We never had contact with Corona virus patient -LUTH

Lagos, Feb 28, 2020  Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC)  of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) said that the institution  did not have any contact with any Corona virus patient.


Adeyemo told Our corespondent on phone on Friday that the patient was never presented in the hospital.


He said that there was no need for the populace to panic.


He said that in his own opinion and as far as LUTH was concerned, several meetings, seminars and workshops had been done on how to respond to such cases if they should occur.


Adeyemo said that LUTH was prepared and others should get prepared.


“In a situation like this, if you have any confirmed case, we make sure that we isolate the patient, trace the contacts the patient must have had contact with,’’ he said.


Adeyemo said that the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government were fully on ground to respond to cases of people with Corona virus.


He said that they had been providing quality care for patients, the index case and most importantly, there is need to prevent any hospital outbreak.


The chairman said that the hospital was there to provide preventive medicine to prevent transmission of diseases and also to prevent community transmission.


NAN reports that the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, had on Friday confirmed the first case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak in Lagos, saying it was brought into the country by an Italian.


He said in Lagos that the Italian  had arrived Nigeria on Feb. 25 from Milan, Italy, for a brief business visit.


Abayomi, however, said the State Emergency Operations Centre  had been activated  in  response to the case and  to implement firm control measures.


The commissioner said that the case was confirmed on Feb. 27, and has been reported to the Federal Ministry of Health.


Abayomi said that the patient fell ill on Feb.26, and was transferred to the  Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing.


“The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos,” Abayomi said.

Public health: Niger Govt. compiles compendium of food vendors

The Niger Government has begun registration of food vendors and caterers in the state following reported activities of some food sellers using poisonous and unhygienic substances to cook.

“The Niger State Government has started the process of registering food vendors and caterers across the state in order to safeguard public health,” he said.

Idris said the ongoing registration exercise would enable the state Public Health Department and the Primary Health Development Agency to know how many of such businesses were existing across the state.

And to also determine who owned them and their locations, to enable government to supervise them toward safeguarding public health.

He said that the Ministry of Health was collaborating with the pharmaceutical department to sensitise the public to the health hazards inherent in using the substances to prepare food.

“We have partnered with a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) to train food vendors and caterers on food hygiene,” he said.

The director said that the ministry had issued certificates to the participants after the workshop.

He said that as part of the plans for the year 2020, the department of public health would go out on quarterly basis to check the food vendors and caterers to ensure that they adhered to best practices.

NAN reports that the measure came in the wake of reports that some food vendors and caterers in the country are using paracetamol tablets to tenderise tough meat.

The reports say other food sellers even use table spoons, nails and potassium to cook food.

Also, the state Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Abdullahi Mohammed, said when paracetamol was boiled with food a chemical component known as phenol would be released.

According to Mohammed, when such food is eaten, the phenol content would attack the liver harmfully.

Similarly, Mr Aniko Ibrahim, the state Coordinator of NAFDAC, disclosed that the national Headquarters of the agency had directed its state offices to sensitise food vendors and caterers to desist from using paracetamol and other painkillers to cook food owing to the health hazards associated with such practice.

On her part, Hajiya Aisha Aliyu, who sells cooking utensils in Minna, advised food vendors to use pressure pot to boil tough meat as it was safer and it was meant for such.

Aliyu said that although she did not indulge in using the dangerous substances to cook, “other women said that the act saves time, thereby saving cooking gas, kerosene, firewood and charcoal, depending on what you are using to cook.”

Centre to partner Imo government on fight against tropical diseases

The Carter Centre, a non-governmental organisation, has promised to strengthen its collaboration with the Imo Government in the fight against tropical diseases.

Dr Adamu Sallau, the Director of the centre in Imo, made the pledge when he visited the Imo Ministry of Health in Owerri on Friday as part of the activities to mark the maiden World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) Day, which was celebrated worldwide on Thursday, January 30.

Sallau described the NTDs day as “a call to action”, saying that the diseases had been slated for elimination rather than control.

He said the organisation, which was founded by former American President , Jimmy Carter, was committed to safe living.

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He urged all hands to be on deck until NTDs were completely wiped out from the earth.

He said, “World NTDs Day is a call to action. The tropical diseases have been slated for elimination, not control. We must get to the zero level and sustain it.”

Speaking on the theme: “Beat NTDs for good, for all”,  the Director of Public Health in the ministry, Dr Austin Okeji, described NTDs as a group of communicable diseases with debilitating effects on humans.

Okeji said that the diseases had affected about one billion persons in the world.

He listed the training of 1,517 health workers and 12,603 community distributors of medicines as some of the achievements of the ministry in 2019.

He also listed the distributed medicines to include 12 million tablets of mectizan, four million tablets of albendazole and about one million tablets of praziquantel.

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He said that free treatment was administered on 3.2 million persons for onchocerciasis, 3.2 million for lymphatic filariasis, 1.2 million school age children for schistosomiasis and 1.2 million children for soil transmitted helminthes.

Okeji further said that NTDs could be transmitted through bite of infected insects such as black mosquito and through contact with contaminated fresh water, soil and ingestion of contaminated fruits and vegetables.

He urged Imo residents to keep their environments clean, provide latrines at homes, avoid open defecation and urination and properly wash fruits and vegetables before consumption.

He also advised them to wear protective covers while farming, sleep under insecticide treated nets, visit health facilities when symptoms manifested, avoid urinating inside a water body while swimming and taking NTDs medicines.

Okeji also urged them to look out for symptoms, such as itching, leopard skin, elephant skin, elephantiasis of leg, hand or breast, diarrhea, abdominal pain, swollen belly, loss of appetite, nodules and bloody stool or urine.

He assured the center of the state government’s readiness to partner with individuals and organisations in order to effectively tackle NTDs in the state.

It might be time to favor frozen

You are probably aware that you should try to eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can for good health.

But what if your favorite fruits or the veggies on your shopping list will be eaten much later in the week?

Going frozen means less spoilage, allowing you to enjoy produce when it’s close to its nutritional best — that is, whenever you decide to consume it.

In fact, research has revealed that frozen fruits and vegetables can have just as many vitamins — and sometimes more — as compared to fresh.

“In terms of the ways humans have come up with preserving foods, freezing comes up at the top for preserving nutrients,” said study author Ali Bouzari, who is a culinary scientist and author of “Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food.” “If you can’t afford fresh or live in an area where a bodega down the street is all the access to produce you can get, it’s important for people to know that frozen is a viable alternative.”

Aside from preserving vitamins, freezing is the best way to preserve beneficial plant compounds that help protect against disease, explained Mary Ann Lila, director of the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University.

Frozen produce is an especially worthwhile choice if you are not going to eat your fruits and veggies within a day or two, explained Gene Lester, a plant physiologist and national program leader for the US Department of Agriculture, where he oversees all post-harvest animal and plant foods research.

Frozen fruits “are commercially picked at the peak of ripeness and then individually quick frozen and packaged under a nitrogen atmosphere,” Lester said. Exposing fruits and vegetables to nitrogen helps to preserve nutrients that oxygen degrades, and also occurs with some fresh vegetables, like bagged greens.
Vegetables intended to be commercially frozen are also picked at peak ripeness, but unlike fruit, they are blanched prior to freezing, where they are exposed to hot water temperatures between and 90 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which destroys enzymes that cause discoloration, browning, and loss of flavor.

“If you pick vegetables at their ripeness peak, they’ve got their greatest abundance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals — and that can be anywhere between 10% and 50% more than something that is commercially harvested as fresh,” Lester said.

UBTH CMD: Doctors Back Edo North Candidate

By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin City

Medical professionals under the aegis of friends for Edo North Professors have continued to show solidarity in support of a Chief Medical Director from Edo North Senatorial District to head the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).

They also called on the federal government to ensure fairness and promote federal character in the appointment of a Chief Medical Director by ensuring a credible and competent candidate from Edo North emerges in the interest of all stakeholders.

The groups comprising mainly medical professionals and other critical stakeholders have urged the federal government to consider Edo North Senatorial district in the appointment pointing out that Edo South and Edo Central senatorial districts have in the last two decades produced the Chief Medical Directors of the hospital.

“We call on the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to play by the rules and appoint only the best candidate from Edo North following the principles of fairness, equity and justice and respect for federal character. Our son came out in flying colours at the interview and it is our turn to occupy the office.

“We suggest that our indefatigable Prof. Sylvester Idogun, who made the list of persons shortlisted, should be appointed from among those successful at the recently conducted interview for applicants as Edo North has been denied this position for years even when we merit it”, they emphasized.

Corroborating the same position, some medical doctors in UBTH who didn’t want their names in print said a CMD From Edo North is long due stressing that only a disciplined  professional like Prof. Idogun can reposition the hospital for effective service delivery who possesses a great sense of leadership, competence and professionalism.

It would be recalled that the federal government had recently conducted interview for all applicants for the position of Chief Medical Director and shortlisted three persons from which one will appointed this week it was reliably confirmed.

Among the three shortlisted by the federal government are, Dr. Darlington Obaseki, who is the acting Chief Media Director and Prof. Sylvester Idogun, a professor of chemical pathology,as well as Prof. Alfred Ogbemudia, an Orthopaedic surgeon.

Both Dr. Darlington Obaseki and Prof. Alfred Ogbemudia are from Edo South Senatorial District,while Prof. Sylvester Idogun, hails from Edo North Senatorial District of Edo State.

It was gathered that no fewer than fifteen applicants were earlier in the race for the position of the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).

The seat of the Chief Medical Director of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital became vacant following the Successful completion of two terms in office and exit of the immediate past Chief Medical Director, Prof. Michael Ibadin.

FG offers free surgeries to 4,349 Nigerians

By Our Correspondent with agency reports
The Federal Government says it provided free surgeries to 4,349 patients and screened 17,793 indigent Nigerians in 2016.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed this in a statement issued by Boade Akinola, the Director Media and Public Relations of the ministry in Abuja.
The statement said the ministry had set a target to conduct 10,150 free surgeries and screenings to help alleviate the sufferings of some indigent Nigerians who cannot afford to pay.
According to the statement, the ministry also carried out over 200,000 nutritional interventions to Nigerians suffering from malnutrition in the North East.
It said the nutritional intervention has since been scaled up to become a full fledge project of the “Health Sector Nutrition and Emergency Response”.
It explained that the project delivered a set of comprehensive health interventions and emergency services in the troubled region.
It said that the programme was a promise kept by the present administration, which has “a pro-poor universal health coverage agenda”.
The statement said the programme, tagged: “Better Health for All,” would be sustained and scaled up in 2017.
The ministry inaugurated the Rapid Result Initiative Programme in July 2016 to carry out surgeries and screening of indigent Nigerians.
The programme was borne out of the plan to respond to the critical needs of the people and deliver on the mandate of promoting health with focus on Access, Affordability and Demand.

Pharmacists to Govt: We Are Not Inferior To Doctors

By Our Correspondent
The Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria have said that they are equally as relevant to the health care delivery system of the country as doctors.
In a statement signed by AHAPN Chairman, Mr. Martins Oyewole, and his Secretary, Mr. Jelili Kilani, the body condemned the Nigerian Medical Association for rejecting the harmonisation of all medical and health workers’ salaries.
According to them, every profession in the health care sector has its scheme of service which clearly stipulates job description and corresponding remuneration as approved by the relevant regulatory agencies.
The association accused the NMA of undermining and denigrating other professionals in the sector, by the privileges her members have enjoyed serving as ministers of health and heads of Federal Government agencies.
 “Health care delivery worldwide is a collaborative process, with the patient as the centre of attraction. Every professional has a role to play to ensure optimum patient care. There is nothing fantastic about Nigeria’s health care sector today under the leadership by coercion of NMA.
“It is an open secret that our healthcare sector is in shambles today, due largely to undue territoriality that is the hallmark of Nigerian doctors as against the need to strengthen professionalism.
“In developed societies, every health professional has a defined role to play in the delivery of health care. The medical doctor by his training makes a diagnosis, the pharmacist makes drugs available following the principle of rational drug therapy and pharmaceutical care, the medical laboratory scientist works hard to ensure laboratory tests are carried out to aid diagnosis.
“There is also a role for dieticians, physiotherapists and others, all collaborating for optimum patient care and better patient outcomes, in line with international best practice. We make bold to say that virtually every professional in the health care sector, especially the pharmacist, is highly skilled.
“Pharmacists are even fewer than the medical doctors (compare 40,000 doctors to 20,000 pharmacists) in Nigeria and this is because of the extensive and rigorous training we undergo”, he said.
The association noted that her members were in support of the planned harmonisation of health care workers’ salaries, adding that the move would restore peace to the sector.

2.7 Million Children Immunized In Niger – Dr Na’uzo

BY Juliana MAIRIGA, Minna
The Executive Director of the Niger State Primary Health care Development Agency (NSPHCDA), Dr. Yahaya Na’uzo has disclosed that 2.7 million children were immunized during the just concluded Immunization plus Week in the state.
Na’uzo, during a press conference in commemoration of Africa Vaccination Week in Minna organized by the Coalition on Maternal and Newborn Child Health in Niger state (COMiN), said that although the state recorded a high rate of compliance during the Immunization week, 10,000 children remain un-immunized in the state.
He added that routine Immunization intensification strategies are being mapped out to ensure that the unimmunized children are reached and immunized.
Na’uzo said that the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency is working hard towards reducing the rate of deaths in children fewer than five years caused by vaccines preventable diseases adding that the state is aiming to reduce the current death rate resulting from vaccines preventable diseases from 40 per cent to five per cent.
He urged parents and guardians to ensure their wards are regularly vaccinated stressing that Vaccination is very important towards safeguarding the lives of the child.
In his address, the Niger State Immunization Officer, Dr. Samuel Jiya noted that vaccines remain one of the powerful tools for disease prevention.
He said that funding gaps, poor access to hard to reach communities, inadequate vaccine storage capacities at Primary Health care, frequent equipment breakdowns, inconsistent power supply are part of the challenges faced by the state Immunization office adding that the state currently has over N72 million worth of vaccines stored at local government councils across the state.
He added that with the inconsistent power supply, the safety of the vaccines cannot be guaranteed and the state will be set back pointing that while the government is trying to do its best in providing solar refrigerators, it needs partnership with donor agencies to help achieve its aims.

Meningitis Sanusi Hits at Zamfara Gov, urges child education

By Jonathan IPAD, Abuja

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi has Harped on the Tuesday’s remark by governor Abdulrazeez Yari of Zamfara state over the wide spread of meningitis which has killed over 215 persons in the north western state.

Sanusi stated this in Kaduna at the Kaduna Investment, Kadinvest2017 where he delivered a keynote address.

The Emir had described Governor Yari comments that the death toll was an act of God, saying, it was funny for government official to make such comments when medically, meningitis could be treated or even prevented in the first place.
The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, described the Xamfara state governor as belittling his status as the governor of Nigeria Governorrs Forum.

Sanusi also counsel’s northern governors to invest on education, housing, create jobs than marrying dozens of wives, raising children they cannot fend and misinterpreting the Islamic religion.

He cited Bornu and Yobe states as the poorest states in Nigeria, alluding to the that the zones of northwest and northeast with the highest unproductive population in Nigeria.
The emir who applauded governor Nadir elRufai initiative in promoting investment drive meant for economic growth, also urged other northern governors to emulate the Kaduna state initiative to move out of the present situation where poverty, hungry, unemployment reign in the midst of multiple interpretations of what Islam stands for.

Health: Gov Ahmed directs installation of dialysis machine

By Steve Oni, Ilorin
As part of government’s determination at providing qualitative and affordable health services to the people, Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has given a week ultimatum to the state’s Ministry of Health to complete installation of its state-of-the-art automated Dialysis Machine at the state’s General Hospital, Ilorin.
The Governor, who was on an on the spot assessment of the newly acquired machine and other ongoing works at the Hospital, frowned at the delay in the installation of the machine and directed the commissioner for health, Dr Suleiman Atolagbe Alege, to ensure its immediate installation.
Ahmed said: “We cannot afford to waste time on the installation of these facilities because it’s live-saving equipment that requires urgent installation.”
“Do you know how many people will benefit from this when completed? Don’t you realise the agonies patients go through in getting succour from various kinds of kidney disease?”
Other projects inspected by the governor included College Nursing and Midwifery and Adewole Henry George road, both in Ilorin. At the College of Nursing and Midwifery, Governor Ahmed directed the Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Ademola Banu to release necessary funds for various ongoing works at the school.
At the Adewole Henry George road, Commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Aro Yahaya told the governor that the work was at 95% completion with the assurance that it would be completed on schedule.