female genital mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation Causes Mental Health in Millions of Women- Minister.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire Decries The persistent rise in the number of those who practice female Genital Mutilation (FGM) despite concerted efforts to eradicate the practice in Nigeria

The minister stated this at the official launch of the national policy and plan of action for the elimination of female genital mutilation,  held on Friday in Abuja.
According to him, there are millions of girls and women who are living with the pains of such mutilation, and many others still at risk of sufferings associated this practice

To eliminate the practice in Nigeria, Dr. Osagie says it’s necessary to improve access to quality care for victims, while delivering gender response comprehensive quality health care services to all Nigerians, irrespective of circumstance.


London-bound Cocaine, Heroin, Meth Seized at Lagos Airport

NDLEA arrests 2 fake security agents, nursing mother on bail for another drug crime, recovers 1,769kg of narcotics from them, others

Desperate efforts by drug cartels to export different quantities of Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine and Cannabis to London, United Kingdom through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos have been scuttled by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
Narcotic officers of the Agency had on Thursday 28th October during outward routine clearance of cargo at NAHCO export shed of the airport intercepted 20 parcels of Cocaine weighing 1.2kg concealed in packets of Zee black soap; 23 parcels of Heroin weighing 1.4kg hidden in packets of Zee black soap and 39 parcels of 2.35kg Methamphetamine concealed in Dudu -Osun black soap packets.
Few days earlier, October 21, a similar cargo had been intercepted at the NAHCO shed of the MMIA, where 7.35kgs of Cannabis concealed inside some tablets of Dudu Osun black soap were recovered. No fewer than three suspects have so far been arrested in connection to the seizures.
Barely a week after she was arrested and granted bail for attempting to smuggle drugs concealed in cassava flour meal called ‘akpu’ into NDLEA cell for a suspect in custody, a nursing mother who claims to be a part-time 400-level student of International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of Benin, Mariam Adetilewa Dirisu has against been arrested for trafficking in 5kg skunk and 8.1grams of Molly.
The 35-year-old mother of a 2 month-old-baby was first arrested on 21st October by the Edo state Command of the Agency. Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) had on the same day directed that she be counselled and released immediately because of the young baby she was carrying. Curiously, a controlled delivery operation carried out by operatives of the Delta state Command of the Agency on Saturday 30th October again led to the arrest of Mariam who had ordered for the drugs from Lagos even while still on bail for an earlier offence.
In Ondo state, no less than 1,645kilograms of cannabis were seized in three interdiction operations in parts of the state. Operatives had on 28th October stormed Emure cannabis farm camp where 313kilograms of cannabis were seized and seven suspects: Paul Godwin; Michael Nnaji; Ezugu Lucky; Omolu Sunday; Simon Taiwo; David Udofia; and M. Suleiman arrested.
Operatives had the previous day raided the Ipele-Idoani forest where 534kgs of abandoned compressed cannabis were recovered just as a total of 798kilograms of cannabis were seized from two suspects; Gbenga Falodun and Faseyitan Opeyemi at Ikare junction, Owo area of the state. Also recovered from them
include a white Mercedes Benz truck Lagos LSR 06 XW and monetary exhibit of N20, 000.
At least, two suspected fake security agents; Umar Ibrahim and Sadiq Abubakar as well as their accomplice, Auwal Hassan have been arrested in Kogi state while conveying a total of 105.4kilograms of cannabis from Ondo state to Kaduna on Saturday 30th October in a Mercedes Benz C 180 car with registration number Abuja BWR 924 KH.

Raids at three black spots in Oshodi, Ikeja and Ogba areas of Lagos State on 23rd October have led to the arrest of a 15-year-old female SS II student of Idi – Araba Senior High School, Walaka Adams, who was arrested at No. 72 Mafoluku Road, Oshodi, with 100 grams of cannabis sativa; Sodiq Ganun, a 24-year-old wielder with 200grams of cannabis at the same address and Tajudeen Azeez, arrested at Ipodo, Ikeja, with 9 grams of Cocaine. At a drug joint in Ogba area of Ikeja, different quantities of abandoned drugs such as Molly, Rohypnol and Codeine based syrup were recovered.
While commending the officers and men of the MMIA, Delta, Ondo, Kogi and Lagos Commands of the Agency for not resting on their oars, Gen. Marwa charged them and their counterparts in other Commands to remain resolute in the ongoing efforts to cut access and availability of illicit drugs across the country.

Femi Babafemi
Director, Media & Advocacy
NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja
Sunday 31st October, 2021

Mental Health Targets

Majority of the World Misses 2020 Mental Health Targets – W.H.O says.

– Sets new targets for 2030

The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed disappointment over the inability of most of the world to meet the mental health needs for people requiring them.

The UN body revealed this while referring to a new Mental Health Atlas which paints a sad picture of a worldwide failure to provide people with the mental health services, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting a growing need for mental health support.

It was explained that the latest edition of the Atlas which includes data from 171 countries, indicates that the increased attention given to mental health in recent years has yet to result in a scale-up of quality mental services that is aligned with needs.

The Atlas which is issued every three years is a compilation of data provided by countries around the world on mental health policies, legislation, financing, human resources, availability and utilization of services and data collection systems.

“It is also the mechanism for monitoring progress towards meeting the targets in WHO’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan”, WHO clarified.

The Director General of WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus is reported to have expressed worry that good intentions towards mental health care needs are not quite backed with investments.

“We must heed and act on this wake-up call and dramatically accelerate the scale-up of investment in mental health, because there is no health without mental health.”

The Atlas report indicates a lack of progress in leadership, governance and financing, as none of the targets for effective leadership and governance for mental health, provision of mental health services in community-based settings, mental health promotion and prevention, and strengthening of information systems, were close to being achieved.

“In 2020, just 51% of WHO’s 194 Member States reported that their mental health policy or plan was in line with international and regional human rights instruments, way short of the 80% target.

“And only 52% of countries met the target relating to mental health promotion and prevention programmes, also well below the 80% target. The only 2020 target met was a reduction in the rate of suicide by 10%, but even then, only 35 countries said they had a stand-alone prevention strategy, policy or plan.”

Steady progress was however reported, but in the adoption of mental health policies, plans and laws, as well as in improvements in capacity to report on a set of core mental health indicators.

Percentage of government health budgets spent on mental health was said to have scarcely changed during the last years, still hovering around 2%; even when policies and plans included estimates of required human and financial resources only 39% of responding countries indicated that the necessary human resources had been allocated and 34% that the required financial resources had been provided.

The report also provided information on transfer of care to the community was said to be slow.

“While the systematic decentralization of mental health care to community settings has long been recommended by WHO, only 25% of responding countries met all the criteria for integration of mental health into primary care.

“While progress has been made in training and supervision in most countries, the supply of medicines for mental health conditions and psychosocial care in primary health-care services remains limited.”

The above was said to also reflect in the way that government funds to mental health are allocated, and it highlights the urgent need for deinstitutionalization as more than 70% of total government expenditure on mental health was allocated to mental hospitals in middle-income countries, compared with 35% in high-income countries.

“This indicates that centralized mental hospitals and institutional inpatient care still receive more funds than services provided in general hospitals and primary health-care centres in many countries.

“There was, however, an increase in the percentage of countries reporting that treatment of people with specific mental health conditions (psychosis, bipolar disorder and depression) is included in national health insurance or reimbursement schemes – from 73% in 2017 to 80% (or 55% of Member States) in 2020.

“Global estimates of people receiving care for specific mental health conditions (used as a proxy for mental health care as a whole) remained less than 50%, with a global median of 40% of people with depression and just 29% of people with psychosis receiving care.”

The new edition of the Atlas indicated increase in mental health promotion, but questionable effectiveness.

There was an encouraging report of countries with increased mental health promotion and prevention programmes, from 41% of Member States in 2014 to 52% in 2020; however, 31% of total reported programmes did not have dedicated human and financial resources, 27% did not have a defined plan, and 39% had no documented evidence of progress and/or impact.

On the mental health workforce, the Atlas report indicated slight increase as the global median number of mental health workers per 100 000 population has increased slightly from nine workers in 2014 to 13 workers per 100 000 population in 2020.

The reported increase also showed a very high variation between countries of different income levels, with the number of mental health workers in high-income countries more than 40 times higher than in low-income countries.

There were new targets set for 2030, even as majority of countries failed to meet the 2020 target.

“The global targets reported on in the Mental Health Atlas are from WHO’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan, which contained targets for 2020 endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2013.”

The target includes mental health and psychosocial support in emergency preparedness plans, the integration of mental health into primary health care, and research on mental health.

The Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Use at WHO, Dévora Kestel was quoted as being optimistic that more seriousness will be accorded the new targets by WHO member countries.

“The new data from the Mental Health Atlas shows us that we still have a very long way to go in making sure that everyone, everywhere, has access to quality mental health care.

“But I am encouraged by the renewed vigour that we saw from governments as the new targets for 2030 were discussed and agreed and am confident that together we can do what is necessary to move from baby steps to giant leaps forward in the next 10 years.”

UNICEF explains how the impacts of covid-19 is affecting the mental health of youth in Nigeria, Africa

Why COVID-19 Impact Push Young Nigerian Adults to Depression -UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health in Nigeria was rising, as one in six young adults between the age of 15 and 24 years was currently experiencing depression.

UNICEF said this in its flagship report, “State of the World’s Children 2021; On My Mind: promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health” released on Tuesday, in Abuja.

The report is UNICEF’s most comprehensive look at the mental health of children, adolescents, and caregivers in the 21st century.

It estimates that the current impact of COVID-19 on children’s mental health was a ‘tip of the iceberg’ as the trend was likely to continue in the next years.

The report said that the negative trend can, however, be reversed if the Federal Government increased funding for mental health.

Data from UNICEF shows that globally, one in seven children have been directly affected by lockdowns adding that more than 1.6 billion children have suffered some loss of education; the disruption to routines, education, and recreation.

Concern for family income and health is leaving many young people feeling afraid, angry, and concerned for their future.

It said, although almost 46,000 adolescents die from suicides every year, wide gaps persist between mental health needs and mental health funding.

The report said only 2 per cent of government health budgets is allocated to mental health spending globally.

The report, therefore, called on governments, private, and public sector partners to act to promote mental health for all children, adolescents, and caregivers.

It suggested that this could be achieved through investments in child and adolescent mental health, breaking the silence surrounding mental illness by addressing stigma, and sensitization to improve understanding of mental health. NAN

dangers of drug abuse

Ministry of Health Embarks on Sensitisation Tour Against Drug Abuse

The Federal Ministry of Health went on a sensitization tour around the FCT metropolis on Monday to educate the public on the dangers of drug Abuse.

It said the sensitisation is being organised, because of the situation in the country as drug abuse has become a pandemic.

The Director, Food and Drugs Services in the ministry, Mrs Olubukola Ajayi, while addressing newsmen at the end of the exercise, said the sensitisation became necessary due to the danger drug abuse posed on the society.

According to her people on drugs have committed a lot of havoc by killing, stealing, raping and indulging in many terrible things.

She said the ministry decided to educate Nigerians on the danger of drug abuse for them to resist its temptation and addiction, adding that similar activities are being carried out in states and local government areas.

Ajayi said the ministry had developed policies to help in curbing the menace of drug abuse adding that what is left, is for the relevant agencies to carry out the implementation.

She urged the media to properly sensitize the public on the dangers of drug abuse.

Kenneth Anetor, a Co founder and President of A New Thing International Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation partnering with the Ministry in sensitising youths on the dangers of Drug Abuse, said one in eight people in Nigeria are doing drugs and that out of every five person, a lady is doing drugs.

Mr Anetor said as a way of assisting the government they engage youths in the rural environment, trained those who are passionate about issues surrounding youths and send them back into the society to engage other youths.

He said everyone has a part to pay and that they are making impact while noting that more engaging programmes will come up that will assist in curbing the menace of drug abuse.

He said a drug free life is possible urging all to save the youth and save the future.

Some persons who spoke to Health TV crew in anonymity said drug abuse should not be seen as a problem of the poor noting that the rich and influential people also indulge in it.

They accused law enforcement officers of seizing some of these drugs and reselling them rather than burning the drugs.

They called on the government to continue to combat the menace at the grassroot level, and also look inward for corrupt officials who are promoting the use of these drugs for financial gains.

A motor part attendance popularly known as Agbero, who identified himself as Starboy, said he enjoys taking drugs and no one can stop him from doing so not even his mother adding that it is like part of his life.

According to him, if those drugs are not being sold, people will not buy.

He advised the government to start from the root where most of those drugs are being planted.

The sensitization tour was carried out at the Wuse Market, Berger Junction and Jabi Motor Park in Abuja.

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is marked on June 26 of every year, to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving the goal of a world free of drug.

Despite the celebration of the day in June the Federal Ministry of Health had deemed it fit to continue the sensitization due to the rising numbers of drug addict and drug misuse with the theme; Share Facts on Drugs Save Lives.

Drug Abuse among adolescent

FG Establishes Drug Demand Reduction Unit to Tackle Drug Abuse

The Federal Government says it has established a Drug Demand Reduction unit in the Ministry of Health to coordinate and implement evidence-based strategies for drug prevention, treatment and continuous care.

It also said through the European Union funded project, response to drugs and related organised crime, the ministry has upgraded 11 hospitals as Model Drug Treatment Centres across the 6 geo-political zones of the country.

It added that seven of of the hospitals are designated as regional training centers for Drug dependence treatment.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora disclosed this on Friday at a press briefing to herald the 2021 Drug Abuse Sensitisation week with the theme; Share facts on drugs, save lives.

The Minister said the menace of Drug abuse has reached an epidemic proportion and thus requires concerted efforts by all noting that Drug trafficking and use is not only a threat to security, governance and development of a nation but also to the health of its citizenry.

He said based on World Health Organisation’s 2015 estimates, psychoactive Drug use is responsible for more than 450,000 deaths per year.

He said the Drug attributable disease burden account for about 1.5% of the global burden of disease.

“Injecting Drug use accounts for an estimated 30% of new HIV infections outside sub-Saharan Africa and contributed significantly to the epidemics of hepatitis B and C in all regions of the world”.

The Minister said the 2018 National Survey on Drug use and Health estimates the prevalence of drug use in Nigeria at 14.4% corresponding to 14.3 million people between the ages of 15 to 64.

He said this is about three times more than the 2017 global prevalence of 5.6% among the adult population.

Dr Mamora said as much as law enforcement and criminal sanctions play a key role in reducing availability and accessibility of illicit drugs and their use, he added that such measures should be balanced with adequate Drug Demand Reduction strategies.

He said “if the future of Nigeria is to be guaranteed, it is imperative that we collectively, honestly, and critically review the social cultural, economic and legal factors that have in one way or the other contributed to the epidemic.

He said we must continue to create an environment that discourages people from seeing Drug use as an alternative or solution to a problem.

The Director General of NAFDAC Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye on her part said, the policy thrust of her agency is to ensure availability, access and rational use while preventing illicit use and misuse of drugs.

She assured that the agency remain committed to the coordinated wholesale centers being planned for the effective distribution of pharmaceuticals in the country.

Prof Adeyeye noted that this unlicensed retails facilities serve as medium for illicit Drug distribution she however promise that NAFDAC will continue to build upon the synergy that existed between the agency and pharmacy councils to ensure effective monitoring and tracking of controlled substances in the distribution chain and to enforce compliance with the National Drug distribution guidelines.

drug kingpins arrested

Seven Drug Kingpins Have Been Arrested in Nigeria

NDLEA busts interstate drug cartels in Kogi, Nasarawa, Benue, recovers 843kg skunk, cocaine, arrests seven drug kingpins in raids across 3 states

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have busted three major interstate drug cartels supplying illicit substances to some states in the North, recovered skunk and cocaine weighing over 843 kilograms and arrested at least seven of the drug kingpins behind the syndicates in separate raids carried out in Kogi, Nasarawa and Benue states.

In a bid to evade the frequent road interdiction efforts by officers of the Kogi state command of the Agency, a cartel led by one Augustine Emmanuel, 45, opted to move its consignments through the waterways between Edo and Kogi states.
They were however intercepted on Monday 12th July, 2021 at a Jetty in Idah, Kogi State, where a Toyota Avalon car with registration number: Lagos SMK 345 CG, loaded with 487kg of cannabis and ferried across the waterways from Agenebode, Edo State to the Jetty in Idah, was seized and the syndicate leader arrested.

In Nasarawa state, a team of NDLEA operatives had on Thursday 8th July raided one of the most hostile drug joints in the state capital. About 356kg of cannabis and various psychotropic substances were recovered, with the arrest of four major drug dealers including the most notorious drug kingpin in Nasarawa state called “Boogie” while his real name is Muhammed Umar. His drug distribution tentacles cut across Kano, Plateau, Benue and parts of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.

Curiously, some quantities of cocaine were intercepted in Benue on 8th, 9th and 13th July. The first dealer, John Aondosoo was arrested in Makurdi on Thursday with 28.6grams of crack cocaine and after initial interrogation, it was discovered that his supplier, Henry Ezeomah would bring more supplies in the early hours of Friday from Obosi, Anambra. Indeed, the supplier was arrested last Friday with 29.17grams of crack cocaine. In another raid on Tuesday, 13th July the Benue command also seized some quantities of cocaine.

Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the Commanders, officers and men of Kogi, Nasarawa and Benue Commands of the Agency for taking the war against illicit drugs in Nigeria to the doorsteps of the cartels. He charged them not to relent but remain resolute in their commitment to rid every community of the drug scourge.

Femi Babafemi
Director, Media & Advocacy
NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja
Tuesday, 13th July 2021

health calendar

Days You Should Mark On Your Health Calendar. July – Sept 2021

July 25th is world drowning prevention day

World drowning prevention day, declared through the April 2021 un general assembly resolution a/75/l.76 “global drowning prevention”, is held annually on 25 July. This global advocacy event serves as an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities and offer life-saving solutions to prevent it. An estimated 235,600 people drown every year, and drowning is among the ten leading causes of death for children aged 5-14 years. More than 90% of drowning deaths occur in rivers, lakes, wells, domestic water storage vessels and swimming pools in low- and middle-income countries, with children and adolescents in rural areas disproportionately affected.

July 28. World hepatitis day. August 1 – 7

World hepatitis day is observed each year on 28 July to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes severe liver disease and hepatocellular cancer. This year’s theme is “hepatitis can’t wait”, conveying the urgency of efforts needed to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness – even in the current covid-19 crisis – we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis.

17 September is World Patient Safety Day

World Patient Safety Day calls for global solidarity and concerted action by all countries and international partners to improve patient safety.

The Day brings together patients, families, caregivers, communities, health workers, health care leaders and policymakers to show their commitment to patient safety.

The resolution WHA 72.6 ‘Global action on patient safety’ recognizes patient safety as a global health priority and endorses the establishment of World Patient Safety Day to be observed annually on 17 September.


See Number of Illicit Drugs, Arrest Made by Kano NDLEA

A total of 8,983.46kg (8.9 tons) of illicit drugs and 286 suspects has been reportedly impounded and arrested between July 2020 to June 2021 by the the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kano State Command.

The state commander of the NDLEA Isah Likita-Mohammed gave this update while briefing newsmen in Kano as part of activities marking 2021 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The commander said that during the period under review out of the 8, 983. 46 kg illicit drugs, 7,701.91 kg are cannabis sativa; 1, 281.33kg psychotropic substances; 0.157 kg of cocaine; and 0.065 kg of heroin.

“Out of the 286 suspects arrested include 261 males and 25 females. Also, 155 persons were arraigned in the court.

“The agency secured 78 convictions which include 74 males and four females, while 77 cases are still pending before the court,’’ he said.

Likita-Mohammed however said the agency discovered three Cannabis Sativa farms located at Gwarzo, Danbatta and Ungogo Local Government Areas of the state which called for concern.

 He said “from Gwarzo farm, 375 plants were uprooted, while 111 plants were uprooted from Danbatta and 87 were uprooted at Ungogo farm”.

The commander explained that the non-completion of the rehabilitation centre at the command had affected the ability to operate at optimum capacity in drug reduction and rehabilitation of drug dependent persons.

The commander called on the residents to join hands to salvage the community from the scourge of drugs in order to have a good future for children and generations to come.

He said based on this year’s theme: “Share Facts about Drugs. Save Lives”, the agency collaborated with Bayero University Kano to disseminate impacts and effects of drugs abuse on women, adolescent women and girl child.

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is set aside by the United Nations for sober reflection on the devastating effects of illicit drugs on the health and wellbeing of the society and to forge cooperation toward resistance of trafficking.