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October 17, 201980

The Lead Consultant of the Maternal Safety Data (MSD), an NGO, Mary-Ann Etiebiet, has said Nigeria contributes 23 per cent of deaths from maternal mortality, globally.

The Lead Consultant of the Maternal Safety Data (MSD), an NGO, Mary-Ann Etiebiet, has said Nigeria contributes 23 per cent of deaths from maternal mortality, globally.

“Nigerians like to be number one in everything. But we should not want to be number one in maternal mortality which we are, today. I am happy that we are all here to change that narrative,” he said.

She stated that maternal mortality had increased by 50 per cent since 2000, urging the government to improve the quality of healthcare to reduce the trend.

Mr Etiebiet shared touching stories about mothers dying while giving birth in Cross River State, and emphasised the urgent need to initiate and sustain efforts to reduce such deaths.

“When death occurs, don’t assign blames. Investigate it to prevent recurrence.

“Women should be encouraged to go through the ante-natal processes. Nigerian mothers should have access to information, quality and affordable healthcare in the country,” she pleaded.

She, however, added that for the country to end maternal mortality, the government must provide a quality maternal healthcare, improve water supply and sanitation, and ensure more respect for women.

Also speaking, Olujimi Coker, acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lagoon Hospitals, in Lagos, said that government must improve communication if it was serious about tackling maternal mortality.

Mr Coker said effective communication between doctor and patient, and between one health worker and the other, especially during handover, was critical.

He acknowledged that what the health workers see as quality was different from what patients see as quality.

“Health workers are more focused on outcomes while patients are more focused on the experience,” he said.

He said quality of healthcare was not expensive, adding that the most effective way to prevent hospital infections was proper hand hygiene using soap and water.

Mr Coker stressed that licensing sets minimum standards for healthcare service delivery while accreditation sets maximum standards.

Chimezie Anyakora, in a remark, said that quality medicine was one of the biggest concerns in the quality of healthcare in the country.

“As we think of quality in healthcare, how do we think of medicine quality? Medicine quality is more of a health emergency than anything else. It causes confidence failure in the health care system,” he pointed out.

Mr Anyakora, an official of Promoting the Quality of Medicine (PQM) programme of the United States Pharmacopeia, said it was critical that the country addressed the challenges of fake drugs.

He noted that fake drugs were a big problem not only in Nigeria, but the entire world.

“The issue of fake drugs has become a global issue. The fake drug business is operated by fake drugs cartels.

“Another strong contribution to the quality of healthcare is not the brand of medicine; it is the storage and distribution. Safe medicines contribute to quality healthcare,” he added.

He declared that healthcare investments in the country without focus on medicines quality was “a waste”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the “Future of Health Conference” series is a platform that brings together Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), health professionals, development partners and policy makers to seek for solutions to the challenges facing the health sector in Nigeria. (NAN)


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October 17, 2019510

Chickenpox and Monkeypox have reemerged across Nigeria ravaging the country sending fears across the land.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed this development saying five new cases of monkeypox in Lagos, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states have been reported and verified.

The resurgence came two years after the index case was reported in the country.

While Lagos, in the current reappearance, recorded three cases, Rivers and Akwa Ibom have one each.

The latest situation report on monkeypox and Lassa fever published by the NCDC yesterday said, “In the reporting month (September 2019), 15 new suspected monkeypox cases were reported from five states – Lagos (five), Rivers (two), Akwa Ibom (three), Zamfara (one), Delta (one), Imo (two) and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT (one).

“Five of the 15 suspected cases were confirmed positive for monkeypox
in three states. Five of the suspected cases tested positive for chickenpox, while others are for further evaluation. No death was recorded in the reporting month.”

The NCDC said a total of 81 suspected cases had been reported so far
in 2019, of which 39 confirmed cases were recorded in nine states
(Bayelsa, Lagos, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Anambra, Cross
River, and Oyo), with one death.

The centre noted that of the confirmed cases, 59 percent was from two
states, Delta (28 percent) and Lagos (26 percent); the most affected age group was 21-40 years; and 84.6 percent of confirmed cases had a male-to-female ratio of 2.6:1.

According to the NCDC, since the beginning of the outbreak in
September 2017, 176 confirmed cases and nine deaths have been recorded
in 18 states (Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Delta, Bauchi, FCT, Abia, Oyo, Enugu, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Benue, Plateau, Edo, and Anambra).

To address the problem, the chief executive officer of NCDC, Dr.
Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the centre, through the Monkeypox Technical
Working Group, is coordinating the national response and control in
collaboration with states and partners. He said outbreak response
support is provided to states amid ongoing surveillance for Monkeypox
in all states, especially high-risk ones.

Ihekweazu said the World Health Organisation African Region (WHO-Afro)
regional office listed Monkeypox for immediate reporting in the 2018
Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response guidelines.

The epidemiologist said Nigeria also listed Monkeypox as a priority
disease for routine reporting. This will be covered in the 2019
edition of the Nigeria Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response
(IDSR) guidelines. He said surveillance and case management regional
training in the southeast and southwest regions has been rescheduled
to November 2019, and a response team has been deployed to support
enhanced surveillance in Akwa Ibom.

Ihekweazu said animal surveillance is currently being conducted in
Lagos, while the result of similar surveillance in four states (Cross
River, Rivers, Bayelsa and Edo) is being awaited.

According to the NCDC, from January 1 to October 6, 2019, a total of
4019 suspected cases have been reported from 23 states. Of these, 721
were confirmed positive, 18 probable, and 3256 negatives. Also, since
the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 154 deaths in
confirmed cases with a fatality ratio of 21.4 percent.

The NCDC said 23 states (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau,
Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu,
Imo, Delta, Oyo, Kebbi, Cross River, Zamfara, Lagos and Abia) have
recorded at least one confirmed case across 86 local government areas.

The centre said 93 percent of all confirmed cases are from Edo (38
percent), Ondo (30 percent), Ebonyi (7 percent), Bauchi (7 percent),
Taraba (6 percent), and Plateau (5 percent).

According to the NCDC, in reporting week 40, no new healthcare worker
was affected and a total of 19 healthcare personnel have been infected
since the onset of the outbreak in 10 states – Edo (six), Ondo (four),
Ebonyi (two), Enugu (one), Rivers (one), Bauchi (one), Benue (one),
Delta (one), Plateau (one) and Kebbi (one), with two deaths in Enugu
and Edo.

The NCDC said 12 patients were currently being managed at various
treatment centres across the country: 11 at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) treatment Centre, Edo State; and one patient at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, The Guardian reports.

Additional reports from agencies.


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October 3, 201960

With a number of deaths from yellow fever confirmed in the Bauchi and Katsina States, Nigeria, the European Union is providing €80,000 (31.8 million Nigerian Naira) in humanitarian funding to assist affected communities and those most at risk from a potential spread of the disease.

As statement from the UNion’s Office in Abuja Nigeria said funding supports the Nigerian Red Cross in delivering much needed relief assistance to prevent the disease from spreading, including a health promotion awareness campaign on yellow fever and the importance of vaccination against the disease, active case-finding of suspected cases and referrals to treatment centres, and the destruction of breeding grounds of mosquitoes.

Affected or at-risk communities in the two states of Bauchi and Katsina, in northern and northwestern Nigeria respectively, will directly benefit from this aid. The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

In September 2017, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of a confirmed case of yellow fever in western Nigeria. Since then, Nigeria has experienced resurgent outbreaks of the epidemic in different locations across the country. All states of Nigeria have reported at least one suspected yellow fever case in 2019, with a total of over 2,000 suspected cases reported between 1 January and 31 July 2019 from all the thirty-six states that constitute Nigeria. There have been efforts to stop the outbreak from spreading and to strengthen its monitoring. On 6 September 2019, a yellow fever outbreak was confirmed in Bauchi state. Bauchi and Katsina are the two states with the highest number of deaths linked to the outbreak. Over thirty deaths from yellow fever have been reported so far in the two states.

Yellow fever is caused by a virus transmitted to humans by the bites of infected mosquitoes. The mosquitoes breed around houses (domestic), in forests or jungles (wild), or in both habitats (semi-domestic). The epidemic can spread rapidly. While there is no specific treatment for yellow fever, the disease can be prevented by vaccination.

 



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