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

Ebola spreads to Nigeria oil hub Port Harcourt

Nigeria has confirmed its first Ebola death outside Lagos – a doctor in the oil hub of Port Harcourt. A further 70 people are under surveillance in the city, while his wife has been put under quarantine.

Ebola spreads to Nigeria oil hub Port Harcourt

He died last Friday but the results of the tests have only just been announced by Nigeria’s health minister. The latest figures show that more than 1,550 people have died, with more than 3,000 confirmed cases – mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

West Africa’s health ministers are meeting in Ghana to discuss how to tackle the world’s most deadly Ebola outbreak.  Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Fatality rate can reach 90% – but current outbreak has mortality rate of about 55%
  • Incubation period is two to 21 days
  • There is no vaccine or cure
  • Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery

Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus’s natural hostEbola was taken to Nigeria by Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American man who travelled to Lagos before dying. One of his contacts evaded Nigeria’s surveillance team and travelled to Port Harcourt, where he sought medical treatment, Health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said.

Although the man later recovered, the doctor who treated him died and tests showed he had Ebola, the minister said. The doctor who treated Mr Sawyer also died.

More than 240 health workers have been infected with Ebola – a rate which the World Health Organization (WHO) said was “unprecedented”. It noted that in many cases protective suits, even rubber gloves and face masks, were not available.

The doctor becomes the sixth fatality in Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous country. On Wednesday, Nigeria announced that schools would not reopen until 13 October in order to try and contain the disease.

Source: bbc news

UNICEF Steps up Lifesaving Interventions in North-Eastern Nigeria


UNICEF is scaling up its support to conflict-affected communities in north-eastern Nigeria to improve health, nutrition, and water and sanitation services.

UNICEF has sent more than 1,000 basic health care kits to Borno and Yobe states, enough to cover the basic health needs of more than 400,000 people during a campaign this month. The kits were funded by the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation.

At the same time, UNICEF is working to increase from 43 to 65 the number of primary health care centers it supports in the two states. The project integrates health services, nutrition and water and hygiene, with a focus on the most vulnerable mothers and children.

Attacks on health facilities, water points and farms have severely affected local communities, and particularly children, in Borno and Yobe.

UNICEF will procure essential medicines, medical supplies and equipment for the health centres, and help ensure the facilities operate six days a week to provide routine immunization, maternal health services and outpatient curative services.

The project also aims to treat 11,300 severely malnourished children in the two conflict-affected states, in addition to existing efforts to treat 200,000 children in a wider area of northern Nigeria this year.

UNICEF will further facilitate procurement for the construction of water and sanitation facilities around health care centres and in the communities.

“The humanitarian needs are huge and there are only few humanitarian actors on the ground,” said Jean Gough, who heads the UNICEF Nigeria office. “Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the violence, often after losing their homes and their livelihoods. Access to food, health services and water is a major issue,” she added.

The assistance was made possible with funding from the government of Japan, the EU and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

But considering the huge needs in the region, existing funding will be used up quickly and considerable fresh funding will be needed.

Last week, UNICEF also provided, three 2,000-litre tanks, blankets, mattresses, soap, and other basic items for the community of Chibok, Borno state, where 284 schoolgirls were abducted in April and May

Source: all africa

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


Nigeria: 700,000 adults living with HIV/AIDS in Benue

At least 700,000 adults out of the 4.3 million population of people in Benue State are still living with HIV/AIDS, Weekly Trust learnt yesterday.

Of the number which excluded children, only 50,000 persons living positively with the virus are registered with the Benue Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS.

Benue State Coordinator for PLWHA, Stephen Yongo revealed this at a one-day HIV/AIDS Review Meeting of Media Forum organized by the Ministry of Information and Orientation in conjunction with Benue State Action Committee on AIDS (BENSACA).

Yongo in a paper presentation entitled  “Stigma, Discrimination and Their Implications on HIV/AIDS  Programming”, explained that the 2010 sentinel report puts Benue at 12.7 per cent on HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.

He said his association has sent an Anti-Stigmatization Bill to the State Assembly to seek punitive measures against willful infection of innocent people by those already living with the virus.

Earlier,   Executive Secretary of BENSACA, Mrs. Grace Ashi Wende solicited strong partnership with the media in the campaigns against HIV/AIDS as they plan this year’s World AIDs Day with the theme “Take Charge of Your Life,  know your HIV Status”.

Source: Weekly Trust