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FG appeals to resident doctors to end strike

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The Federal Government has appealed to the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), to call off its ongoing indefinite strike.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Kachollom Daju, made the appeal at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NARD embarked on an indefinite strike on July 26, following the expiration of a two-week ultimatum it issued to the Federal Government to press home its demands.

The doctors’ demands include implementation of the one-for-one replacement policy for healthcare workers; Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to discontinue the downgrading of the membership certificate issued by the West African Postgraduate Medical and Surgical Colleges.

Other demands are: the immediate payment of all salary arrears; the implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure; a new hazard allowance and the domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act; among others.

Daju urged the striking doctors to consider the lives of many Nigerians at  stake and end the strike.

She said that the new administration and other relevant agencies were working round the clock to ensure that the contentious issues were addressed and the doctors’ demands met.

“We are using this medium to currently appeal to NARD that please, Nigerians are dying in troops. That is the truth, the health sector is a very important sector.

“Not that other sectors are not important, they are all important but we all know what medical doctors are to us. If you are ill today and you cannot go to a hospital, what happens?

“People are dying, people cannot care for themselves. So, I am begging them and I am lending my voice to the voice of all members of the government who have appealed to them, to please call off their strike and go back to work.

“I know that your parent ministry alongside other government agencies are working round the clock to ensure that this matter is sorted out,”she said.

She said the Federal Government expected that with all sense of responsibility, NARD would see reasons with them.

She said, “I know that maybe between 29 May  and now, they assumed that what they requested would be given immediately but, some of the issues have been dealt with by the Federal Government.”

She, however, noted that since the new administration came into office, concerted efforts had been made by the Federal Government and the National Assembly to address the issues.

She said that there were two main contending issues which include the payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund and One-on-one placement of exited doctors.

Daju explained that on the immediate payment of 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund, the government had appealed to the doctors to await when ministers are in place.

” Very soon, we are sure that ministers are going to be in place and government is not resting on its oars. We understand the plight of where you are coming from,” she said.

On efforts made to resolve the issue of replacement of exited doctors, Daju further explained that the office of the Head of Civil Service was attending to that and a committee had been set up.

She said, “We have pleaded again that you just give us a little more time that when recommendations have been made by the committee we will bring them forth and act but to no avail,”she said.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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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