted as saying that “Togo’s achievement is a significant step in the progress towards trachoma elimination. Children across the country and their families can now live without the fear of the severe impacts of this preventable disease thanks to sustained control measures.”

According to the statement, efforts to eliminate trachoma in Togo started in 1989, with its inclusion as one of the priority neglected tropical diseases under the national control programme.

“The major elimination strategy was screening and treatment of people with late trachoma complications. Community participation was central to the success in Togo, with community health workers trained to identify suspected cases and refer them for examination and treatment.

Read: Mozambique declares outbreak of wild poliovirus type 1

“Togo also led series of awareness campaigns focusing on the importance of facial cleanliness and personal hygiene in the fight against trachoma and invested in significant improvements in the provision of safe water and access to better sanitation.

“Validation of trachoma elimination as a public health problem in Togo was based on evidence. Several population-based trachoma surveys were conducted starting from 2006 to 2017.

“The 2017 survey using WHO recommended methodology found that the prevalence of key indicators was below the WHO trachoma elimination threshold. There was also evidence that Togo’s health system is able to identify and treat new cases of late complications of trachoma.”

Meanwhile, Togo has globally joined 12 other countries that have been validated by WHO for having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem – Cambodia, China, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Gambia, Ghana, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

“Trachoma remains a public health problem in 43 countries with an estimated 136 million people living in areas endemic for the disease. Trachoma is found mainly in the poorest and underserved remote rural communities of Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

“The African Region is disproportionately affected by trachoma with 116 million people living in at-risk areas, which represents 85% of the global trachoma burden.”

The WHO said significant progress has been made over the past few years and the number of people requiring antibiotic treatment for trachoma infection in the African Region fell by 73 million; from 189 million in 2014 to 116 million as of June 2021.

“Following Togo’s success trachoma remains endemic in 26 countries in the African Region.”

blood donation

FG Set to Build Database to Regulate Supplies of Blood

The Federal government says it is set to build a comprehensive national database of blood establishments across various levels of government in the country in order to regulate, coordinate, and ensure the safe, quality, and affordable supplies of blood and blood products to all who needs it.

The Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed this on Thursday at a one day sensitisation to share the mandate of the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) in Abuja.

The Minister said an efficient health sector requires a national blood system that is fully integrated into the health-care system.

Represented by the Technical Assistant to the Minister, Dr. Chris Isokponwa, he said the import of this initiative is that a nationwide blood supply can be mobilised at any time of critical need speedily, effectively, and efficiently to save the lives of Nigerians.

He said the universal data availability on blood services in Nigeria will aid in the attraction of domestic investment in the safe blood value-chain from vein to vein.

Read: CUCUMBER AND MEN’S SEXUAL HEALTH BENEFITS

He also said enormous opportunities reside for investments in the systems for well-regulated and coordinated blood collection, screening, storage, and distribution processes, and it is this enabling ecosystem that NBSC is strategically positioned to drive.

In addition, he said all critical activities within a national blood system should be coordinated centrally at the national level to promote uniform standards, economies of scale, consistency in the quality and safety of blood and blood products and best transfusion practices.

On his part, the Acting Director General of the NBSC, Dr. Omale Amedu while speaking with newsmen, said there is high deficit of blood in the database at the moment and as such Nigerians needs to be educated on the need to donate blood to save lives.

He said, having a population of over 200 million Nigerians we are expected to as a country have a minimum of 2million units of blood per annum but we however have 25 thousand save units on record.

He reeled out the health benefits of blood donations stating that when Nigerians donate blood they are revitalising their own system because as they donate the old blood, new blood cells are formed.

Dr. Amedu however debunk news of blood being sold noting that what ever money is collected, is for the preservation and sustenance of blood.

The Head Planning/Research and Statistics of the NBSC Dr. Adaeze Oreh in her remark, said every country should put in place policies, a legislative framework, systems, and structures to ensure the safety, quality, accessibility, and timely availability of blood and blood products to meet the needs of all patients who require transfusion.

The National Blood Service Commission Act of 2021 was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2021as part of the initiative of the administration towards provision of quality health care for Nigerians.

wild poliovirus

Mozambique declares outbreak of wild poliovirus type 1

Health authorities in Mozambique have declared an outbreak of wild poliovirus type 1 after confirming that a child in the country’s north-eastern Tete province had contracted the disease.

A statement from the World Health Organisation, (WHO), Africa Regional Office in Brazzaville stated that the case marks the second imported case of wild poliovirus in southern Africa this year, following an outbreak in Malawi in mid-February.

“So far, one case in Mozambique – the country’s first since 1992 – has been detected. The virus was found in a child who began experiencing onset of paralysis in late March. Genomic sequencing analysis indicates that the newly confirmed case is linked to a strain that had been circulating in Pakistan in 2019, similar to the case reported in Malawi earlier this year.

Read: Poliovirus: Malawi declares wild poliovirus outbreak

“The case in Mozambique and the earlier one in Malawi do not affect Africa’s wild poliovirus-free certification because the virus strain is not indigenous. Africa was declared free of indigenous wild polio in August 2020 after eliminating all forms of wild polio from the region,” the statement read in part.

World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti was quoted as saying that “The detection of another case of wild polio virus in Africa is greatly concerning, even if it’s unsurprising given the recent outbreak in Malawi. However, it shows how dangerous this virus is and how quickly it can spread

“We are supporting southern African governments to step up the polio fight including carrying out large-scale, effective vaccination campaigns to halt the virus and protect children from its damaging impact.”

It was also explained that further investigations were underway in Mozambique to determine the extent of the risk posed by the new wild poliovirus case and the targeted responses needed; but preliminary analysis of samples collected from three contacts of the newly-detected case were all negative for wild poliovirus type 1.

According to the statement, Mozambique recently carried out two mass vaccination campaigns – in response to the Malawi outbreak – in which 4.2 million children were vaccinated against the disease.

“Efforts are currently underway to help strengthen disease surveillance in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The five countries will continue with mass vaccinations, with plans to reach 23 million children aged five years and below with the polio vaccine in the coming weeks.

“Globally, wild poliovirus is endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Polio is highly infectious and largely affects children younger than five years. There is no cure for polio, and it can only be prevented by immunization.

“Children across the world remain at risk of wild polio type 1 as long as the virus is not eradicated in the last remaining areas in which it is still circulating.”

Malaria

World Bank loans Nigeria 300 million dollars to fight malaria

The Federal Government has assessed a Credit Facility to the tone of 300 million dollars to support the malaria elimination programme in 13 states of the federation.

This was revealed by the Coordinator of the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Perpetua Uhomobhi at the second April ministerial bi-monthly media briefing on COVID-19 and the health sector organized by the Africa Health Budget Network, (AHBN).

Read: National Population Policy: AHBN commits to support implementation and accountability framework development

Speaking during the briefing which was presided over by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Mrs. Uhomobhi explained that the Facility was in two parts, with the World Bank Credit put at 200 million dollars, while that of the Islamic Bank was 100 million dollars.

She also said as directed by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, the ministry has set up an End Malaria Counsel – to be chaired by the founder of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote – in line with the recommendation of the  African Malaria Leaders Alliance mandate for high burden malaria countries.

“The President himself has directed that in line with the Africa Malaria leaders alliance mandate for high malaria burden countries that we set up an End Malaria Council in Nigeria, we have set up the Council and we have approached the Founder of the Dangote Foundation, who is also global malaria Ambassador and he has agreed to Chair the Council which is comprised of several eminent Nigerians.

“Nigeria has also assessed a World Bank Credit Facility, a loan to support the eleven plus two additional states that before now didn’t have any external donor support for malaria programme implementation across all interventions.”

Read: USAID applauds nurses, midwives others in malaria fight

Also speaking at the briefing, the Director of Ports Health, Dr. Geoffrey Okatubo explained that vigilance at various entry points across the country have been heightened following the resurgence of the COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai China.

Okatubo also spoke on the measures adopted to ensure safety of Nigerian pilgrims who are visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Lesser Hajj.

“The Federal Government recently opened four land borders in the country and these are Idiroko in Ogun state, Kamba in Kebbi, Ikom in Cross River and Jibia in Katsina state Port Health Services workers have been deployed to screen passengers who come in through these land borders including the four others had earlier been reopened.

“The Federal Ministry of Health has swung into action to ensure that the ministry collaborates with the National Hajj Commission to meet up with all necessary guidelines and requirements as outlined by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to ensure that all our pilgrims are safe while embarking on this religious obligation.” It was also explained that Nigeria has just completed the required World Health Organisation (WHO) training for the local vaccine production and that all was on course towards realizing the plan for local vaccine manufacturing in the country.

Vaccine preventable diseases

WHO raises alarm over surge in vaccine preventable diseases in Africa

The World Health Organisation, (WHO) says Africa is witnessing a surge in outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases in Africa over the past year.

A statement from the United Nations agency, states that almost 17 500 cases of measles were recorded in the African region between January and March 2022, marking a 400% increase compared with the same period in 2021.

It further stated that twenty African countries reported measles outbreaks in the first quarter of this year, eight more than the first three months of 2021.

According to the statement, outbreaks of other vaccine preventable diseases have also become more common; twenty-four countries confirmed outbreaks of a variant of polio in 2021, which is four more than in 2020; in 2021, 13 countries reported new yellow fever outbreaks in the African region, compared to nine in 2020 and three in 2019.

Inequalities in accessing vaccines, disruptions by the COVID-19 pandemic including a huge strain on health system capacities were among factors identified to have impaired routine immunization services in many African countries and forced the suspension of vaccination drives.

The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti was quoted as saying that “The rise in outbreaks of other vaccine preventable diseases is a warning sign. As Africa works hard to defeat COVID-19, we must not forget other health threats. Health systems could be severely strained not only by COVID-19 but by other diseases.

“Vaccines are at the heart of a successful public health response, and as countries restore services, routine immunization must be at the core of revived and resilient health systems.”

It was also stressed that two doses of the measles vaccine provided on schedule results in long lasting protection against the potentially deadly disease and that countries were expected to attain and maintain measles vaccination coverage of 95% with two doses to reach measles elimination.

Reference was also made to 2019 where six countries in the African region attained 95% coverage with first dose measles vaccination, while only three met this target in 2020, according to estimates by WHO and UNICEF.

“To urgently scale up coverage and protect children, WHO and partners are supporting African countries to carry out catch-up routine vaccination campaigns, with more than 90% of the 38 African countries responding to a global survey reporting that they implemented at least one routine catch-up immunization campaign in the second half of 2021.

“Some countries have successfully integrated other critical immunization campaigns with COVID-19 vaccination. For example, Ghana integrated COVID-19 vaccination with yellow fever campaigns in December 2021 to curb an outbreak that erupted a month earlier. Nigeria recently launched a vaccine scale-up strategy which guides the integration of routine immunization with COVID-19 vaccination for mothers and their babies.

Mass vaccination campaigns are also boosting COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Between January and April, the percentage of Africans fully vaccinated against the virus rose to 17.1% from 11.1%.

The Director, Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases Cluster at WHO Regional Office for Africa, Dr. Benido Impouma said “Routine immunization, a long-established practice in many African countries, has been severely strained by the impact of COVID-19. In the wake of this pandemic, we are committed to supporting countries devise smart approaches to scale up both COVID-19 vaccination and restore and expand routine immunization services.”

nurses and midwives

Regulate the migration of nurses and midwives: Association tells Nigeria’s health ministry

The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives has called on the Federal Ministry of Health to regulate the migration of nurses and midwives to reduce brain drain which it said is impacting negatively on the Nigeria Health Sector.

The National President of the Association Comrade Nnachi Michael Ekuma made the call on Friday at a press conference to herald the 2022 International Nurse week celebration and Scientific Conference.

According to him, despite the commitment and sacrifices demonstrated by nurses and Midwives, they are yet to be adequately compensated, recognised, valued and respected so as to be given the pride of place in the society.

He further decried the shortage of nurses which he said is due to the mass migration for desirable compensation and reward for service delivery, lack of decent work environment, poor staff renumeration and brain drain, no welfare packages amongst others.

He therefore called on the government to invest in nursing workforce and consider special salary package for nurses and midwives to address brain drain

On her part, the second Vice President of the Association Comrade Israel Blessing said there is shortage of nine hundred thousand (900,000) Midwives globally noting that this has made life difficult.

According to statistics, she said about a million of newborn die after birth while 2.6 million cases are still birth due to what she said are preventable causes.

Read: Address Brain Drain in the Health Sector NMA Urges FG

She further said in order to reduce or eliminate occurrence of these cases, there is need to increase the awareness of the roles of nurses and Midwives in the society.

She also called on the government to Foster the morale of Midwives through appropriate funding, functional equipment and effective remuneration.

The international day for the celebration of nurses and midwives is celebrated between May 6 to 12 of every year to mark the birthday anniversary of the founder of modern nursing Lady Florence Nightingale who was born of the 12th of May1820 and died on August 13th 1910.