Kogi Begs Doctors To Resume Work

The Kogi Government has appealed to striking medical doctors in the state to end their industrial action in the interest of patients and their relatives.

Mr Edward Onoja, the Chief of Staff (COS) to Gov. Yahaya Bello,
made the call when he led other top government officials to a meeting with the executive of the state branch of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA).

Dr Godwin Tijani, the State chairman of the association, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lokoja that Onoja met with the NMA officials on Saturday Jan. 13.

NAN recalls that the association had directed its members to embark on the strike on Jan. 8.

Tijani said that the meeting, which took place at the Government House, Lokoja, lasted two hours with the Special Adviser to the governor on Health Matters, Dr Ahmed Attah, in attendance.

According to the chairman, he led an expanded NMA SEC comprising members of the SOC, SEC, NAGGMDP Chairman and Secretary, ARD KSSH President and Secretary, MDCAN and ARD FMC Lokoja Secretaries, a past state NMA chairman and ex-ARD state KSSH Presidents.

“In the meeting, we presented our demands as clearly stated in the communiqué issued after the last Executive Council Meeting (ECM) with the input from other members.

“The issues of alleged harassment of some of our members who made depositions on the floor of the last ECM as seen in the alleged video clip delivered to top government officials was also raised during the meeting.

“In his remarks, the CoS said the governor is not pleased with the ongoing strike especially at this time of the year, that the NMA could have achieved a lot through dialogue, advocacy and lobby instead of embarking on strike.

“The CoS noted that the payment of 60 per cent salaries and arrears is not peculiar to doctors alone, but to all civil servants in the state due to the dwindling allocation from the federation account,” Tijani said.

He added that the chief of staff said that a special case could be made for doctors for the balance of 40 per cent, but it has to be through top level advocacy and not strike action.

“The chief of staff said that all issues of underpayment for old and new doctors could be resolved easily if NMA could collate all those affected including the financial implications and lobby the governor.

“The CoS added that the NMA could achieve more from government by looking beyond salary; for instance, car loan and mortgages which could be facilitated through lobbying and advocacy.

“On the issues of harassment of some of our members who played critical roles in the last ECM, the government promised to call officials involved to order as their actions will only create more enemies for the government,” said the chairman.

According to Tijani, the CoS appealed to medical doctors to call-off the strike and promised to facilitate roundtable discussion with the government.

The chairman however told NAN that he promised the government to communicate the outcome of the meeting to the NMA Congress which has the final say on the matter.

Members of the state NMA are asking the government to meet their demands, including their full salaries and implementation of CONMESS as well as improved facilities. 

Gates Foundation To Help Nigeria Repay $76m Polio Facility

Nigeria has authorised Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to start the repayment of $76mpolio eradication facility to Japan.

Doctors Will Paralyse Hospitals On Monday

Doctors in Kogi are angry over the inability of the state to pay their full monthly salary and have resolved to shut hospitals on Monday.

Nigeria Need Strong, Effective NAFDAC To Fight Drug Abuse - Saraki

Following the Senate’s Roundtable on Drug Use Crisis in Nigeria, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Thursday, reiterated that the country needs a strong and effective National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to safeguard the health of the nation and eliminate the production and distribution of drugs and other illegal substances in the country.

Saraki, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, made the remarks when the newly appointed Director General of the NAFDAC, Dr. Moji Adeyeye, led the management of the agency on a visit to the Senate in Abuja.

The President of the Senate said that the National Assembly is ready to support the new Director General to reposition the agency especially in tackling the illegal demand, supply and abuse of controlled drugs for the benefit of the health and safety of all Nigerians.

He also urged the management and staff of the agency to support the new DG in her bid to reposition and make the agency more vibrant and alive to its mandate — as the lead department of the Federal Government that is in charge of regulating the quality of food, drugs and other products that are imported, exported and used by Nigerians.

“You are a person who has been successful in her career and who has an antecedent of being transparent, professional, honest and being ready to serve,” Saraki said to Dr. Moji Adeyeye, “We now have a DG that has come to serve — and not a DG who has come to be served.”

“The country is excited about that and a lot of responsibilities come with this. On a very serious note, I must tell you that you bring a lot of experience, exposure and even by your comments today, I can see a lot of passion,” Saraki said.

While appealing to the top echelon of the agency to support the new DG to reposition the organization, Saraki said: “This is somebody who has come with great passion and you have to adjust and I can promise you that we are going to give her all the support.

“In fighting corruption, we will give her all the support. In budgeting, we will give her all the support. She said during the time of Dora Akunyili, she had Obasanjo, she (Dr. Adeyeye) has the National Assembly not just the Senate. Please give her all the support because we need a strong and effective NAFDAC.

“I just came back from Kano and we had a session there on drug abuse where a lot of our women and girls are taking things like Codeine, Tramadol and engaging in all manner of drug abuse because we are not effective in the area of drug control.

“It is important for us as a country to get NAFDAC working. It is not a place that is popular. If you are going to do the work right, then you cannot be popular.

“But we need it for the health and safety of our people and as such, we will give you all the support that is required. We will give you support because NAFDAC is important for the country and for all of us,” Saraki stated.

Earlier, Dr. Adeyeye, told the President of the Senate that she is poised to reposition NAFDAC and ensure that it lives up to its mandate of ensuring quality and correct use of drugs as well as eliminating unwholesome food products in the country.

He called on the National Assembly to support the agency in tackling the myriad of challenges assailing her which she listed to include motivation for workers, well equipped laboratories, modern communication facilities, frequent friction between NAFDAC and sister agencies as well as NAFDAC’s indebtedness to the tune of N3billion.

“I came to resume about two weeks ago and as soon as I got in I started facing challenges that have resulted from years of lack of focus,” Dr. Adeyeye said. “I told the House Committee yesterday that a new sheriff is in town. It will not be business as usuall. There are many things that we could do better for the health of our nation.”

Germany, Nigeria Enters €29.9m Agreement On Polio Eradication

The federal republics of Germany and Nigeria have signed over 14billion Naira agreement (€29,900,000.00 Euros – N14,142,700,000.00) in support of polio eradication in the country.
 
The agreement was signed  in Abuja on behalf of the German Government by the Deputy Head of mission for Germany in Nigeria, Regine Hess, Nigeria Minister of Foreign affairs, Ambassador Geoffrey Onyeama and the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib.
 
 This will be the 9th of such financial agreement and support for polio eradication in Nigeria by the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Speaking at the occasion, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Geoffrey Onyeama noted with delight the age-long warm relationship between the two countries and their leaders in particular.
 
The Ambassador commended the German Government for its huge support to Nigeria, not only on polio eradication but also other equally important sectors of Nigeria.
 
He recalled various concerted efforts by Nigeria Government to eradicate polio and expressed federal Government’s appreciation to WHO, UNICEF, Germany Government and others towards making Nigeria polio free.
 
In Her address, the Deputy Head of Mission for Germany Government in Nigeria, Regine Hess expressed joy over her country’s sustained support for polio eradication in Nigeria.
 
She expressed optimism and confidence that Nigeria would soon join the rest of the world as a polio free Nation.
 
In His response, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib highlighted huge financial commitments of President Buhari’s administration to polio eradication in Nigeria.
 
This Dr. Faisal disclosed include; N9.8billion Naira in 2016, N4.2billion Naira in 2017 and N4.1 billion Naira for 2018.
 
The Executive Director therefore expressed profound appreciation to the Federal Republic of Germany and other Development Partners for their continued Support to Polio Eradication in Nigeria.

Holding On To Painful Memories Cause Health Problem - Expert

It is normal to offend one another in as much as we relate daily with ourselves. Unfortunately this is what many of us still fail to realise. The two major religions in the world Christianity and Islam also preach about the importance of forgiveness but some people  still believe that there are some offences that are beyond forgiveness.

Medical experts have also warned that holding onto painful memories and bitterness results in long term health problems like increasing anxiety and stress, increase blood pressure and depression, affects immune system, causes heart related problems among others. Many who spoke with The Hope also explained different reasons why it is important to forgive not minding undermining the gravity of the offence.

A surveyor, Mr Idris Tolagbe, submitted that letting go of negative emotions is for one’s growth and happiness explaining that when one hold on to hurt, pains, resentment and anger, such a situation can  harm the person far more than it harm the offender. “Forgiveness frees us to live in the present and allows us to move on without anger or contempt or seeking revenge.

“To forgive does not mean that one condone wrong doings or one is weak as many thought, but it allows us to move forward because holding on to one’s anger brings one down and make one look sad always which affects the person’s health.”

Sharing similar sentiment, a trader, Mrs Joy Emeka who observed that many people wasted years nursing bitterness and resentment when they could through forgiveness live in happiness, appealed to everyone to learn to forgive as she maintained that there is no offence that cannot be forgiven.

Her words, “Forgiveness helps us to grow and have good thoughts that make one’s life meaningful. Forgiveness makes us regain our personal strength. It is mainly for one’s benefit not for the benefit of the person you are forgiving, because as long as you are feeling like a victim, you are carrying a heavy burden. Forgiveness leads to healing why un-forgiveness stands in the way of physical wellness and can lead to evil thoughts.”

In the opinion of a civil servant,  Mr kole Emiloju explained that to forgive someone is not as easy as it sounds, adding that though, it is good to forgive. “It takes the special grace of God to forgive someone that hurts you deeply. I was once hurt by a friend whom I trusted. The situation really made me to part ways with him. Anytime I remember what he did or see him, I will become angry and develop headache immediately. It was then I realised that my health was been affected and I had no other choice but to forgive him and let go of the past.

“It was after then that my health was alright and when I see him now, I do not experience the headache I used to experience before forgiving him. It was then I realised that un-forgiveness is a silent killer that many do not know.”

Mr Emiloju, who appealed to others to learn to forgive said that forgiveness brings us back to good physical and mental health as the system of the body responds to negative emotions, affects the immune system in ways that would affect the mind. “Letting go of grudges and bitterness is like setting one free from bondage and helps one to move forward. Un-forgiveness is a burden and makes one to remain in pains.”

Malaria Cases On The Rise In Nigeria And Congo

A report released today in Geneva says Nigeria, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo DRC  have seen the largest increases in malaria cases, jeopardizing the gains recorded since 2000.

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership,  which released the report, said unprecedented global progress in fighting malaria since 18 years ago is at stake unless countries redouble their efforts. 

It however showcased countries making progress. They are  Sri Lanka, Senegal and Madagascar.

The World Malaria Report 2017 shows fragile and uneven progress in global efforts against malaria, an entirely preventable and treatable disease, which puts half the world’s population at risk and costs a child’s life every two minutes.

According to the report, malaria-related cases and deaths worldwide stood at 216 million and 445,000, respectively, in 2016, a flatline in the tremendous gains of the past 16 years in the fight against malaria. The report sends a clear warning that progress could be in jeopardy and resurgence is on the rise.

“Limiting malaria’s devastating impact on families, communities and countries has been one of the global health success stories of our time. Since 2000, thanks to significant investment, strong political leadership and new tools, we have saved nearly 7 million lives from this deadly disease.

Today, we have an opportunity to save millions more by renewing our resolve and commitment, as a global community, to end malaria for good,” said Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, Chair of the Board of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.The first of the global targets on the path towards achieving a vision of a malaria-free world is to reduce malaria cases and deaths by 40% by 2020 over 2015. If current trends continue, this and other elimination targets will be largely missed.

“A plateau in global funding has contributed to gaps in coverage of life-saving interventions, and it will only worsen if countries don’t make malaria a priority. We need global and domestic funding to step up if we are to double the malaria investment to meet the US$ 6.5 billion-a-year need by 2020. Staying focused on ending malaria will help achieve global commitments to end all communicable diseases and strengthen health systems,” said Dr Kesete Admasu, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.

The report shows a growing gap between high-burden countries, many of which have seen a greater than 20% increase in malaria cases and deaths, and those that are on the path towards malaria elimination. Rwanda has seen the greatest increase in malaria cases since last year — around 1 million, while Madagascar has the greatest decrease of more than 800,000.

Two African countries — Nigeria and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) — account for 37% of global malaria burden and require the biggest investment in tackling malaria over the coming years.

According to the latest RBM Partnership gap analysis, between now and 2020, DRC will require an additional 23 million long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs) and an extra US$ 536 million to sufficiently protect its population from malaria.

Nigeria, in turn, will need around 72 million additional LLINs and faces a funding gap of US$ 690 million between now and 2020 for procurement and delivery of essential commodities alone. Currently, 13 Nigerian states have no dedicated funding to fight malaria.

Meanwhile, countries such as Senegal and Sri Lanka are showing that beating malaria is possible. Sri Lanka was certified as malaria-free by WHO in 2016, a milestone largely achieved through domestic financing.

Senegal has seen its malaria cases decrease by more than 250,000 since last year, and is among a handful of countries that have upped their per capita spending on malaria in the same period. A nationwide malaria campaign “Zero malaria starts with me” is engaging Senegalese citizens to keep malaria high on the agenda.

“When we put our mind to it, we can effectively control malaria and even eliminate it once and for all here in Senegal and beyond. Communicable diseases like malaria know no borders and Senegal will need to strengthen its current collaboration with neighbouring countries to defeat the disease together,” said Prof. Awa Coll Seck, Senegal’s Minister of State and an RBM Partnership to End Malaria Board Member.

Between 2000 and 2015, funding and the widespread uptake of new effective tools like artemisinin-based therapies, better diagnostics and insecticide-treated bed nets, led to a 60% decrease in malaria deaths. However, new responses are needed to address growing concerns over drug resistance in the Mekong region, insecticide resistance in large areas of Africa, as well as an upsurge of malaria in humanitarian hotspots including Yemen and Venezuela.

“More investment is needed to increase the effectiveness of current tools and hasten development of new tools such as next generation insecticides, drugs and vaccines to stay ahead of rising resistance,” said Dr Altaf Lal, Senior Advisor on Global Health and Innovation, Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries and RBM Partnership to End Malaria Board Member.

Minister Inaugurates Tinubu's Daughter, 25 Others As Health Advocates Group

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, on Tuesday, inaugurated a group of eminent Nigerians as National Advocates for Health (NAH).

Adewole, who inaugurated the group in Abuja, urged members of the group to “help change the narrative on health at different levels in the country.”

The minister stressed the need for the advocates to use their influence and network to canvass for improved health service delivery in the country, especially at the
grassroots.

He also called for the promotion of systems approach to healthcare delivery in Nigeria and promised Federal Government’s commitment toward improved, refurbished and repositioned system that would accommodate issues of family planning.

Adewole said looming population was disaster in waiting and called for collective advocacy toward its control.

He added that “we cannot allow our population to double in 2020; I fear its explosion which will lead to more problems. Demographic dividends should be the expectation instead of demographic disasters.”

Members of the group of advocates were selected and trained in April 2017 by Health Policy Project, funded by USAID, implemented by a consortium led by The Palladium Group, an NGO in partnership with Federal Ministry of Health.

The HP+ project was implemented in three states in 2017, namely Sokoto, Bauchi and Ebonyi, through the efforts of the advocates, where the states recorded remarkable increase in budget allocation for family planning.

Members of the group have been engaging stakeholders across the country on key issues affecting the health sector, including improved budgetary allocation for health, release of one per cent consolidated budget to Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, allocation of 15 per cent of national budget to health.

The advocates, made up of 26 men and women from different walks of life had Dr Ibrahim Wada, a foremost Gynaecologist and IVF Specialist, Mrs Moji Makanjuola, a popular Health Broadcaster, Amb. Thomas Dogonyaro, former Ambassador, Mrs Shade Tinubu-Ojo, the Iyaloja-General and many others.

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