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Health Of The State

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The Rivers State Government has since the Governor Amaechi-led administration, taken healthcare delivery a notch higher than its predecessors.

The healthcare policies of the State have been expanded to make healthcare delivery accessible to and affordable by all residents of the State since the last one year of Governor Amaechi’s second term in office.

Whereas the State operated free medical service to children of six years and below and adults of 60 years and above in his first tenure, the programme is now open to all residents of the State who can show prove of residency and tax payments. Under this scheme, residents, irrespective of whether they are indigenes or not could register and enjoy the services without any hitches.

Also, of the 160 Primary Health Centres that the administration promised as provide in the State, 118 have been completed and inuse after the first 60 were commissioned in the governor’s first tenure.

According to the Director Public Health, of the State ministry of Health, Akuro Okujagu, each of the healthcentres have one doctor with the health centres in high density areas having two or three as the case may be.

Under the Amaechi-led administration, the emergency response service called the Emergency Medical Service has also being given a boost since the last one year. The EMS comprises of ambulances which are centralized with the base at Braithwaite Memorial Special Hospital (BMSH) while the ambulances are located at specific points across the State which when a call is put through to the base an ambulance closest to the victim is dispatched.

The State has also put marine ambulances at strategic positions across the riverine areas to cover the difficult to reach places to deliver quality and affordable healthcare to the people.

During the recent outbreak of lassa fever, the State rapidly put together 20 member rapid response team to sensitise and educate the public on the dangers the situation posed.

The State also sponsored and equipped a ward at UPTH to secure victims of the lassa rats. Also equipment and personal protection equipment were bought for health workers to wear as well as vehicles.

In its bid to eliminate mosquito from the State, serious interventions against the vector has intensified where the State concluded in collaboration with Cuban authority plans to build a bio-larvicidal factory where the larvicide could be produced to destroy mosquitoes.

The State was embarked on aerial spraying and the distribution of long lasting insecticidal nets and billions of bottles of bio-larvicides to kill the vector larval stage.

In all the Rivers State Health Sector, has witnessed revolutionary changes since the advent of the government of His Excellency Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi in October 2007.

Vision of The Amaechi Government

The State Government under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi has adopted a system of health-care whose thrust is anchored on Primary Care with the following specific objectives:

Provision of quality and standard health facilities, provision of efficient, effective and affordable health services, availability of well qualified and motivated staff at all health facilities, provision of health services to vulnerable groups at government cost, co-ordinated State Health Plan supported by appropriate budgetary allocation, in order to ensure that any health policy adopted is implemented, the State has made adequate budgetary provision for health.

Strategies for Implementation of Vision

In order to implement the vision of Government, the following strategies were adopted, Health Summit for all Stakeholders in health was held on 5th & 6th February 2008, Governor Chibuike Amaechi held meeting with Doctors in the State on the way forward in the health sector. So far, three other such meetings have been held during the period under review, Health Insurance Conference to determine the best option in its implementation (27th & 28th May 2008), budgetary allocation to Health meeting WHO standard for the first time in the history of the State, adoption of Public-Private Partnership in health resulting the several projects being carried out simultaneously for the first time in the State.

These strategies yielded results, some of which are tabulated below as follows:

To ensure proper service integration among all levels of health care through the establishment of a Primary Health Care Board, Manpower development programme should be put in place, Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) is accepted and workable especially in areas of scarcity and deficiencies. Government should commit to the funding and implementation of all aspects of PPP in health on a continuous basis, there should be sustained maintenance culture of all infrastructure and equipment, Infrastructural Development for health, development of a Co-ordinated State wide Health Plan, government should take responsibility for the health of the vulnerable in the society.

As a result, the following steps have been taken.

Re-orientation workshop for Heads of health establishments (Ministry, Hospitals, health units in LGA) held from 4th – 8th August 2008 as a first step, re-training of all categories of staff is being planned, recruitment of Staff to address the severe manpower shortages is ongoing, Construction of Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte Mega Hospital at a site within the Greater Port Harcourt is being undertaken at the cost of $150million on a PPP basis, maintenance contracts are being instituted for different equipment in the Hospitals, government has embarked on massive infrastructural development especially Primary Health Centres and Hospitals.

Other Strategies Employed for Implementation of Vision include:

Employment of doctors, nurses and other health workers to man the primary health centres, provision of Social Insurance through the Free Medical Care Programme and overseas treatment programme, expansion of Emergency Medical Services with the provision of a Base Station and call center with emergency telephone services to cater for all emergencies, strengthening of existing special programmes as follows:

Creation of the State Agency on HIV/AIDS, presentation of Executive Bill on the establishment of Primary Health Care Development Board, World Bank supported Malaria Control Booster Project.

Integrated Mother, Neonatal & Child Health (IMNCH) strategy inaugurated in partnership with the Institute of Child Health in UNIPORT), constitution of Task Force on Health and Allied Health Institutions, establishment of a Reference Medical Laboratory in BMSH, provision of Standard accommodation for Medical Interns, re-accreditation of the Department of Family Medicine for post-graduate training, an Auto-disabled Syringe factory, which will also manufacture intravenous fluids has been completed and commissioned with technical partnership from Pan African Health Foundation. The factory shall be expanded in the next few years to serve the total syringe needs of the country and West   Africa.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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Monkeypox: NCDC Registers 59 Suspected Cases, 15 Confirmed

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has registered 59 suspected cases of Monkeypox with 15 confirmed, its Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said yesterday in Abuja.
Ihekweazu was reacting to the Dallas, Texas resident who recently returned from Nigeria and tested positive to the disease.
The Tide source reports that it was the first confirmed case of the virus in the U.S. since 2003, with health officials saying that the public should not be concerned.
Laboratory tests confirmed that the patient was infected with a strain of the virus mainly seen in West Africa, which included Nigeria.
“While rare, this case is not a reason for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public,” Dallas County Judge, Clay Jenkins, said in a statement by Dallas County’s health department.
With passengers wearing masks on the flight and in the airport, the health department said that the risk of spreading monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports was low.
Ihekweazu told The Tide source that just as the agency responded to other epidemic prone diseases in the country, an outbreak would be declared when there was a large cluster of monkeypox cases that constituted an emergency.
“The Federal Government was notified of the situation in Texas, through the International Health Regulations (IHR), who reported a case of monkeypox disease diagnosed in a patient who had recently visited Nigeria”, he said.

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Covid-19: UNIPORT Directs Compulsory Use Of Face Masks

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The management of the University of Port Harcourt on Monday made compulsory the use of face masks in its campuses over concerns of third wave of Covid-19 in the country.
The Federal Government on Sunday put six states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on red alert following the emergence and possible rising cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 infection.
The affected states, which are spread across four of the country’s six geopolitical zones of South-West, South-Wouth, North-West and North-Central are Lagos, Oyo, Rivers, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau and the nation’s capital, FCT.
A statement issued in Port Harcourt by the chairman of UNIPORT’s Steering Committee on Covid-19, Prof. Siminialayi Iyeopu, quoted the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Owunari Georgwill, as issuing the directive.
According to Georgewill, the university is worried about the rising number of new cases and hospitalisation from the pandemic in the country.
“So, the mandatory use of face masks shall commence effective Monday, July 19, in UNIPORT.
“Every member of the university community must wear a face mask and observe all Covid-19 protocols for all indoor activities, including examinations and lectures, as well as meetings”, the VC said.

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Boosting Vision And Immunity With Herbs

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Boosting ones immunity and eyesight is key to better health. The eyes play key role in keeping one alert of the environment and relationship. The immune system helps to stabilize and keep us going as human beings. A stable immune system is vital for survival and wellbeing.
Over the years, scientists have discovered that Vitamin A is germane to healthy eyes and strong immune system. They are a group of fat-soluble antioxidant compounds. It is considered an essential vitamin, and performs a large number of roles in the body including maintaining vision, supporting the immune system and aiding gene transcription. Unfortunately, vitamin A deficiencies are becoming increasingly common worldwide. These deficiencies, which can result in deteriorating eyesight, rough skin and greater susceptibility to disease, are almost always caused by poor diet. Therefore, the best way to increase one’s vitamin A intake is to simply eat more whole foods that are rich in it. This article focuses on the greatest sources of carotenoids, the plant-based form of vitamin A.
Excellent plant-based sources of vitamin A:
Turemeric -This cousin of ginger is packed with lots of Vitamin A essential for better vision. The yellow colour of turmeric makes it one of the most viable source of vitamin A. The carotenoids in Turmeric also help boost immunity. The better aspect of the spice is that its less hot and calmer to the tongue and stomach than ginger.
Garlic – This king of spice is highly packed with lots of immune boosting agents called allicin. Garlic has other ingredients that helps make it as an immune booster and these include its antifungal and microbial virtues. Egyptians of the old used to eat garlic to strengthen their immune system.
Sweet Potatoes – Despite their name, sweet potatoes are only distantly related to regular potatoes, and their nutritional value is greater. For example, whereas cooked white potatoes contain only minimal amounts of vitamin A, cooked sweet potatoes are packed with it. In fact, just one ounce of these starchy, sweet-tasting root vegetables contains more than one hundred percent of the RDI — more than any other regular vegetable. They’re also a good source of fiber and vitamin C. However, sweet potatoes are an acquired taste and liking regular potatoes is no indication that one will like sweet ones.
Carrots – That carrots are rich in vitamin A shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows that beta-carotene, one of the most important provitamin A carotenoids, was named after them. Yes, eating one ounce of these popular orange vegetables supplies the body with 95 percent of the RDI, as well as decent amounts of manganese, fiber and vitamin K. Generally speaking, the deeper the orange color, the more beta-carotene the carrot contains.
Many spices, such as cayenne pepper and paprika, are also excellent sources of carotenoids. These spices can help give nutritionally-average meals an added boost of essential vitamins.
Good animal sources of vitamin A:
Though most people obtain the bulk of their vitamin A from the carotenoids present in plant foods, the preformed vitamin A (“retinoids”) found in animal products shouldn’t be overlooked. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website, cow’s milk is the best source of retinoids, with shrimp, eggs and salmon following thereafter. Since vitamin A is stored in the liver, it’s unsurprising that liver contains more vitamin A than any other part of the animal, with veal liver containing the most of all.
Culled from natural news.com

By: Kevin Nengia

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