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AGPMPN, AHAPN Want Health Reform, Industrial Harmony

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The Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria and the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria have called for a health reform and industrial harmony.
The Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of AGPMPN, Dr Tunji Akintade, in an interview with newsmen, said a reform of the health sector in Lagos State would address the challeges facing the state health insurance scheme.
“We got a letter in November from the Lagos State Government, which said they wanted to review the Lagos State Health Law. I believe this is long overdue. There is a need for health reform in the state and we commend the government for thinking in this direction.
“The content of the reform must come up with solutions that will address current issues relating to the state health insurance. The costing is abysmally low. We cannot price the health of the public service and the private sector together. The private sector has taxes and overhead costs to settle, while government cannot pay tax to itself,” he said.
Akintade also urged state government to make available a health bank to furnish and service health facilities in the state.
“Quality health delivery comes with a price. There must also be clarity and transparency in the system. We do not have a real system in the health sector and that is one of the problems of the health insurance scheme,” he added.
The National Chairman, AHAPN, Dr Kingsley Amibor, in a statement issued on Tuesday, called for industrial harmony in the health sector.
“We are collaborating with our parent body, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, regulatory agencies like the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, as well as sister associations, such as the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, the Nigerian Association of Industrial Pharmacists, the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists in Academia and several others to achieve our corporate goals.
“We are not at loggerheads with the government. We are ready to partner with any and all groups, including the media, that will assist us to achieve our goals.
“Based on the need to maintain transparency and integrity at all times, we did assure our members of an open door policy with accountability as our watchword.
“We have definitely made progress with our eight-point agenda. We are also working hard and fast towards the institutionalisation of pharmaceutical care in our hospitals. Our specialisation agenda is on course and our public enlightenment campaigns are equally on course,” Amibor said.
He added that the association’s efforts at integrating its members under one umbrella were also yielding positive results.

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COVID-19: Minister Urges Women To Stock Homes

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The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, has advised women to stock their homes with food, vegetables and water so as to remain at home to minimise the spread of the the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic.
Tallen, at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, also urged women to comply with proper sanitary requirements and restrict movements among family members.
The news conference focused on the gender dimension to the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
According to her, women play a vital role in curtailing the spread of the disease as they are charged with care giving and home-management, both within and outside their homes.
“The women play a crucial role hence the need for them to adhere strictly to directives to curb the spread of the virus in the society.
“In view of these realities and to join the crusade to protect lives, it has become imperative for women, especially mothers, to comply with state directives and adhere to these basic guidelines.
“Stock food, vegetable and water at home. Be extra cautious in sourcing water, firewood and local herbs; stock adequate sanitary materials, including soap, detergents, disinfectants and personal toiletries.
“Sanitisation instructions, including washing hands with soap and water, use of sanitisers and fumigation of the home and environments, are necessary,” she said.
She also appealed to corporate organisations and business operators to support and provide palliative measures that would cushion the effect of the pandemic on the citizenry.
“I will also like to, on behalf of Nigerian women, appeal to corporate organisations and well-meaning businessmen and women to understand the peculiar predicament of women in managing homes at this crucial time, and extend support and palliative measures to buffer the homes and assist the ministry in safeguarding lives.”
The minister, while commending female health workers in the frontline of providing healthcare to those affected by the virus, also appreciated the efforts of other relevant stakeholders and the government for their quick intervention and support in addressing the pandemic.
She also appealed to women groups and organisations to respect constituted authority and adhere to all government directives on hosting of public events such as village meetings, town meetings, weddings, burials, celebrations and all festive activities during the period.
Our correspondent reports that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)’s statistics, as at 2.00 p.m. on March 24, indicated that Nigeria had 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with two patients discharged and one death recorded.

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Medical Expert Wants Governors To Restict Intra, Inter – State Movement

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A medical expert, Dr Joan Aku, has advised governors to restrict intra and inter states movement as a measure to contain the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
Aku, who works with the Nasarawa State Hospital Management Board, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Jos.
She said restricting people to their homes for at least two weeks would reduce the spread of the virus and those infected could be easily identified and attended to.
The expert who decried that government, particularly at the state levels were not doing enough to contain the dreaded disease, said allowing people to go about their normal business poses serious threat.
She said Nigerians were at risk particularly that no Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) were made available for people to use.
“If only Nigerians will stay where they are, we will all be safe. We can only contain the disease with restriction.
“One person can infect many people without even knowing because some don’t have to cough or sneeze, but just by coming in contact with the virus can infect many.
“So, state governments must be proactive; they should restrict movement within their domain at least for two weeks.
“With such move, those who are infected can be easily identified, isolated and attended to,” she said
She called on state governments to provide protective equipment at hospitals and other key places to enable health workers also protect themselves.
She also urged relevant government agencies to intensify sensitisation of people on preventive measures.

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Nigeria Ranks First Among Countries With Highest TB Burden In Africa – Commissioner

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The Taraba State Commissioner for Health, Dr Innocent Vakkai, says Nigeria ranks first with Tuberculosis (TB) burden in Africa and sixth globally.
Vakkai made this known during the World Tuberculosis Day in Jalingo on Tueday.
He said 18 Nigerians die hourly from TB, while 49 develop active TB, seven of which are children, according to the KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation’s report.
He lamented that 4,000 people die of TB daily and 300,000 fall ill from preventable and curable diseases.
“TB remains one of the World’s deadliest infectious killers responsible for the death of at least 4,000 people each day and close to 300,000 infections,” he said.
Vakkai said that Taraba government had shown impressive support toward ending TB through provision of human resources, good working environment for the state team and partners.
He implored the citizenry to collectively support the World Health Organisation in its fight against TB.

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