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Outbreak: Zamfara Govt. confirms 4 deaths, 177 cases



The Zamfara Commissioner for Health, Dr Aisha Anka has confirmed the outbreak of unknown illness in the state which recorded four deaths and 177 cases so far.

Anka confirmed this in a statement issued in Gusau on Friday by the Information Officer of the ministry, Malam Bello Ibrahim.

According to the commissioner, the disease is characterized by abdominal distension, accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, enlarge liver, enlarge spleen, fever and general body weakness.

“The illness is found in Maradun, Shinkafi and Gusau local government areas in the state.

“Children are mostly affected and the cases are associated with water consumptions.

“So far, four deaths have been recorded, 177 cases were detected,” Anka said.

“The incident has been reported to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), partners and all other relevant stakeholders.

“The ministry of health is currently on the emergency response phase to identify the illnesses and causes.

“Various biological human and animal samples, soil samples, water samples, agricultural and foodstuff samples have been taken to Lagos and Abuja laboratories for analysis.

“The ministry will continue to update the general public and all relevant stakeholders and partners on any update about the outbreak,”she added. (


Lack of access to menstrual products, facilities is a violation of rights of women — CSOs warn



By Rauf Oyewole, Bauchi

Coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) has said that period poverty, lack of access to menstrual products and facilities is a violation of the rights of women and adolescents to health, education and dignity.

Speaking during this year’s International Menstrual Hygiene Day, a coalition of the non-profit organisations whose interest cut across women, adolescents, children and health took to the Bauchi State Government to advocate for #UntaxMyPad.

The group which includes Women-for-Women International, Attah Sisters Helping Hand Foundation (ASHHF), Kairos Initiative, Child Is Gold Foundation, Alwadata Lifeline Initiative, CARD Initiative, SWOFON, NIWOREN, WOWICAN, LANGA, AIDCODE, Rotary Club Bauchi Centre among others said menstruation is a natural and essential part of life, yet it remains a topic considered a taboo in many cultures and societies.

“The silence and stigma surrounding menstruation have led to lack of access to proper menstrual hygiene facilities, products, and education affecting women and girls. It’s time to break the silence and advocate for menstrual hygiene and dignity.

“Research findings regarding the State of Menstrual Hygiene indicates that: 500 million women and girls worldwide lack access to menstrual products and facilities. 1 in 10 girls in Africa miss school due to lack of menstrual products.

“70 percent of women and girls in India use unhygienic materials during menstruation. Menstrual hygiene-related infections and illnesses are a significant public health concern.”

The group said that the consequences of poor menstrual hygiene include: Health complications, infections, toxic shock syndrome, and reproductive health issues.

They said that social and cultural stigma in menstruation is often seen as shameful or impure perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes. “Human rights violation: Lack of access to menstrual products and facilities is a violation of the rights of women and adolescents to health, education, and dignity.”

While speaking, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Child Development, Hajara Gidado reinstated the ministry’s commitment to the development of Bauchi children. She however pledged to collaborate with the CSOs and CEOs for effective operations.

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23 states receive funding to strengthen medical care services — Pate



23 states have been identified as beneficiaries of a federal government grant to strengthen medical care services in States.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Pate made this known at the sectoral ministerial press briefing to mark the first anniversary of President Bola Tinubu in office in Abuja.

Speaking, Pate revealed that the Federal Government has disbursed the first tranche of N25 billion of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the National Health Insurance Authority.

“We put a condition that states that will access those have to comply with the fiduciary guidelines that have been provided, responding to lapses that have been observed over here so that the resources go to Nigerians.

“Twenty-three states have received those funds, and I believe that the rest of the states are just about to complete and receive their financing to channel through the PHCs.”

He also highlighted that at least 1,400 centres can now provide skilled birth attendants.

According to him, more than 2,400 health workers – doctors, nurses, and midwives have been recruited in facilities to provide essential health services to Nigerians in rural areas.

This is as the Minister revealed that the enrolment quota in medical, nursing, and other health professional schools has been increased from 28,000 to 64,000 yearly.

Nigeria had over the years been one of the worst hit countries by brain drain losing over thousands of doctors to migration yearly.

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors revealed over 900 of its members left for Europe between January and September 2023.

Pate, however, said, “We have doubled the intake, the enrollment, the quotas of medical schools, nursing schools, and other health professionals’ schools from an enrollment target of 28,000 a year to 64,000 now.”

“That is just the first step, the education sector will have to play its role. The states will have to play in to improve the infrastructure, the training, and the tools to produce more healthcare workforce because we need to produce more healthcare workforce given that we’re losing some so that we can serve the population of this country,” He said

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HPV vaccine not meant to reduce African population – Oyo govt.



The Oyo State Government has declared that the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine is not an avenue to reduce population of Africa, contrary to insinuations.

Executive Secretary of Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board, Dr
Muideen Olatunji, made this declaration while addressing a press conference on Monday.

Olatunji, while addressing the journalists at the event held in Ibadan, the state capital, said that the state has launched the HPV Vaccine into the Extended Programme on Immunization (EPI) targeting girls between 9-14 years of age in the state.

He described cervical cancer as one of the most common forms of cancer that affects women, stressing that the disease must be tackled head-long.

He said that the vaccine was produced so as to prevent the disease and not to reduce the population.

Olatunji while speaking further, maintained that the government has launched the programme at St. Paul Anglican Primary School, Yanbule, Bashorun and over 300 pupils have been vaccinated.

Olatunji said, “It is pertinent to reiterate that the vaccine is not designed to reduce the population of the state. This is a demonstration of our continued partnership and indeed, collective efforts to protect young girls and citizens of the state against the prevalence of cervical cancer disease.

“Cervical cancer is a serious, and second most fatal cancer that affects women especially females of productive age.

“However, it’s important to note that Cervical cancer is a preventable disease, which can be controlled through routine human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine.

“We have trained and retrained those that will administer this vaccine, and there are supervisors who will regularly take measures of safety and there are measures put in place to checkmate the administration of these vaccines. We have a structure in place to reach every part of Oyo State.

“We want to make sure no one is left out in this vaccination, for this reason we must utilize the opportunity as critical stakeholders to significantly reduce the prevalence of this disease to protect the lives of our citizens, particularly young girls between the ages of 9 and 14.

Cervical cancer globally accounts for a huge number of deaths and is the fourth among the cancers that kill women in the world. HPV which causes cervical cancer is preventable, so what we are doing is cost-effective, and safe so that we don’t have to wait for treatment or management when cancer has set it. Prevention is better than treatment and cure.”

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