PRESS RELEASES (243)
FG UPGRADES GENERAL HOSPITAL ONITSHA TO FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTRE
As the Buhari led administration draws to an end in a few days, the Federal Government has yet again kept to one of its promises of delivering quality and affordable healthcare to all Nigerians, by upgrading the General Hospital Onitsha to Federal Medical Centre Onitsha, on Thursday the 18th of May, 2023.
The Honourable Minister of State for Health, Hon. Joseph Ekumankama who unveiled the new Hospital said the upgrade will ease the pains, sufferings and predicaments of the people of Onitsha and its environs in terms of accessing affordable, modern and reliable healthcare services.
This upgrade the Minister said, will bring accelerated infrastructural development and increased funding from the Federal Government.” There will be reduction in medical tourism to Asaba and Nnewi, upgrade of staff into the federal government payroll. The conversion gives the hospital the accreditation to begin residency training for resident doctors that would graduate to Consultants as well as create employment opportunities for doctors and medical personnel”.
Speaking further, Hon. Ekumankama said the Centre is mandated to provide preventive, curative and rehabilitative healthcare services to all Nigerians. This he said, must reflect in service delivery amongst staff of the Centre. “Your core values should be patient/client first, integrity, result oriented, teamwork, commitment and professionalism. He commended the State Governor for his doggedness, commitment and passion in the health sector and the Senator representing Anambra North Senatorial District, Sen. Stella Oduah who advocated and sponsored of the bill.
The State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo represented by the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Afam Obidike, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the honour done to the people of the South East States, Anambra in particular describing it as a parting gift to Ndigbo.
Earlier, the acting Medical Director Dr. Mercy Anugwu, informed that the move to establish FMC Onitsha was facilitated by the need to bridge the existing gap between primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare delivery in Anambra State. “Diseases have continued to ravage many communities due to the distance between communities and tertiary healthcare institutions. Patients cannot access specialist hospitals where ailments can be properly diagnosed and adequate treatment given. This unfortunate situation has also compounded the challenge of maternal and infant mortality with densely populated urban and rural communities worst hit”.
The FMC Onitsha will provide services in specialized areas like Neuro-Surgery, Cardiology, Urology, Orthopaedics, Paediatrics, Internal Medicine, Radiotherapy, Ear, Nose and Throat Treatment (ENT), Gynaecology, Psychiatry, Nuclear Medicine and other fields of Medicine that may be required by Nigerians.
By: Blessing Efem
Signed: Ahmadu Chindaya (Deputy Director Media & Public Relations)
18th May, 2023
President Buhari mourns the death of Pa Micheal Ekumankama
President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) has extended his sincere condolence to the family of the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Hon. Joseph Ekumankama on the demise of his father, Late Prince Micheal Ekumankama aged 93, whose burial ceremony took place on Saturday 13th of May, in his home town Amangwu Edda, Afikpo South LGA, Ebonyi State.
The President, represented by the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, extended his condolence on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the family of Pa Ekumankama, most especially his widow, Elder (Mrs) Grace Ekumankama and the Children. He prays for the fortitude to bear the loss of their family patriarch.
“I have had time to go through the resume of Papa, he was one of the very first to get formal education and carried it to a very high extent. This you can see from the schools he attended and his quest for knowledge. This shows that he was a very learned person and his children have benefitted from the discipline he has impacted on them and the support he has given to them in their various works of life”.
“I want to salute his life’s work, in as much as we mourn his passing, we must also celebrate the life he lived and take pride in all his achievements. I pray that you continue in the way that he wants you all to continue, to live hardworking, honest and patriotic lives”. Late Prince Micheal Ekumankama was a retired public servant and community leader, whose legacy of loyalty and dedication to national development will be remembered.
The Federal Government delegation led by the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire had in attendance the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister of State for Transport, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, Heads of Government Agencies and Parastatals and Directors of the Ministry of Health.
Other Personalities include; the Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi and his entourage, State Executives, Members of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Former Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Fatima Muhammadu Buhari daughter of the President amongst others.
Signed: Ahmadu Chindaya (Deputy Director Media and Public Relations)
BUHARI RE-APPOINTS IGWE AS MD FNPH ENUGU
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reappointment of Dr. Monday Igwe as the Medical Director of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital (FNPH) Enugu, Enugu State for a second and final term of four (4) years with effect from 1st April, 2023.
The approval was conveyed in a letter signed by the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Hon. Joseph Ekumankama who presented it to Igwe at a brief ceremony held at the Minister of State Conference Room, Federal Ministry of Health Headquarters in Abuja.
Hon. Ekumankama charged the newly reappointed Medical Director to consolidate and improve on his previous achievements and leave an enviable mark of progress on the hospital to justify the confidence reposed in him. He went further to urged him to correct any errors that he might have encountered during his first tenure in office. ”Do not think that you have four years, start planning and execute immediately so that, if there is any error that you have made in the last four years such will not be repeated. Dreams, aspirations and visions that you couldn’t accomplish during your first tenure now is the opportunity to accomplish them.”
Speaking further, the Minister admonished him to work in peace and harmony with all stakeholders especially with the board and management of the hospital to allow a conducive environment to deliver on his mandate, because no one thrives in a place of rancour. ”Please remain steadfast in doing good and accelerate the process of accomplishing more, do all you can to ensure that you leave the hospital far better than what it is today.”
Dr. Igwe, in his response expressed gratitude to Mr. President and the Ministry of Health for finding him worthy for reappointment. He promised to improve on His achievements and he informed that he was coming to serve in the capacity of a servant leader who directs affairs and not a chief executive. “I will continue to run an open door policy and be accessible to all; I will make more sacrifices to ensure that the hospital is lifted to higher heights”. He thanked the President for the high priority given to the health sector under his administration.
Signed: Ahmadu Chindaya (Deputy Director Media & Public Relations)
BUHARI RE-APPOINTS PROF. JOHNSON AKUMA MD NOFIC ABAKILIKI
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reappointment of Prof. Johnson Akuma as the Medical Director of the National Obstetric Fistula Centre, (NOFIC) Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, for a second and final term of four (4) years with effect from 4th August, 2023.
The approval was conveyed in a letter signed by the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Hon. Joseph Ekumankama who presented it to Akuma, in his office at the Federal Ministry of Health Headquarters in Abuja.
The Minister of State for Health, while congratulating Akuma on his reappointment, urged him to consolidate and improve on his previous achievements and leave an enviable mark of progress on the Centre to justify the confidence reposed on him.
“Your reappointment by Mr. President was based on the merit of your performance in the last four years, to whom much is given much is expected. Do not relax or become nonchalant, because this is your final tenure in office, like some people in the political arena do. You have to work harder, do better, greater and more prestigiously than what you did in the past. It is my expectation that you will continue to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure that the Centre continues to deliver quality healthcare services to our people, to compliment Mr. President’s health sector agenda”.
Hon. Ekumamkama went further to admonish him to use this opportunity to complete projects he may have started in his first tenure as well as build on existing structures and wished the Medical Director a successful tenure at the Hospital.
Prof. Akuma, in his response expressed gratitude to Mr. President and the Ministry of Health for his reappointment. “It is a solemn moment for me, because I know the importance of responsibility; when you have accepted it, you are held accountable to humanity and God. I must confess that I have enjoyed the support and cooperation of the Honourable Minister of State for Health and the Ministry”. He promised to improve on his previous achievements and with his passion for excellence he will ensure that the hospital continues to deliver on its mandate.
Signed: Ahmadu Chindaya (Deputy Director Media & Public Relations)
PRESS BRIEFING BY HON. MINISTER OF HEALTH, DR. OSAGIE EHANIRE MD, FWACS, CON COMMEMORATING THE WORLD HEALTH DAY AND WORLD HEALTH WORKERS WEEK, 1st FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM , FEDERAL MINISTRY OF HEALTH, THURSDAY 6TH APRIL, 2023
The 7th of April every year was dedicated by the United Nations as World Health Day and, this year also marks the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization. It also coincides with this year’s marking of World Health Workers Week from the 2nd to the 8th of April. We are therefore holding this Press Briefing today 6th April 2023, to mark triple significant events in the health sector.
2. The theme of the 2023 World Health Day is “Health for All –Strengthening PHC to Build Resilient Systems”, while the theme of the World Health Workers Week is “Investing in the Health Work Force”. “Health for all Strengthening PHC to Build Resilient System” speaks to one of the key initiatives of the Buhari administration, to create a balanced health system by strengthening the PHC network in Nigeria, with increased investment in the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to foster the Primary Healthcare Under One Roof (PHCUOR) concept. The idea is to integrate PHC activities of Federal, State, and Local government, into one Authority, for synergy and to reduce fragmentation and waste of resources in the management and delivery of PHC services. PHCUOR is based on “One Plan, Management and One Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E),” and, though still a work in progress, has strengthened the national health system.
3. The Federal Government, in a bid to reverse poor health indices and provide Universal Health Coverage initiated the revitalization of about 10,000 primary healthcare centers nationwide, exemplified by the revitalized Kuchigoro PHC in FCT. More than 4,000 PHCs have been revitalized so far, while working towards a new PHC model equipped will staff quarters, solar power, and assured potable water supply, to enable 24/7 service provision to citizens. These steps have improved primary healthcare services in Nigeria and reduced challenges women face in childbirth and addressing home emergencies.
4. The Basic Health Provision Fund (BHCPF) was established by the National Health Act (2014) to provide and finance essential health services that address our poor health indices at Primary Health centers, to poor and vulnerable citizens, especially in rural areas, on our path to a Universal Health Coverage. The effort includes the provision of emergency medical services with a rural Ambulance System (RAS) under a National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS), at no charge at the point of care. These initiatives are undergoing pilot testing in some states. This Administration provided the first seed money for BHCPF from 1% of CRF of the Federation. It is to be augmented with funds from various sources, including State Government and Development partners, and managed by National Health Insurance Agency (NHIA), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NHPHCDA), and Emergency Medical Treatment Committee. Funds are allocated directly to PHCs according to established guidelines, and supervised by the PHCUOR, which monitors performance and expenditure. States are required by the Act to contribute a counterpart fund of 25% to the fund.
The BHCPF covers health services, including maternal and child health services, immunization and supports treatment for malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS, and provides essential drugs and medical supplies, as well as upgrading primary healthcare facilities and recruitment and training of healthcare workers, with many other additions planned. BHCPF contributes greatly to reviving and improving the PHC system in Nigeria and bridging critical gaps in our health system.
5. RECENT MILESTONES IN NIGERIA’S PRIMARY HEALTH CARE.
A. The Federal Government (FGoN) through National Primary Health Care services has as of 1st April 2023; fully vaccinated 71,477,351 Nigeria residents with COVID-19 vaccines representing 61.6% of the targeted eligible population and another 82,474,931 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The Country is still implementing the SCALES 3.0 strategy using Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine until we achieve at least 70% coverage needed for strong herd immunity against the COVID-19 virus.
B. Nigeria has remained free of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) which led to WPV certification in the African region in August 2020. In over 6 years, there has been no WPV found in Nigeria; a feat backed by a robust and efficient surveillance system, which supports empirical evidence that the wild poliovirus has been interrupted in the country.
C. Nigeria’s immunization profile records a significant improvement from 33% in 2016 to 57% in 2021, despite Covid-19 pandemic distractions.
D. the 2022/23 supplemental immunization activities (SIAs) were integrated into other PHC services under the motto: “One Country, One Team, One Plan, One Budget”. The SIAs (Measles, Yellow fever & Men A) were integrated with COVID-19 in all States, with routine Immunization in zero dose LGAs, Vitamin A in 10 states, and Birth Registration in 18 states.
Zero dose reduction strategy was implemented in 64 LGAs in 9 states identified with a high number of unimmunized children.
6. The second part of this briefing focuses on the theme of this year's health workers week, which is: “Investing in Human Resources for Health”. It is intended to create awareness and generate support for more investment in health workers, gender equity, a stronger economy, climate resilience, emergency responses, health for all, and good health and wellness outcomes for all. These are all topics the Federal Ministry of Health is already working on and, as Health Workers’ Week coincides with the 5th global forum on Human Resources for Health, it is a dual event to highlight a need to invest in Human Resources for Health.
7. The next Press Briefing of this sort will be under another administration, so I take the opportunity to recognize the contributions and tremendous dedication of our health workers to services, especially those on front-line duty, whose work saves and improve health. Nigeria, our country, appreciates the sacrifices and efforts to keep Nigerians safe and healthy, demonstrated in the COVID-19 pandemic, when health workers rose to the challenge, taking risks to keep us all safe. I also remember and especially acknowledge all health workers, including those with our Armed Forces, who lost their lives in the course of providing healthcare at all levels, scenarios, and episodes, including the past outbreaks of threats like Lassa fever, Ebola, and COVID-19.
World Health Workers Week recognizes the need to support the future of the health workforce through short and long-term investments and support for front-line health workers, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Global emerging diseases provide further reason to prioritize investments in health workers to respond effectively during pandemics.
Nigeria is among 55 countries on the WHO’s Health workers support and Safeguard list, with a shortage of health workers. It calls for support for health workforce development and health system strengthening.
8. I want to use this opportunity to call on States in the country to remove their embargo on the employment of health workers and to invest in hiring more health workers which is a barrier to our vision of achieving universal health coverage and improved quality of care. I call on all concerned to ensure that more frontline health workers are recruited than others to ensure a substantial reduction in the shortage of health workers.
The personnel budgets of health facilities should be spent on maintaining more numbers of frontline healthcare workers.
9. In order to continuously generate and maintain comprehensive data on Nigeria's health workforce, the Ministry embarked on the establishment of the National Health Workforce Registry which is a web-based information system that links healthcare workers to their respective health facilities. The registry will seamlessly help to disaggregate Health Care Workers’ information according to cadre, gender, location, age, specialty, etc. I am glad to inform you that the Ministry has completed establishing registries in 25 states of the federation + FCT with support from partners and the data is being uploaded. Information from the registry in some states has been used to produce the state health workers’ profile and a bulletin.
10. The Federal Ministry of Health has evidence-based and gender-responsive Human Resources for Health policy and a strategic plan to guide investments in the health workforce. We are responding to issues of health workers' migration by putting in place policy measures that ensure more health workers are trained, recruited, retained, and better remunerated.
The Ministry is also taking steps to elevate Human Resources for Health Branch to a programmer to better deal with the many emerging Human Resources for Health issues in Nigeria. A Human Resources for Health Conference is being planned to discuss as many of these issues as possible
and to find ways to mitigate the challenges.
11. This year’s World Health Workers’ Week is significant as it marks the 75th anniversary of when countries of the world came together and founded the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote health keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone everywhere can attain the highest level of health and well-being. I want to congratulate the WHO on this 75th anniversary of active service to humanity and thank the WHO for supporting the entire health sector in Nigeria technically and financially these years.
12. I join the WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus to call on OECD to respect the provisions in the WHO health workforce support and safeguard list, 2023, and at the same time call on the global leaders, donors, and multilateral leaders to allocate long-term sustainable funding and implement policies that protect and support health workers everywhere. I want to thank all partners and stakeholders for your valuable support.
Thank you for listening.
ERHABOR REAPPOINTED AS REGISTRAR/CEO OF MLSCN
The Honourable Minister of State for Health, Hon. Joseph Ekumankama, has conveyed the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to Dr. Tosan Erhabor, who has been reappointed as the Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), for a second and final term of four (4) Years with effect from June 9th, 2023 at a brief ceremony held on the 3rd of March, 2023 at the Minister’s Office.
While conveying the President’s approval to Dr. Erhabor, the Minister commended him for the gains and achievements recorded and charged him to continue to build and strive for excellence. “Your reappointment should be seen as a privilege to serve, let it not be seen as a gateway to slumber because it is your final tenure in office. Do not see it as an authority to deviate from what you have been doing. To whom much is given, much is expected. As the saying goes the reward for good work is more work so much is expected of you”.
Hon. Ekumankama went further to advise him to work in harmony and cordiality with all stakeholders regardless of the challenges faced. “Do not forget the enormous responsibilities and expectations of the office. I trust that you would justify the confidence reposed in you by the Ministry of Health and Mr. President by leaving your mark of progress at the Council”.
Dr. Erhabor who was grateful for his reappointment assured the Minister that he would continue to improve on his previous achievements and what he met on the ground. He stated that his reappointment would give him a new road map to sail in the next four years. “I will work earnestly to assure the Ministry and the Presidency that deemed it fit to reappoint me today that they did the right thing”.
The Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria is a Federal Government Statutory Regulatory Agency established by Act 11 of 2003 to regulate the practice of Laboratory Science in Nigeria.
Signed: Ahmadu Chindaya (Deputy Director of Media & Public Relations)
3rd March 2023
PROF. ONYEBUCHI REAPPOINTED AS MD FMC UMUAHIA
The Honourable Minister of State for Health, Hon. Joseph Ekumankama, has conveyed the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to Prof. Azubuike Onyebuchi, who has been reappointed as the Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre Umuahia Abia State for a second and final term of four (4) Years with effect from 31st March 2023 at a brief ceremony held on the 3rd of March, 2023 at the Minister’s Office.
The Minister, while congratulating him on his reappointment urge him to consolidate and improve on his previous achievements by leaving an enviable mark of progress on the hospital. “Be mindful of the fact that you will still be assessed based on what you do and will be doing, so do not relent on your good deeds. Part of the conditions for your reappointment was based on your achievements in time past and your proposed vision for the future. Let’s believe that you will do more this time for the hospital”.
Hon. Ekumankama commended Prof. Onyebuchi for the relative peace enjoyed at the hospital, stating that he is yet to receive any complaint or petition of abuse of Office from the Union or Staff of the Centre. Which is a reflection that he is a good leader who abides by the public service rules with humanity. He went further to advise him to uphold his leadership style so that future Medical Directors can emulate it.
Prof. Onyebuchi thanked the Ministry and the President for finding him worthy of his reappointment and pledged to uphold the confidence reposed in him. He promised to adhere to the counsel of the Minister by working harmoniously with members of the Board of the Hospital to ensure quality delivery of healthcare services to the people of the State.
Signed: Ahmadu Chindaya (Deputy Director of Media & Public Relations)
3rd March 2023
World Cancer Day 2023: Ehanire Reels out FG’s interventions, commissions Brachytherapy Machines for Cancer Treatment in Five Teaching Hospitals
As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate this year’s World Cancer Day (WCD), the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has highlighted some of the efforts made by the Federal Government in combating the dreaded cancer disease.
Addressing Stakeholders at a Press Briefing, Monday, in Abuja, Ehanire said the annual commemoration of World Cancer Day provides United Nations member States, national and multinational cancer organizations, and opinion leaders around the world, the opportunity to showcase their various efforts in improving the quality of life of cancer patients, advancement and increased investment in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and research.
According to the Minister: “The theme of the 2023 World Cancer Day ‘Closing the Cancer Care Gap’ seeks to address the dichotomy between different social classes in respect of access to care. The Federal Ministry of Health under my leadership has achieved several ‘FIRSTs’ in improving access to quality and affordable cancer services nationwide.
“The Federal Ministry of Health collaborated with partners to introduce the Cancer Access Partnership (CAP) Programs, to provide quality anticancer medicines to patients at 50% of the market price. The CAP program currently operates in Sixteen (16) Tertiary Hospitals, but I have now approved the inclusion of all Tertiary Hospitals across the country.
“Furthermore, I approved the inclusion of diagnostic services, such as immunohistochemistry (IHC) in the CAP Program for optimal cancer management. The CAP program exists in about 10 other countries, but Nigeria CAP is the first among them to implement so others are being tutored by us to strengthen their programs since we have made a great impact with over 3,500 cancer patients currently accessing care on the program, Ehanire said.”
Other milestones recorded according to him include the establishment of the Cancer Health Fund (CHF) for comprehensive treatment of cancers of the breast, cervix, and prostate to indigent patients, at no cost, in all six geopolitical zones, with over 431 patients currently benefiting from the Fund.
“Federal government has sustained the budget line for four years, a demonstration of rare commitment to close the cancer care gap between rich and poor in our society. Plans are underway to add at least six more cancer treatment centers to the inventory and ensure a wider reach of the Fund.
“Steps are also being taken to improve cancer services to children, working with development partners for access to comprehensive treatment for childhood cancers which require particular attention.”
Ehanire also explained that the Ministry was collaborating with the global community, to give priority attention to cervical Cancer, the second most common cancer in Nigeria, with an effort to eliminate the cancer of the cervix by the year 2030 in line with the WHO target.
“To this end, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine is being introduced into the National Program on Immunization, as we scale up secondary cancer prevention interventions being funded by UNitaid, through the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). The program started in Lagos, Rivers, and Kaduna States and now scaled up to involve Niger, Kebbi, Ondo, and Ekiti States, the Minster added.”
Similarly, the Minister informed that President Muhammadu Buhari approved a special intervention fund for the upgrade and establishment of radiotherapy services in Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) Maiduguri, and the Federal Teaching Hospital Katsina.
Also in this category according to Ehanire include the provision of Nuclear Medicine facilities at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, and Federal Teaching Hospital in Katsina.
Other achievements as reeled out by the Minister include the Development and launch of a National Policy on Chemotherapy Safety (ChemoSafe) in October 2021, implemented in collaboration with the American Cancer Society and other partners, the Development and launch of a National Policy and Strategic Plan on Hospice and Palliative care in October 2021 and Approval of review of National Cancer Control Plan (2018-2022) as well as the National Strategic Plan for Prevention and Control of Cancer of the Cervix (2017-2021).
In a related development, the Minister also used the occasion to virtually commission Brachytherapy Machines in five Teaching Hospitals across the country. The hospitals are National Hospital Abuja (NHA) Abuja, the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) Benin, University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan and Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) Zaria while hinting that Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) Sokoto would follow at a later date.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, of Health, Alhaji Mahmud Mamman, ably represented by the Director, of Health Planning Research and Statistics, Dr. Ngozi Azodo, informed that in a bid to institutionalize cancer care for all, the Federal Government has issued circulars, making mandatory for all cancer patients in Tertiary Health Institutions across the country to be reviewed by a Multidisciplinary Tumour Board (MDT) for best cancer treatment outcomes while ensuring that the best range of infrastructure and anticancer medicines are provided for optimum treatment outcomes of cancer patients in the country.
The Permanent Secretary also said that the Ministry is making concerted efforts to ensure that relevant policies and guidelines are available to guide all Healthcare workers to provide quality services comparable to what is obtainable in other developed countries.
In her welcome address, the Director and Head, of the Department of Hospital Services, Dr. Salma Anas Ibrahim, represented by the Coordinator, of the National Cancer Control Programme, Dr. Okpikpi Okpako noted that the theme for this year’s WCD was unique and timely in the era where there is gross inequity in terms of access to cancer care between and within nations.
Apart from the several efforts being made towards addressing the challenges of all cancers holistically, the Director explained that special attention is being paid to preventable cancers and improved access to diagnostic and treatment capacities of healthcare workers and institutions through training and retraining as well as comprehensive cancer care, ranging from early detection, right diagnosis and accessible treatment including affordable chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy.
Present at the occasion were stakeholders and development partners including the Nigerian Cancer Society (NCS), National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) among others, who took turns to give their goodwill messages.
Deputy Director/Head (FMoH Media & Public Relations Unit)
FG SIGNS 3 YEAR MOU WITH GERMANY TO IMPROVE MATERNAL HEALTH IN FIVE NORTHERN STATES
The Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed determination towards improving reproductive health and pandemic resilience in Nigeria through effective design to contribute to the reduction of maternal death and unplanned pregnancies that will improve the health of women and girls by the provision of high-quality resilient information and services.
The Minister of State for Health, Hon Joseph Nkama Ekumakama made this known during the 3-year tripartite agreement signed in his office Tuesday in Abuja.
Hon Ekumakama who represented the Federal Government of Nigeria co-signed with Mr. Emmanuel Ajah, Country Director of Marie Stopes International Organization, Nigeria, and was monitored by the representative from the German Embassy in Nigeria, Susanne Schroder.
The objective of the planned intervention project is that women and girls particularly adolescents are empowered to choose high-quality integrated SRH products and pandemic-resilient information and services, while the project will achieve four key outputs, improved knowledge and choice through social norm change and increase community support, drive sustainability and national ownership of SRH programs through partnership advocacy and enabling supportive legal and financial policy frameworks, improve access to and expanded choice of voluntary and integrated SRH Services. Increased resilience to hardships and violations exacerbated by pandemic situations through information and guidance support.
Meanwhile, direct beneficiaries are women of reproductive age including a focus on adolescents, people with disabilities, people living in poverty, and SQBV Survivors as well as men, while indirect beneficiaries are religious leaders, community leaders, healthcare service providers, and government staff.
Finally, the project service delivery location in Nigeria will be concentrated in the 5 northern states namely:- Adamawa, Taraba, Zamfara, Kebbi, and Katsina in other to reach the most vulnerable populations.
The project is planned for a period of 36 months, expected to start in 2023. The German Government, through KFW Development Bank, will support the project with 16,940,00 million euros.
A A Chindaya
FG Welcomes partnership with UniAbuja on Human Capital Development
The Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has expressed the Federal Government’s readiness to support and collaborate with the University of Abuja in the area of human capital development, particularly the training and certification for Paramedics in the Institution and across the country.
Dr Ehanire made this known on Tuesday, when he received the delegation from the University of Abuja, led by its Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, in his Conference Room, Federal Secretariat, Abuja.
Welcoming the delegation, the Minister said, “Health and Education are the pillars of human capital development, therefore, the idea of collaboration in this area is a very welcome development.” He also noted that the paramedic training programme of the University aligns with the vision of the National Emergency Management and Ambulance System (NEMSAS), which is currently being spearheaded by the Ministry.
While responding to issues earlier raised by the VC and his team, the Minister advised the University to also consider devising other innovative ways of tackling the issue of human capital development, to which he made the following suggestions: Co-opting the National Hospital Abuja into the University Teaching Hospital system, conversion of brain-drain to brain-gain through diaspora engagement, Developing paramedics programmes for NEMSAS, Organizing local training and utilization of Healthcare workers, Introducing special programmes in the school of nursing and Telemedicine among others.
Briefing the Honourable Minister earlier, on the purpose of the visit, the Director, Public Private Partnership, Diaspora & Intergovernmental Collaborations, Prof. Sydney Ibeanusi informed that the visit was part of an intergovernmental collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Health and to intimate the Hon. Minister of some of the programmes and activities of the University that are of mutual benefit to both the University and the Ministry, adding that part of those programmes was the programme on training of paramedics.
The Vice-Chancellor who was accompanied by the Deputy VC Academic, Prof. Clement Alawa, Provost, College of Health Science, Prof Mustapha Jamda Abubakar, Director, Centre for Paramedics & Emergency Health Services, Prof. Oseremen Aisuodionoe-Shadrach, Director Advancement, Dr Yusuf Lawal and Dr J.O. Obande of Paramedics and Health Emergency Health Services, commended
the Minister for what he has been able to achieve in the Health Sector so far, particularly in the area of the NEMSAS programme which he said aligns with the vision of the Paramedic's training programme of the University.
The VC however expressed concern over the fate of those currently undergoing the National Diploma Programme in paramedics at the University, as there is currently no career path for them in the scheme of service.
He also sought the urgent intervention of the Government through the Honourable Minister, in the following areas: To develop and approve the release of two years Higher National Diploma (HND) curriculum for the Paramedics Technology Programme, To develop, approve and circulate through the National Council of Establishment, the scheme of Service for Paramedics, to enable them to have placement and career progression within the public and private sectors of the country, To encourage and facilitate the immediate result verification and accreditation visitation exercise to any sub-paramedics training programme in Nigeria.
The UniAbuja team, therefore, appealed to the Government to prioritize and treat as urgent, the issue of career path, proper certification and development of curriculum for the Paramedics programme as it has a multiplier effect on both the academia and the health sector.
On the issue of career paths and certification for trained Paramedics, the Director, of Public Health, Dr Alex-Okoh, advised that the University channel their request through an official letter to the Honourable Minister, to enable the Ministry to take it up from there.
Also present at the occasion were the Chief Medical Director, of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo, Director of Hospital Services, Dr Salma Anas, Senior Technical Assistant to the Honourable Minister, Dr Mukhtar Muhammad and other top Management staff of the Ministry.
Head, Media & Public Relations