Nigeria to get Japanese drug for Ebola treatment

Nigeria will soon get a Japanese drug to treat Ebola, the country’s Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said on Monday. The drug named Favipiravir and developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings in Japan, could be delivered any time soon in Nigeria, Xinhua quoted Chukwu as telling reporters here.

Nigeria to get Japanese drug for Ebola treatment

Apart from the Japanese drug, the west African country had also applied for another anti-Ebola drug alongside two other vaccines, which have been positively identified by the local Treatment Research Group (TRG) in Nigeria.

“The TRG has been working hard to identify experimental drugs like Zmapp, and also make recommendations to government on further research on these drugs as well as vaccines for EVD treatment and prevention,” Chukwu said. The Nigerian minister said the drug was considered as it has strong anti-viral property against Ebola virus in-vitro and in-vivo.
“These and the fact that it is considered safe, having passed through phases one and two clinical trails makes it good candidate drug for use in emergency situation as the EVD,” he added.

Elaborating on the Ebola spread, Chukwu said total number of cases in Nigeria stands at 16, while 13 people have been treated at the isolation ward in the southwestern state of Lagos. So far, seven people have been discharged from the isolation facility.

He noted six people had died of Ebola so far in Africa’s most populous country, with five fatalities in Lagos and only one fatality recorded in the oil-rich city of Port Harcourt. More than 1,500 people have so far died of Ebola since the latest outbreak in West African countries began in March.

Source: one india

Student With Hole in Heart to Undergo N3.47 million for Surgery

An 11-year-old student of Federal Government College, Gusau has been diagnosed with a heart condition that will cost an estimated N3.47 million for corrective surgery in an Indian hospital.

Ifeoma Igbo was born with patent ductus arterosus (PDA) a congenital heart condition that’s left an open hole at the top of her heart.

She has been hospitalized with a “history of difficulty in breathing and lower respiratory tract infection during infancy and early childhood,” her medical report at Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital said.

Dr Usman Sani, consultant paediatric cardiologist at UDUTH, reported a heart murmur on examination but said Ifeoma had been only on “conservative management” and referred her to Madras Medical Mission in Chennai, India for surgery.

Ifeoma’s father, Donatus Igbo, a technician based in Zamfara, said the condition has hugely disrupted his daughter’s schooling.

PDA results when a major vessel at the top of heart crucial to breathing and feeding in foetuses fails to close after birth.

The condition puts a strain on the heart, causing shortness of breath and an increased risk of cardiac arrest.

Last year, a two-year-old girl with PDA successfully underwent corrective surgery at Garki Hospital in Abuja.

Source: All Africa


98, 000 Nigerian Women Die Annually From Firewood Smoke – Health Official

Nigerian women are being discouraged from using firewood. No fewer than 98,000 Nigerian women die annually from smokes inhaled during cooking with firewood, an official of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Bahijjahtu Abubakar, has said.

Ms. Abubakar, who is the National Coordinator, Renewable Energy Programme, told newsmen at the official launch of RUWES and the 4th Annual Nigeria Renewable Energy Day in Abuja on Wednesday.

She said the death from the sector contributed to 10 per cent of global annual death, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) study.

“The WHO says that over 98,000 Nigerian women die annually from the use of firewood. “If a woman cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is equivalent to smoking between three and 20 packets of cigarette a day.

“The death from this sector contributes to 10 per cent of global annual death and it is bigger than tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS and malaria combined, and it is only killing women,” the official said.

The coordinator said there was so much energy poverty in Nigeria, especially in the rural areas in a country that was blessed with abundant energy resources.
She said there was no way Nigeria would be contributing 10 per cent to global annual death without addressing it. According to her, the ministry has just launched a Rural Women Energy Security (RUWES) programme to prevent the trend and to create awareness on the dangers of using dirty energy.

Ms. Abubakar said the ministry had registered over 1.6 million Nigerians under the RUWES programme. She, however, said the ministry had been harnessing renewable energy to provide clean cooking energy for the rural women.

“Harnessing renewable energy is a tool to mitigate the impact of climate change tool, to address poverty and it is about economic empowerment and also contribution to the environment.

“So, we are looking at the lighting solution, heating and cooking solution,” she said. The coordinator said the ministry had been reaching out to women-based organisations through RUWES.

“We are reaching out to faith-based organisations such as the Federation of Moslem women and the Catholic Women Organisation.
“We hope through the market women organisation and all the professionals that are women- based, we are reaching out to every nook and cranny of Nigeria.’’

On the affordability of the cooking stoves provided under RUWES, she said it would be a single digit interest rate for the facilities.
“The women have two years to pay back. All they need is to belong to cooperative and they are given lighting, cooking and heating solution facility to use.

“A woman can get a stove and pay over seven months and we know that the poorest woman will be able to afford it.
The Nigeria Renewable day is “embracing the green movement’’.

Source: premium times

Medical Schools in Nigeria to Begin Learning Through Simulation By 2015

Medical schools in Nigeria will begin the teaching and learning of medical sciences through simulation by 2015, Eugene Okpere, a visiting Professor at the National Universities Commission (NUC), has said.

Okpere disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at a stakeholders meeting to discuss the enhancement of medical education through the utilisation of new technologies.

The don, who said the simulation centres would be sited in some selected schools across the country, explained that the meeting was to sensitise stakeholders and to seek their opinion on the adoption of the new technology to medical education.

He said that the NUC would need to liaise with the provosts of medical schools, vice chancellors, chief medical directors and other stakeholders to get their opinion on the new technology.

“The NUC has recognised that it is time that all stakeholders, provosts of medical schools and vice chancellors are carried along on the new technology as well as their opinions on how it can be adopted.”

Okpere explained that the use of simulation in teaching medical education is the safest way to train medical students competently.

He said that the use of electronic human body would enable students to identify forms of disease components or clinical signs.

According to him, students who go through thorough training in simulation technology will have 35 per cent competency before their physical contact with live patients.

“More importantly, patients are now getting very smart and wise. They know their rights and not many patients will be happy to be used as materials for experiments.

“Basically, the whole idea, is to ensure that in the next two years, most medical schools in the country have simulation complexes or regional centres, where medical students can move around and spend time learning adequately,” he said.

Source: all africa

Nigeria Spends N150bn Yearly on Medical Tourism

The National President of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist of Nigeria, AMLSN, Dr Godswill Okara has disclosed that Nigeria spends N 150 billion annually on medical tourism due to the fact that the larger proportion of Nigerians have lost confidence on the health sector in the country.
Speaking at the annual National Executive Council meeting of AMLSN convened in Yola, Adamawa state capital, the President of the association blamed the decline in the health sector on mismanagement of both human and economic resources.
Okara explained that according to reports at their disposal, Nigeria was ranked 4th among countries of the common wealth in 1960s to 70s stressing that some African countries were coming to Nigeria for health services because it had a vibrant health sector at that time. But he said the case today is the opposite due to the fact that since1985, the health sector was left in the hands of unprofessionals to manage .
Source: This day live


Indian Specialist Hospital Reduces Prices for Patients

Efforts by the federal government to curtail capital flights from the country in form of medical tourism received a boost Wednesday, as the only Indian specialist hospital in Nigeria, Primus International Super Specialty Hospital announced a downward review of all its medical charges to 30 percent, including offer of free consultancy in the month of November.

According to the management of the hospital, the decision to crash the hospital fees is part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to open its services and state of the art equipments to Nigerian patients, majority of whom could not afford to go abroad.

The move is seen as a strategic measure to halt foreign medical tourism by Nigerian patients who travel abroad for treatment, which is believed to cost the nation a whopping $300 million to $400 million in foreign exchange per annum.

The hospital’s Public Relations Officer, (PRO) Alhaji Umaru Jibia, in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, said the hospital, in addition to providing free consultation to patients in the area of joint replacement, spine problem, internal medicine, diabetes, ENT, gynecology, neuro surgery, dental, ophthalmology and general surgery, was also reducing the cost of medical treatment to help low income earners in the country.

He added: “MRI charges will be from N50, 000 onwards, while CT scan will be from N25, 000 onwards. Radiology, laboratory services will cost 30 per cent less, while Pharmacy drugs will cost 20 per cent less. The surgical procedures are at very reasonable charges during the camp period.”

The reduction of hospital prices came at a time the government was working for a workable framework that would put a stop to the increasing cases of capital flights due to frequent medical overseas trips by Nigerians.

Since its establishment in Abuja, the hospital had been conducting free camps in the city and its environs, where 23,000 patients have benefited from free consultation and medical other services.

Source: This day Live