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Doctor/patient Ratio in Jigawa Hits 1:21,000  — NMA 

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The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has expressed concern over shortage of doctors in Jigawa, with the current ratio of one doctor to 21,000 patients in the state.

The NMA Chairman in the state, Dr Aminu Abdullahi, who disclosed this in a statement on Saturday to commemorate the 2023 Physicians Week, said “Jigawa has the highest record of brain drain in the country.

Reports says that the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) standard is one doctor to 600 patients.

The chairman, therefore, lamented how brain drain negatively hit the state, which allocated 16 per cent of its 2023 annual budget to the health sector.

He said that the association is worried about the sad development.

“This is because ours is a bi-directional bran drain, both within the country, that’s to other states of federation and outside the country.

“We have about 350 doctors working in both state and federal health facilities.

“The NMA chapter in Jigawa has 350 doctors catering for seven million people in the state.

“Currently, the doctor/patient ratio in Jigawa stands at about 1: 21,000, against the WHO standard of 1/600 patients.

“The ratio is similar to that of nurses and other health workers in the state. This is one of the worst ratios in the country, which will significantly affect our health indices.

“It is also worthy of note that Jigawa was among the early states to implement CONMESS and CONHESS salary structure for healthcare workforce back in 2011, which made it one of the highest paid states in the country back then.

“The current challenges bevelling the health sector as a whole honestly call for sincere, deliberate and fact guided discussions concerning our healthcare delivery system.

“With the current economic realities the nation is going through, there is no better time to make the healthcare delivery system in our dear state more efficient and responsive than now.”

The NMA chairman said that the theme of the 2023 Pysicians Week —  “This is our chance to get it right in the health sector” and the sub-themes “The Abuja Declaration 22 years after” and “Ethical issues in human organ donation” — are in tune with the current realities in the health sector. (NAN)

Health

400 Benefit from Free TB Screening in Bauchi

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No fewer than 400 residents of Bauchi have benefitted from free Tuberclosis screening exercise initiated by a group, Langa Women Development Association.

The Programme Manager of the group, Mr Ogala Ogala, said this at the inauguration of the two-day exercise on Saturday in Bauchi.

He said the exercise was designed to promote public health and curb spread of Tuberculosis.

He said exercise was being implemented in collaboration between the organisation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Malaria ( BACATMA).

“We targeted the ECWA Women Conference for the Bauchi South, to conduct free screening exercise.

“The aim is to promote public health and awareness creation among the people to encourage healthy living.

“This is not just for women alone but whoever is at the designated venue can also access the free screening,” he said.

Also, Dr Simon Mafwalal, its Senior Project Manager, said the group with the support of the U.S. agency was providing TB screening services in the state.

“We can have all the equipment used for screening TB, whoever is diagnosed with the disease or has symptoms will be given the required treatment and counseling.” he said.

Mafwalal said that the medical van has the capacity to screen 250 clients daily, adding that a reasonable number of people would be screened before the end of the exercise. (NAN)

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Health

Meningitis Outbreak Kills 20 Students Of FGGC Potiskum, Other Schools In Yobe

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Twenty students have died in three boarding girls’ secondary schools and the Federal Government Girls’ College in Potiskum and Fika local government areas of Yobe State from a suspected outbreak of meningitis. 

The Yobe State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education Mohammed Sani-Idris told journalists that “20 students have been confirmed dead in the last few weeks from the suspected meningitis outbreak across some boarding secondary schools in Potiskum and Fika local government areas.

Many have been hospitalized but now discharged”.

He explained that after the outbreak at the secondary schools, “I as Commissioner, my Permanent secretary and the Executive Secretary of the State’s Science Technical Board as well as the Chairman of the Teaching Service Board have relocated to Potiskum temporarily to ensure the disease does not escalate”.

Meanwhile, Governor Mai Mala Buni represented by his Deputy Idi Barde-Gubana visited the affected schools of Fika Government Secondary School, Government Science Technical College, and Federal Government Girls’ Technical College all in Potiskum and well as Government Girls’ Science Technical College Gadaka in Fika Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Buni said: “As part of the effort geared towards containing and effectively tackling the outbreak, the government has already provided the emergency treatment drugs as well as deployment of a rapid response team to all the affected areas”.

While briefing the representative of the Governor at Specialist Hospital Potiskum, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Isa Bukar said a total number of 214 cases were recorded and three are still in the intensive care unit of the hospital responding to treatment.

A similar outbreak had killed many residents of Degubi community in Fika Local Government Area of the state in April 2023.

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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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