The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has lifted per travel testing requirements for COVID-19 vaccinated Nigerians and visitors.
Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman PSC on COVID-19, on Monday in Abuja, said that the revised International Travel Protocols, would take effect from April 4, 2022.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria joined other countries in adjusting its COVID-19 regulations.
Some leaders are keeping some restrictions on travel and gatherings, while other countries are easing their restrictions.
The World Health Organization has urged countries to follow science rather than imposing flight bans in a bid to contain the new Omicron coronavirus variant.
According to Mustapha, In-bound (fully vaccinated) passengers arriving in Nigeria will no longer be required to take a pre-departure PCR COVID-19 Test.
He said that on arrival, for fully vaccinated passengers, a sample would be taken at the airport for rapid antigen test by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC ), within the arrival hall of all the country’s point of entries and airports.
“Passengers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated shall take a COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours before departure, or do a Day 2 and day 7 test on arrival. Such passengers will be expected to pay for their PCR tests through the travel platform.
“Fully vaccinated passengers will not be charged for arrival rapid antigen tests at the airport;
“Rules that apply to fully vaccinated adults also apply to children aged 10 – 18 years; they will not be required to have pre-arrival PCR tests but will have a sample taken at the arrival hall but not charged.
“All passengers travelling out of Nigeria are encouraged to be fully vaccinated and to fully comply with COVID-19 protocols and requirements in their country of destination,” he said.
The SGF said that the PSC continues to strongly recommend the use of face masks in enclosed environments, adding that in open spaces, the use of face masks is discretional.
The SGF disclosed that the country still has the National Response in place as it continue to monitor global trends and adapt them with the situation in country.
He stressed that there had been a consistent decline in number of cases around the world but that does not give Nigerians the leverage to let their guards down yet.
Mustapha said there were predictions of rebounds as seen in China, South Korea, Germany, Vietnam, France, and Hong Kong.
“In fact, China has reintroduced lockdowns in some cities due to the spike in cases.
“So far, the world has recorded over 471 million confirmed cases, 6 million deaths and over 11 billion vaccine doses administered, while in Nigeria, we have recorded 255,103 cases and 3,142 persons have died.
“We have vaccinated over 20 million persons with at least the first dose. This number is not very encouraging, hence, the need for all eligible Nigerians to come out and be vaccinated,” he stated.
He disclosed that the Port Health Services have so far screened about 2,357 Nigerians evacuated from Ukraine for COVID-19 out of the over 8,000 residents or students living in Ukraine.
He said that out of these passengers, 193 tested positive to COVID-19 and were managed according to the country’s protocols.
He warned Nigerians to be mindful of scammers especially in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, who come to assist them in accessing the NITP and in the process, register them as children to avoid paying post arrival test.
According to him, the PSC wishes to put Nigerians on notice that two major religious festivities (Easter and Sallah) are approaching and we shall be experiencing increased passenger traffic in and out of the country.
“While the PSC prepares to escalate surveillance and other control activities, we urge the States and all Nigerians to also increase their vigilance and take measures to moderate activities.
CMD: 600 Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, others resign from UCH
Nigeria’s foremost tertiary health institution, the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan is being hit with exodus of 600 health workers within the last one year.
At least, 15 Nurses, Doctors and Pharmacists, among others exit UCH on a weekly basis.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UCH, Prof. Abiodun Otegbayo, on Monday confirmed resignation of clinicians.
According to him, “Every week, I signed resignation letters of 15 health workers at the institution, who are mostly clinicians, that is, Nurses, Doctors and Pharmacists, among others.”
Hence, the CMD called for removal of bottlenecks in replacing workforce due to mass exodus of health workers.
Otegbayo made the call at a news conference marking the 65th Founder’s Day celebration of UCH in Ibadan, on Monday.
Otegbayo said that from 2020 to October 15, 2022, no fewer than 600 clinical staff had left the hospital, noting that bureaucracy bottlenecks had been hindering their replacement.
He said that there was an acute shortage of manpower due to push and pull factors, such as poor welfare of workers and insecurity, among others.
Otegbayo said that UCH had been committed to effective healthcare delivery in Nigeria and West African Sub-region.
The chief medical director said the institution would continue in its strides as infrastructure and facilities were being overhauled in addition to human capital development.
He commended the staff members of the institution for their dedication and commitment to uplifting the institution by giving in their best and according respect to the patients.
Otegbayo said the institution had acquired two sets of Auto Clave, 64-Slice CT machines and two Mammography machines to improve clinical services.
“Just as the physical infrastructure is being developed, so also is the administration bringing in state-of-the-art equipment to enhance service delivery.
“We have not rested on our oars as we keep acquiring new equipment.
“It is our style to keep on acquiring equipment that position the hospital at the forefront of demands for best clinical practices.
“Perhaps one of our most significant achievements in the last 65 years of our existence has been a truly indigenous elaboration and facelift of the University College Hospital.
“However, like I said, we keep improving, between the times we produced the scorecards and now, we have continued with our projects, acquired new equipment, got more help and upgraded our services.
“In the area of physical infrastructure, we have made the following milestones: Completion of the Molecular Laboratory, completion of the rehabilitation of the burnt Tailoring and Laundry building.
“Completion and equipping of the West West Block 4. ongoing renovation, rehabilitation of the North West Block.
“Completion of renovation works on the Radiology Block VI, painting of the exterior of the Mortuary Block and continuation of the interior of the Mortuary Block,” Otegbayo said.
Otegbayo said that the institution yearly attended to documented 14,000 out-patients and 10,000 in-patients and it’s committed to quality service delivery and leverage on technology.
Buhari Launches Nigeria End Malaria Council In Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday launched the Nigeria End malaria Council at the State House in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The Council is expected to drive the Federal Government’s commitment to end malaria in the country.
In attendance at the launch is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, and Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire among other ministers and top government officials.
Speaking to a 16-member council headed by the President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote who accepted to be an ambassador for malaria, the President maintained the quest to eliminate mallards remains a priority for his administration.
“Malaria is an age-long disease and remains a major public health challenge in Nigeria.
The World Health Organisation report of 2021 shows that Nigeria alone accounts for 27% of all cases of malaria and 32% of deaths globally,” Buhari stated.
“Malaria infection can cause severe disease and complication in pregnant women and lead to high rates of miscarriage. It is also responsible for a considerable proportion of deaths in infants and young children, with children under 5 years being the most vulnerable group affected. These are reasons why we must not relent in fighting malaria.”
According to Buhari, beyond improving the quality of life, health and well-being of Nigerians, the strategy adopted had public health and socio-economic benefits for the country.
The President urged the council to deploy best practices in its dealings in order to reduce significantly Nigeria’s malaria burden which according to the WHO now accounts for 27percent of all cases and 32 percent of deaths globally.
He added, “Our inauguration today will therefore ensure that malaria elimination remains a priority on our agenda, with strong political commitment from leaders at all levels. Additionally, the End Malaria Council will provide a platform to advocate for more funding to protect and sustain progress made so far by our country, and put us on a pathway to ending malaria for good.
“The successful implementation of the Council’s agenda will result in improvement in the quality of life, health and well-being of Nigerians, by providing impetus for malaria elimination and by saving about N687 billion nationally which is the estimated economic burden of malaria for 2022. The savings could increase to N2 trillion in 2030.
A concerted strategy to tackle malaria, therefore, has both public health as well as socio-economic benefits for Nigeria.”
Presidency lauds Oyetola for prioritising Osun people’s health
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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