PRESS RELEASES (209)
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-appointment of Dr. John Emaimo as Rector, Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy, Enugu State for a second and final term of four (4) years with effect from 27th November, 2020.
The approval was conveyed in a letter signed by the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, and was presented to him at the Minister of State’s Conference Room, Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja, Wednesday, 28th October, 2020.
Dr. Mamora while congratulating the Rector, said he was found eligible for a second term in office based on assessment by the Ministry. He urged him to continue to work with his team because whatever achievements he had in his first term could not have been done alone but with the collective effort of his team.
The Honourable Minister of State for Health further reminded him of “the enormous responsibilities of the office and the expectations of the Government and people of Nigeria from him towards achieving efficient service delivery. He urged him to endeavour to improve on the achievements already attained at the College as well as justify the confidence reposed in him, by working with all stakeholders for harmony and in support of Mr. President’s Change Agenda for next level, and leave a legacy that posterity would remember him for.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi who was present at the event said Emaimo’s re-appointment was as a result of his hard work, and that to whom much is given much is expected. He enjoined him to work harder and not rest on his oars.
Dr. John Emaimo expressed his appreciation to the Federal Government for his re-appointment as Rector, College Federal College of Dental technology and Therapy, Enugu State, and pledged to ensure that the College renders quality service to the Nigerian populace, to do more than what he has done before and also take the College to the next level and greater heights.
Also present at the event were Mr Paul Yahaya, Registrar of the College; Mrs. Felicia Egbeh, Bursar; Dr. Isaac Ogbonna, Librarian, Aniekan Micheal – Liason Officer and other Senior Directors of Federal Ministry of Health.
Vandalizing, Crashing Medical Stores Can Render Medications, Vaccines Ineffective, Poisonous, Dr. Mamora Cautions.
The Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora has appealed to youth protesters amongst whose ranks are looters to stop crashing medical stores “because most of the medicines and medical consumables in these stores are stored under controlled environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity, and disruption of these, would render them ineffective and in some cases, poisonous.
Dr. Mamora stated this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Press Briefing on Monday, 26th October, 2020.
He pointed out that the NCDC Warehouse in Idu at the outskirt of Abuja is used for the storage of medical and laboratory consumables and equipment. He said a destruction of these items will impact negatively on the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also called on those who are in possession of vaccines, medicine and other equipment and consumables to please return them, so that those that can still be salvaged will be used and those that cannot, will be disposed-off properly.
The Minister of State disclosed that Nigeria’s COVID-19 impact has a total of 61,992 confirmed cases from 607,435 persons tested for COVID while 57,465 cases have been discharged. “We have sadly lost 1,130 persons to the disease.”
Continuing, he said, “We now have 3,397 active cases as more persons are treated and discharged with case fatality rate of 1.8%. This, he said is less than the case fatality rate of 2.4% in Africa and the global rate of 2.8%.”
Mamora further said that Nigeria is not relenting in its efforts to ensure that the case fatality rate continues to decline as emphasises are focused on improvement in case management capacity and ensure availability of equipment and medical consumables for our health workers.
The Honourable Minister of State also disclosed that with the decline in the number of active cases and the number of cases on admission drops, some Isolation Centres in the country are already making arrangements to rationalize the number of frontline health personnel into the reserve pool or redeployed, adding that it would be done in a manner to ease re-mobilization where necessary, he stated.
However, the Minister said that states and relevant stakeholders have been advised not to completely close all isolation centres due to consistent lack of patients but some centres should rather be maintained. This, he said is to ensure promptness and readiness against any surge as part of preparation against possible second wave.
He said, ‘’we are taking advantage of this low active cases to carry out appraisal and reappraisal of activities at the isolation centres. This is necessary to assess and understand areas of strengths, weaknesses, available opportunities as well as dangers’’. According to him, such activities will consolidate gains while taking measures to prevent re-occurrence of errors as well as deployment of appropriate resources.
Mamora further disclosed that arrangements have been made for stock taking and repurposing of equipment earlier deployed to temporary isolation centres with a view to using the opportunity provided by the resource mobilisation for the COVID-19 response for strengthening of health systems.
The Minister advised the general public to continue to practise the non-pharmaceutical interventions prescribed by infectious diseases experts, including hand washing, use of face masks, hand sanitizers and social distancing in order to control community spread of the disease.
By Nwokike Brendan
OlujimiOyetomi, Director, Information, Media & Public Relations.
Storage In Warehouses Are Strategic For Emergencies, Stop Crashing Them, Dr. Ehanire Urges Edo Youths & Others
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has pleaded with youths of Edo State through the National Youth Council, Edo State Chapter to refrain from destructive protests and crashing Government warehouses in the State as the food items stored in those warehouses, from what he knows, are not all for COVID-19 palliative but also strategic warehousing to help victims of emergencies of flood, fire outbreaks, and those who may not be able to help themselves when emergencies occur.
“From what I know, the palliatives were not being hoarded as widely believed, they are strategic food reserves and were deliberate Government policies to help those who may come to situations where they may not be able to help themselves.” Government, the Honourable Minister said, need to be prepared ahead of emergencies, because when they occur and Government is caught napping, money even when available will not be able to get the foods to be supplied because the markets also would have been closed.
Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the Honourable Minister of Health who is from Edo State, retreated to Benin City to engage in fatherly conversation with Edo youths through the National Youth Council, Edo State Chapter led in by their president, Comrade Osahon Obasuyi who came with the Executives of the State Council composed of Barrister Rose Emmanuela Ukhun, Comrade Emhonbotiti Eghonghon Charles, Ogiehor Ehis Tornado and Edo Shedrack Osamuyimen.
The conversation by the Honourable Minister with the Edo youths took place in Edo State Government House, Dennis Osadebey Avenue, Benin City, Sunday, 25th October, 2020 and the youths who highlighted a lot of issues bothering them expressed the wish not only to have more of the conversation in the future, but told the Honourable Minister that the lack of such is reason why the youths took to the street. The engagement forum expressed regrets that the legitimate protest of the youths which was hijacked led to the regrettable extent to which it went.
Dr. Ehanire seized the opportunity of the conversation with the youths to express it on them that Government has been facing resource generation challenge in the face of several plans which it has been executing to ensure that the Nigerian society is conducive for youths and other citizens. He disclosed that COVID-19 which no one expected came to compound the social and economic situation of the Country. The Honourable Minister therefore appealed to the youths to join Government to build and find opportunities to complement private sector and self-initiated ones for the youths. He also appealed to the youths whom he noticed already have general education to seek specific selling skills to help themselves as Government; he said may not be in a position to employ every youth who are in need of employment.
The Edo Youths have engaged the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire in a free-flowing conversation lasting well over two hours in which they highlighted several issues which include a wish to be partner with the elderly ones in Government rather than being largely excluded over time; frequent conversation engagement with their representatives in Government; Constitutional review which would favour the youths; review of job placement policy which does not favour the youths who have been delayed at schools due to frequent strikes by their lecturers and several other demands.
Dr. Osagie Ehanire who disclosed to the youths, the positive impression they registered on him by the way they drove the conversation advised them to also consider intellectual engagements with the elders and Government functioners while appealing to them to calm down and not continue crashing Government and private warehouses and assets because the assets are for public good.
Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media & Public Relations.
Dr. Ehanire Applauds Nigeria Aids Indicator And Impact Survey (NAIIS) Report As Most Reliable Estimate Of National HIV Prevalence & Incidence
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has applauded the Nigeria Aids Indicator And Impact Survey (NAIIS) describing it as the most reliable estimate of national HIV prevalence and incidence “not only in terms of the large number of households reached, but in its geographic scope which included all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.”
Dr. Ehanire gave the applause to the NAIIS report while receiving the document on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria from Her Excellency, the Ambassador of the United States to Nigeria, Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, at a very brief ceremony held at the Honourable Minister’s 1st Floor Conference Room of Federal Ministry of Health on Friday, 25th September, 2020.
The Honourable Minister described the benefit of the survey over previous response: “With the survey, we have evidence to help us map out the road to end the HIV epidemic in Nigeria, rather than previous operations by estimates and guesswork. We can already see incremental benefits from application of the new knowledge, as compared to previous effort, and the progress made in anti-retroviral therapy coverage of people living with HIV, along with viral suppression levels”; summing up that “This final report is an important reference document to inform our policies, programmes, and funding priorities”
Dr. Ehanire expressed the commitment of working with Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) partners “to achieve epidemic control, by strengthening the evidence base for decision making as an important component of the next phase of work.”
The Honourable Minister further assured of “building capacity in human resources and infrastructure for better monitoring and tracking” disclosing that his Ministry had laid a foundation through the National Data Repository, to improvise routine HIV surveillance.”
Dr. Ehanire also pledged that “We shall, in addition, continue to conduct Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance Surveys (IBBS) for key populations, to ensure that no one is left behind” expressing his pleasure to note that the fourth round of this survey is now in process.”
The Honourable Minister pointed out the changing needs of HIV response in Nigeria, especially the competing priorities occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said: “Mobilizing additional domestic and international resources will be critical for sustaining the gains we have made.”
While the Minister was thanking the donors and partners for their contributions, he solicited also for their continued support. He expressed appreciation to the United States Government “for the significant financial contribution that enabled NAIIS implementation” while he also acknowledged “the additional funding provided by the Global Fund.”
Dr. Ehanire also expressed appreciation for the technical assistance received from UN agencies like the UNAIDS, WHO and UNICEF, “as well as other stakeholders and partners”, thanking the University of Maryland, for “its role as the Technical Support Organization for the survey”; the Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), “for his role in leading the University of Maryland team at the time of survey implementation”; and “all those who brought their experience to bear in support of the project.”
By Olujimi Oyetomi.
Director, Media & Public Relations.
As the world constantly remind itself that this is a new virus and there is still a lot to be learnt, Nigeria shall continue to engage with friends and partners using lessons learnt to improve our response thus building on the gains we have made in controlling the pandemic.
This statement was made by the Honourable Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire at the Presidential Task Force briefing held on Monday, 12th of October where he made it known that in the past 24 hours, Nigeria recorded 163 new COVID-19 cases in 12 states, bringing the total confirmed cases to 60,266 out of 554,006persons tested so far. 51,735 cases have been discharged and 1,115 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, with 7,416 active cases currently receiving treatment either at home, in home care or in a facility.
Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora who stood in for the Honourable Minister of Health at the press briefing said that Nigeria will continue to share its experiences as well as learn from the experience of other countries. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the value, a well-coordinated multi-stakeholder approach can bring to improved health care and underscore the invaluable result of partnership”, stating that Nigeria’s response in the fight against the pandemic remains to build around our strategy of trace, test, isolate and treat. In this regard, training of health workers is ongoing across the country on infection prevention and control, contact tracing and case management. The result of this is that the rate of infection among health workers has reduced and more cases are being successfully treated and discharged.
The Minister further reported of the launch of the Nigeria Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent and Elderly Health plus Nutrition (RMNCAEH+N) Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform to harness the relative strength of diverse stakeholders and create huge opportunities to leverage resources towards maximization of outcomes and attainment of shared vision for Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable population most of whom are women, children, adolescents and the elderly which took place earlier in the day.
He expressed delight by the commitment of traditional leaders to issues concerning the health of our women, children and the vulnerable which was displayed as royal fathers from different parts of the country spoke with one voice in support of the RMNCAEH+N platform.
Whilst reiterating that the pandemic is not over yet, we all owe it as a duty to ensure that we protect ourselves and protect others. Wear a mask when in public places, ensure physical distancing and observe respiratory hygiene.
By Blessing Efem
Olujimi Oyetomi, Director (Media & P.R.)
FG Seeks Coordination Through Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent & Elderly Health Plus Nutrition (RMNCAEH+N) Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Platform
The journey of Nigeria to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which has been difficult and its coordination which has been fraught with challenges may soon come to an end with the launch of the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent and Elderly Health Plus Nutrition (RMNCAEH+N) Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform.
The motto of the RMNCAEH+N Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform is “partnering for the wellbeing of women, children, adolescents and the elderly” which tallies with the objective of Universal Health Coverage which itself is aimed at leaving no one behind.
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire launched the RMNCAEH+N Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Monday, 12th October, 2020 declaring that “At least $252 million (two hundred and fifty-two million US dollars) will be required for full implementation of the Blueprint across Federal, State, Local government and community levels.”
While speaking before the launch of the stakeholder partnership coordinating platform, Dr. Ehanire has observed that “the health of Nigerian women and children has not fared too well” given Nigeria’s poor health indices where the maternal mortality ratio is 512 per 100,000 live births, prenatal mortality rate is 49 per 1,000 live births, neonatal mortality is 38 per 1,000 live births, infant mortality is 67 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality is 132 per 1,000 live births (NDHS 2018).
The report detailed by the Honourable Minister further showed that “Female genital mutilation (FGM), gender-based violence (GBV), teenage pregnancy, unplanned pregnancy and unsafe abortion among adolescents, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 on the elderly, have all become major public health emergencies.” He concluded the grim picture with additional observation that there is an “Increase in the prevalence of wasting among children due to malnutrition.” The Minister surmised that the aforementioned indicate that “a lot still needs to be done” by a combination of the authorities, stakeholders and partners to ameliorate the plight of Nigerians in the aspect of healthcare despite the modest but slow progress made over the last decade.
Dr. Ehanire said what would have been seen as progress was also besotted by the COVID-19 pandemic which further weakened Nigeria’s already fragile health system. He however said that “Despite the pandemic, we are unrelenting in our push to achieve global targets.”
“We have recorded some progress towards improvement of child survival and safe-motherhood through the provision of ready to use therapeutic food (RUTF) and sustaining the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) commitments to ensure availability of family planning services to women and adolescents of reproductive age. In the same vein, making the National Health Act, 2014 (NHAct) through the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) operational, will greatly improve access to quality health care, particularly at the primary health care (PHC) level.”
The Honourable Minister’s optimism was also anchored on the National Emergency Medical Treatment Committee (NEMTC) which he said will provide emergency medical transport for health emergencies including pregnant women, to facilitate access to emergency obstetric care at the time of need. “The provision of emergency transport alone has been demonstrated to reduce maternal mortality by as much as 50%”, the Minister said.
Dr. Ehanire declared that the vision of the RMNCAEH+N Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform is to be driven by key stakeholders which have an institutional mandate, passion and track record of work related to the wellbeing of women, children, adolescent and-or the elderly. He went on to reveal membership of the Coordination Platform as follows:-
The Head of the Department of Family Health and Heads of Programmes in Family Health in Federal Ministry of Health; The Heads of the Departments of Hospital Services; Health Planning, Research and Statistics; Food and Drugs Services; Public Health; Public-Private Partnership and Diaspora; and Special Projects in the Federal Ministry of Health.
Other members from the Agencies of the Federal Ministry of Health include:
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA); National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS); National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC); Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), and the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR).
The Honourable Minister of Health further listed other members from Heath and Health-Related Parastatals which include: The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA); The National Population Commission (NPopC); The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), and The National Orientation Agency (NOA).
There are yet other members from Health Regulatory Bodies which include: The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN); The Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN); The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN); The Community Health Practitioners Regulatory Board (CHPRB), and The Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN).
Those from Line Ministries include: the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs; The Federal Ministries of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; Education; Agriculture and Rural Development; Finance, Budget and National Planning; Communication and Digital Economy; and Information and Culture.
The Honourable Minister of Health directed that “Commissioners from States’ Ministry of Health will feature on rotational basis, having one per geopolitical zone together with the FCT Secretary of Health and the Chair of the Commissioners Forum.”
From the Legislature, Dr. Ehanire declared that “Parliamentarians will include the offices of the Chairs of the Senate and House Committees on Health” while from the Professional Associations, he included the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON); the Pediatrics Association of Nigeria (PAN); the Nigerian Society of Neonatal Medicine (NiSoNM); the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN); the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM); the Society of Family Health Practitioners of Nigeria (SOFPON); the National Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicines (NAPPMED); the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN); the National Association of Community Health Practitioners of Nigeria (NACHPN); the Guild of Medical Directors of Nigeria (GMD); the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN); the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Nigeria; the Nutrition Society of Nigeria; the National Maternal and Prenatal Death Review and Surveillance (MPDRS), and the leadership of the programme-based technical working groups (Reproductive Health, Child Health, Adolescent Health, Elderly TWG).
From the ranks of Traditional Leaders, Dr. Ehanire requested representation from each geopolitical zone of the country while from the International and Development Partners, Donor Agencies and Foundations membership of the RMNCAEH+N Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform include the United Nations (UN) Group: the World Health Organization (WHO); the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); the World Bank, and the UN Women.
Members are also drawn from Bilateral organizations: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF); the Department for International Development (DFID); the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD); the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Global Affairs Canada; and Africa Health Budget Network.
The Coordinating Platform has provision for “an alternate Board Member of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) and Co-Chair of PMNCH Country Engagement Working Group.”
From the Civil Societies and Women Groups, membership of the RMNCAEH+N Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform is drawn from: National Council for Women Society (NCWS); National Advocates for Health; Representative of Youths and Adolescents; Representative of Women Groups; Representative of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs); HERFON.
From Faith-Based Organizations, membership of the RMNCAEH+N Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform was drawn from representatives of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); the National Council on Islamic Affairs (NCIA); and the Nigerian Interfaith Action Association (NIFAA).
Membership was also drawn from Representative of Civil Society Coalition for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH); Legislative Network on Universal Health Coverage (UHC); Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Elder Persons in Nigeria; Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED); Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN).
The Media was not left out as membership of the RMNCAEH+N Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform was drawn from amongst them to include the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHeJ); Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ); Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWoJ); Centre for Communication and Social Impact; and International Society for Media in Public Health (ISMPH).
From the Organized Private Sector, and Unions, the followings were included as members of the Platform: Health Care Federation of Nigeria; and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
Known Private Philanthropists were also ranked among the membership of the RMNCAEH+N Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform: the Dangote Foundation; the Tony Elumelu Foundation; and the TY Danjuma Foundation were listed.
The Director General of Nigeria Governor’s Forum was also listed as a member of the RMNCAEH+N Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform.
Dr. Osagie Ehanire said the work of the members of the Platform which will begin Tuesday, 13th October, 2020 will mostly be through Committees whose meetings will mostly be virtual.
There were partners who featured prominently through their statement of commitments, collaborative remarks and Legislative remarks at the launch. The Royal Fathers – the Sultan of Sokoto (represented), Obi of Onitsha, the Sheu of Borno and the Ooni of Ife want FG to have clear roles for traditional rulers as well as for FG to note that IDPs would need consideration in terms of nutrition. They also want resources to be set aside for them to mobilize the support of the grassroots.
The Executive Secretary of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said the platform will reduce duplication and wants everyone to note that Nigerians are impatient to see action in healthcare delivery. The Executive Secretary of NHIS aligned with the ES NPHCDA and emphasized a need for integration through the platform.
The DG Governors’ Forum pledged the commitment of the Governors to the success of the platform whilst the Chair of the Forum of Health Commissioners assured that all resources of the States will be mobilized in support but wants the FG not to leave any State behind.
WHO’s Walter K. Molombo also gave the endorsement of the World Health Body. UNFPA’s Dep. Rep. as well as the Dep. Rep. of UNICEF were all in attendance virtually and they all pledged their support to the new initiative.
The President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Prof. Innocent Ujah asked that all must work together to reduce duplication, increase coordination and entrench inclusivity and add research for Nigeria to get it right.
Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media & Public Relations.
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has flagged off Nigeria’s Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent and Elderly Health Plus Nutrition (RMNCAEH+N) Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Coordination Platform in Abuja.
Speaking at a Press Briefing on Friday, 9th October, 2020 at the Federal Ministry of Health Headquarters, Dr Ehanire said the Platform is part of Federal Government’s strategy towards realizing the Sustainable Development Goals and attainment of Universal Health Coverage. Healso announced that the platform would be launched on Monday 12th of October, 2020 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
The Minister explained that the platform which has the motto: partnering for wellbeing of women, children, adolescents, and the elderly, encapsulates the core values that drive Universal Health Coverage, with the aim of leaving no one behind.
Dr. Ehanire noted that the Issues that confront the health of the Family in Nigeria are multidimensional and thus, require an integrated, multi-sectoral approach as no one institution can handle the task. To this end, he informed that the multi-stakeholder coordination platform aims to harness the relative strengths of the diverse stakeholders and create opportunities to pull resources together in order to maximize outcomes for attainment of the shared vision for Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable population.
Further, the Minister lamented over the poor status of Nigeria’s health indices. According to him: “Our health indices are unacceptably poor, with a maternal mortality ratio of 512 per 1,000 live births, under-five mortality rate of 132 per 1,000 live births and neonatal mortality rate of 39 per 1000 live births.”
He however admitted that the present administration has made remarkable progress towards improvement of child survival and safe motherhood. This he said, was achieved through the provision of ready-to-use therapeutic food and sustaining FP2020 commitments to ensure availability of family planning services to women of reproductive age amongst other things.
Dr. Ehanire added that making the National Health Act and the Basic Health Care Provision Fund operational will greatly improve access to quality health care for the vulnerable, particularly at the primary healthcare level.
He expressed optimism that the birth of the RMNCAEH+N Platform would bring to actualization, President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision towards improving the health of the vulnerable populace.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi noted that the partnership aims at addressing the multi-pronged issues affecting the attainment of the Universal Health Care Coverage in Nigeria.
Mr. Abdulaziz M. Abdullahi also pointed out that the Platform which commences with the commemoration of the high level advocacy event would bring RMNCAEH+N issues to the front burner of political and societal agenda.
He highlighted the membership of the platform to include: Governments, parliamentarians, media, regulatory bodies, philanthropists and donors, development organizations, academia and professional bodies, pressure groups, traditional and religious institutions, private sector, women groups, civil society among others.
While commenting on some of the issues raised by Journalists who were present at the press briefing, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHIS), Dr. Faisal Shuaib pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected both the resources and physical space of every economy, making it difficult to attain the Universal Health Coverage and as such, he describes the RMNCAEH+N platform as seeking to provide opportunity for Stakeholders to converge and brainstorm, to explore strategies that will guarantee enhance an efficient health care delivery for Nigerians. “Part of Universal Health Care; RMNCAEH+N is very essential and it is very important that at this point of our lives when resources and the physical space has been confiscated by COVID-19 pandemic that we can now look inwards and look for how we can reduce waste.”
Shuaib further posited that “Iit is not the question of asking for more money for the health sector but more health for the money that has been provided.” While acknowledging the role of the Media in driving the implementation of the RMNCAEH+N strategies, he appealed to them to spread the news across all levels of the society focusing on health promotion, disease prevention and management to ensure that people are rehabilitated.
By Blessing Egbo.
Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media and Public Relations.
The Federal Government has confirmed the appointment of Dr. Imafidon Osama Agbonile as the Medical Director of Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City for a term of four (4) years with effect from 1st October, 2020.
The Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora conveyed the confirmation of Dr. Imafidon Osama Agbonile which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.
In conveying the approval of the appointment to Dr. Agbonile, the Honourable Minister of State for Health charged the appointee to “work hard to ensure that the hospital continues to provide quality health care” and “endeavour to improve on the present achievements and leave your mark of progress on the Institution.”
While congratulating the appointee, Dr. Mamora further urged him to “justify the confidence reposed in you by this appointment and work with all stakeholders for industrial peace and harmony in support of Mr. President’s change Agenda for the next level.
Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media.
FG Appoints Dr. Yusuf Bara Jibrin As Chief Medical Director, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, Bauchi State
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has conveyed the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to Dr. Yusuf Bara Jibrin who has been appointed as the Chief Medical Director of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi (ATBUTH), Bauchi State for a term of 4 (Four) Years with effect from 9th September, 2020 at a brief ceremony held 2nd October, 2020 at the Honourable Minister’s Office.
While conveying the President’s approval to Dr. Jubrin, the Honourable Minister had the Honourable Minister of State, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora in attendance along with the some Directors of the Federal Ministry of Health: the Director, Hospital Services, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, mni; Director, Teaching Hospitals Division, Dr. Ngozi Onwudiwe and the Director, Media and Public Relations, Mr. Olujimi Oyetomi who were each given the opportunity to share some nuggets with the newly appointed Chief Medical Director.
First to advise was the Director, Teaching Hospitals Division, Dr. Ngozi Onwudiwe who did not only congratulate the appointee but also charged him to see his new appointment as a heavy responsibility alongside an honour.
She charged him to ensure that the system at the ATBUTH is made better. “Make it better; make services available to our people; form a team with your worker as there are so many professions in the health system, and for you to succeed, every profession must be carried along. You are the CMD of everybody, you are not the CMD of Doctors or Consultants, whoever works in that hospital is your staff. Carry along your Board and carry along the host community for you to succeed. So, let’s have you in the next 4 years when you bring the report of your first 4 years, we will be able to see encyclopaedia of achievements.”
The Director of Hospital Services, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, mni toed the line of Dr. Ngozi Onwudiwe but departed when she charged the new CMD of ABTUTH by asking him to learn from his predecessors who were praised or reprimanded for. She charged the new CMD to in particular mind the rules. “If you go by the rules governing that office, you will always get it right, you will not get it wrong”, she admonished. “There are Public Service Rules, Financial Regulations that you must always ensure that you align your actions, your activities, your decisions with.”
The Director, Media and Public Relations of the Ministry, Mr. Olujimi Oyetomi was also requested to advise the new CMD on aspect of Public Relations. He advised that “the CMD should not play down the opportunity of clarifying issues which the Media may approach him to clarify.” He requested the new CMD to “accommodate the Media” and if his time is so taken up by routine matters, he could “delegate the responsibility of response to the Media to a trusted person who could speak to the issue rather than allow rumour to thrive in place of the facts and the truth.”
The Honourable Minister of State, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora charged Dr. Yusuf Bara Jibrin to bear it in mind that “Public Office is Public Trust.”
He also charged the new CMD to realize that he is not the only one qualified to be appointed to that office and therefore must administer justice and fairness to everyone.
“In trying to administer justice to all, also know that you may not come out perfect; you cannot satisfy everybody. Also, bear it at the back of your mind that someday, you will leave. So, what you will be remembered for is the legacy you leave behind. So, it is now left for you to choose which legacy you want to be remembered for.”
The Honourable Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire summed up by charging Dr. Jubrin to note that “the greatest challenge” for him is in “Management.” You will be managing materials, money, and above all, you are managing human beings.” “Human being is the most difficult.”
Dr. Ehanire asked that the new CMD of ATBUTH must know that this position (he has been appointed to) “is not personal to you.” “You are managing on behalf of the Ministry of Health; the Ministry of Health is managing on behalf of the President.” “You must know that your appointment was approved by somebody. Whatever you do, we take responsibility, and ultimately he (The President) takes responsibility.”
The Honourable Minister further charged the new appointee to accord everyone their deserved respect and make everyone to work as a team and get along with the technocrats, the politician and everyone else on his Board.
In response, Dr. Yusuf Bara Jibrin expressed appreciation for all the nuggets and pledged to put his best foot forward as he goes on to start work at his new duty post.
Director (Media & Public Relations.
The Federal Government on Friday, 25th September, 2020, has commissioned and handed over the Infectious Disease Centre (IDC) in the Federal Capital Territory to the management of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada.
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire who commissioned the facility, directed that it should be put to immediate use to allow for space management.
“COVID-19 has been a wakeup call for the health sector and we are living up to the challenge. However, we shall continue to sustain routine services in order to maintain the gains in health indices we have made so far. “I have therefore directed that this centre be put to immediate use so that the space currently being utilised for COVID-19 isolation and treatment, can be used for the purpose it was built”, he said.
The Minister informed that the project which commenced over a year ago, was part of the commitment of the Federal Government to providing the necessary infrastructure and resources for infectious disease management, through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. He added that the Centre was barely completed when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. “I am very proud that today, we now have an international standard centre where we can manage highly pathogenic infectious disease cases, including critical medical and laboratory equipment”, he said.
Further, Dr. Ehanire pointed out that the 40-bed facility will boost Nigeria's capacity to manage infectious diseases and respond to outbreaks in the country. According to him, “With laboratory testing and case management in one location, there is much shorter time between sample collection and infection confirmation, which ensures early initiation of treatment and thus mitigate mortality during infectious disease outbreaks.”
The Minister hinted that The Federal Government is in collaboration with State Governments to adopt the F.C.T IDC model, to ensure adequate preparedness to handle infectious disease outbreaks across the country.
Dr. Ehanire also commissioned one other facility at the UATH: the Accident and Emergency Unit which is a 32-bed Unit with an intensive care unit (ICU), radiology suite, dialysis unit, fully equipped dedicated operating theatre and oxygen supply; and the Cardiology Unit with a full complement of facilities for non-invasive procedures including a 4D echocardiograph.
The Honourable Minister of Health later laid the foundation for the Mental Health Block , a 76-bed block which, when completed, will have facilities for specialized therapies; an emergency area; consulting, psychotherapy and seminar rooms; and a pharmacy.
The Minister commended everyone who has been a part of the success story, particularly all the health workers who have sustained the response over the past 8 months. “You are true heroes”, he said.
By Blessing Egbo
Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Information.