Category Archives: Health

COVID-19 2nd wave: 39 Edo health workers infected in 72 hours

The Edo State Government has said 39 healthcare workers in the state have been infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in the last 72 hours.

Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Osamwonyi Irowa, during a press briefing in Benin City, said case management for critical care is being strengthened to ensure effective management of severe cases of COVID-19.

He expressed worry over the increasing rate of infection among healthcare workers in the state who are critical to the fight against the spread of the disease, noting, “We have the challenge of healthcare workers infected with COVID-19. In the last 72 hours, we have had 39 healthcare workers infected with the virus.

“This is critical to us because they are in the frontline taking care of persons who have tested positive or not positive. It is important and necessary to ensure that they are duly protected and comply with the COVID-19 protocols.”

He said the 39 health workers who have tested positive in the last 72 hours are from the various healthcare centres managing active cases in the state.

“It is our duty to pull the infected healthcare workers out of the system so that they will not infect others.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure that the healthcare workers are protected by way of ensuring the use of appropriate PPEs. We also urge them to follow the protocols already designed and being implemented in Edo State.”

“The State has procured additional PPEs for distribution to health facilities across the State to address rising healthcare workers’ infection and decontamination of facilities affected with strict measures to ensure compliance to standard precaution and other IPC preventive measures,” Irowa added.

COVID-19: Edo records 72 new cases in 72 hours, 143 health workers infected

Edo State has recorded 72 new cases of coronavirus in the last 72 hours, even as the number of health workers infected with the virus has risen to 143 in the state, in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic.

The Edo State COVID-19 Incident Manager, Dr. Andrew Obi, disclosed this in a virtual meeting of the State COVID-19 Taskforce, chaired by the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.

He said the 72 new cases recorded in the last 72 hours were reported from a total of 640 samples collected within the time frame, adding that the state currently has 306 active cases.

He added that within the 72-hour period, there were 34 new recoveries and three new deaths.

According to him, “44 of the 72 new cases were reported at the Real-Time PCR Laboratory at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) while 28 were reported at Laboratory at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH).”

Noting that the number of health workers infected have increased significantly, he said, “143 healthcare workers have been infected since the outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in the state. 110 of them are workers at ISTH, while 33 are staff of UBTH.”

He said since the outbreak of the second wave in the first week of December, the state has recorded 565 confirmed cases, with 248 recoveries and 15 deaths.

Dr. Obi added that there has been a 73.3 percent rise in numerical death of elderly persons, constituting two thirds of the total death recorded in the state from COVID-19.

Abia health workers suspend strike



The Abia State chapter of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and Assembly of Allied Health Professionals, have suspended the ongoing strike action embarked on since Nov. 3, 2020, with immediate effect.

The Council also directed her members to resume work today Thursday, Jan. 14, 2020.
In a resolution at the end of a meeting between JOHESU, Assembly of Allied Health Professionals and the Abia State Government, the Council expressed appreciation to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for approving and implementing the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) to all healthcare workers, civil service and Local Government Councils in the state.

According to the resolution signed by Dr Joe Osuji, the Commissioner for Health, and Sir. Onyii Wamah, the Head of Service, on behalf of the state government and state Chairman (MHWUN), Comrade Okoro Ogbonnaya, and all the Chairmen and Secretaries of the Council, “the Government of Abia State has shown commitment in the payment of salary arrears, having paid three months to Hospital Management Board staff and two months to the staff of Abia State University Teaching Hospital, and five months to staff of Abia State College of Health Sciences and Management Technology, in the month of Dec. 2020.”

The resolution added that the state government has approved the total sum of N4million as running cost for all the Health Authority Secretaries in the seventeen LGAs as well as agreed to involve JOHESU leadership in the staff verification exercise at the Hospitals Management Board and the Abia State University Teaching Hospital billed to begin soon.

It agreed that no any of the members of the Unions would be victimized because of the strike action while noting that JOHESU would have to recommence the strike with a seven-day notice should the government fail to keep its own part of the bargain.

UNICEF, WHO, IFRC and MSF announce the establishment of a global Ebola vaccine stockpile

The four leading international health and humanitarian organizations announced today the establishment of a global Ebola vaccine stockpile to ensure outbreak response.

The effort to establish the stockpile was led by the International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision, which includes the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), with financial support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The stockpile will allow countries, with the support of humanitarian organizations, to contain future Ebola epidemics by ensuring timely access to vaccines for populations at risk during outbreaks.

The injectable single-dose Ebola vaccine (rVSV∆G-ZEBOV-GP, live) is manufactured by Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Corp. and developed with financial support from the US government. The European Medicines Agency licensed the Ebola vaccine in November 2019, and the vaccine is now prequalified by WHO, and licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration as well as in eight African countries.
Before achieving licensure, the vaccine was administered to more than 350,000 people in Guinea and in the 2018-2020 Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo under a protocol for “compassionate use”.

The vaccine, which is recommended by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization for use in Ebola outbreaks as part of a broader set of Ebola outbreak response tools, protects against the Zaire ebolavirus species which is most commonly known to cause outbreaks.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is reminding us of the incredible power of vaccines to save lives from deadly viruses,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Ebola vaccines have made one of the most feared diseases on earth preventable. This new stockpile is an excellent example of solidarity, science and cooperation between international organizations and the private sector to save lives.”

UNICEF manages the stockpile on behalf of the ICG which, as with stockpiles of cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines, will be the decision-making body for its allocation and release.
The stockpile is stored in Switzerland and ready to be shipped to countries for emergency response. The decision to allocate the vaccine will be made within 48 hours of receiving a request from a country; vaccines will be made available together with ultra-cold chain packaging by the manufacturer for shipment to countries within 48 hours of the decision. The targeted overall delivery time from the stockpile to countries is seven days.

“We are proud to be part of this unprecedented effort to help bring potential Ebola outbreaks quickly under control,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “We know that when it comes to disease outbreaks, preparedness is key. This Ebola vaccine stockpile is a remarkable achievement – one that will allow us to deliver vaccines to those who need them the most as quickly as possible.”

As Ebola outbreaks are relatively rare and unpredictable, there is no natural market for the vaccine. Vaccines are only secured through the establishment of the stockpile and are available in limited quantities. The Ebola vaccine is reserved for outbreak response to protect people at the highest risk of contracting Ebola – including healthcare and frontline workers.

“This is an important milestone. Over the past decade alone we have seen Ebola devastate communities in West and Central Africa, always hitting the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest,” said IFRC Secretary General, Jagan Chapagain. “Through each outbreak, our volunteers have risked their lives to save lives. With this stockpile, it is my hope that the impact of this terrible disease will be dramatically reduced.”

“The creation of an Ebola vaccine stockpile under the ICG is a positive step”, said Dr Natalie Roberts, Programme Manager, MSF Foundation. “Vaccination is one of the most effective measures to respond to outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases, and Ebola is no exception. An Ebola vaccine stockpile can increase transparency in the management of existing global stocks and the timely deployment of the vaccine where it’s most needed, something MSF has called for during recent outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

An initial 6,890 doses are now available for outbreak response with further quantities to be delivered into the stockpile this month and throughout 2021 and beyond. Depending on the rate of vaccine deployment, it could take 2 to 3 years to reach the SAGE-recommended level of 500,000 doses for the emergency stockpile of Ebola vaccines. WHO, UNICEF, Gavi and vaccine manufacturers are continuously assessing options to increase vaccine supply should global demand increase.

Four Nigerians among 100 global outstanding nurses, midwives worldwide

Four Nigerians have been named among 100 outstanding women nurses and midwives’ leaders by Women in Global Health (WGH), as part of activities to mark the 2020 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

WGH in a statement on its website, yesterday, said the 100 women were chosen for heroism and service amidst global health challenges.

The Nigerian women listed are Mary Agholor, Edidiong Asanga, Emmanualla Inah and Onyinyechi Madu.

WGH said Agholor, born and bred in Ile-Ife, Osun State by Delta State parents, was the first Nigerian nurse to become a broadcaster as she founded the Nightingale Radio as a platform for nurses to speak out and express themselves, and to also serve as an information hub for nurses and nursing body, the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).

On Edidiong Asanga, WGH said she was the first and only nurse/midwife in Akwa Ibom State, who combined American and Nigerian sign languages for the care of hearing-impaired patients.

“Asanga has been a surgical nurse, midwife, and even legislative intern carrying out health policy analysis. She’s highly experienced and sensitive nurse-midwife with an exceptional record of providing stellar medical and emotional services to all kinds of patients.”

On Emmanuel Inah, WGH said that as practicing nurse and midwife, the school sent few of them to rural villages where none of them could neither speak the native language nor understood the culture, practices and beliefs.

WGH said Susan Madu was named “community hero” because her dedication deeply impacted the local midwifery nursing community, as well as the broader global health ecosystem.

Madu was also said to have contributed regularly to courses, healthcare, and movements at the grassroots level to improve access to quality healthcare through extensive research and intervention schemes.

“She participated extensively in research and community care work that positively impacted the lives of the poor and underprivileged in rural communities of Imo State, Nigeria. As a nursing officer at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi State, she was involved in activities at Cholera Treatment Centre to create awareness and carry out research on the 2014 cholera outbreak,” WGH said.

Daily Sun

Covid-19 2nd Wave: How Nigerians will cause fresh lockdown-FG

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 says the attitude of Nigerians will determine the imposition of a fresh lockdown amid the second wave of the pandemic.

Recall that in March 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari imposed a locked down on the FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States for over five weeks as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic.

But speaking on a television programme on Tuesday, PTF National Coordinator, Sani Aliyu, said Nigerians need to adhere to COVID-19 protocols not to risk another lockdown.

He noted that the task force has not decided on a fresh lockdown but public attitude will determine its next line of action.

Aliyu said, “A lockdown is not going to be decided by the PTF but it is going to be decided by the behaviour of the public when it comes to these rules. We have countries abroad that have very strict non-pharmaceutical intervention measures and everybody follows it. The flights are coming in, schools are open, churches are open and they don’t have Covid problem because everybody observes the rules.

“We definitely don’t want a lockdown and because we don’t want to lockdown, we need to make sure we do everything we can to prevent ourselves from reaching that state where the government will have to take action.”

See full list of vaccines each state will get from 100, 000Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines

The Federal Government has listed conditions for states to meet before the 100,000 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses being expected by the end of January would be released to them.

Jungle Journalist Media Limited learnt that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), during a webinar tagged “Sensitisation Meeting with Media Gatekeepers on Covid-19 Vaccine Introduction”, at the weekend, said no vaccine would be release to states until facilities such as cold chains were in place.

According to the Director, Logistics and Health Commodities, NHPCDA, Kubura Daradara, the vaccine must be administered within five days of receipt for it to remain potent, and only the states that show commitment would receive the doses when available.

She added that the 100,000 doses would be administered to 50,000 people, because each person has to take a second dose 21 days after taking the first.

The NPHCDA also released the details of how the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine doses would be distributed across states.

According to the Programme Manager, National Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centre (NPHCDA), Bassey Okposen, the country would receive 100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at the end of January.

Okposen, who stood in for the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, during his presentation at the webinar, said the vaccines would be administered around the last week of January or early February.

He explained further that, states with higher percentage of confirmed cases would be given additional doses.

He also noted that frontline health workers would be prioritised, while other batches would be administered to the elderly and vulnerable persons with co-morbidities based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

“We have other sources of vaccine that are non-mRNA, like the COVAX vaccine. The country and other stakeholders are working towards how they can get additional vaccines from the other countries like Russia and USA,” Okposen said.

“We want to assure all Nigerians that the vaccine is safe and effective. The vaccine will be introduced in four phases and this is due to the availability and quantity of the vaccine that will come in at any given time.

“When the vaccine arrives, in the plan, there’s going to be the prioritisation of persons to be given the vaccination so as to optimise the available resources and vaccines that will be received and this will be based on global best practices.

“In the first priority, when the limited doses first come in towards the end of this month and early February, will be the frontline health workers like immigration, airport, police and military on essential duties, those working in the labs and other medical practitioners.

“Those states with higher number of cases will be given additional doses. We’ve mapped out the health workers in each state and locations where these vaccines will be deployed as soon as we receive them. All the states in the country have cases and we need to get the vaccine to them all if we want to achieve herd immunity.”

In a data shared by NPHCDA, Kano, Lagos, Katsina, Kaduna, Bauchi, Oyo and Rivers would receive higher doses for health workers.

The breakdown is as follows: Kano, 3,557; Lagos, 3,131; Katsina, 2,361; Kaduna, 2,074; Bauchi, 1,900; Oyo, 1,848; Rivers, 1,766; Jigawa, 1,712; Niger, 1,558; Ogun, 1,473; Sokoto, 1,468; Benue, 1,423; Borno, 1,416; Anambra, 1,379; Kebbi, 1,361; Zamfara, 1,336; Imo, 1,267; Ondo, 1,228; Akwa Ibom, 1,161.

Others are: Adamawa, 1,129; Edo, 1,104; Plateau, 1,089; Enugu, 1,088; Osun, 1,032; Kogi, 1,030; Cross River, 1,023; Abia, 955; Gombe, 908; Yobe, 842; Ekiti, 830; Taraba, 830; Kwara, 815; Ebonyi, 747; Bayelsa, 589; FCT, 695; Nasarawa, 661.

This brings the total number of doses to be administered in the first phase/batch to 48,786.

It is, however, not clear what the Federal Government plans to do with the remaining 2,428 doses of the vaccine, out of the total 100,000 expected by the end of this month.

Okposen added that the Federal Government intends to administer the vaccine to, at least, 40 per cent of Nigerians in 2021, and another 30 per cent in 2022.

Schools may not resume January 18 due to Covid-19, says FG

The Federal Government has said that it is currently reviewing the January 18, 2021 resumption date for schools across the country due to the spike in Covid-19 cases.

It said that the date was not sacrosanct, hence the likely announcement of a new date, depending on the country’s Covid-19 indicator.

This disclosure was made by the Minister for Education, Adamu Adamu, at the resumed briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 in Abuja on Monday, January 11, 2021.

Adamu, in his statement, said, “When we decided on that date, it was just a target toward what we are working on. Of course, we are keeping it in view and looking at what is happening in the society and then it is supposed to be subject to constant review.

“Even today at the PTF meeting, we looked at the rising figures and thought we should probably take another look at it. On the Jan.18, 2021 date for school’s resumption, we are reviewing it,” he said.

The Minister also added that the issue was considered at the PTF meeting held on Monday, and the ministry would take it up on Tuesday.

Recall that the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, in December 2020, directed that schools across the country should remain closed until January 18, 2021, due to the surge in Covid-19 cases.

The Director-General of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, had warned that a significant rise in Covid-19 infections appeared imminent by January 2021 due to continued violations of safety protocols, especially during the Christmas period.

Delta State announces sale of forms into School of Nursing and Midwifery

It is hereby announced for the information of the general public particularly Deltans, that the Delta State Common Entrance Examination Committee (Nursing and Midwifery), has commenced the sales of forms and process of Entrance Examination into the following available programmes in the various State Schools of Nursing and Midwifery.

i. POST BASIC NURSING PROGRAMME for the award of Registered Nurse (R.N.)

· Schools – State Schools of Nursing Agbor, Eku and Warri

· Duration – 18 months

· Entry Qualification-Registered Midwives (R.M.)

· Application Form- Forms are obtainable in all the State Schools of Nursing. Application with enclosed receipt of payment and 2 passport photographs (coloured with white background) must be routed through the Principal of the school of applicant’s choice.

· Entrance Examination Date and Venue – Date: Saturday, January 30, 2021; Time: 10am prompt; Venue: State School of Midwifery, Asaba

ii. BASIC MIDWIFERY PROGRAMME for the award of Registered Midwifery (R.M.) Certificate

• Schools – State Schools of Midwifery, Asaba and Sapele

• Duration- 3 years

• Entry Qualification– Applicants must be between 17 and 25 years of age and must have five credits at SSCE/WASC O/L. NECO in English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Physics and Chemistry at not more than two sittings

• Application Form- Forms are obtainable in all the State Schools of Nursing and Midwifery. Application with enclosed receipt of payment and 2 passport photographs (coloured with white background) must be routed through the Principal of the school of applicant’s choice

• Entrance Examination Date and Venue – Date: Saturday, February 13, 2021; Time: 10am prompt; Venue: State School of Midwifery, Asaba

iii. BASIC NURSING PROGRAMME for the award of Registered Nurse (R.N.) Certificate

• Schools – State Schools of Nursing Agbor, Eku and Warri

• Duration –3 years

• Entry Qualification– Applicants must be between 17 and 25 years of age and must have five credits at SSCE/WASC O/L. NECO in English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Physics and Chemistry at not more than two sittings

• Application Form- Forms are obtainable in all the State Schools of Nursing and Midwifery. Application with enclosed receipt of payment and 2 passport photographs (coloured with white background) must be routed through the Principal of the school of applicant’s choice

• Entrance Examination Date and Venue – Date: Saturday, March 6, 2021; Time: 10am prompt; Venue: Federal College of Education (Technical), off Ibusa Road, Asaba.

. Candidates should endeavor to bring along with them writing materials and photocopy of their filled forms.

Due to the activities of scammers/fraudsters on the prowl, applicants should please note that forms are not sold or filled online but through a non-refundable fee of N10, 000.00 (ten thousand naira) only, payable to:

Account Name: Ministry of Health, Department of Nursing and Midwifery; Account

Number: 1015649624,

Bank: Zenith Bank.

Accordingly, interested candidates are by this announcement advised to obtain their forms and submit same as directed above.

Theresa Adiabua Oliko,

State Director of Information

NPHCDA, NCDC announces plan for COVID -19 vaccine distribution in Nigeria

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NCDC, has announced a distribution plan for the COVID-19 vaccine in the country, saying that the rate of infection in each state was the criterion used in the distribution.

It revealed the plan alongside the publication of the latest infection rates for the disease by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on its verified website.

Based on the rate of infection in the states, the distribution list of the COVID-19 vaccine indicated that Kano State will receive three thousand, five hundred and fifty-seven the highest, followed by Lagos, three thousand, one hundred and thirty-one.

The least vaccine, six hundred and sixty-one will go to Nasarawa State while Anambra State will receive one thousand, three hundred and seventy-nine among other states.

The NPHCDA said that though all of the states were getting less than four thousand vaccines from the first batch, the federal government had advised that frontline workers, like those in the health and security sectors, be given priority, as well as the elderly.

The agency said that the vaccine, expected to be administered in January and February, would be done in compliance with WHO standards as the federal government was also sourcing for more vaccines from other countries like Russia.