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Participation in pandemic treaty will strengthen Nigeria’s healthcare system – Minister

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The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said that Nigeria’s participation in the Pandemic Treaty would strengthen her healthcare system as well as build resistance against pandemics .

Ehanire made this known at a High-Level Meeting on Nigeria’s Engagement on the Pandemic Treaty and IHR Amendment on Tuesday in Abuja.

The minister said the rapid spread of COVID-19 had shown that global health threats cannot be contained by one country alone and that international cooperation was essential to prevent and respond to pandemics.

Ehanire said: “The pandemic treaty is an ongoing effort to improve preparedness and response to future pandemics by promoting international cooperation and coordination .

“This treaty also aims to ensure that all countries are better equipped to deal with the next pandemic reducing the impact on health systems economies and societies .

“As a country with a large population and a vital role in West Africa, Nigeria must play a significant role in the pandemic treaty process .

“Nigerian government must engage in these negotiations to ensure that citizens are adequately protected from future pandemics and that the country can contribute to global health security. ”

Ehanire said that Nigeria’s pandemic treaty participation had many benefits, adding that the country can adapt the treaty’s provision to suit her needs as well as protect the citizens against pandemics .

He added that Nigeria could ensure access to vaccinations and medicines by engaging in treaty discussions. .

“Nigeria can improve global health by negotiating the pact; the deal should strengthen the global health system and pandemic response,”he added.

According to Ehanire, the country has not yet been able to advance a robust contribution to the development of the draft document.

The minister added: “We also as well understand the implications to the sectors of the country, particularly the health security, national security and economy.”

Ehanire said that the objective of the high-level meeting was to articulate and develop a position in collaboration with all the relevant sectors that will be represented at the future INB meetings.

Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), who spoke on the International Health Regulations (IHR ) (2005) Amendment: Overview said that ,Nigeria’s role in the pandemic treaty negotiations would strengthen international relationships.

Adetifa said that by working together on global health issues, countries would build trust and cooperation, which would have positive effects on other areas of international relations.

He said that Nigeria was working out modal to have a comprehensive document so as to enhance disease control in the nation.

Dr Emmanuel Agogo, Country Director, Resolve to Save Lives, said the meeting was to discuss about global governance infrastructure for health security after the COVID-19 .

Agogo said that globally, there were systems in place like the IHR 2005 ,helping countries prepare ,detect and respond to pandemic outbreaks.

He said that the WHO and global actors decided that they would strengthen the IHR and develop a global treaty to address pandemics

Agogo said’: “So, what this meeting is to get Nigeria to think about these two documents, the global governance infrastructure.

“We will also have a clear direction based on the experience of COVID-19 on how the country should engage with this global architecture.

“So, what the NCDC highlighted here are some of the changes that are being proposed, so the country still needs to look at these proposed changes .

“The question is that, does the country agree with these ?And if it doesn’t, how do you intend to change it?

“The bottom line is that these documents are zero drafts which all other countries are expected to sit down and look at and see how to negotiate to benefit their people,”

Health

LASHMA begins regulatory compliance of health facilities

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Healthcare facilities under the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) will be receiving visitors from the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) as the agency begins compliance visits.

The Permanent Secretary, LASHMA, Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, while flagging off the Quarter two facility compliance visit said the move is to ensure quality healthcare and customer satisfaction by all its Enrollees.

Commending the Healthcare Providers which have been outstanding in their service delivery to ILERA EKO Enrollees, she noted that LASHMA has also received some negative feedback from the Enrollees about the way that they have been treated by Providers. Therefore, the Agency cannot fold its arms and allow its Enrollees to continue to be disenfranchised by the Providers.

Dr. Zamba said, “The Agency is constantly up on a complaint that follows a particular trend before we act.”

She added that the negative complaints received from Enrollees included drug unavailability, payment for covered services by the Enrollees, bad attitude and rudeness from some of the hospital personnel.

The Permanent Secretary said that during the visits, any hospital that has a high number of complaints, will be given a Letter of warning and if such complaints continue without being checked, LASHMA, will not hesitate to sanction the Hospital in accordance with the provisions of the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) Law.

She advised Providers not to hesitate to also report to the Agency any Enrollee who is not of good conduct when visiting the Hospital.

Dr. Zamba urged ILERA EKO Healthcare Providers to ensure that they capture all utilisation by the Enrollees in their respective Hospitals because data collection is key in Health insurance.

The Permanent Secretary said that the State Government would continue to support the Healthcare facilities in terms of training and capacity building to ensure the delivery of quality service to its Enrollees.

She appealed to Healthcare Providers in the State who are not yet empanelled under the Lagos State Health Scheme to do so immediately so that together, the State Government can attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Public and private hospitals visited so far included St. Raphael Hospital, Ikorodu, Ita Elewa Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC), Isolo General Hospital, Shomolu General Hospital, R-Jolad Hospital, Bariga, Epe General Hospital, Epe and Akoka Primary Healthcare Centre, Bee-Hees Hospital, Akowonjo, Orile Agege GH, Ifako Ijaiye GH, Epe GH and Badagry PHC, Siloan Medical Centre, Ejigbo.

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Outbreak: Zamfara Govt. confirms 4 deaths, 177 cases

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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. (

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Health

Assembly passes Kano Pre-Marital Health Screening Bill

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Kano State House of Assembly has passed a bill for a law to compel intending couples to undergo HIV, hepatitis and sickle cell anaemia screening before marriage.

The passage followed deliberations in the Committee of the Whole House during plenary session,
presided over by the Speaker, Ismail Falgore on Monday in Kano.

After deliberations, the lawmakers approved the 3rd reading of the bill, read by the Deputy Clerk, Alhaji Nasiru Magaji.

Shortly after passage of the bill, the Majority Leader of the house, Lawan Hussein (NNPP-Dala), stated that “any person
intending to marry shall first submit self for medical examinations.”

He said the bill was considered and passed after the 3rd reading, following various legislative processes.

The leader further said that the bill was passed because the state had been battling with different health issues, including
HIV because people go into marriages without medical screening.

He said that the bill, if signed into law, would save many lives and curb the spread of life-threatening diseases.

“The bill will safeguard the health of citizens by institutionalising pre-marital testing to check the spread of diseases
like hepatitis, HIV and sickle cell anaemia,” he added.

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