The Federal Government has ordered for a consignment of Morphine, a pain killer, following the high number of people dying of pains.
The government last imported the drug in 2010.
An estimated 177,000 patients are said to need the strong pain killers to stay alive.
According to the Director, Global Access to Pain Relief Initiative (GAPRI), Dr. Meg O’Brien, the Federal Ministry of Health is collaborating with the body to make essential pain medicines available in Nigeria. The government, she added, last week initiated an emergency procurement of morphine powder to be dispensed in the country.
She said the ministry signed the agreement with GAPRI to provide for the implementation of strategic interventions for the government.
The funding for the project, she said, was provided by Foundation Philanthropic, saying “GAPRI will provide technical support to assist with the procurement of morphine, its distribution, and scale-up of pain treatment services. We are hopeful that this important step forward by Nigeria, which is home to one in five Africans, signals the coming of a new era in government responses to the crisis of untreated pain.”
She said GAPRI is a point programme of the American Cancer Society and the Union for Intemational Cancer Control (UIIC) to make access to essential pain medicines universal by 2020. “GAPRI is working with the Federal Government and local non-governmental organisations in Uganda and Kenya to improve the supply of these medicines and support strategic advocacy efforts for this important global health issue”, she added.
Health Minister, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, said, “After extensive internal consultation, the ministry is pleased to announce new steps to make essential pain medicines available to Nigerians who need them.”
According to him, the National Cancer Control Programme of the Federal Ministry of Health has been leading national consultations on pain relief, including workshops on morphine production and control during the last two annual international Cancer Week conferences.
He said the civil society has added to the discussions, with support from the Cente for Palliative Care, Nigeria, the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Nigeria, the African Palliative Care Association and Hospice Africa Uganda. The output of these consultations was a comprehensive set of recommendations to move country, Chukwu added.
He said the availability of these essential medicines had been limited in recent years. But the Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), was making a bold plan of action to reverse the situation.
He said the Food and Drug Services Department of the ministry has initiated an emergency procurement of 25 kg of morphine powder to be dispensed to health facilities from the Central Medical Stores.
This, he said, will be carried out with technical support from the GAPRI and financial support from Foundation Philanthropia, saying “the Ministry of Health is adding a full-time consultant to the Food and Drug Services Department to assist the director in making these drugs available to patients who need them while preventing their misuse.
“The Ministry of Health is also undertaking three-year collaboration with the Global Access to Pain Relief Initiative to assist the government with improving the supply of these medicines and their availability for patients.”
HIV: FG Restates Commitment To Prevent HIV Among Adolescents
The Federal Government yesterday restated its commitment to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among adolescents in the country.
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with NACA, UNFPA, UNICEF, launched a document on prevention of HIV in Abuja.
The document is integrated into three titles; “The HIV Investment Case for Adolescents and Young People (2021-2025), The National Condom Operational Plan (2021-2025) and National Condom and Lubricants Quantification (2021-2025).”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Yahaya Oloriegbe, identified condom as key in the prevention of the spread of HIV among young people.
Oloruigbe, who commended the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and partners for the effort, called for local production of condoms.
“We need to look inwards by encouraging local manufacturing of condoms in view of government’s dwindling resources, as well as breaking away from over dependence on international donors,” he said.
The Director General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu,asserted the agency’s success in the containment of HIV through prevention and treatment responses.
Aliyu said that the country was committed to achieving the 2030 target of 95-95-95 through collaboration with stakeholders by investing in adolescents.
He added, “we have made huge success when it comes to treatment and prevention with drastic reduction in transmission.”
The NACA boss however affirmed the belief of the agency in using the document to achieve the 95-95-95 target for 2030.
Mrs Zainab Garba of the Federal Ministry of Health commended NACA for launching the document, saying it would enhance young people’s access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.
Garba reiterated the importance of condom in reducing the spread of HIV and maternal deaths among young people, saying it was key in preventing all manners of sexually transmitted infections.
Doctor Warns Against Indiscriminate Use Of Contraceptives
A medical expert, Dr Umar Musa, on Monday warned women against indiscriminate use of contraceptives.
Dr Musa, President, Kaduna State Resident Doctors Association, gave the advice when he spoke with newsmen in Kaduna, noted the indiscriminate consumption of contraceptives to ward off unwanted pregnancies and cautioned that while they could forestall unwanted pregnancies, contraceptives were not antidotes for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
He said there was a particular contraceptive pill in hot demand, but also cautioned that its indiscriminate consumption could delay conception or damage the uterus.
“Too much of this contraceptive will weaken the wall of the womb and damage the uterus which will cause miscarriages in the future.
“There are lots of risks associated with the constant use of this drug. Most ladies consume contraceptives in clinically unsafe ways.
“They use these drugs without knowing the way they interact with the body system and forgetting that people react to drugs in different ways,’’ he said.
Musa also advocated tighter restrictions on the sale of contraceptives and suggested that the use of condoms was an option to stave off unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
“While a condom may look like a major inconvenience and a fun killer for many, it would protect one from sexually transmitted diseases and prevent pregnancy”.
Covid-19: NCDC Records 213 New Infections, Two Deaths
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded 213 additional new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 171, 324, as of July 26, 2021.
The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle yesterday morning.
The health agency also stated that it recorded two Covid-19 related deaths on Monday, while additional nine people recovered from the virus, as of July 26, 2021.
It added that the new infections were recorded in 12 states, namely: Lagos-157, Rivers-20, Plateau-12, Enugu-6, Oyo-6, Gombe-3, Bauchi-2, Imo-2, Kaduna-2, Edo-1, Ekiti-1, and Ogun-1.
It noted that since the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease in the country on February 27, 2020, a total of 2,134 persons lost their lives, while 164,798 recovered from the virus and discharged from health centres across the country.
NCDC added that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 2, had continued to coordinate the national response activities.
It stated that the country tested more than 2.4 million samples for the virus and had detected 10 Covid-19 Delta variant, recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility.
The variant had been detected in over 100 countries and may spread further.
The variant has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation. There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics.
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