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Health Care :1,100 residents of Enugu community benefit from free medicare, others



Enugu State

The Open Hands Amazing Charitable Organisation Incorporated, an Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), on Sunday provided over 1,100 residents of Egede community in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State with free medical treatment.

The free medical outreach covered blood pressure and sugar test, malaria laboratory test, eye check, free 200 eye glasses, medical consultation and advice, free drugs and other free medical consumables.

The event also featured donation of cash grants to 50 less privileged, disabled and aged people within the community and a free sumptuous meal for everybody that attended the outreach.

Speaking, the Founder of the organization, Dr Magdalene Agada, said that the gesture was a way of giving back to the society as God in His infinite mercies had been gracious to her and her family.

Agada said that the outreach was a big relief to the residents due to the high cost of medicare as well as the long strike embarked upon by medical professionals in the country.

“I am fulfilled as the organization is imparting on thousands of lives and the good people of Egede came out in their large numbers to embrace the gesture that will go a long way to strengthen their health and well-being.

“The organization will continue to holistically support communities and individuals in improving their health, nutritional dietary content and financially support the less privileged, the disabled, aged among others,” she said.

Agada thanked leaders of Egede community, Saint Vincent De Paul Society of St Cyril Catholic Parish, Egede, and its priest as well as medical volunteers of Open Hands Amazing Charitable Organisation for their support leading to the success of the medical outreach.

Mr Joseph Nwabueze, leader of Saint Vincent De Paul Society at the Parish, thanked the organization for coming to deliver quality healthcare at the doorstep of Egede people “at no cost”.

“We do not have silver or gold to give in exchange; but as a society and Church, we will continue to pray for the continuous success of the organisation and its founder, Dr Agada,” Nwabueze, whose society helped in mobilising the people, said.

Dr Kingsley Okonta, the Head of the medical team, said that the predominant illnesses diagnosed among residents of Egede community included diabetes, high blood pressure and malaria.

“These illnesses can be traced to the kind of food they eat, sedentary life-style and the environment. We have advised the residents to eat less starchy foods; move around and exercise often and get their houses well-netted and sleep under insecticide mosquito treated nets.

“We also made referrals for those with complicated eye challenges, which our medical team cannot solve instantly,” he said.

A beneficiary of the outreach, Mrs Edith Okeke, who was given an eye drop and a pair of eye glasses, appreciated the orgainsation for giving her what was beyond her reach financially.

“The eye drop and reading glasses I got free might be nothing less than about N30,000. I am happy and I pray God to continue to bless Open Hands Amazing Charitable Oraginisation,” Okeke said.

Another beneficiary, Pa Joel Onwuka, who received drugs for rheumatism, thanked the organization for the free drugs that would ensure that his leg joint pains would be a thing of the past.

One of the beneficiaries of the free cash grant, Ma Bridget Ugwu, 80, prayed God to bless and replenish the pocket of the founder of the NGO for her kind gesture.

The Open Hands Amazing Charitable Organisation Incorporated partnered with Saint Vincent De Paul Society of St. Cyril Catholic Parish, Egede, and the Egede Medical Group to organise the free medical outreach. (NAN)

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Brain Drain: Fmr Commissioner wants medical practitioners involved in policy making




Dr Jide Idris, the Convener, Healthcare Transformation Coalition (HTC), has urged medical professionals to contribute to policy making that will address brain drain and other lingering issues in the health sector.

Idris, a former Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, made the call on Saturday at a programme organised by HTC under the auspices of the Lagos State Health Service Commission, to address brain drain in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the programme was ”Imperatives of Brain Drain in the Health Sector”.

“We initiated this event to listen to our young professionals in the medical line why they are not happy and also want to leave the country and practice elsewhere.

“There are many causes to the challenge anda major part of it revolve around management of human capacity.

“This is an election period and a good opportunity for us to contribute to policy making by ensuring that we put the right leader in place to formulate good policies that will move the sector forward.

“Health is everybody business and just for the government alone,” he said.

He added that there was the need to train more healthcare personnel and have health financing grants to fill the gap created by those who have left and also improve their welfare.

Also, Prof. Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, said a rapid exit replacement strategy should be in place to address brain drain.

”Brain drain is not something that is new, it has existed for many decades and it has affected all professional cadre of the country.

”Nigeria is a natural exporter of human capital and this is because we don’t produce planes, equipment and the likes.

”We must make more healthcare professionals to address this issue and our institutions must pay attention to the selection process of medical students,” he said.

Similarly, Dr Muyiwa Eniayewun, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Health Service Commission, said the number of medical practitioners produced should be increased to mitigate brain drain effects.

Eniayewun said: ”For instance, we produce 3,000 doctors in the country annually; but I believe with this present challenge we should be able to do 10,000 to maintain a balance and sustain the system,” he said.

NAN reports that a panelist session was also held for young medical practitioners to discuss and proffer solutions to the current trend of “Japa” (human capital flight) in various medical fields.







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Nursing federation slams UK recruitment from poorer nations




Britain’s recruitment of nurses from poorer countries as a quick fix for its own underinvestment in the profession is a serious cause of concern, the global nurses’ federation said Monday.

The International Council of Nurses said wealthy countries recruiting nursing staff from some of the world’s most fragile health systems was extremely hard to justify and perhaps should be stopped entirely.

The ICN said seven or eight wealthy countries — notably Britain, the United States and Canada — were driving around 80 percent of international nurse migration, to try to address their domestic shortages.

“We are very concerned by some of the examples,” ICN chief executive Howard Catton told a press conference organised by the UN correspondents association in Geneva.

He cited talks between Britain and Ghana whereby London will pay Accra £1,000 ($1,240) per nurse recruited.

“That, in no way, goes anywhere near recognising the true value of the training costs of that nurse, or the loss to the Ghanaian health system,” he said.

When adding in experience in the field, “I’d expect to see £50,000 as a price to compensate for that experience at least — if not more. £1,000 is woefully short.”

The ICN said international recruitment focused largely on experienced, specialised nurses, rather than the “myth” that only newly-qualified nurses were being targeted.

“That creates a serious deficit in expertise in countries that cannot afford to lose their more experienced nurses. That has really been a serious concern,” said ICN president Pamela Cipriano.

“When you take those nurses out of the clinical environment, you truly have a brain drain.”

She said countries had to adopt a strategy of becoming self-sufficient in producing nurses.

“We’re appealing to the ethics of countries that health is a global issue,” she said.

“We don’t want to see some countries thrive and others hurt.”

Catton also highlighted Britain’s agreement with the Nepalese government on nurse recruitment, noting that the ratio of nurses to the British population is around 80 to 10,000, while in Nepal it is nearer 20.

“That is already taking nurses from a very low base, where access to healthcare is limited,” he said.

“That sort of recruitment can mean that a service simply isn’t provided.”

“If you’re a government who is relying on international recruitment as a quick fix to shortages because you haven’t invested enough, be very, very careful about that,” Catton said.

“For probably the 45 or 50 most vulnerable countries around the world,” he said, “there is a very strong case that… there shouldn’t be any recruitment.”

Founded in 1899, the Geneva-based ICN is a federation of more than 130 national nursing associations representing 28 million nurses worldwide


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FG Suspends COVID-19 Tests For Travellers





The Federal Government has approved the immediate relaxation of the COVID-19 safety measures and travel advisory, including the suspension of all pre-departure, pre-boarding, and post-arrival PCR test requirements.

This was contained in a statement on Monday by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC), Boss Mustapha.

According to Mustapha, President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval follows the recommendations of the PSC based on clinical and laboratory evidence of a sustained reduction in COVID-19 infection/transmission across the country.

“All pre-departure and post-arrival PCR test requirements for all persons who are not fully vaccinated have been suspended,” the statement reads in part.

“With the suspension of both the preboarding and post-arrival PCR tests, passengers will no longer be required to upload evidence of vaccination on the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP). All unvaccinated and partially vaccinated passengers are strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated.

“Health Declaration Form. A simplified Health Declaration (non-covid-19 specific) shall be completed by all passengers arriving in Nigeria on the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP); while provision will be made on arrival for those who were unable to complete this form before departure.

“Finally, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC) passionately appeals to Nigerians to ensure that they take their COVID-19 vaccinations as well as booster doses.”

With Nigeria’s first recorded COVID-19 case in February 2020, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) restricted international flights from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and Nnamdi Azikwe International airport in Abuja on March 23, 2020.

However, emergency and essential flights are exempted from the restriction, according to the NCAA. This followed the Federal Government’s shutdown of three other airports on March 21, 2020, including Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu; and the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.

However, after five months of the shutdown, NCAA resumed international flights on September 5, 2020, with strict COVID-19 guidelines for pass

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