Summary of Media Reports, February 2, 2015
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF HEALTH
Office of the Director Press & Public Relations
Summary of Media Reports, February 2, 2015
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Health Workers Suspend Strike, Resume Work Today.
Health workers under of the Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU) have suspended their three months old strike, it has emerged after a meeting with the Federal Government on Sunday. Investigations by Daily Sun showed that the union ended the strike which commenced on November 12, last year after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan.
The government had earlier met with JOHESU leaders on December 22 to discuss matters that led to the strike. But the industrial action dragged on till yesterday when the strike was officially suspended. Minister of State, Health Dr. Khaliru Alhassan and the National President of JOHESU Dr. Ayuba Wabba, announced the suspension of the strike at a joint press briefing held in the ministry yesterday.
Some of the issues that prolonged the strike include the financial implication of the adjusted salary for JOHESU members which was confirmed to have been prepared for the President. However, Wabba said during yesterday’s media briefing that union members are expected to resume work today (Tuesday). The strike, which left many patients stranded as only doctors worked during the period, was characterised by accusations by doctors that the striking health workers attempted to disrupt skeletal services in hospitals.
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Avian Influenza: No Human Case Recorded, Says FG
The Federal Government on Monday in Abuja said no human case of Avian influenza (bird flu) has been found during the recent outbreak of the disease. It, however, expressed its commitment to curbing the menace.
The Supervising Minister of Health, Alhaji Khaliru Alhassan, said this in Abuja while speaking with newsmen on the recent outbreak of Avian influenza, aka bird flu, in Nigeria. The government, he said, had taken measures to curb the menace.
He said, “All states ministries of health have been alerted to the outbreak in poultry and advised to reactivate their Avian Influenza Control mechanisms that were previously established. Close collaboration with Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been re-established and is ongoing.
“Disease surveillance systems have been placed on high alert. Field teams are deployed by state ministries of health to examine exposed persons on affected farms and live bird markets and to collect laboratory samples where necessary as stated in the Standard Operating Procedures.
“The Avian Influenza Laboratories of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control have been receiving samples from field teams deployed in affected poultry sites and have been analyzing them. So far, about 20 samples have been collected and are hereby activated. Copies of the plan will be made available to all strategic partners; and special public enlightenment messages have been prepared and will soon be released to the public.
Don’t Panic, Bird Flu Is Under Control – Minister
The Supervising Minister of Health, Dr Khaliru Alhassan, on Monday advised Nigerians not to panic over the outbreak of Avian Influenza, saying the situation was under control. Alhassan told a news conference in Abuja that poultry meat and other poultry products were safe for consumption if thoroughly cooked. He also enjoined the public to maintain good hygiene and ensure regular hand wash to prevent infectious diseases.
LUTH Washes Hands Off Patient’s Death
Is the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) culpable in the death of a nursing mother, Mrs Folake Oduyoye? No, says the hospital, which is contesting her family’s claim that it has a hand in her death.
Mrs Oduyoye died in LUTH last December 19 following her family’s inability to settle her medical bill. Her death sparked a protest by two rights groups, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) and Women House for Change Initiative (WACI).
They staged a walk against maternal death and demanded that LUTH pay N50 million compensation to the bereaved family.
Denying LUTH’s culpability in Mrs Oduyoye’s death in a chat with The Nation yesterday, its Public Relations Officer, Mrs Hope Nwawolo, said the institution is not running a free service, hence patients should pay for services rendered.
Mrs Nwalolo wondered why people were portraying the institution in bad light over the incident.
“In the first place,” she explained, “the woman did not give birth here (LUTH); she did not get the complications here; she was only transferred here when the former clinic could not handle her case. We took her at the emergency ward without demanding a penny for down payment whereas it is not same in other hospitals whereby you make heavy deposit before the patient can even be admitted at the emergency ward.
In most cases, some of the patients must have paid millions of naira at various private hospitals before being transferred here. We do all necessary thing to treat them only for them to say they cannot pay the bills. We even asked some of them to pay something at times.”
The PRO said the hospital runs some schemes to offset the medical bills of indigent patients.
Mrs Nwawolo chided the advocacy groups for disturbing public peace instead of looking for ways to assist the indigent patients.
Sultan, Onaiyekan Express Worry Over Electoral Violence
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Monday in Abuja expressed fears over the forthcoming general elections following the signposts of intolerance and violence that have characterised the campaigns.
They also warned that religions should not be allowed to divide the country. The alarm came ahead of the presidential elections scheduled for February 14.
According to them, given the recent acts of violence witnessed in the campaigns, including the assaults on the convoy of President Goodluck Jonathan in the North, it was obvious that the forthcoming general elections might spell crises, except urgent steps were taken to forestal the situation.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja under the aegis of Inter-Faith Initiative for Peace, Onaiyekan and Abubakar however called on the two leading presidential candidates, President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party and Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) of the All Progressives Congress, to accept the result of the election.
While calling on political actors to caution their followers, the clerics urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that the elections were free, fair and creditable because “only credible polls will ensure that post-election violence is minimised.”
The sultan said, “We all know that religious leaders are the conscience of the nation. Our desire to come out and speak at this time should be well passed to every nook and cranny of this country. We are all human beings first before we are called Muslims and Christians. Both religions appreciate the sanctity of life. We have always condemned the activity of insurgents. We will continue to do that until there is no more insurgency in the country.
We Won’t Shut Down Schools For Polls –FG
The Federal Government on Monday met with the 36 states Commissioners for Education, including the F.C.T. Education Secretary where they all agreed that schools should not be shut down for the coming general elections.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, presided over the meeting, which was held in his office in Abuja. The government hinged the decision to keep the schools running on the academic lapses that were occasioned by the Ebola Virus Disease that broke out in West Africa and other western nations last year.
Shekarau, however, said state governments would be mobilised to provide adequate security for boarding institutions marked as polling units for the elections.
The stakeholders meeting also placed on hold mid-term breaks for both the public and private institutions.
Why Sultan, Fashola Still Waiting For PVC – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission said on Monday that initial loss of data from its machine led to the loss of finger prints of some Nigerians. It said this formed part of the reasons why the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State and others could not get their PVCs.
It nevertheless said all eligible voters, who were unable to collect their PVCs could now collect them nationwide. Deputy Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Nick Dazang, made the disclosure at a one-day workshop held for journalists in Kaduna on Monday.
He said, “Initial loss of data led to the loss of finger prints and why the Sultan of Sokoto, Governor Fashola of Lagos, and others could not get their PVC.
“What I know is that those whose data were lost and those who did the Continuous Voter Registration, their cards are now ready. “Attitude of some INEC staff led to the loss of the data.”
He declared that notwithstanding the challenges being faced by INEC, the commission had achieved 65 per cent distribution of PVC nationally even as he expressed optimism that the percentage of PVC distribution would grow substantially before the election.
“All cards (PVC) are on the ground and are being distributed to the states,” he added.
Patience Jonathan Denies Looting NDDC
Wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, on Monday denied media report (not The PUNCH) that she was paid N3bn by the Niger Delta Development Commission to facilitate the agency’s 2015 budget.
The report had claimed that apart from the sum, Mrs. Jonathan collaborated with a former Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, in a number of schemes that enabled them to loot the resources of the NDDC.
But the President’s wife, in a statement by her media assistant described the report as a hoax.
Jonathan’s Campaign Ground Bombed
A blast, yesterday, ripped through a car park outside Gombe Stadium where President Goodluck Jonathan had addressed a campaign rally barely three minutes after he left. A suspected female bomber and another woman died in the blast while six other persons sustained various degrees of injury, according to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, DSP Fwaje Atajiri. -
Atajiri, however, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the blast occurred near a carpenter’s shop in Kashere Street at the Water Board area in Gombe city and not at the campaign rally.
Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri, who confirmed the blast also disclosed that the African Union Peace and Security Council had approved the mobilization and immediate deployment of 7,500 troops to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram.
The blast occurred in Gombe on a day explosion rocked three court premises in Rivers State with one of the affected courts burnt down by fire.
The Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, has stated that the force has begun investigation into inflammatory statements allegedly made some Niger-Delta ex-militants. Abba said this while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the inauguration of some operational vehicles for police by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja.
On political thuggery, Abba said that all those involved in the act during political campaign rallies had been arrested, except the incidents in Rivers state, which were still being investigated.
The I-G, who said that none of the political rallies had been disrupted by act of thuggery, expressed happiness that the exercise was gradually coming to an end.