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DfID, FG sign MoU on Malaria Elimination in Nigeria

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By Laide Akinboade

In order to reduce the malaria burden in Nigeria the UK Department for International Development (DfID) funded programme- SuNMaP 2 and the Federal Government of Nigeria have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) .

The MoU which is going to be the last bilateral support of DfID to Nigeria on malaria is basically in the area technical support.

SuNMaP 2 is a DfID funded bilateral programme implemented by an international Non-Governmental Organsiation (NGO)- Malaria Consortium, with the goal of supporting government’s efforts at reducing malaria burden in Nigeria.

Malaria Consortium, in collaboration with the federal government recently launched a programme worth over N23 billion to reduce the burden of malaria in six states includingJigawa, Katsina, Kano, Kaduna, Lagos and Yobe.

Speaking at the signing of the MoU in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, noted that the MoU represents a new partnership which is being supported by the UK government.

The MoU, according to him, will help Nigeria to fast-track its elimination plan with respect to malaria.

 “It is essentially going to be different because the bulk of the support is going to the technical area. It is like they are going to train us to work on our own.

 “We will be in the driver seat but they will provide support and many of it will be technical  in terms of planning, implementation, building capacity and also scaling down to the states and local governments.

“This will be in consonance with our own plan of actually mainstreaming malaria control and elimination at local government level,” Adewole said.

Responding to questions from journalists, Malaria Consortium’s West and Central Africa Programmes Director, Dr Kolawole Maxwell, lamented that the burden of malaria is increasing in Nigeria.

He revealed that: “We are seeing a situation in which the epidemiology and science are different in several parts of the country and what that means is that the capacity and information that is required is not only required at the national level but it is also significantly important at the sub-national level where they should be able to not only deliver this services but gather evidences in this regard.”

While explaining some specific areas of the MoU, Dr Maxwell, said: “ This MoU states very clearly the aspects the programme will be supporting Nigeria on like strengthening the capacity of National Malaria Elimination Programme and the states and also how to strengthen the system that will be supporting services but also emphasizes the type of service that the

programme will be concentrating upon and the support the programme will be providing on the demand side in  terms of increasing social accountability and lastly embedding  the culture of using evidence to plan at both national and sub national.”

He further explained that: “The MoU also clearly documents the expectation of the programme from the government, specifically around sustainability.

“This will require the government to have dedicated committees to be looking at the progress towards the sustainability and be periodically assessing the speed at which the programme is going in that direction.

“However,  in addition, at almost the second or third year of the programme, we will have to be seeing some significant demonstration of the government to take full ownership of the programme.”

Health

Cross River Warns Residents about Suspected Outbreak of Haemorrhagic Fever

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Cross River warned about a possible outbreak of viral haemorrhagic fever in old Ndebeji, in Akamkpa Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.

Viral haemorrhagic fever is any group of infectious diseases that interfere with the blood’s ability to clot.

They are spread by contact with infected animals, people or insects.

Examples include Ebola and yellow fever.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Henry Ayuk, said in Calabar that a suspected index case was currently being investigated in complete isolation at the Ndebeji healthcare centre.

He said he had directed the state’s epidemiologist and her team to work with the local government team to collect samples from suspected cases for diagnosis

“They will provide palliative case management and institutionalise adequate infection prevention and control in the facility.

“They will also work with community leaders to identify and restrict movements of known contacts till the sample results of the suspected index client are out and entrench risk communication in the community.

“I must note that cases are most likely to present early with fever, rash, body weakness, bleeding from body openings or may even be asymptomatic,’’ he said.

Dr Ayuk appealed to residents to avoid rodents and insect bites, adding that they should put on personal protective wears if they must come close to livestock, other animals and zoos. (NAN)

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Health

Lassa Fever Claims 10 Lives in Ebonyi

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The Ebonyi Ministry of Health disclosed that Lassa Fever killed 10 persons in the state from Jan. 4 to Feb. 16, 2024.

The Disease Surveillance Notification Officer of the ministry, Mr Sampson Orogwu, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Abakaliki.

Orogwu stated that 25 persons were infected, including two healthcare workers.

He added  that “16 out of the 25 infected persons are males, while nine are females.

“The dead include a pregnant woman and two children.

“The affected local government areas include: Onicha, Ikwo, Ezza North, Ebonyi, Izzi, Ohaukwu and Abakaliki with Hausa quarters and Nkaliki areas in Abakaliki recording the highest number of cases.

He, therefore,  urged residents to report suspected cases to the ministry as treatment is free.

The State Epidemiologist, Dr Ogbonna Nwambeke, also in the statement, said the state government had been collaborating with relevant partners to check spread of the disease

He said “we call for the provision of logistics to increase surveillance and community engagement against risk factors.

“People are also advised to stop bush burning, avoid eating rats and not to touch any surface touched by an infected person.

“We also advise people to maintain high level of personal and environmental hygiene such as covering their food and utensils properly.

Nwambeke appreciated the state government’s provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to health workers at the National Obstetrics Fistula Centre to secure their lives and to save others.

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.

Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats.

It’s common in West Africa. Most people get mild symptoms, like fever and headache. (NAN)

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Health

Hospital Creates Toxicology Ward to Address Mental Health Issues in Kaduna

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The Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Barnawa Kaduna said it has created a toxicology ward to address mental health issues in the state..

Its Medical Director, Aishatu Yusha’u-Armiya’u disclosed this on Sunday in Kaduna.

She said the ward allowed the separation of psychiatric patients diagnosed with various forms of psychiatric conditions from those with substance use disorder.

The medical director said, ” This permits the design of a clear plan for the management and rehabilitation of people with substance use disorder.

NAN reports that a toxicology unit identifies, quantifies and determines the amount of) drugs, alcohols, and poison in biological samples such as blood, urine or tissue.

Yusha’u-Armiya’u added that drug information and pharmacovigilance units were also created in the Pharmacy Department.

” These units are responsible for the provision of drugs related information and creating awareness on the presence of dangerous and substandard pharmaceuticals to both staff and patients within the institution.

” The pharmacy department has been provided with a functional and equipped compounding unit which is responsible for the production of all the relevant consumables needed in the hospital.

“In my first year in the office, I ensured that all the consumables needed in the hospital were produced by the pharmacy department,” she said.  (NAN)

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