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NIGERIA: Health minister begs JOHESU to shelve plan strike

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THE Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole while expressing shock at the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) planned industrial action that is to commence by 12 midnight of Wednesday appealed to the leadership of the Union  in the interest of the generality of Nigerians especially the less privileged that may not be able to afford healthcare services in the private hospitals to suspend its proposed strike.

Professor Adewole, also disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment have had series of meeting with the leadership of JOHESU of which most of their demands had been met, this includes, payment of promotion arrears that pre-dated President Muhammad Buhari’s administration. He noted that other issues raised by JOHESU are still being deliberated upon with the leadership of the Union.

The minister, however assured that the present administration will continue do everything humanly possible to guarantee quality and affordable healthcare delivery services to Nigerians.

 

 

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Health

Go for test, COVID-19 not defeated yet, Oyo govt. urges residents

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The Seyi Makinde led – Oyo state government,on Tuesday urged residents of the state with signs and defined symptoms of the COVID-19 to submit themselves for testing, adding that the state  is yet to defeat the virus.

The state government also urged them to adhere strictly to the preventive protocols as enumerated by the  experts.

Dr Bashir Bello, the Commissioner for Health, who spoke at a sensitization program organized for journalists in the state on COVID-19, held at Kakanfo Inn in Ibadan disclosed that the state had some high rise in the positivity rates recently which the government is steering up to.

Dr. Bello averred that the flouting of COVID-19 protocols during the #EndSARS protests which rocked the country over the last few weeks is no doubt going to increase the rate of transmission of the virus, but assured that the state is prepared to tackle any upsurge; stressing that the permanent structures have been put in place to fight the virus on a long term note.

The Commissioner, who admitted that testing has reduced in the state, further explained that factors like stigmatization and fear are responsible for the reduction in the rate COVID-19 tests are conducted in the state.

“We are meant to give people initiative. As you have seen that the problem of stigmatization is one of the problems that we are having. You could now see that the few positively tested ones are refusing to give us their contacts. First of all, they don’t want the public to know that they have tested positive. Two, since they know it has affected you, you are now pointing to other people.

“So what actually happen is that we have left those centres, about 27 centres out of the 33 LCDAs so that people can willfully go without the problem of being stigmatized. It’s a place you can walk to without people knowing you. It’s like the HIV in those days that we were begging people to do test. HIV has now become a common thing even every pregnant woman is ready to get tested.

“So this COVID-19 issue has not been… although we still know we have it. For example, we are having high rises in the positivity rate which the government is steering up to and thanks to God we are not unprepared. We have had a very good output. A reliable arrest of the case but it is just like the motto of the ‘Boys Scout’ which is: we are prepared.

“We are only telling the public that COVID-19 is still very much around and we implore each and everyone of us to at their own free will go and get tested. Nobody will report that because we only send you the result through a coded number and a coded message to your personal phone number which you will have given in the form which is a fairly confidential way”, he added.

He also revealed that Oyo State is the only state where residents can undergo COVID-19 test free of charge,noting that other states now charge various amounts of money.

The Commissioner, however stated that the only set of people who pay to undergo COVID-19 test in the state are those who are planning to travel out of the country and they need a proof to certify that they are COVID-19 free.

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Oyo govt. launches plan to reduce maternal, neonatal mortality rates, unveils ‘T’ỌMỌ T’ÌYÁ Initiative’

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Oyo  State government on Wednesday, launched the ‘T’ỌMỌ T’ÌYÁ Initiative,’ an effort aimed at reducing infant and maternal mortality rate in the state.

The programme, which was inaugurated at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, was equally aimed at improving the quality of reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child healthcare across the state.

Governor Seyi Makinde, who was represented by his deputy, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan, said at the launching of the initiative, that it aims to, among other things, reduce maternal mortality rate by 30 per cent and neonatal mortality rate by 20 per cent.

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, following the launch of the initiative, the number of births by skilled birth in the state will increase by 30 per cent while the healthcare facility utilization in the state will also rise to 60 per cent.

While inaugurating the steering and technical working committees, the governor stated that the committees will oversee all the reproductive, maternal, newborn and Child health (RMNCH) programmes in the state, while giving insights into the direction things should go.

He assured that the state, through the initiative, will meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Number Three, which targets improving maternal health.
He said: “It is this project that we are here today to inaugurate – the T’ỌMỌ T’ÌYÁ Initiative. As the name suggests, the initiative is for the mother and child. It is one key way through which we will be meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) number three, which targets improving maternal health.

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“Our plan is to ensure that qualitative Maternal and Child Healthcare services are offered at minimal cost. This will enable us to meet the objectives of this initiative.
“We are aware that in 2023, when this administration will be winding down, there will be another NDHS report. When that report comes out, we would like to see drastic reductions in these negative indices. Our goal is to reduce maternal mortality by 30 per cent and reduce neonatal, infant and child mortality by 20 per cent in Oyo State.

“To achieve this, by the grace of God and with the dedication, hard work and commitment of everyone involved in this project, we aim to increase the number of births by skilled birth attendants in the state by 30 per cent while also increasing the health care facility utilization in the state to 60 per cent.”

The governor added that the state will begin a pilot testing of some of the programmes under the initiative, noting that the state will advocate the meeting of the World Health Organisation recommendation of four or more antenatal care visits during pregnancy.

“So, we hope to start piloting some of the programmes under this initiative in the shortest possible time. One of the important things we will be advocating is meeting the WHO recommendation of four or more antenatal care visits during pregnancy.

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“The statistics show that when pregnant women are able to make at least four visits, the major complications that account for nearly 75 per cent of all maternal deaths are prevented.”
Governor Makinde, therefore, lauded the implementing partners for accepting to be members of the T’ỌMỌ T’ÌYÁ Initiative, saying: “As you embark on your deliberations to provide a blueprint on how we are to achieve these objectives, I must especially thank the implementing partners for accepting to be members of this important initiative. I pray that your source of ideas never runs dry as you think up creative ways of getting us off that list of worsts,” the governor said.

Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bashir Bello, said the initiative is meant to ensure the welfare of the women before, during and after birth, particularly the new life they are bringing forth.

He added that the present administration in the state is committed to improving the health sector and changing the undesirable indices recorded in the National Child Health.
The Commissioner further hinted that the government will work towards seeing that every pregnant woman is insured with the support of local governments.

He said: “It is our belief that every pregnant woman, henceforth, will not only be insured but will also be given the necessary attention. With our authenticated preparation of the delivery, we are sure of what we are going to deliver. The very best attention we give to such a neonate will determine what is going to become of his or her future life.”

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Also speaking, the Special Adviser to Governor Makinde on Health, Dr. Funmi Salami, said the T’ỌMỌ T’ÌYÁ Initiative will contribute to a healthier and more prosperous society, as healthy babies grow into healthy adults who thrive and can contribute to their communities and society.

She stated that the mission of the initiative is to facilitate a consultative process among all stakeholders to identify priority areas and identify clear strategic directions for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH).

The event had the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Bisi Ilaka; Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun; chairman, Hospital Management Board, Dr. Gbola Adetunji; Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr. Jide Ajani; Representative of UNICEF, Tushar Ranee; Representative of WHO, Dr. Marcus Oluwadare and a host of others in attendance.

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Health

COVID-19: Oyo govt. urges residents to go for testing

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The Emergency Operations Centre, EOC, of the  Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force has called on residents of the state to avail themselves the opportunities of its decentralised testing system, to get themselves tested for the virus.

The Task Force added that contrary to misinformation that the virus has been defeated, it is still very much active, warning that adequate and observance of all the safety protocols remained the effective ways of combating the virus.

The Task Force, also said it has released a list of locations where residents of the state can undertake COVID-19 tests across the state.

According to a  statement signed  by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the list of centres was ratified on Monday at the state’s COVID-19 Task Force meeting presided by Governor Makinde.

The statement added that the available testing centres in the state include: State Hospital, Oyo; General Hospital, Saki; General Hospital, Iseyin; General Hospital, Igboora; General Hospital, Apata, Ibadan; Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan; Health is Wealth, Secretariat Road, Ibadan; and LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso.

It added that testing is also available in approved private laboratories across the state, stressing that residents can call the following numbers for enquiries: 08095394000, 08078288999, 08078288800, 08095863000 or dial *723*19*6# and follow the promptings.

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