By Yakubu Salisu
The Kano State Commissioner for health, Dr. Kabiru Ibrahim Getso has said that, since the inception of Governor Abdullah Umar Ganduje, significant efforts have been made to reduce the burden, socio-economic impact and the transmission of Tuberculosis (TB) in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “ the end TB strategy”
He made this known yesterday at a press conference in Kano to mark the world Tuberculosis Day during which he said Nigeria is ranked 6th among the 30 high TB burden countries in the world and 1st in Africa.
According to him, the Governor, between 2015 to date has installed 10 additional GeneXpert machines (bringing the total to 18 GeneXpert sites) so as to ensure quality management through early diagnosis, prompt and effective treatment of all TB patients in the state.
He said, the DOTS centers were also increased from 382 to over 770 as well as increase and access of diagnostic equipment and services from 86 AFB Laboratories to 255 in 2019.
Ketso said that the state government with the support of KNCV/Challenge TB project has expanded TB services to prisons, military barracks, police academy and tertiary institutions in the state which has yielded positive results in the control of the airborne disease in the state.
Furthermore, the commissioner the commissioner applauded the efforts of the state government for placing highest priority in saving lives especially those of women and children who are more vulnerable in the society by providing essential health care services both at the primary and secondary level care levels, and did not relent in taking a holistic insight into the fundamental needs of the state health sector.
Doctors Are Free To Leave Nigeria Because We Have Surplus, I’m Not Worried – Ngige
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige has said that he is not bothered about the decision of medical doctors who choose to leave Nigeria to practice outside the country.
Ngige who was a guest on Channels TV Sunrise Daily said the practice is not alien to Nigeria, because he was taught by Indians in secondary school.
“I’m Not Worried, We Have Surplus (Doctors), if we have a surplus, we export. I was taught Biology and Chemistry by Indian teachers in my secondary school days.
“They are surplus in their country. We have a surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. It is my area, we have excess. We have enough, more than enough, quote me.”
Ngige, when asked if nothing was wrong, owing to his position as a qualified medical doctor, said there was nothing wrong in their choice to practise overseas, at the detriment of Nigeria’s health sector.
“There is nothing wrong, they go out to sharpen their skills, earn money and send them back home here. Yes, we have foreign exchange earnings from them, not from oil.”
The minister said the move does not amount to brain drain when asked.
“Those guys go there, they are better trained because of the facilities they have there. Eventually, I know a couple of them who practise abroad but set up medical centres back home. They have CAT scan, MRI scan which even the government hospitals cannot maintain. So, I don’t see any loss.
“Brain drain will only be inimical when for instance neurosurgeons travel and we don’t have neurosurgeons here.”
Lassa Fever: 42 Confirmed Dead, 538 Cases Reported in 16 States
Forty-two lives have been claimed across the country by a fresh outbreak of Lassa fever, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
A total of 538 cases were reported in 16 states in the first 27 days of the year, the NCDC said in an update yesterday.
However, only 213 of the reported cases tested positive, two were classified as probable and 325 negative.
The NCDC put the fatality rate at 19.7%.
The breakdown of the cases, state by state, reveals that 77 new confirmed cases were reported from Edo(24), Ondo(28),Ebonyi(5), Bauchi(3), Plateau(5),Taraba(3), Gombe(1),Kaduna(1), Kwara(1), FCT(1), Benue(2), Rivers(1) Kogi(1) and Enugu(1).
States with new deaths are Edo(4), Ondo(2), Benue(1), Rivers(1) Plateau(2) Taraba(1) and Bauchi(1).
16 states (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, FCT, Adamawa and Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers Kogi and Enugu) have recorded at least one confirmed case across 40 local government areas.
In the report, one new healthcare worker was affected in Enugu State.
A total of four healthcare workers have been affected since the onset of the outbreak in two states – Ondo (2), Ebonyi (1) and Enugu(1) with no death.
102 patients are currently being managed at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) treatment Centre in Edo State (34) ; Federal Medical Centre, Owo,Ondo State (40); Bauchi (5); Plateau(8); Taraba(3); Ebonyi(6); and others(6) States.
NCDC also said a total of 2,070 contacts have been identified in eight states.
Of these 1673(80.8%) are currently being followed up, 361(17.4%) have completed 21 days follow up. 23(1.1%) symptomatic contacts have been identified, of which 13 (0.6%) have tested positive from three states (Edo -2, Ebonyi-5 and Plateau-6 ).
The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday said it was mobilizing experts to intervene with a view to containing the disease.
Health Workers Union Threatens To Embark On Strike
The Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) has issued a threat to take industrial actions over what it describes as indifference on the part of the Federal Government to resolve their labour dispute.
In a press statement by JOHESU’s President, Mr Josiah Biobelemonye, the health workers threatened to resume their industrial action any time from now.
The development comes two weeks after the union issued a 15-day ultimatum, asking the government to implement a new salary adjustment structure.
They also want the government to pay all salaries of members withheld between April and May last year.
The five affiliate unions of JOHESU are the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals and Medical and Health Workers’ Union.
Others include the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions and Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria.
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