Nigeria introduces Meningitis A Conjugate Vaccine into Routine Expanded Programme on Immunization Schedule - Mega Icon Magazine
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Nigeria introduces Meningitis A Conjugate Vaccine into Routine Expanded Programme on Immunization Schedule

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Nigeria has introduced the Meningitis A Conjugate Vaccine into the routine Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) schedule. 

Speaking during the flag-off ceremony at the Area 2 Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) on 09 August, 2019, the Executive Director (ED) of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib said, “Men A remains a major global challenge.” According to the ED,”25 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) fall within the meningitis belt; putting 26.7 Nigerians at risk of meningitis”.

Further describing the prevalence of the disease in the country, he said, “In 2018, there were 4,516 reported cases in Nigeria, 318 serious cases and 364 deaths. I therefore call on all mothers to ensure their children are vaccinated from this disease.”

Meningococcal meningitis is the bacterial form of meningitis; a devastating disease associated with high fatality (up to 50% when untreated) and high frequency (more than 10%) of severe complications. Over 10,000 cases of meningitis occur annually in Nigeria; in 2017 alone, 14,766 cases were reported with 1,207 deaths. Vaccines are however available for prevention and control of meningitis outbreaks.

“Meningitis has been a scourge across Africa’s meningitis belt for generations, however this vaccine has made a massive difference in bringing this disease under control,” said Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “This further expansion in Nigeria’s immunization programme has the potential to save hundreds of lives every year across Nigeria and shows the government’s commitment to protecting every child in the country against deadly, preventable diseases.”

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The meningococcal A conjugate vaccine for Nigeria, procured with funding from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is part of its wider commitment to boosting Nigeria’s low immunization coverage and to stem further fatalities arising from the vaccine preventable disease.

In his remarks at the flag off ceremony, WHO Officer in Charge (OiC) for Nigeria, Dr Clement Peter congratulated the Government of Nigeria for the important milestone of the introduction of Meningitis A vaccine, which is in line with WHO recommendations.

“The vaccine is safe and effective and will protect Nigerian children from a dreadful disease. I seize this opportunity to encourage parents and caregivers to visit health facilities and outreach sites to have their children vaccinated. No child should be denied the opportunity to receive lifesaving vaccines for a healthy and productive future, to build a thriving nation,” he affirmed.

In their separate goodwill messages, representatives of Permanent Secretaries of FCT and Federal Ministry of Health, as well His Royal Highness, Alhaji Idris Musa, the paramount traditional ruler of FCT, pleaded with community members to benefit from immunization services and admonished health workers to treat caregivers respectfully and build enduring relationships with the communities they serve to ensure smooth delivery of laudable programmes.

They all appreciated the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners for being on ground to support vaccination activities at points of delivery. Other partners at the epoch-making event included UNICEF, AFENET, USAID, Red Cross Society of Nigeria and Vaccine Network for Disease Control.

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Meningitis is an infection of the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord called the meninges. Viral and bacterial infections are the most common cause but bacterial meningitis is much more serious due to its rapid onset and poses a significant risk of death. Meningitis A vaccine targets type A meningitis and WHO is committed to work with the government to switch to the Meningitis A,C,W,X,Y formulation in a few years’ when the vaccine is available in the quantities required to ensure protection from all other strains of the disease is achieved.

WHO emphasizes the importance of completing mass vaccination campaigns in individuals aged 01-29 years old in all high risk countries followed by introduction of meningococcal A conjugate vaccine into the routine childhood programme within 01-05 years following the campaign completion.

WHO also recommends a one-time catch up campaign for children born after the initial mass vaccination and who would not be in the age range targeted by the routine immunization programme.

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Oyo Partners NGOs on Eye Surgery, Treatment

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Oyo State Governor , Engr. Seyi Makinde has advocated medical check up as preventive measure to reduce incidence of Secondary Health Care in the society especially as human sight was concerned.

 

Governor  Makinde made this known in his address delivered at the  Free Eye Outreach and Cataract Surgery, jointly organised by Oyo State Ministry of Health, Ophthamological Society of Nigeria, Oyo State branch, Organization of Tadhomum  Muslimim, Nigeria, a Saudi Based Humanitarian Organization known as Al Basar International Foundation, and other non-governmental organizations to mark 2019 World Sight Day, which took place at the State Hospital, Ring road, Ibadan and at the State Hospital in Oyo town.

 

The Governor who was represented in Ibadan  and Oyo centers by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Muftau Ayoola and his counterpart at the Hospital Management Board, Mrs. Bola  Oloko  respectively said the present administration was not focusing only on provision of curative services but to improve awareness on preventive steps for people of the state to be sound and healthy.

 

He noted that concerted efforts would be made in ensuring that free health care system would be a permanent thing in the state.

 

“I specially want  to appreciate Al Basar International Foundation who has over the years supported the state in this laudable venture.

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“Our goal is to really reform the health care system to be able to provide high quality health coverage in a cost effective way and in achieving this, government, individuals and various organizations have roles to play.

 

“With these in place, i want to assure you that we would be securing an unrivaled legacy in the provision of quality health care service for all and sundry.”

 

Makinde however called on the organizers of the project to forward a  proposal to the government on how to make subsequent editions more effective.

 

In his Good will message, Aare Musulim of Yoruba, Oyo and Delta States , Alhaji Daud Mankanjuola, represented by Doctor Abdul Jelili  Kola Hamad at the State Hospital, Ring road, Ibadan enjoined wealthy people in the country to minimize their investment on luxuries and cue involve in humanitarian services for the benefit of mankind.

 

In their separate remarks, the President, Organisation of Tadhomum Musulimim, Nigeria, Doctor Kazeem Gbadamosi and a member of Al Basar International Foundation , Saudi Arabia, Mohsen Naif, said the free eye treatment and cataract surgery was done to put smile on the faces of those suffering from the disease, particularly the less privileged  among them .

 

“Eight thousand patients were examined during the medical  outreach , Two Hundred glasses were given  to those in need at no cost  , while Seven  Hundred  cataract surgeries were done successfully,” Gbadamosi hinted.

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While appreciating Oyo State Government for accommodating  Al Basar team for period of a week and usage of hospital facilities for the surgery, Doctor Gbadamosi noted that a month follow up treatment would be given  to the beneficiaries by medical experts in Nigeria while drugs would be given to ensure patients were totally healthy.

 

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Experts call for mental health education to curb suicide

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Psychiatrists have called for mental health education as a tool to curb the rising tides of suicide in Nigeria.

The experts made the call on Friday in Lagos, while commenting on the commemoration of the 2019 World Mental Health.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports,  mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, and act.

It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Abdur-Rasheed Awesu, who works at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, insisted that there is a need to change the mindset of everyone on how to maintain good health.

He said that family and neighbours need to be up and doing, and as well be up to the task of curbing the tide.

Also, in her comments,  Dr Veronic Nyamali, a psychiatrist, emphasized that life should be seen from mixed angles of good, sweet and bad.

Nyamali  further counseled that suicide should not be an option to end one’s life, noting that the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s statistics show that one million people died of suicide.

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She disclosed that every 40 seconds, someone died and at every two seconds, someone is somewhere attempting to commit suicide.

Nyamali explained that factors associated with suicide include: Biological, Medical, Social, Genetic and psychological.

She said that when these factors occurred, attention should be given to the families of the bereaved, not to be hammering on what the victim used in taking his or her life, such that we all know sniper now.

The psychiatrist urged the governments to put up a unit in the hospital environment to be dealing with cases of suicide as it was being done in accident emergencies in normal hospitals.

Nyamali maintained that the media also have great role to play in the surge and should always help in the areas of information and keeping hope alive for whoever was passing through one challenge or the other.

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Saudi Arabia launches volunteer medical campaign in Nigeria

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has  launched its Volunteer Medical Campaign for combating blindness and its causes in Nigeria to combat eye problems and treat eye patients.

The campaign, launched on Saturday is funded by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center in collaboration with Al Basar International Foundation.

This is in order to contribute to treating eye patients and combating eye problems in the Nigerian society.

The campaign’s first stage comprises of eye patients in Ibadan, the  Oyo State capital, and in Lafiya (Nasarawa State), and it is coordinated with the local government authorities in the states. The campaign will continue until the end of October, the current month.

The campaign aims at detecting and diagnosing the problems of eye patients by consultants and surgeons in order to give them the necessary treatment and to do surgery to remove cataract and glaucoma for those in need of the surgery, as well as do other minor surgical operations and offer them medicine and medical glasses.

More than twenty (20) persons work in this campaign, comprising of consultants, technicians assistants, and a number of volunteers.

On the first day of the campaign, a great number of Nigerian citizens who came to the campaign’s post in the city of Ibadan were actually examined and diagnosed. Most of them were found to have sight weakness or disorders, and the necessary treatment was given to them. The approval has also been made to perform five hundred (500) surgical operations in the coming days in order to remove cataract and glaucoma.

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This campaign proceeds from the leading humanitarian role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in terms of humanitarian and relief aid in various countries of the world, as well as the interest of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, and his trustworthy Crown Prince, Muhammad bin Salman, in enhancing humanitarian work in all fields and in offering aid to friendly countries.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also offers its humanitarian aid to all humanity, irrespective of religion, race or color.

This campain comes in order to enhance and strengthen the excellent historical ties between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which are based on friendliness and mutual cooperation.

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