COVID-19 Delta variant present in 104 countries – WHO
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that the COVID-19 Delta variant was ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in cases and deaths from COVID-19.
WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said this at a media briefing on COVID-19 on Monday at WHO headquarters in Geneva.
In his speech posted on WHO website, the director-general said last week marked the fourth consecutive week of increasing cases of COVID-19 globally, with increases recorded in all but one of WHO’s six regions.
He said after 10 weeks of declines, deaths were increasing again such that “the Delta variant is ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in cases and death.
“Not everywhere is taking the same hit though, we’re in the midst of a growing two-track pandemic where the haves and have-nots within and between countries are increasingly divergent.
“In places with high vaccination coverage, Delta is spreading quickly; especially infecting unprotected and vulnerable people and steadily putting pressure back on health systems,’’ he said.
He added that in low-income countries, exhausted health workers were battling to save lives among shortages of personal protective equipment, oxygen and treatments.
Ghebreyesus explained that vaccines had never been the way out of the crisis on their own, but the current wave is demonstrating what a “powerful tool they are”.
“We are experiencing a worsening public health emergency that further threatens lives, livelihoods and a sound global economic recovery.
“It is definitely worse in places that have very few vaccines, but the pandemic is not over, anywhere,” he added.
The WHO’s head reiterated that the global gap in vaccine supply was hugely uneven and inequitable.
“Some countries and regions are actually ordering millions of booster doses, before other countries have had supplies to vaccinate their health workers and most vulnerable,” he said.
He added that data had shown vaccination offered long lasting immunity against severe and deadly COVID-19, and instead of Moderna and Pfizer prioritising the supply of vaccines as boosters to countries whose populations have relatively high coverage.
Ghebreyesus appealed to those countries to channel supply to the COVAX global initiative, the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, and low-middle income countries, while tens of millions of donations of shots were starting to come through.
“The whole world is sick and tired, and everyone wants to open up and ending the pandemic is key; when we have a pandemic everywhere, the virus will continue to circulate”, the UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the WHO DG as saying.
He also said it was “extremely disappointing” to see countries that had vaccinated most of their population with two doses, thinking about a third. “It actually makes no sense,” he said.
The director-general also explained that vaccine sharing does not necessarily mean giving vaccines for free.
“I have a list of countries that say they have money, they can pay, but there are no vaccines. The world has the means to increase production quickly, what we lack is global leadership,” he added.
The WHO director-general reiterated that pharmaceutical companies must share their licenses, know-how and technology.
“Do what AstraZeneca is doing” he said, which started in Europe but has production in India, Korea, Australia and Japan, with more expansion planned, explaining that this gives COVAX the green light to buy vaccines from additional facilities”.
Ann Lindstrand, WHO COVAX co-lead, explained that currently there wasn’t enough evidence pointing to a need for booster doses.
“If you have a full course of vaccination of any of the WHO approved vaccines, you have a good protection,” she explained.
WHO Chief scientist, Dr Soumiya Swaminathan, also said that while there had been an increase of infections in vaccinated populations, there had not been more hospitalisations.
“There are reports coming in that vaccinated populations are having cases of infection, particularly Delta, but the majority of them are mild. The people in the hospitals are unvaccinated,” she explained.
Swaminathan reminded that decisions about booster doses should be made based on data and not “on companies saying we need a third dose.” (NAN)
SOFPON provides free surgical intervention for Lagos residents
The Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON) has conducted free surgical intervention for 60 residents of Lagos State to reduce morbidity and risk of death from common medical conditions.
Dr Sixtus Ozuomba, Chairman, SOFPON, Lagos chapter, said this during the association’s surgical outreach in celebration of the World Family Doctors Day on Saturday in Lagos.
The day celebrated annually on May 19 has as its theme: ‘Family Doctors: The Heart of Primary Care’, emphasising the critical role of family doctors in delivering compassionate and patient-centred care to their patients.
Ozuomba noted that basic surgical procedures were among the most cost-effective health interventions that could prevent avoidable deaths, boost welfare and economic productivity.
He, however, said that poverty and affordability of surgical care was a huge challenge for many Nigerians, irrespective of the part of the country where they resided.
According to him, to bridge the gap of accessibility to surgical procedures, SOFPON organised free surgical intervention for lipoma, breast lump, ingrown toenail, ganglion, hernia and other day cases surgery.
He said that 60 people would benefit from the intervention which was held at Onikan General Hospital and General Hospital, Odan, Lagos.
Ozuomba said the surgeries funded from the dues and levies of SOFPON members was to complement the Lagos State Government’s efforts in ensuring qualitative healthcare for its citizens.
Speaking on the theme of the 2023 celebration, Ozuomba said that family physicians were reputed for providing comprehensive, continuous and coordinated healthcare to individuals, families and communities.
Ozuomba said that family doctors also advocated on behalf of their patients as it regarded government’s policies and actions.
“We have a lot of competent areas, what people have been saying is the medical aspects, we are not limited by disease entity, age or sex of the patients.
“Surgery is also an aspect of the competent areas of a family physician. We decided to showcase that this year and let people benefit from it.
“Some people that have been finding it difficult to get into the healthcare system are seizing the opportunity to come in,” he said.
He noted that brain drain was affecting all specialties of the health sector, especially the family doctors whom he said were in high demand due to their competence that cuts across specialties.
Similarly, Dr Oghide Oziegbe, Secretary of SOFPON, said the free surgical intervention would relieve many beneficiaries from pain and discomfort which they have had for years but could not treat due to paucity of funds.
Oziegbe noted that the beneficiaries had undergone free laboratory tests and assessments to assess their fitness for the surgery.
He noted that 40 per cent of the patients were booked for hernia surgery, while breast lumps took the other number followed by procedures for ganglion, lipoma and ingrown toenail.
Also, Dr Madewa Adebajo, Medical Director, Onikan General Hospital, said the surgical intervention had assisted to eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for beneficiaries, advising residents to register for the Ilera Eko health insurance plan to ensure access to healthcare services.
He also appealed to healthcare personnel to shun braindrain, saying that the state had improved its infrastructure and curriculum to encourage career progression.
Earlier, Prof. Akin Abayomi, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, said the state was committed to ensuring the provision of quality and affordable healthcare services to residents, irrespective of their socio-economic status.
Abayomi said that Ilera Eko which connoted the wellbeing and health of all residents of Lagos state was created to achieve universal health coverage for Lagos residents.
He called on all residents to prioritise their health and buy into the Lagos State Health Scheme, while commending SOFPON for its efforts in supporting government to bridge access to quality medical care for citizens. (NAN)
Resident doctors suspend 5 days warning strike, resume work today
National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, yesterday, suspended its 5-day nationwide warning strike.
National President of the association, Dr. Emeka Orji, told Vanguard that work resumes by today 8a.m., all federal and state Teaching Hospitals as well as other hospitals where resident doctors are trained.
He said: “Strike has been suspended and work resumes at 8a.m., tomorrow (today). Progress made will be reviewed on June 2. 2023, during our general meeting where the next line of action will be decided.”
NMA raises alarm over 5-month doctors’ salaries arrears in Abia, Imo, Ekiti, Ondo, Anambra
Doctors strike as national embarrassment
Recall that the doctors under the auspices of the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, began a five-day warning strike in public health facilities across the federation on Wednesday last week.
Some of the demands of the doctors include; immediate massive recruitment of clinical staff in the hospitals and abolishment of the bureaucratic limitations to the immediate replacement of doctors and nurses who leave the system, immediate infrastructural development in public hospitals with a subsequent allocation of at least 15 percent of the budgetary provisions to health in line with the Abuja declaration of 2001 and immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, CONMESS, to the tune of 200 per cent of the gross salary of doctors among others.
Industrial Action: Resident Doctors Give FG Two-Week Ultimatum On Pending Agreements
The national leadership of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to commence the implementation of all pending agreements.
The ultimatum was handed down in a communiqué at the end of a three-day extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the Federal Medical Centre in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The resident doctors also demanded a 15 percent annual budgetary allocation for the health sector from the current 5.7 percent, to address the current infrastructure decay, the recruitment of clinical staff to bridge the gap created by the current brain in the sector among other demands.
“NEC resolved to issue the Government a two-week ultimatum beginning today, 29th April 2023, to resolve all these demands, following the expiration of which on the 13th May 2023, we may not be able to guarantee industrial harmony in the sector nationwide,” the communiqué said.
Among its demands are an immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) salary structure to the tune of 200 percent of the current gross salary of doctors.
According to the doctors, the demanded revision of salary structure is in addition to the new allowances included in the letter written by NARD to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on July 7, 2022 for the review of CONMESS.
The NARD leadership further demanded the immediate withdrawal and jettisoning of the “ill-conceived” bill by the House of Representatives member representing Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency II in Lagos State, Ganiyu Johnson, on the alleged enslavement of young doctors in Nigeria.
It also sought the immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) in line with the agreements reached at the stakeholders’ meeting convened by the Federal Ministry of Health.
“This should be done without further delay,” the communiqué added.
It also demanded the commencement of payment of all salary arrears owed to NARD members, including 2014, 2015, and 2016 salary arrears, as well as areas of the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage.
Tinubu’s inauguration: We’re in charge here – Enenche dares witches, wizards coming to FCT
ShareThe Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Center, Dr Paul Enenche has issued stern warning to witches and wizards coming...
Seun Kuti Thanks Family, Friends, Lawyers After Freedom
ShareAfrobeat musician, Seun Kuti, has expressed gratitude to his family members, friends and legal advisers for their support towards his...
10th Senate: Count Me Out Of Senate Presidency Race – Lawan
Share The President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan has denied reports that he aspiring for the position of the...
Gov AbdulRazaq emerges new Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum Governor AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman of Kwara state has emerged as the new Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum. This is contained in a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye Wednesday morning to journalists in Ilorin. According to the statement,the exalted office was bestowed on him by his colleagues. The governor among others pledged to uphold the ideals and vision of the NGF as a most credible, authoritative, influential and effective inter-party platform for consensus building and peaceful resolution and advancement of pan-Nigeria goals, interests and aspirations The statement reads,”I want to thank Allah, exalted is He, for the historic event in which my brother Governors bestowed upon me the Chairmanship of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). It added that,”The significance and the huge responsibilities of this office are not lost on me. “I hereby pledge to uphold the ideals and vision of the NGF whilst recognising and appreciating the eminent track record of the institution as a most credible, authoritative, influential and effective inter-party platform for consensus building and peaceful resolution and advancement of pan-Nigeria goals, interests and aspirations. “l will ensure regular consultation with all members in order to arrive at consensus on all issues for the advancement and promotion of national interest, peace, progress, and stability of the nation.” “As a body, we will also continue our tradition of maintaining a close and cordial relationship with His Excellency the President, the National Assembly, all Federal and State institutions, the business community, the civil society, media, and development partners. “Finally, l wish to thank my dear colleagues for the confidence reposed in me as the new Chairman of NGF.”the statement ends
Share Governor AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman of Kwara state has emerged as the new Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum. This is contained...
Senate Confirms Dabiri-Erewa’s Reappointment As NIDCOM Boss
Share The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa for reappointment as the Chairman and CEO of Nigerians...