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Expert recommends preferential COVID-19 vaccination for SCD patients under 16

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COVID-19 Vaccine
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Dr. Patrick Obinna, an hematologist, based in Abuja, has suggested that Nigerians with Sickle Cell Disease(SCD), who are below 16 years old, should be eligible for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination.

Obinna in an interview with News Agency Of Nigeria(NAN) on Friday, in Abuja said that SCD patients were vulnerable to severe COVID-19.

NAN, reports that SCD is a collective name for a set of inherited chronic conditions.

It covers a spectrum, from milder to severe forms of SCD but with support, people with SCD can have a good quality of life.

SCD is associated with episodes of severe pain called sickle cell painful crises.

The expert said that the impact of COVID-19 on the routine management of SCD patients in the country had been substantial and complex.

He added that clinicians now needed to ensure that patients received appropriate care for SCD in balance with the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“News is evolving rapidly about COVID-19 and its vaccines. Early results from the COVID-19 vaccine trials are very promising, although the true benefits and risks will not be known until a larger number of people receive the vaccine.

“ I am surprised that SCD patients were not listed as one of the populations vulnerable to severe COVID-19, to be vaccinated immediately in the country.

“Sickle cell disease raises the risk for serious problems with COVID-19, especially when compared to the same age in the general population,” he said.

According to him, Nigerians with health condition such as kidney failure, sickle cell anaemia or type 2 diabetes should be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in the country and should be contacted for the vaccine.

Obinna recommended that, based on current information across the globe, people with sickle cell disease should receive COVID-19 vaccination immediately.

“I have patients that have been held up in their homes since the beginning of this pandemic.

“They are afraid to go out because they know that if they were to get COVID, their chance of being hospitalised, getting really sick or dying is higher than the average population.

“Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder that causes red blood cells to be misshaped. The red blood cells are not able to carry oxygen well, which affects the whole body.

“The benefits of vaccination outweighs the risks for people with SCD. Vaccination is worthwhile compared to the risks of having COVID-19 disease in people with SCD,” he advised.

He advised that people with SDC should consult with their doctors or health care providers about whether their personal medical condition causes an exception to this general recommendation.

He stressed that the fact that SCD affects the immune system should not cause a safety problem for COVID-19 vaccines.

Obinna urged SDC patients, who have receive their jabs, and not to relax their precautions right after getting the vaccine.

“They might still get infected in the few weeks following vaccination. You could still give infection to those around you.

“Continue to wear a mask covering your nose and mouth. Wash your hands often. Maintain physical distance. Avoid crowds, and avoid people who are ill,” he advised. (NAN)

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Presidency lauds Oyetola for prioritising Osun people’s health 

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Osun State Governor Gboyega Oyetola
Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola
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As Oyetola inaugurates multiple state-of-the-art health facilities in Osun 

…says building healthy population nonnegotiable

The Presidency, on Wednesday, lauded Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun for prioritising the health of the people of the State.

Speaking at the inauguration of multiple state-of-the-art health facilities in the State, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, also commended the Governor for striving to build a healthy population.

She was in the State to join Governor Oyetola in inaugurating 100-bed Mother and Child Hospital; 80-bed Multipurpose Hospital, Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurial Centre and Transit Home and Vocational Centre for Abused Women and Girls.

She said the execution of the projects was in fulfilment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s promises to providing quality health service delivery for Nigerians particularly women and children.

“We are here to commission these projects that had been fully equipped for the benefit of the people of this community and the skill acquisition centre will in no doubt equip our people with requisite vocational rubrics to be self-sustaining and self-employed”, she added

Speaking while inaugurating the projects, Governor Oyetola said that his administration remains committed to the health and well-being of the people of the State.

The projects were facilitated by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Sustainable Development Goals  in partnership with the State.

The Governor also lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for considering Osun as one of the beneficiary states of the projects.

Inaugurating the projects in Iragbiji and Osogbo, the state capital, Governor Oyetola said the multi-billion naira health facilities would in no doubt improve significantly, the quality of life of citizens of the State.

He noted that the facilities would serve as catalyst to building a virile economy for the people, adding that the projects are critical to the country’s strident efforts to meet the vision of SDGs.

According to him, the 80-bed and 100-bed state-of-the-art multipurpose hospitals, for instance, are another fitting and timely complement to the ongoing effort of our administration at transforming the health sector.

“You will recall that since we assumed office over three years ago, our State has witnessed unprecedented investment in the health sector in a manner that has placed us as a leading State in innovative and sustained health investment across the country.

“Among other strategic interventions in secondary and tertiary healthcare, we are particularly proud of the ripple impact being achieved among our citizens through the 332 Primary Healthcare Centres revitalised across the State.

“The choice of the health sector as one of the preeminent sectoral drivers in our administration owes itself to the conviction that we would only be able to build a truly- sustainably virile economy to the extent to which our people enjoy quality, accessible and affordable healthcare.

“It must also be mentioned that the second facility, the Abused Women Transit Home, is unique in its conception as a solution centre for providing succour to women who are victims of abuse. This sprawling centre is impressively equipped with multidimensional skills acquisition facility alongside a hostel catering for over 100 hundred people.

“It is another excellent addition of which I am immensely proud of, as it would further significantly boost the ongoing campaign against gender violence, ably led by my wife, the First Lady”, he added.

Speaking further, Governor Oyetola urged people of the host communities to take full ownership of the facilities and ensure that they are protected against any form of vandalism, saying this is the only way to show gratitude for the investment.

Earlier in his remarks, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on SDGs, Mr. Shittu Williams, described the projects as a dream come true, saying the people of the state stand to benefit largely from the services that the state-of-the-art facilities will be providing forthwith.

He said the actualisation of the projects in the State had put an end to the long agitations saying the facility would in no small measure further advance the course of quality healthcare delivery in Osun.

The Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Ayotunde Olabomi, lauded the initiative saying the facilities would go a long way to complement the health interventions of the state government.

Oba Olabomi who expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the citing of the projects in Osun called on the people of the benefitting communities to patronize the facility and stop going to substandard health centres just as he assured of the readiness of his subjects to put the facilities into good use.

In his remarks, the Atoaja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, applauded Governor Oyetola for being committed to the socioeconomic and infrastructural development of the state.

Ataoja who described the edifice as a welcome development befitting the state capital said its establishment in the heart of the city would further enhance the health of the people particularly Osogbo residents.

“I am not a sycophant but I do appreciate good works, indeed, this edifice is good and magnificent. This is another great thing coming to the State capital and we are appreciative of this.

“I am speaking on behalf of the good people of Osogbo, our reverred sons and daughters that this edifice befits us as we are awaiting more to come. We must appreciate the administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola for his commitment to turn around the socio-economic fortunes of the state in the face of the visible economic reality on the nation’s economy”, he added.

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Senate passes bills to establish Medical Centres in four states, amend Teaching Hospitals Act

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The Senate, on Tuesday, passed four bills to establish Federal Medical Centres in four states of the federation.

The medical centers will be established in Osogbo, Osun State; Onitsha, Anambra State; Gada, Sokoto State; and Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, respectively.

The passage of the bills to establish the Medical Centres followed the consideration of four separate reports by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), in his presentations, said the Centres would be equipped with facilities for diagnostic treatment and rehabilitation at the tertiary levels.

According to him, they would also serve as Centres for training of health professionals and conduct advance health research.

In a related development, the Senate, on Tuesday, passed a bill to amend the Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards, etc.) Act 2004.

Oloriegbe, in a separate presentation on a report by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary), explained that the amendment to the Teaching Hospitals Act, seeks to give full legislative recognition to the Federal University Lokoja Teaching Hospital.

“Mr. President and Distinguished Colleagues, every Institution needs to be backed by an enabling law.

“It is against this background that this bill is before the chamber.

“As at today, training facilities in the health sector are inadequate for the current population and projected population growth for Nigeria, currently out at 3 percent per annum.

“Therefore, establishing the Federal University Lokoja Teaching Hospital will address this gap among others”, Oloriegbe explained.

He added that the bill seeks to amend the First Schedule to the Principal Act to include the Federal University Lokoja Teaching Hospital.

“By this amendment, it creates a legal backing for the Federal University Lokoja Teaching Hospital”, he said.

The four bills to establish the Federal Medicam Centres, and the Bill to amend the Teaching Hospitals Act 2004, were all passed by the chamber during plenary, after a clause-by-clause consideration by the Committee of the Whole.

 

 

 

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Malaria Killed Over 602,000 People In Africa Last Year – WHO

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WHO
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No fewer than 602,000 people died of malaria across Africa last year, an official of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for (more…)

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