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NIGERIA: Southwest states conclude second round of outbreak response

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All six States in the South West Zone have completed the ‘2nd Outbreak Response’ (OBR2) to the circulating Vaccine

Derived Polio Virus (cVDPV2) with varying degrees of success. The exercise, implemented on 15 – 24 June, was in response to confirmed reports by the Lagos State Government of environmental strains of Polio Virus in Makoko, Itire and Maracana canals, as well as in Imeko Afon LGA of Ogun State.

Initial large-scale zonal supplementary immunization activities were coordinated across all States (Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ondo and Ekiti), during the OBR1 conducted on 18 -21 May, 2019. Polio eradication teams on the ground covered 89,841 settlements. The teams maximized the impact of available resources and ensured that oral polio vaccine be administered to 9,927,112 under-five year old children in all the States.

Early planning to prevent spread across borders

In Ogun state, which shares an international border with Republic of Benin, a series of planning sessions with representatives from Republic of Benin involving, traditional leaders, religious leaders, Port Health service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Customs, Military and the police ensured every eligible child was reached. During one of the meetings, a counterpart from the Republic of Benin, Dr Bonny Potoku, who is the Secretary General to the inter-border forum in Ipokia (Nigeria) and Igolo (Republic of Benin) border commented, “The time is ripe for the reactivation of our own port health services seeing the amount of resources and commitment from the Nigerian side”. His position was echoed by former Ogun Commissioner for Health, Dr Babatunde Ipaye who said, “Deliberate efforts were being made to target border communities, who are more susceptible to outbreaks due to the migration of people”.

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In Nigeria and the Lake Chad sub region, a cVDPV2 outbreak originating in Jigawa state, Nigeria has spread to eleven other states and internationally to Niger Republic and Cameroon.

Initial success build on lessons learnt Speaking on the outcome of the response in Ekiti state, an elated Permanent Secretary from the state Primary Health Care Board Mrs. Bisi Arogundade, said about the exercise; “OBR-2 has been highly successful and impactful. It built on the lessons learnt during the first round.

Government, traditional rulers, partners and other stakeholders have been supportive. I therefore was not surprised at the outcome of the exercise and sure the state will work towards sustaining the achievement”.

In Ondo State, Dr Francis Adegoke Akanbiemu, Executive Secretary, State Primary Health Care Development Agency, expressed the administration’s appreciation on the quality of the coverage. In a letter of appreciation sent to the WHO State Coordinator, he indicated that, “On behalf of the Executive Governor, I appreciate and thank the World Health Organization for the immense support, both in logistics and technical support during the just concluded second round of outbreak response exercise in the state. Without the support, the exercise would have been of less success”.

Support for Polio eradication in Nigeria through WHO, is made possible by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Department for International Development (DFID – UK), European Union, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Government of Germany through KfW Bank, Global Affairs Canada, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Community Chest Korea, KOFIH (Korea), Rotary International and the World Bank.

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Health

COVID-19: Lagos health commissioner, Abayomi tests positive

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Health,  Prof. Akin Abayomi, has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Gbenga Omotoso, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, disclosed this in  a statement issued on Monday.

The statement also added that Abayomi had close contact with persons feeling unwell who tested positive for COVID-19.

“Subsequent to close contact with persons feeling unwell and testing positive for the COVID-19 infection, the Honorable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has tested positive for the virus.

“Professor Abayomi became aware of his status following the required testing protocol of contact tracing procedures,” the statement partly read.

The commissioner who had no symptoms of the virus, is adhering to the protocol of home-based strategy in the state.

While embarking on self-isolation for the next 14 days, he will still continue to discharge his duties both as the Deputy Incident Commander of the Incident Command System for COVID-19 and as the Commissioner for Health.

Meanwhile, members of the State Executive Council wish him a speedy recovery during the period.

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Health

COVID-19: Imo govt. launches innovative mobile health insurance with support from WHO

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The Governor of Imo State, Mr. Hope Uzodinma last Wednesday launched the innovative Mobile Health Insurance Programme in Owerri.

This mobile health insurance initiative has been designed with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) to achieve seamless coverage of the over 96% population in the informal sector of the State on health insurance while reducing the existing out-of-pocket expenditure of 92%. The mobile platforms in addition, provide automated opportunities for philanthropists to graciously adopt the poor and vulnerable on health insurance.

In his remarks, the  Governor appreciated the leadership role of WHO in the health sector of the state and globally especially in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. He added that the state government depends strongly on the genuine and constructive partnership of the World Health Organization towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Governor Uzodinma added that WHO supported the state, with the design and flag-off of the Health Insurance Scheme, which now culminates in the launch of the use of mobile phone technology to pay for and access Health Insurance, the first of its kind in Africa towards   ensuring that people can get quality health services, where and when they need them, without suffering financial hardship.

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He restated his commitment to repositioning the entire Health Sector in the State, while requesting WHOs renewed partnership in “PHC revitalization, full implementation of the State Health Insurance scheme to provide access to essential Healthcare to Imo citizens at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of care, revamping of our Health Security, Emergency preparedness and response, and overhaul of the drug revolving scheme to eliminate the issue of fake or substandard drugs in our hospitals.”

Speaking at the event, the WHO Nigeria Representative,  Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo appreciated the government of Imo State for placing the health of her people high on overall agenda of government. While recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the vulnerabilities of the global health systems, he pledged WHO’s continuous support within the 13 General Program of work and the State Health Strategic Development Plan.

Dr Mulmbo said that WHO recognizes the peculiar needs of each population from others and thus, makes deliberate efforts to fashion out the health system that works for them based on their needs.

He appreciated the level of political commitment to health in the State and expressed confidence that if sustained, the State and WHO will together promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.

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WHO already supported the State with core health financing analytics with development and printing of the State Health Financing Policy and Strategy, operational guidelines of the State Health Insurance Scheme key operational documents for the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, as well as laptop computers, some of which were presented during the event.

The high point of the event was the conferment of the title of “Oche Ndu 1 (protector and preserver of life) of Imo State” on Dr. Kazadi on behalf of WHO, by the Chairman of Imo State Traditional Rulers, in recognition of all the lives that have been saved through the humanitarian work done by WHO in the State.

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Oyo govt, HACEY Health Initiative set to end female genital mutilation

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Oyo State Government in conjunction with HACEY Health Initiative on Thursday launched a campaign train tagged ” Stop Cut Project ” a project targeted at achieving zero record of female genital mutilation in the state within the next three years.

Oyo State Commissioner for health, Dr. Bashir Bello, while delivering his address at a stakeholders’ roundtable organized by HACEY Health initiative in respect of the Stop Cut Project, held at the Ministry of Health, Secretariat, Ibadan, said it was high time for the public to put aside cultural believes on female organ mutilation considering its effects on victims.

Dr. Bello, maintained that the society needed to be familiar with the consequences of the practice, hence, the government would intensify efforts in educating the populace on hazards attributed to the act.

He attributed the existence of this harmful practice in the society to inability of victims to report the perpetrators to the appropriate quarters for necessary actions, saying that the habit did not enable the perpetrators to pay the price for their actions.

He assured the convener of the project, HACEY health initiative of government support towards realization of set goals.

In his remarks, the Project Director, HACEY Health Initiative , Isiaiah Owolabi, said HACEY was determined to create a network of active people willing to end female genital mutilation in this era.

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Owalabi noted that key stakeholders would be engaged continually and build alliance for the purpose of eradicating the practices especially in core rural areas of the state.

“Our motive is to increase public awareness on female genital mutilation by dishing out risks associated to the practice to the public.

” The period of our intervention is three years, we are doing this in three states, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo. We believe at the end of this arrangement; we will achieve zero record of female genital mutilation in the state.

“We are relying on ministry of health and other relevant ministries and agencies in achieving this.

Similarly, the Oyo State Female Genital Multination Coordinator, Mrs. Baliqis Olawoyin, described the FGM as harmful practice, saying that the havocs emanated from it are usually irreversible.

Mrs. Oluwakemi also noted that the practice is regarded as violation of girls and women rights.
she thereafter called on parents to desist from encouraging or mandating their children to engage in mutilation of female organ for the act to become a thing of the past in Oyo state.

Also speaking, Oyo State Coordinator, National Orientation Agency, Mrs. Dolapo Dosumu, represented by Mr. Moshood Olaleye, said that there is need for government and Non-governmental organisations to sustain the campaign and ensure that they end Female genital Mutilation in Oyo State.

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“I urged all other relevant stakeholders to be actively involved in campaign and effective synergy and networking established for impact”

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