MoHSS participates in NCUC at Windhoek Central Hospital

The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) on Saturday announced that it has cleared two out of four blocks of the nurses’ homes at the central hospital in preparation for building renovations.

This follows the ministry’s previous statement that it would carry out general repairs on the nurses’ home and doctor’s quarters, as these buildings have been reported to be in a dilapidated state in recent years.

During an interview with Nampa at the National Clean-Up Campaign (NCUC) in the Khomas region on Saturday, MoHSS Deputy Director of General Services at Windhoek Central Hospital, Mercia Tjavara, emphasised that aside from health considerations, the campaign is aimed at promoting Namibia to become the cleanest country in Africa and worldwide.

‘I am honoured and grateful to participate in the NCUC, as it is everyone’s social responsibility to keep the nation clean. We come from an African background that teaches us to clean up after our mess, thus discouraging littering,’ Tjavara said.

At the same event, Nasilimwe Lubinda, a general cleaner at MoHSS, expressed her satisfaction with her role in setting an example for the nation regarding cleanliness, stating that Namibia belongs to all of us.

Lubinda pointed out that some of the cleanliness issues at the health facility are exacerbated by the nurses’ home residents, who allegedly litter outside their windows and balconies, as they are not monitored, leading to their ignorance about the environment. Furthermore, it is alleged that residents of the two remaining nurses’ blocks did not participate in maintaining the cleanliness of their surroundings, even after being informed about the NCUC by the Ministry.

Womba Nashiwaya, a member of the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, expressed her regret that not all Namibians participate in cleaning campaigns like these and emphasised that, as a Christian, it is her responsibility to keep God’s creation as clean as possible.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Cervical screening campaign set for Outjo

The Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Services will run a cervical screening campaign set for 25 to 29 September 2023, at Outjo in the Kunene Region.

According to CAN Chief Executive Officer, Rolf Hansen on Friday, the collaborative project aims to make cervical cancer screening services available to all women in the district, boosting early diagnosis and treatment.

The campaign encompasses both Visual Inspection by Acetic Acid (VIA) and Pap smear tests (cytology) and seeks to bridge the accessibility gap by making screening services readily available to every woman in the district.

Hansen said that acknowledging budgetary constraints faced by themMinisterial campaign, CAN extends its unwavering support to ensure that vital consumables necessary for the screenings are secured.

“CAN fully supports health ministry teams that take the initiative to proactively serve their communities and therefore wholeheartedly supports this request for support. This campaign aligns with CAN’s own National Cancer Outreach Programme and reflects our own ongoing commitment to fighting cancer and its devastating effects in Namibia,” he said.

Hansen noted that cervical cancer is a substantial global health concern, ranking as the fourth most common cancer among women and leading to significant fatalities annually.

“CAN underscores the importance of educating the community about cervical cancer, HPV, and the HPV vaccine. Routine cervical screenings, such as Pap tests and Visual Inspection by Acetic Acid (VIA), are pivotal in detecting and addressing abnormal cell changes early, forestalling their progression to cancer,’’ he said.

By endorsing campaigns like the cervical cancer screening initiative in the Outjo district, CAN strives to heighten awareness, amplify screening accessibility, and ultimately mitigate cervical cancer prevalence in Namibia.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

We’ve successfully removed 20 prostate without surgery – Urologist

An Umuahia-based medical facility, Eleos Specialist Hospital, has successfully done 20 Bipolar Enucleation of the prostate between March and August 2023.

Dr Paul Ngwu, a Consultant Urologist and Laparoscopic Surgeon at the hospital, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Tuesday.

He said that Bipolar Enucleation is a new technique of removing very big prostates completely without opening up the patient.

Ngwu, who is the Head of Department, Surgery, at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, said the hospital is the first in Nigeria to use the special high tech equipment to cure prostate.

According to him, older methods of achieving the same result include Holmium and Thulium Laser enucleation.

He said: “Bipolar Enucleation is suited for removing very big prostate without having to cut the patient and it is about successfully doing it and establishing it as a system of operation.

“We have done over 20 so far from March and we still have more to do this year.

“We have also started Laparoscopic surgery for prostate cancer.

“I tell people that prostate cancer is curable provided it is started at the early stage.”

Apart from offering healthcare for urological conditions in both males and females, he said that the hospital is also involved in Laser fragmentation of kidney, bladder and ureteric stones.

“We also introduced a technology for breaking large kidney stone into pieces and flush it out without cutting the patient’s body.

“We have been doing that for both small and big kidney stones since 2021,” said Ngwu, who is a member of World Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Japan donates cold chain supplies of N.dollars 29 million to health ministry

The Government of Japan, through the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Monday donated cold chain supplies valued at N.dollars 29 million to the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

The donation comprised of nine walk-in cold rooms, one incinerator, three ultra-cold chain equipment, 350 vaccine carriers, 295 fridge tags, 11 refrigerators, 10 deep freezers, 24 compressors, 30 voltage stabilisers, 37 laptops, one printer, 36 spare parts and toolkits and 61 tablets.

Speaking at the hand-over ceremony in the capital, UNICEF Country Representative Jecob Nyamadzawo, noted that Namibia is on track to equipping all health facilities with the required cold-chain equipment and supplies, with the support of stakeholders. This, he stressed, is a critical milestone towards strengthening the health system in achieving the universal health coverage agenda.

Japan’s Ambassador to Namibia, Nishimaki Hisao, at the same event said that well trained employees; dependable storage and temperature monitoring equipment; as well as medication inventory management are the three essential aspects of a successful cold chain.

Receiving the donation of behalf of the health ministry, Executive Director Ben Nangombe outlined its significance.

“This equipment will strengthen our ability to safely store and distribute vaccines, medicines, and essential medical supplies. This well-established cold chain infrastructure, coupled with the other resources acquired through this support, will enable us to reach every corner of our nation, ensuring that no one is left behind in our quest for a healthier society,” he said.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

UNIMAID alumni visit, support patients in hospital to mark Shettima’s birthday

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Chapter of the University of Maiduguri Alumni Association has paid the medical bills of 51 patients at the National Hospital, Abuja, to mark the 57th birthday of Vice-President Kashim Shettima.

The Chairman of the association, Baba Shettima-Kukawa, who led the delegation on Sunday, said that the gesture was to support and comfort patients battling with different ailments at the hospital.

Shettima-Kukawa called on well-meaning Nigerians and other associations to replicate the same gesture by touching lives.

“The visit itself is an eye opener, a lot of us here have felt differently about life in general.

“There is a lot of wisdom in the message of the Vice President that he does not want funds to be spent on congratulatory messages, and that such funds should be channelled towards humanitarian activities.

“And I think Nigeria has to do more of such things rather than wasting money on such things that cannot benefit humanity,” he said.

According to him, this is the beginning of so many other such gestures to come.

“If this is just one hospital in FCT, you can imagine how many hospitals across the country that need to be supported,” he said.

The Managing Director of Suntrust Bank, Halima Buba, who is also a member of the association, called on Nigerians to come out of their comfort zones and extend a hand of support to patients in the hospitals.

“I do not think this gesture takes anything. I encourage people to come to the hospital and see what others are going through.

“If you visit such places, you will appreciate what God has done for you.

“I would like to encourage our association and our friends and relatives to take time and visit the sick people in hospitals and see how they can assist them. It is very important,” she said.

The Chairman of Vodi Group, a Nigerian Clothing Brand, Seyi Adekunle, said that the association would go back to the drawing board to do better as individuals and as a group.

“I am touched by what I saw today, and I will ensure that the message is conveyed in strong terms and in a very short time we will respond and see how we can alleviate the issues sighted today,” he said.

Mr Mohammed Hashiru Halilu, a father to conjoined twins, who had been in the hospital for over two years, urged the Federal Government for financial support in payment for surgeries.

He said one of the twins was going through a congenital heart defect.

”As a father I plead with the government to wade into this matter and come to our aid so that through the surgery, the twins will be separated before the heart surgery on one of them is carried out.

“I would like to appreciate members of this wonderful organisation for their support,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that areas visited within the hospital included the male, female, and children trauma wards. (NAN)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

HPV vaccine: 1st phase to target 6 million girls – IVAC

John Hopkins International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), says the first phase of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine rollout in Nigeria is targeted at six million girls.

Dr Chizoba, Wonodi, the Country Director of the center, made this known at a two-day training for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Community Health Influencers Promoters and Services (CHIPs), held on Thursday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the aim of the training was to help drive the campaign.

The training was organised by IVAC in partnership with Women Advocates for Vaccine Access (WAVA) and Direct Consulting and Logistics , to aid the introduction of the vaccine in Nigeria.

Wonodi, who is also the Convener of WAVA, said that the vaccine was intended for only girls between the age of nine and 14 and not for boys.

He added that it was most effective for younger girls who have not been exposed to the HPV infection.

She said that the disease is a common infection which most women encounter once they start having sexual intercourse and that it has no symptoms.

She said that though the vaccine had been around in the world for a while, it was just getting to Nigeria because the country just got approval to receive it from the global body.

“There has been a supply constraint for the vaccine which has recently been alleviated because of a number of things.

“The producers of the HPV vaccines actually increased, I think from two to many producers and then even amongst the historic producers those who started first have expanded their production capacity a lot.

“Also, there is now an approved regimen that has been shown to work as effectively which is the single dose.

“So, Nigeria is going to introduce the single dose vaccine and so based on all that, there is enough supply available for a big country like Nigeria to introduce and they received the approval from Gavi in 2022 to introduce the vaccine.”

On possible reactions to the vaccine when taken, she said that every vaccine is different and that expected reactions if any would be mild.

She said the reactions are slight pain on the site of the injection, a little bit of fever that could last for a day or less, while some people may have some rash.

Wonodi, however, said that though the expected reactions are milf typical reactions, there may also be adverse effects for some people.

” This is why why the government put a surveillance system in place so that every girl vaccinated could report them if they happen.”

Speaking about the training, she said that there were about 40 participants cut across all the area councils in the FCT.

She added that more than 200 CSOs and CHIPS agents in the participating 15 states in the first phase and the FCT had been trained earlier.

“These CSOs we have trained will now cascade to the ward level CSOs and individuals that want to support the rollout effort.

“This is one of our programmes, where we are supporting the government with the vaccine introduction and to train CSOs or mobilise them to do community engagement and demand creation.

“This is because there is a lot of awareness that needs to happen and all hands need to be on deck, so that is why we are focusing on CSOs because they are grounded in the grassroots.

“They have other programmes they have implemented and many of them are trusted by the communities. So, when you have a new vaccine like this, you need trusted people who will carry the message to the communities and they are more receptive,” she said.

NAN reports that phase one of the vaccination programme will start on Sept. 25, with a national inauguration and five-day vaccination campaign, which will cover 15 states and the FCT.

The phase two will be in the remaining 21 states in the first quarter of 2024.

After the vaccination inauguration, the HPV vaccine will be included in the routine immunisation schedule for girls.

During vaccination campaigns, adolescent girls from nine to 14 years of age will be offered the HPV vaccine for free to prevent cervical cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Nigerian women. (www.nannews.ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Kidnapping: Medical consultants urge FG to ensure security of doctors

The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH), Lokoja, has urged the Federal Government to take proactive action to curb the menace of kidnapping of doctors across the country.

The Chairman of MDCAN, FTH Lokoja, Dr. Collins Egbeola, made the call while speaking with journalists after a procession by MDCAN members in the hospital to mark the “White Ribbon Day”, on Friday.

Egbeola said the essence of the White Ribbon Day was to call attention to the plight of medical health personnel, particularly doctors, as related to kidnapping.

“On daily basis, one begins to wonder what the life of a human being is worth in Nigeria. It is true that there is hardly any society that is absolutely free of crime.

“However, the situation in Nigeria in recent times has assumed alarming proportions that it is no longer healthy to sit on the fence or be indifferent.

“Kidnapping of people on highways, in homes or at work has continued to be a growing concern of cancerous dimension. People’s lives irrespective of tribe, religion or affiliation are being wasted.

“It is sad to note that health personnel, doctors especially, are now becoming targets of those involved in this unwholesome act,” he said.

The MDCAN chairman noted that one of its members, Prof. Ephraim Philip of the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Calabar, had been in captivity since July 13, 2023 with no certain information concerning her state, whether dead or alive.

“It is regretful that those who kidnapped her and other doctors generally do not entertain any consideration for them, their families and loved ones.

“It is not better in our own dear state, as doctors and other health personnel have had their own share of this unfortunate experience,” Egbeola said.

He, however, commended Gov. Yahaya Bello for changing the tide in Kogi due to his unwavering and intentional effort in the area of ensuring security of lives and safety of properties of residents.

He urged the governor not to relent in making Kogi, a state where kidnappings would be a thing of the past, with zero worries.

“This White Ribbon Day is a modest effort to call attention to the plight of our other Hippocratic brothers and sisters generally abducted and held against their wish in captivity, and Dr Ephraim in particular.

“We identify with her family, friends and colleagues. We plead with her abductors to allow the milk of kindness flow through them and release her unharmed.

“We call on the government of Cross River to do all within its power to enable Dr. Ephraim Philip return to her loved ones in peace and in health,” he said.

Egbeola called on all well-meaning Nigerians to collaborate and cooperate with security agencies to make their work easier.

In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), FTH, Lokoja, Dr Olatunde Alabi, said the hospital management had made deliberate effort to improve the security of both the staff and patients who patronised the facility.

Alabi, who was represented by Dr Bernard Ododo, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), said the hospital management had engaged security experts to sensitise the staff on security tips and awareness on how to stay safe.

The CMD enjoined the Federal and state governments to continue to strengthen and empower the security agencies to effectively protect the citizens, especially health personnel.

He called on the security agencies and the relevant stakeholders to ensure that their abducted member in Cross Rivers regained her freedom. (www.nannews.ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Victims of Abuja building collapse laud Wike for settling medical bills

Some victims of the building that collapsed on Wednesday in Abuja, have commended the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, for settling their medical bills.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that a two-storey building located at Lagos Street, Garki Village collapsed on Wednesday, killing two with 37 others evacuated to different hospitals for treatment.

Wike, who visited the scene on Thursday directed the Federal Capital Territory Administration to settle all the medical bills of the victims, receiving treatment in different hospitals in the FCT.

Responding to the gesture, the victims said that they were well taken care of since the minister’s declaration that their medical bills would be paid by the government.

They stated this when government officials, led by Mr Malan Haruna, acting Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat, Federal Capital Territory Administration visited them in hospitals on Saturday.

One of the victims, Mr Abdullahi Modibbo, receiving treatment at Asokoro District Hospital, Abuja, said he has not paid any amount following the minister’s declaration.

Modibbo thanked the minister for the support, which he described as “life saving”, adding that health workers were taking very good care of him.

“I was in my room on the first floor when the building collapsed on Wednesday night. I was trying to help myself when a boulder fell on my leg, causing a fracture.

“I am happy with the prompt response of government agencies who evacuated us and took us to the hospital for treatment, and now they have offered to pay all our bills. I am truly grateful,” he said.

The Chief Nursing Officer at the hospital, Mrs Aishatu Tenebe, said that eight victims were brought to the facility of which seven were treated and discharged.

Another victim Mr Garba Nagoma, at Cedarcrest Hospital Gwarinpa, was elated when he learned that his hospital bills would be settled by the government on the directive of the government.

Nagoma said that his brother has already paid N500,000 to the hospital as the first bill.

“This is good news knowing that my bills would be paid by the government. I am really grateful for the support,” he said.

The victims said that he visited his friend who resides on the first floor of the building when it collapsed.

“We were having a conversation when one of our friends alerted us that the building is about to collapse.

“We dashed to escape but we were late. The building collapsed with us while we were still on the first floor, and I survived with a fracture.

The Group Managing Director of the Hospital, Dr Kingsley Ikpe, said that Nagoma was the only victim that was brought to the hospital and assured that the hospital would provide the needed care to the victim.

Similarly, Mr Shehu Mohammed, another victim receiving treatment for head and eye injuries at Garki Hospital, Abuja, equally lauded Wike for coming to their aid.

Mohammed said he owned a tailoring shop in the building and was still working in the shop when it collapsed.

A medical officer at the facility, Dr Winifred Esite, said that 14 victims were brought to the hospital of which 12 were treated and discharged while one died.

On her part, Mrs Charity Amadi, one of the victims that was treated and discharged from the facility, equally thanked the FCT minister for the support.

Amadi, a mother of two and currently pregnant, said they were currently taking shelter at Cherubim and Seraphim Area 2 Shopping Centre, Abuja, adding that they lost everything in the wreckage.

“I am glad that the government has come to our aid because the hospital asked me to be coming for a check up to ensure that my unborn baby and I are fine,” she said.

Speaking after the visit, the acting Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat, FCTA, said he and his team visited the hospitals on the directive of the minister.

Haruna recalled that Wike had directed the FCTA to settle the medical bills of all those affected, “so we are here in compliance with his directive.

“We have gone round some of the hospitals and we have seen their condition on the instruction of the minister to ensure that they are well taken care of.

“So far, four victims are still receiving treatment in hospitals, 31 have been treated and discharged, while two have died.

“We have directed the victims to write the bills and forward them through FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the health secretariat for onward submission to the Permanent Secretary.

“The quality of services we have seen is very excellent as testified by the victims themselves,” he said.

The Head of Search and Rescue, Mr Oyegun Moses, said that of the two victims that died, one died at the scene of the collapsed building, while the other died at Garki Hospital while receiving treatment.

On the pregnant woman, Mrs Amadi, Moses confirmed that she would be visiting the hospital for observation to ensure that her unborn child was safe and healthy.

He assured that any medical bill incurred during the visits would be taken care of by the government.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Don seeks improved environmental sanitation measures to eradicate mosquitoes

Prof. Godson Ana, Dean, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, has called for effective environmental sanitation control strategies, and funding to eradicate mosquitoes.

Ana made the call on Tuesday in Abuja, at a symposium organised by the Environmental Health Council of Nigeria (EHCON), in collaboration with the Pest Control Association of Nigeria (PECAN), to commemorate the World Mosquito Day.

In a presentation titled; `Fighting the World’s Deadliest Killer, War Against Mosquito: Strategies, Gains and Setback”, the don said there was no point dealing with malaria on the surface by pumping money into hospitals, while people continued to die from mosquito related infections.

He however, said the government should rather invest money on sanitation, hygiene, and other environmental sanitation control strategies, to completely eradicate mosquitoes.

“We pump money into hospitals, rather than investing in sanitation, hygiene, and other environmental sanitation control strategies.

“We should invest more on research and documentation. Investment in research and development for malaria and other mosquito related diseases is not enough, there should be more on tackling the menace from its root cause.

“Health and socio-economic effects of mosquitoes are economic loss for health care interventions, cerebral hemorrhage, and liver problems.

“It affects pregnant women, decreases productivity due to man hour loss, leads to school absenteeism, and affects children under five years,” Ana said.

The don identified malaria as a parasitic infection transmitted by ‘Anopheline mosquitoes.

According to him, it causes an estimated 219 million cases of malaria infections globally, and results in more than 400,000 deaths every year.

He emphasised that most of the deaths occurred in children under the age of five years.

The don, who noted that most people were ignorant, or out rightly nonchalant about the benefits of keeping the environment clean and healthy, called for improved sensitisation and advocacy on environmental sanitation.

He further called for strict enforcement of sanitation laws and related programmes at the community level by EHCON, the National Environmental Standards Regulations and Enforcement Agency (NESREA), and other environment related agencies.

He said: “We need to up our game in our quest to address the mosquito scourge, the world’s deadliest killer.”

Ana, who explained that there were many species of mosquitoes in different parts of the world, also described the parasite as one of the greatest foes of mankind,

“It is responsible for most of the public health burdens, especially malaria and several methods and strategies have been used in the fight against the disease.

“The war against mosquitoes is far from being won because there are still a lot of setbacks, in spite of the modern techniques.

“Conquering invasion and its impacts require sustained efforts, innovations and commitment from all of us.”

He said the country should imbibe the WHO stipulated integrated approach to vector management, as an environmentally appropriate method.

Ana identified the system as a combination of methods in vector control, by conducting surveys in order to determine the species and position of mosquitoes and monitoring before commencement of control.

He emphasised some of the setbacks in mosquito control and eradication as; lack of effective research and documentation, environmental degradation, loss of tourism potentials, ecosystem structure, loss of manhour, and increase in number of out of school children.

“We are responsible for the destruction of our ecosystem, in the sense that certain places we are experiencing flood because we build on waterways, block water channels with refuse, which consequently provides high breeding places for mosquitoes.

“We lost a lot of tourism potential because places that are infested with mosquitoes will scare tourists away.

“Loss of man hours is very high in endemic regions, notorious for proliferation of mosquitoes and mosquito-related diseases, especially malaria,” Ana said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Ya Ndakolo inuagurates health care training college at Omuthiya

Oshikoto Governor, Penda Ya Ndakolo, has called on private tertiary institutions to register their business with the relevant authorities, as many students have wasted their money at unregistered institutions and are now without any recognised qualifications.

Ya Ndakolo made the remarks during the inauguration of the Higher Ground Training College (HGTC) at Omuthiya on Friday.

The college offers courses in electrical engineering, certificates in Foundations for Health Sciences, Enrolled Nursing as well as Bachelor in Nursing and Midwifery Science Honours Degree.

He said he is happy that HGTC is fully registered and approved by the Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCN).

“As the leadership, we will take action if we learn of any institution in Oshikoto that is not registered by making sure that institution is closed down. We want the correct services to be brought closer to the people of the region,” Ya Ndakolo said.

He said the increase in the number of qualified health care professionals will translate into improved quality of health care, as well as more access to health care services, especially in the rural areas.

“I implore the college management to also register for other health programmes so that students have more courses to choose from,” said Ya Ndakolo, while urging the institution to recruit capable people with the right qualifications who will deliver quality services.

“We are more concerned about the quality of education you will offer than the quantity of graduates you will produce because quality health professionals are needed in this country to sustain and enhance the quality of health in our nation,” the governor said.

HGTC founder and director, Mthembo Amkelani, said the college was established as a nursing school in 2014 and it currently has one branch with 127 registered students.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Health minister plans to end medical tourism

Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, assured on Monday in Abuja that he would work toward ending medical tourism out of Nigeria.

He gave the assurance at his maiden meeting with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Ms Kachollom Daju and its directors upon assumption of office.

He noted that there was a gap in health outcomes that needed to be improved upon.

“When you fly from Addis Ababa to New Delhi you see a lot of people going for medical tourism and it is not a thing we in the health sector should rest on our oars and regard as normal.

“We should do something about it and improve our health outcomes.

“It is important that we deal with the issues of governance to improve the governance of health.

“The Federal Government, states and local governments and other stakeholders will work together, including those who may be differently abled in the construct of health policy and implementation,’’ he said.

Pate said also that the economic value chain existing in the health sector should be harnessed.

He noted that the role was for the private sector, though the mission was a core public one.

The minister also said that the agenda to harness the economic value chain in the health sector has to be carefully crafted with every stakeholder being a part of the conversation.

“There is an important signal in the choice of those assigned the health portfolio, and we are very excited about that.

“I think the fact that the president also included Social Welfare in the health portfolio indicates he also considers the people as the basis; the foundational element for what his administration tries to do.

“This is because the welfare of the people is linked to their health; their health and wellbeing are interconnected right from gestation to childhood, to adulthood to elderly, and all across life cycle.

“We need to grow our economy, but we also need to attend to the people and health is an important component of that and I think that is one signal that is important.

“The president is the driver and we will follow and we will work hard to ensure that our driver takes us to the desired destination; the vision that he has of transforming this country,’’ the minister said.

Pate stressed that the main responsibility of the ministry of health was to save lives and to reduce pain.

“The president realises that Nigerians are eager to feel the impact of government so that people feel the difference that his `Renewed Hope’ agenda actually begins to touch the lives of people and we are right where it can be done,’’ he said.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Tunji Alausa, said he would work with Pate to ensure that Nigerians appreciated the impact of healthcare delivery.

“Our people deserve basic, comprehensive, internationally- acceptable level of healthcare and we will start thinking of healthcare as a human right issue.

“Lack of basic healthcare to any Nigerian from now on will be considered as a violation of the human right of that Nigerian.

“We are going to latch onto the staff of the ministry to ensure that we deliver,’’ Alausa said.

Earlier, Ms Daju said the statutory function of the ministry was to ensure the development and implementation of national health policies; collaborate with states and local governments and provide specialised healthcare services amongst others.

“Everything that the Ministry of Health does is guided by the National Health Act (2014).

“The Act actually spells out the functions of the ministry; emphasises its role in health policy; resource allocation and healthcare service delivery,’’ she said.

Pate, a professor of Public Health, served as Minister of State for Health from July 2011 to July 2013 in the administration of Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

He was the Chief Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency from 2008 to 2011.

Pate also served as the Global Director for Health, Nutrition and Population and Director of the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents at the World Bank Group.

President Bola Tinubu inaugurated Pate and Alausa alongside 43 others, either as ministers or ministers of state, on Monday in Abuja.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

About 1m access services of Kaduna State’s health insurance scheme

At least 949,132 enrolees of the Kaduna State Contributory Health Management scheme accessed the insurance scheme between 2020 and first quarter of 2023.

Mr Suleiman Mustapha, Head of Administration and Finance, Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA) stated this on Saturday in Abuja.

He spoke at a two-day workshop for chairmen of the 23 local government councils of the state.

He said that of the 949,132 enrolees, 68,013 accessed health services under the scheme in 2020; 379,450 in 202, while 404,835 accessed the services in 2022.

In the first quarter of 2023, a total of 96,834 enrolees accessed the scheme, he added.

Mustapha said also that currently, 514,982 people, representing 5 per cent of the state’s population had enrolled in the scheme.

He explained that 343,948 of the enrolees were from the formal sector of the economy, while only 173,134 enrolled from the informal sector.

Giving further details, he said 9,192 of those who enrolled from the informal sector were private individuals and households, while 79,329 were vulnerable groups enrolled under the state’s 1 per cent consolidated revenue.

Mustapha added that 6,851 persons were enrolled under the Secondary School Health Insurance Programme, 27,114 under the Tertiary Students Health Insurance Programme and 50,648 under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

“Those registered under the BHCPF comprise 7,490 pregnant women, 10,463 aged (65 years and above), 3,273 children under five years, 21,995 poorest of the poor households and 7,427 persons with disabilities,” he said.

Mustapha explained that Kaduna State established the Contributory Health Scheme in February 2018 as a strategy to achieve universal health coverage by providing accessible, high-quality, inclusive, and affordable healthcare services to all.

He said that the beginning of access to healthcare services under the scheme in June 2020 represented a shift from the catastrophic health expenses and high out-of-pocket expenditure incurred by the infirm.

The scheme, he said, presented a more efficient, sustainable, and comprehensive approach to health financing, that allowed for contributory pre-payment mechanisms.

According to him, health insurance is the most sustainable mechanism to achieve universal health coverage in the state.

“For Kaduna State to attain universal health coverage through the provision of access to basic, quality, and affordable healthcare services, there is a need to invest in strengthening healthcare systems.

“This implies mobilising funds from various sources and strategically deploying these funds for maximum benefit in a sustainable way.

“We must also ensure that our people access the needed healthcare services whenever they require it, and that funds are available to provide those health services,” he said.

In his remarks, Mr Shuaibu Jaja, Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, Kaduna State Chapter, commended KADCHMA and its partners for efforts to increase funding of healthcare centres.

He described the workshop as very enlightening and pledged stronger collaboration with KADCHMA to increase enrolment from the informal sector into the scheme.

He also said that the workshop provided an opportunity for stakeholders to brainstorm and evolve a strategic plan on how to strengthen healthcare systems, particularly the primary healthcare centres.

“At the local government level, we have a duty to collaborate and work closely with KADCHMA to ensure the attainment of the goal of the health insurance scheme in Kaduna State.

“On the problem of enrolment, council chairmen will collaborate with the KADCHMA to ensure that local government workers are enrolled in public facilities as against private facilities.

“This will provide the needed funding to improve the quality of healthcare in public health facilities,” Jaja stressed.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was organised to find sustainable and innovative funding solutions to healthcare services in Kaduna State.

It was organised by KADCHMA with support from development partners like Save the Children International, Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn and Lafiya programme.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Kaduna SPHCB urges civil servants to enrol in PHCs for health insurance services

The Kaduna State Primary Health Care Board (SPHCB) has appealed to the state and local government workers to enrol in Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) for health insurance services.

The Executive Secretary of the board, Dr Hamza Abubakar made the appeal in Abuja on Saturday, during a two-day meeting with Chairmen of the 23 local government councils of the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was organised by the Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA), to find sustainable and innovative funding for healthcare services in the state.

The meeting was supported by Save the Children International, Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) and Lifiya programme.

Abubakar explained that the more enrolees a facility has the more money that comes to the facility, which could be used to improve medical supplies and facilities.

This, according to him, will improve the quality of service delivery in PHCs across the state and reposition them to favourably compete with private facilities.

He, however, decried a situation where the majority of civil servants in the state enroled in private facilities for the health scheme, thereby depriving the public facilities of a huge source of funding.

“It is sad that the majority of government workers enroled in private hospitals as against PHCs, thereby depriving the PHCs of the huge opportunity for more funding needed to improve the quality of service delivery.

“I am therefore, appealing to the council chairmen to encourage their workers who are yet to enrol to do so and select PHCs so that our public facilities will have increased access to funding opportunities.

“For workers that have enrolled already, we can have a conversation with them to consider transferring their service to PHCs. This will go a long way in improving the quality of health services in the state,” he said.

The executive secretary further urged the council chairmen to work with the management of KADCHMA to encourage community members to enrol in the health insurance scheme.

He said that the resources going to the facilities from KADCHMA and the National Health Insurance Authority, through the Basic Health Care Provisions Funds, were already transforming health services in PHCs.

Dr Sani Abubakar, Programme Manager, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), pointed out that 7.8 million of the more than 10 million estimated population of the state were multidimensionality poor.

Abubakar said that when compared with other North-West states, Kaduna performed very poorly in the health dimension and was the second most deprived state.

“Not only that, Kaduna state is also one of the worst states to be a child in Nigeria due to high neonatal, infant and children under five mortality.

“Kaduna State is equally the sixth worst state in skilled birth delivery and the ninth worst state in women receiving postnatal care within two days after birth.

“This is why health insurance schemes, particularly the Vulnerable Group Funds (VGF) are critical to increase access to quality and affordable health care services to improve the health indices in the state,” he said.

He explained that VGFs are tailored health insurance funds targeting high-risk populations, aiming to narrow healthcare gaps through customised coverage.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

CAN hosts end-of-life care training

The Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) on Thursday hosted a training session facilitated by Soul Carers Network of South Africa on end-of-life care at its specialised palliative care centre for cancer patients in Windhoek.

Over 55 participants, including doctors, nurses, social workers, and community patient caregivers, attended the training session.

Soul Carers Network of South Africa is a renowned organisation that focuses on providing spiritual and emotional care to individuals facing their end of life. They offer training and resources to healthcare professionals and support programmes for patients and their families.

CAN Chief Executive Officer, Rolf Hansen told Nampa on Friday that the topics covered during the session included effective communication with patients and their families, pain management understanding, and engaging with the interdisciplinary patients care team.

The training also emphasised the importance of honouring the voice of the patient, supporting pain management, and addressing ethical aspects of pre-grieving and the ‘death doula’ journey, he said.

“The Cancer Association of Namibia is grateful for the support and partnership of the Soul Carers Network of South Africa, as their expertise and resources will empower our patient care workers to provide enhanced care,” he said.

A training session was also held on Saturday morning at the CAN Erongo Centre in Swakopmund.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Health ministry working on water supply issue at Sibbinda Health Centre

The Ministry of Health and Social Services has said it remains committed to ensuring the uninterrupted provision of quality healthcare services at Sibbinda Health Centre after complaints of water supply issues at the centre.

This was said in a statement issued by the health ministry in response to the ongoing regional visits conducted by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs, including to the Sibbinda Health Centre.

The ministry informed the committee that the centre has access to two water sources – a community borehole and NamWater pipeline.

Last year, it was observed that water pressure in the pipeline is higher at night. A decision was taken to link the pipeline to a secondary tank to supply the health centre. The booster pump used to transfer water from the primary tank to the secondary tank is however broken, meaning this decision could not be implemented.

In the meantime, a hosepipe is being used to supply water to the clinic.

The ministry said it is “diligently working to address the water supply issue” and the faulty pipe will be repaired in due course.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency