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HIV/AIDS: Institute Seeks Increased FG’s Funding

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The Institute of Human Vi
rology (IHVN) has called for  an increased Federal Government investment in  the fight against HIV/AIDS in order to move from being a donor recipient nation.
The Chief Executive Officer  of the Institute, Mr Patrick Dakum, made the call while speaking with newsmen at a forum in Abuja, last Sunday.
He said that if the government could provide adequate funding to combat the disease, donor countries would only need to give complementary and technical assistance.
“ Given the burden of the disease and the current support that is there, the level of government support is still within the region of 20-30 per cent so far of the total funding currently being provided for the fight against HIV.
“ And from the donor perspective and implementing partner perspective we definitely want to see increased commitment and funding by government.
“ In the last government we were informed of a plan called the presidents comprehensive response plan which was supposed to provide close to about $500 million from the government but I am not too sure that money was made available,” Dakum stated.
He said that the U.S. government had begun a process called “country ownership“, adding that there was need for Nigeria to take more responsibility in terms of providing funds to agencies responsible for the control of the virus.
According to Dakum, there is currently enough manpower to take charge of the implementation of various programmes.
He, however, noted that lack of financing was a major challenge.
“What is key for us now is adequate and effective funding. I say adequate the amount must be right and effective it must be used in the right place because you can have a budget but the budget is not used for what the needs are.
“Different states have different needs. You have states where the infrastructure is ok they probably need to take responsibility for lab support take responsibility for drugs.
“For some other states especially where you have high disease burden it is a combination of everything. The government must play its role in ensuring prevention services are ongoing they must also partner with donor agencies in taking responsibility for the care of the patients.
“ Then second of course is community involvement, a government cannot do it alone, it’s a partnership. Community involvement in terms of prevention and care is very crucial to an AIDS free generation.“
The CEO said that the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) was currently working with the implementing partners to provide equipments and properly monitor the disease in two states.
He said the development would enable relevant agencies monitor the effectiveness of the plan in order to transmit same to more states.
Dakum reiterated the institutes resolve to continue to provide support to both public and private sector hospitals in Nigeria in accordance with the framework of the Nigerian health sector plan strategic plan.
He observed that the support the institute received was largely from the global fund and that the funds enabled the institute to procure equipment, anti-retroviral drugs, training and technical support of its staff.
He said: “With the global fund, as principal recipients we have received about $11 million and we are looking forward to what the new funding mechanism for the global fund will provide in terms of funding.
“The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was provided with funding from the US government to provide a laboratory that can be a quality check whenever there is an outbreak of any disease.
“The building is almost ready and the institute of Virology charged with the responsibility of providing equipments, capacity and training for the laboratory personnel has done so as the equipments are already available.
“This equipments cost about a $1 million and this fund was provided by the US government through the NCDC.“
Dakum, however, said that the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS (PEPFA) had been providing funding to the institute, adding that in 2010 it received $3.8 million grant, which lasted four years.
According to Dakum, there is currently enough manpower to take charge of the implementation of various programmes but lack of financing has been a major challenge.
“What is key for us now is adequate and effective funding. I say adequate the amount must be right and effective and must be used in the right place because you can have a budget but the budget is not used for what the needs are.

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Commissioner Lauds Navy On Covid-19 Containment

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Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, has lauded efforts made so far by the Naval Command at Borokiri, Port Harcourt, towards checking the trend of the Covid-19 pandemic in the State.
Making the commendation recently when the naval medical team paid him a courtesy call in his office, the commissioner stated that the state government and Rivers people appreciate the fact that the naval health facility is made accessable to people living in their environment and beyond.
“The  Rivers State Government appreciates all your effort aimed at curbing the spread of the Corona Virus in line with your corporate social responsibility for host communities in the state by making your (health) facility accessible”, he said.
Prof Chike continued that, “the job of every health personnel is humanitarian. Lives of citizens of our country are paramount and should therefore not be compromised”.
While assuring that the state government is doing everything possible to fight the spread of the pandemic, the commissioner stated that he’ll personally pay occasional visits to the naval healthcare facility, and also assured of the preparedness of the state ministry of health to partner with other private healthcare delivery services.
“The State Ministry of Health (MOH) is committed in partnering with other private health facilities in the state to curb the spread of the ravaging pandemic”, he said.
Speaking earlier, the Commander, Naval Medical Centre Borikiri, Navy Captain U. O. Nzeribe-Agbangwu, said the navy health services were not restrained to its personnel but extended to other individuals who need to access the facility for heart care. 
The commander said, “over 70 percent of our patients are civilians, and, in line with our corporate social responsibility, we constructed a borehole for supply of water to the host community”.
Nzeribe-Agbangwu also expressed satisfaction over the support the Naval healthcare facility got from the ministry in the heat of the pandemic in 2020.

By: Sogbeba Dokubo

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Covid-19: Pregnant Woman, 15 Others Die In Edo

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The Edo State Government has confirmed the death of a 33-year-old pregnant woman at Stella Obasanjo Hospital in Benin and 15 other persons across other Covid-19 facilities.
Head of the state’s Coronavirus Case Management, Dr Ebomwonyi Osagie, who disclosed this at the daily press briefing on the virus, however, said that the victims were not vaccinated.
“This particular patient came in and died about three hours after presentation at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital; late presentation is a major issue in managing crisis.
“She is about 28 weeks pregnant, already having pre-eclampsia, so, the debate is actually if it is the pre-eclampsia that killed her or Covid-19.
“The woman has Covid-19, which pushed her more toward developing pre-eclampsia and then death. Some other women have pre-eclampsia and are successfully managed.
“Late presentation is an issue, because the patient died three hours after presentation, which means that there is little that would have been done to manage the situation, so, we are appealing to private hospitals to let patients go very early for treatment.
“So far, a total of 537 samples were collected, with a total of 1,004 confirmed cases, 103 recovered and were discharged and 16 deaths recorded within 48hours.
“We have 70 people in admission, 296 people in home care, 344 discharged and 50 deaths, since the outbreak of the pandemic,” Osagie said.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Osamwonyi Irowa, said that the cases were rising, with more people being admitted, just as the state was recording very high mortality from COVID-19.
Irowa further said that vaccination was fighting the pandemic and appealed to residents to avail themselves the opportunity of taking COVID-19 vaccines made available by the Federal and state governments.

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Agency Trains 40 Health Officers On Emergency Response

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The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) on Monday kicked off a two-week capacity building programme in Lagos for Nigerian experts on public health emergency response.
The training seeks to certify the first cohort of 40 participants drawn from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), state-level ministries of health, Nigeria Port Health Services, and  Nigerian military in the Public Health Emergency Management Professional Certification (PHEM PC).
The US-CDC Nigeria Country Director, Mary Boyd, said: “The devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic illustrates now more than ever the importance of ensuring the public health and health care systems can adequately prevent, respond to, and recover from health emergencies.
“Particularly those whose scale, timing, or unpredictability threatens to overwhelm routine capabilities,”  a statement by the mission in Lagos, quoted.
The Tide source reports that PHEM PC training, a first of its kind in Nigeria, adapted from US-CDC Atlanta, equips emergency managers, incident managers, state epidemiologists, first responders, watch managers, and other public health experts with the knowledge, competencies and skill sets they need to respond to public health emergencies.
During the intensive programme, participants will receive specialised training in crisis and emergency risk communication as well as public health emergency management functions and operations.
The PHEM training is part of the U.S. Government’s efforts to support pandemic preparedness globally.
The US-CDC, NCDC, and Georgetown University are collaborating to deliver this training.
In 2019, Nigeria became a Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) partner country committed to achieving GHSA 2024 targets and International Health Regulations (IHR) requirements.
US-CDC supports the Government of Nigeria (GON) to achieve these targets by strengthening workforce development, surveillance, emergency response, and laboratory capacity among other areas.

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