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WHO calls crisis meeting over deadly Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

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The WHO has assessed the national and regional risk of the current Ebola outbreak in DRC as “very high,” although the global risk remains low and, so far, the UN’s health watchdog has not called for any trade or travel restrictions to be imposed.
The Emergency Committee, scheduled for Wednesday at WHO headquarters in Geneva, will decide whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, and what recommendations should be made to manage the spread of the disease.
This outbreak, the tenth to hit the DRC over the last four decades, was declared in North Kivu Province on 1 August, this year and, based on the worsening security situation in and around the city of Beni, WHO elevated the risk from “high” to “very high” on 28 September.
The agency identified 39 new confirmed cases were reported between 1 and 11 October, 32 of which are from Beni.
The DRC Ministry of Health, WHO and other partners have been responding to the outbreak with teams on the ground, but WHO has warned that continuing insecurity severely affects both civilians and frontline workers, forcing the suspension of the response for several days in late September, and raising the risk that the virus will continue to spread.
More than 20 civilians in Beni were killed in the incident that provoked the suspension, which came on the heels of multiple attacks in previous weeks. It’s estimated by the UN that more than a million civilians under threat from armed groups, are internally-displaced in North Kivu; around 500,000 this year alone. The eastern region is close to the border with Uganda, and Rwanda.
Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports that one month after the beginning of the school year, 80 per cent of school-aged children have returned to school in Beni and Mabalako health zones, the two epicentres of the Ebola outbreak.  UNICEF has identified more than 1,500 schools in  the areas affected by the epidemic.

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WHO collaborates with Nigerian Government to update the country health workforce profile

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The Department of Health Planning, Research and Statistics of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) in collaboration with the World Health Organization(WHO) has successfully updated and validated Nigeria’s health workforce profile from 2012 to 2018 with funding from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada (GAC) under the “Enhancing the Ability of Frontline Health Workers to Improve Health in Nigeria” project. 

Validating the Nigeria Health Workforce Profile 2018 provides the national health workforce information needed for planning and it is a crucial milestone in the health sector considering that the last country profile was developed and published in 2012.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary FMoH Alhaji Abdullahi Mashi represented by Dr. Evelyn Ngige stated “This document will not only better our understanding of our health workforce’s stock, characteristics and performance, it will also further help to generate insights into gaps and possibilities for health workforce strengthening”.

She reiterated, “The document will assist policy and decision makers at all levels to develop appropriate strategies to ensure that the correct numbers of professionals are trained, equitably distributed and retained towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.”

She also thanked the WHO for the great support demonstrated in strengthening health workforce planning and management especially in the updating of the country’s HRH profile.

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The profile demonstrates Nigeria’s significant progress in achieving the Global Strategy for Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 milestone which requires every country to track health workforce dynamics and share human resource for health (HRH) data needed for planning towards achieving UHC. Achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria is largely dependent on adequate and equitable supply of the needed health workforce to improve access of Nigerians to integrated people-centered quality health services.

At the validation workshop, the WHO Officer in Charge (OiC) Dr Peter Clement,stated that “African countries need a global focus on how human resource works and how it is managed”. Dr Peter reaffirmed WHO’s commitment for continued partnership with the Government of Nigeria  in strengthening Human Resource for Health management and planning. He further indicated that the profile when finalized will set the foundation for achieving the goal of the Strategic Pillar 3 and Priority Area 9 of the Second National Strategic Health Development Plan 2018 – 2022, for having in place the right number, skill mix of competent, motivated, productive and equitably distributed health work force for optimal and quality health care services provision.

This principle has been guiding the WHO’s ongoing support in ensuring that health workforce information is readily available for management and planning in Nigeria.

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Buhari Commissions Air Force Hospital In Daura

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commissioned the Air Force Reference hospital in Daura, Katsina State.

The President, during the commissioning also assured of his support and commitment in ensuring that the hospital becomes fully functional and accessible to all Nigerians.

Bihari noted  that the commissioning of this hospital is another critical milestone recorded by the nation’s armed forces.

He said the medical facilities deployed to the hospital are enough to cater not only Daura people but also those coming from the neighboring Kano, Kaduna, Abuja and even overseas for medical attention.

The President added that the Federal Government had in the last four years invested huge resources in the health sector and increased budgetary allocation to the sector from 259 billion naira in 2015 to over 340 billion naira in 2018.

“Accordingly, significant stride has been made to life expectancy and reduced some of the killer diseases associated with child and maternal mortality claiming 70 death per 100,000 and 90 persons by the year 2007 as explained in the United Nations sustainable development goals.

“Despite this, more efforts are needed to fill in the wide range of diseases and remain persistent in the emerging health issues in our society.

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“To achieve this, we must now reveal effort to focus on providing more efficient funding on the health sector”.

Bihari, thereafter called on more funding in the health sector to improve sanitation and hygiene, increase access to medical care in rural areas in order to save the lives of millions of Nigerians.

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Ekiti govt. seals illegal health facilities

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In its drive to check quackery in the medical field, the Ekiti state government has sealed up illegal hospitals across the state 

The government informed that  it is worried at the existence of medical outfits run by quacks in the state and set out on a shutdown operation of the illegal facilities.

At the facilities sealed in Ado,  the state capital and Ilawe Ekiti by officials of the state ministry of health, the doctors in charge took flight apparently on a tip off and the attendants met at the facilities have no clear explanation on the status of the facilities and personnel.

The chairman of the Ekiti state Medical Anti Quackery Committee, Dr. Adesoye Olusanya lamented the danger posed by unqualified personnel.

Olusanya assured  that tabs will be kept on quack medical personnel in the state in the interest of public health.

“These people are not qualified, somebody who didn’t go to an appropriate medical school calling himself a doctor. The most surprising thing, by the time we got there, they’ve all run away. A qualified doctor will not run away in that circumstance.” Dr. Olusanya pointed out.

The team proceeded to brief the Commissioner of Police in Ekiti state, Asuquo Amba after the operation and the force underlined the need for them to push for prosecution if the mission will be meaningful.

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“You must be willing to prosecute suspects. You can’t just hand them over to the police and go to bed. If you go to bed I’ll release them but if you make a case they’ll be charged to court.” Amba noted.

 

 

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