The Federal Government says it has developed a national policy for controlled medicines and its implementation Strategies to prevent drug diversion and abuse.
Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, disclosed this at the launch of Drug-Related Health Policies and Guidelines in Abuja, Monday.
He said that the government collaborated with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to develop the policy.
Adewole, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Osarenoma Uwaifo, said the measure was to ensure sustained availability and access to controlled medicines for medical and scientific purpose in the country.
He stated that it was regrettable that narcotics, which were mostly abused, remained largely unavailable and inaccessible for medical use in the country.
According to him, the report released by Global Access to Pain Relief Initiative (GAPR) in 2012 showed that only 0.1 per cent to patients with HIV/AIDS and Cancer could access narcoties.
The Minister added that many categories of patients who required narcotic medicines to manage moderate and severe pain in Nigeria could not access them.
He said that patients suffering from injuries caused by accident and violence, some chronic illnesses and those recovering from surgery, were also confronted with the challenge.
Adewole said that the problem of inaccessibility was attributed to limited quantification of annual requirements and inadequate and irregular release of funds for procurement.
According to him, others are limited supply chain mechanism, poor prescription practices and issues of fear and stigma among healthcare workers and the general populace.
He said that the new policy and guidelines would address the gaps and improve the provision of life-saving medications for Nigerians.
The minister noted that the policy was anchored on patient’s needs, human rights and global best practices.
He stated that the policy also elaborated practical approaches to ensure improved availability and accessibility to controlled medicines.
He explained that the policy articulated a comprehensive policy framework that clearly described the supply chain with embedded quality assurance mechanisms and adequate provision to prevent diversion.
In her remarks, Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Moji Adeyeye, said the agency had stepped up and renewed commitment in tackling use of controlled drugs in the country.
Adeyeye disclosed that in the next few weeks, she would launch a campaign in collaboration with Young Pharmacy Group to sensitise young boys and girls in schools on controlled drugs.
She said, “just this morning, officials of NAFDAC intercepted two trucks of Tramado and it is being investigated, we shall address the press when we conclude our investigations”.
Commissioner Lauds Navy On Covid-19 Containment
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
Covid-19: Pregnant Woman, 15 Others Die In Edo
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.
Agency Trains 40 Health Officers On Emergency Response
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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