SFH retreat will rewrite constructs of Africa health system

SFH retreat will rewrite constructs of Africa health system



The Society for Family Health (SFH) , an NGO, says its international retreat on Monday will among other issues rewrite the constructs of the Africa health system.

This is with a clear focus on stronger partnership, forward thinking science and an untiring commitment to transforming health outcomes for all.

The Managing Director of SFH, Dr Omokhudu Idogho,  the retreat marks the end of the operation of the SFH strategic plan, Facilitating People-Centred Healthcare (FPCH)

“The retreat marks the end of the operation of the SFH strategic plan, Facilitating People-Centred Healthcare (FPCH), and heralds the development of a new strategy for the next generation.

“This will be the basis of the operations of the organisation.

“This next strategy calls us to leverage our 40 years of experience to rewrite the constructs of the Africa health system.

“This is with a clear focus on stronger partnership, forward thinking science and an untiring commitment to transform health outcomes for all,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the retreat is scheduled to start on Monday, Jan. 30.

It is to map out work strategy and celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Society for Family Health (SFH).

The Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib; Lagos and Ekiti states Health Commissioners, Prof. Akin Abayomi and Dr Oyebanji Filani, and other eminent technocrats and government officials will be in attendance.

“The retreat, which is to be held in the Lagos  is also a precursor event to the year-long 40th anniversary celebration of SFH.

“During which the organisation will take stock of its achievements in the last 40 years and look to a future of more successes in the healthcare space.

“This anniversary is a unique opportunity to tell our stories and to celebrate the people we serve – our donors, and our governments.

“This retreat, therefore, is an opportunity for us to pause, reflect, unlearn, learn and re-ignite our collective purpose to finish the job we have started, working with our partners,’’ said Prof Ekanem Ikpi Braide, President of the Board of SFH.

SFH prides itself for contributing substantially to Nigeria’s health sector achievements in the last 40 years.

This is including the reduction of maternal mortality from 1,000 per 100,000 live births in 1985 to 512/100,000 live births in 2021, and infant mortality rate coming down from 132 per 1,000 in 1985, to 54 per 1,000 live births in 2022.

It has also been a leader in family planning, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, nutrition, hypertension, diabetes, and COVID among others.

Leaders from SFH branches in the four Anglophone West African nations—Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, and Nigeria will be attending the two-day retreat

Gombe State records its index Lassa fever case

Gombe State records its index La‎ssa fever case

Illustration for Lassa Fever


Gombe State has recorded its index case of Lassa fever.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Habu Dahiru, said in Gombe on Wednesday that the lady travelled to Wukari in Taraba during the 2022 Christmas season.

“On her return to Gombe, she started running temperature and was admitted at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe where she tested positive to Lassa fever.

“Prior to the case, the state’s rapid response team was activated and drugs were provided in anticipation of any outbreak, the commissioner told newsmen at the close of the state cabinet’s weekly meeting.

He added that immediately the laboratory confirmation that she is positive was received, government moved the patient to an isolated room and treatment began.

“We also established an isolation centre in each of the three senatorial districts of the state as referral centres for confirmed cases,’’ he said.

The commissioner added that an incident management team had been going round in search of active cases and sensitising the public on signs and symptoms of Lassa fever.

“One case of Lassa fever is an outbreak,’’ Dahiru stressed.

He called for proper sanitation and hygiene in order to curtail the spread of Lassa fever in Gombe State.

“Personal and environmental hygiene are proven preventive measures against Lassa fever,’’ Dahiru stressed

Enugu Govt. partners ACOMIN to fight malaria, infectious diseases  

Enugu Govt. partners ACOMIN to fight malaria, infectious diseases

Mosquitoes carry malaria parasites depending on who, what and when they bite


Enugu State Government says it will partner a group, the Association of Civil Society Organisations in Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN), to end infectious diseases in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Emmanuel Obi, disclosed this on Wednesday when ACOMIN, Enugu Chapter, paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Enugu.

He told the association that the state government was doing its best to eradicate malaria through signing up to all the guidelines and policy documents on prevention and treatment of malaria in Nigeria.

Obi explained that the state followed those guidelines and do everything that was possible by reporting on necessary data that would put the state under control of malaria.

He explained that the state had so far, controlled the incidences of malaria, malnutrition to barest minimum.

“I know that the National body is pushing to move from control to total eradication of malaria in the country because anything that concerned the control of infectious disease, I am highly involved as a member of the health council.

“We have joined other states and the nation to do all it takes to be able to control and push malaria out of the state,” the commissioner said.

He, however, advised Enugu residents that malaria remained a disease with high morbidity in Nigeria and caused by mosquito bites that usually come out at night

“This mosquito carried pathogen that causes malaria.

“People should avoid excessive contact with those mosquitos to reduce the existence of malaria by closing their doors and windows and sleep under treated insecticide net.

“The citizens should practice those things that keep mosquitoes away from their homes because mosquitoes caused social economic effects.

Obi added that the state had engaged in a lot of sensitisation programmes and trained people on prevention of malaria.

In her speech, the State Coordinator of ACOMIN, Florence Ifeanyi-Aneke said that the visit was to seek the ministry’s collaboration and partnership especially in the area of infectious diseases.

She said the group was willing to partner with the ministry to mitigate the impact of malaria, promote immunization and better nutrition in the state.

Aneke said the association would also assist in the monitoring of health facilities in communities across the state.

“We shall be glad to partner with the ministry in celebration of special days especially World Malaria Day, which is celebrated every 25th April,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ACOMIN is the national network of civil society organisations working on the prevention, treatment and mitigation of the impact of malaria, as well as the promotion of immunization and better nutrition in Nigeria.

It has visibility across the 36 states, including FCT.

Persons with disabilities call for inclusion in creative industry

Persons with disabilities call for inclusion in creative industry


Artists and creatives persons with disabilities have called on government and stakeholders in the arts and creative industry for inclusivity and opportunities to contribute their quota to nation building.

They made the call at a focus group discussion where 50 persons with disabilities participated in the forum on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Director, Potters Gallery Initiative, Mr Donald Unanka said the initiative was borne out of the need to give a sense of belonging to members of the disability community, “who are highly marginalised in the arts and creative industry.”

Unanka, who stressed the need for the full implementation of the Disability Act, called for policies and programmes for integration and market opportunities for members.

“We have talented youths who are willing to develop the arts and creative industry.

“At this point, full implementation of the disability act will further push our voices louder.

“People with disability have abilities and are willing to display this for the growth of the nations economy,” he said.

Two artists and creatives with disabilities, Miss Aver Akighir and Mr Musa Muazu decried the stigmatisation faced by members and expressed optimism that with constant engagement and programmes by all stakeholders, the situation would improve.

They said there would be more market opportunities in the creative industry.
They appealed to the media to help in the fight against stigmatisation, but to ensure fair and equal treatment, especially where they could deliver effectively.

The focus group discussion, which was organised by a disability art group, the Potters Gallery Initiative and supported by UNESCO Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Also the International Fund for Cultural Diversity to galvanize support and create enabling environment for persons with disabilities to exhibit their potential and strive in the Arts and Creative Industry.

WHO has not informed us of deadly China flu – Ehanire

WHO has not informed us of deadly China flu – Ehanire

Dr Osagie Ehanire


The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says though the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other world health bodies had not informed Nigeria of any deadly flu from China, the Federal Government is on the lookout for any occurrence.

He said this on Monday in Abuja, during a ministerial bi-weekly meeting on the update of COVID-19 response and development in the country’s health sector.

According to him, when there is an outbreak of any flu or disease anywhere in the world, WHO will announce it to the world and send advisory on how it can be handled, but there is no such alert with the case of the strange flu.

“So the Ministry of Health finds the message going round in the social media, odd and strange.

“By default, when there is an outbreak of any flu or disease anywhere we will hear it first from WHO and WHO has not said anything about it, we will also hear from the US Centre for Disease Control (US CDC), but there’s nothing like that also from there and we have not even read anything from the Chinese people.

“Usually, their embassy will send somebody to come and inform us if there is anything. So I begin to wonder about the authenticity of that paper going around the place because up till today no confirmation of anything like that,” he said.

The minister also said that foreign media outlets were also silent about a flu from China, an indication that the news making the rounds is a fabrication.

He, however, said that the Federal Government is on the lookout for anything suspicious.

“This is a season where people generate stories, throw them into the media and everybody starts panicking, whilst those who generated such stories are laughing at the chaos that they have created.

“So we are watching the situation, everything we hear we take seriously, but I want to assure you again that any outbreak of such a character, first of all, is announced by WHO, they will then send us advisory and information about it.

“The US CDC, the equivalent of CDC in the UK, in Europe, they have not said anything. So reports of that nature I also want you to take with a big pinch of salt,” he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there had been trending reports that amid the resurgence of COVID-19 in China, there had been an outbreak of an unknown deadly flu in China, which has led to the death of residents, including three Nigerians.

According to the reports, though the initial clinical analysis ruled out COVID-19, the symptoms of the fatal flu include dry throat, fever and difficulty in breathing.

Speaking about Diphtheria, a disease which broke out recently and has spread to four states with 123 confirmed cases and 38 deaths, Ehanire said everyone had a joint responsibility to address diseases.

He, however, said it was the responsibility of the Federal and State Governments to address particular diseases as they break out and that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Health was doing its part.

“I want to assure you that every disease outbreak everywhere is given full attention by this ministry and nothing is left that is our duty to do that we do not do, but I will also expect all states to carry out their own responsibility.

“They need to play their role in managing some of the social fallout.

“Also, every single person who has appeared in our hospitals has received treatment and no one has been turned back because they didn’t have money,” he added.

Provide prompt response to victims of SGBV – NGO urges healthcare workers

Provide prompt response to victims of SGBV – NGO urges healthcare workers

By Ruth Oketunde

The Abiodun Essiet Initiative for Girls (AEIG) has called on healthcare workers to provide prompt response to victims of sexual and gender-based violence in their health facilities.

Mrs Abiodun Essiet, Executive Director, AEIG, made the call at a one-day capacity training for healthcare workers and members of the Ward Development Committees on Thursday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the participants were drawn from various primary health care centres in Gwagwalada and Kuje area councils of FCT.

Essiet, who was represented by the Project Officer of the organisation, Josephine Emeghoghena, said the “workshop is aimed at improving the knowledge of the healthcare workers on rapid response to gender-based violence cases.

“We are here to sensitise and create more SGBV awareness and train healthcare workers in primary healthcare centres in Gwagwalada and Kuje area councils of the FCT on how to tackle the menace.

“We want to build their capacity on how to effectively address SGBV and how to attend to victims who report cases to them.

“The cardinal message is that we all and not just health workers should take SGBV cases seriously by always reporting such whenever it takes place in our environment.

“We should act fast because the victims lives matter. If there are issues of spousal battery or rape, then the victim’s life is in danger.

“There is tendency that it might lead to death, so as concerned citizens, we must act quickly by reporting cases and ensuring that we also prevent such violence in our communities.”

Mr Gerald Telah, Chairman,Ward Development Committee, FCT Chapter, said the committee encouraged people to report cases of gender-based violence to the community leaders.

He added that it was also important for members of the communities to be security conscious and be mindful of how they leave their wards so as not to fall prey of perpetrators

Buni enrolls 100 indigents in healthcare scheme

Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe has sponsored the enrollment of 100 poor and vulnerable people under ‘Expanded Healthcare Services Scheme’ in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Lawan Gana disclosed this at the inauguration of the exercise on Monday in Damaturu.

He said the governor inaugurated the Yobe State Expanded Healthcare Services Scheme in the past two weeks.

He said the governor made a personal commitment to support enrollment of 100 poor and vulnerable persons.

“Today, in fulfillment of that pledge, we are kick-starting Buni’s personal sponsorship,” the Commissioner said.

He said that the scheme targeted all vulnerabilities such as disability, poverty, pregnant women, children older than five and sickle cell disease patients, among others.

The commissioner said, ”in order to achieve universal health coverage, the government could not do that alone.

“There is a need for the affluent, philanthropists and organisations to support the government by emulating Buni’s gesture,” he said.

According to Gana, the state government is targeting 80 per cent of the population to be covered under the scheme.

Also speaking, Dr Babagana Tijjani, the Executive Secretary, Yobe State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (YOCHMA), said the agency was determined to ensure that programmes under the agency commence soon .

“We have the formal sector programme, which civil servants of state and local government are currently benefiting from.

“While other parts of the population benefit from the informal part of the programme,” he said

Tijjani added that the ‘Equity and Basic Healthcare Programmes’ were meant for the vulnerable members of the society.

He enjoined indigenes of the state to join the programme to achieve universal healthcare coverage.

A visually impaired beneficiary, Malam Ali Bukar, lauded the gesture especially to the vulnerable population of the state.

Commission takes medical outreach to IDPs, targets 275 persons

The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) on Friday took a medical outreach to persons of concern at Waru IDPs camp as part of its social responsibility.

The Federal Commissioner, NCFRMI, Hajia Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, at the event on Friday said the commission targeted no fewer than 275 persons of concern to benefit from the programme.

Sulaiman-Ibrahim said that the idea was to ensure total health inclusion of the persons of concern in the country.

“I’m so excited about the new medical insurance bill that made it mandatory for free medical care for the vulnerable and this includes persons of concern.

“So, once that becomes publicly implemented and the trust fund activated, we will make the right assessment ready to deploy and migrate persons of concern to the National Health Scheme.”

According to her, health is wealth, life and everything, hence the need for the inclusion of everyone when it comes to affordability and accessibility of healthcare.

She said the exercise, which is called ‘Total Health’ and a pilot phase would be extended to other states with time.

“We check every aspect of their health, the eyes and the general health and also through this we will be able to strengthen the health facilities in the host communities.”

The commissioner also advised the beneficiaries to utilize the opportunity for their total health being, while encouraging them to invite others to participate in the exercise to maximize value.

She, therefore, appreciated the medical team for their service to humanity.

Prof. Kabir Oladigbolu, an Ophthalmologist at ABU Teaching Hospital, Zaria said that the exercise would help to address the health issues of IDPs in the country.

Oladigbolu said that the one-week programme was set to bring relief to people who had been displaced from their original homes due to insurgency and terrorism.

“We are here to examine their eyes, vision, eye pressures and those that require glasses will be given as well as treatments,” he said.

According to him, surgery will equally be carried out for who require minor surgery on their eyes and all are free.

Dr Abdullahi Kazaure, a General Physician at Maitama District Hospital said that the programme was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals to include all peoples of venerability into free healthcare scheme by year 2030.

Kazaure commended the commissioner for creating the opportunity for persons of concern to have free health care.

Bayelsa State joins the world to mark AIDS Day


By Our correspondent

Every 1st of December is set aside to mark the World AIDS Day. It is a day to remember those who died from AIDS related illnesses and to offer support to those living with HIV.


Here in Bayelsa state, several activities were put together by the Bayelsa State Agency for the Control of AIDS, BYSACA to celebrate the event and create more awareness.


Speaking during the event, Special Adviser to the Governor, Hon Ayakeme Tonkiri urged all Bayelsans to know their status adding that HIV is not a death sentence.


Hon Ayakeme emphasized that the government would continue to support the agency to achieve its mission of reducing HIV in the state.


Also speaking, Technical Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Bishop Dotimi Egbegi noted that the prosperity administration believes in the health of the people hence would ensure that issues of HIV are given adequate attention.


Bishop Egbegi called on all stakeholders to work together to attain the reality of ending AIDS in 2030.


While speaking on the role of the church, the clergyman called on pastors and other church leaders to add their voices in creating more awareness of HIV/AIDS in their churches.


In her speech, Permanent Secretary, BYSACA, Dr Oluwatoyin Azebi said proactive steps such as integrating HIV treatment into the health insurance scheme both at the national and state levels, involving donors should be taken to build a robust health system.


Dr Azebi called on the government to take ownership of HIV response through the implementation of a sustainable plan.


On his part, Vice President, World Assembly of Youth, Comrade Preye Ketebu-Brown urged the state government to set up the BYSACA board in order to mobilize funds for sustainable financing of HIV.


In a goodwill message, Civil Society for HIV/AIDS, CISHAN State Secretary, Mr Maxwell Ati called on the government to ensure prompt release of funds after approval for HIV services.


He equally called on all Community based organizations, Civil Society groups as well as the media to continue to sensitize the general public on HIV and encourage people to go for HIV testing and counseling.


The Network of Persons living with HIV, NEPHWAN emphasized the need for the government to re-strategize to address HIV/AIDS by providing the needed funding for providing HIV services as well as to end stigmatization and discrimination of people living with HIV, PLHIV.


Various goodwill messages by representatives of implementing partners such as FHI360, EPIC, and others emphasized the need for collaborative efforts in the fight against HIV.

The national theme for 2021 World AIDS Day” End Inequalities, End AIDS through sustainable financing serves as a call on all to continue to work to achieve an end to AIDS.

Media Urged To Report Issues On HIV/AIDS


By Our Reporter

Media practitioners in the South-South region have been urged to continue to give visibility to HIV/AIDS in their reportage particularly as there are many competing health issues in the country.

South-South Zonal Coordinator of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, Dr Uduak Daniel came out with this during a two day refresher training held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Dr Uduak Daniel noted that the media serves as a veritable tool to positively influence public opinion on HIV/AIDS which would help to achieve epidemic control.

” Despite all other public health issues such as COVID-19, HIV/AIDS is still a part of us and we need to bring it to the limelight again so that we can continue to find ways to reduce it’s prevalence especially in the South-South where it is quite high” she added.

While delivering a lecture on “The Media: Social and Behavioral Change” Mr Fayman Omini noted that media practitioners should be intentional in their reportage inorder to achieve attitudinal change in their specific audience.

Mr Omini who also highlighted the role of the media in advocacy explained that advocacy should be organized and based on research to achieve set objectives.

He urged the media to utilize the knowledge acquired from the training to improve their programs, features and other reportage.

On her part, Chairperson of the South-South HIV Media Advocacy Group, Mrs Sogbegba Dokubo who spoke on behalf of the participants appreciated the management and resources persons from the NACA South-South Zonal Office for organizing a refresher training.

Mrs. Dokubo called on all participants to use their media platforms to publicize stories and programs on HIV that would change the negative narrative in the South-South as well as to bring policy makers accountable in the provision of HIV services.