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Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

Monday, April 25, 2022

April 25, 2022

World Malaria Day 2022: Senator Gershom Bassey's Message To Cross Riverians


Malaria remains one of the most popular illnesses in Nigeria, young and old are conversant with. 

I have also had my fair share of struggling with the disease a few times but for the wonderful help of health care workers who come to the rescue. 

One thing that I have observed is how easy it is to come down with this condition several times a year. This inspired my research because indeed one must admit that the reduction in productivity in man-hours from being down with malaria is a cause for concern, especially as a representative of my people who is always on the move to bring more development back home.

I learned that Malaria isn't a Nigerian problem alone, and globally 228 million cases were recorded in the last year, however, 95% of such cases were domiciled in the African sub-region. It is also a disease that claims so many lives annually, especially in under-five children.

So I am forced to ask, in this day and age, why should we lose a human being to a preventable and treatable illness. The answers are obvious, there is poor access to health care and overwhelming poverty in the land. Many cannot afford routine prevention, or even testing when they feel ill, others cannot afford to buy antimalarials or insecticides to regularly spray and kill mosquitoes at home. 

The African Regional Director for WHO, in his speech on the theme of the day, "Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives” noted that it was more of a health challenge and involved a political component. 

Government and leaders at all levels must take responsibility to mitigate the challenge and put a premium on the lives of citizens. Advances have been made in the area of malaria prevention, how prepared are to ensure that it gets to the underserved areas. How equipped is the government to improve the economic conditions of families to enable them to afford basic health care. It is the job of the Government to fully equip and establish functional primary health care centers to provide essential drugs for a disease that is endemic and constitutes a high burden throughout the year.

Today, I reassure fellow residents in Cross River State of my commitment to the fight against malaria and to adopt global best practices and any resource available to reduce the scourge and save the lives of our people. 

God bless Cross River State.

God bless Nigeria.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

March 02, 2022

House Of Reps Consider Making Med Lab Scientists, Nurses, Pharmacists, Others To Head Hospitals


The House of Representatives has passed for second reading a bill seeking to include pharmacists, nurses and other medical professionals in the board of the teaching hospitals.

The legislation is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards Etc.) Act, Cap. U15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Restructure the Composition of the Governing Board, Review the Nomenclature of the Heads of the Hospitals, Redefine the Qualifications of the Heads of the Hospitals, Provide a Definite Tenure of Office of the Heads of the Hospitals, Including Students of Health Sciences in the Training Programmes of the Hospitals and include Hospitals Established Post–Enactment of the Extant Legal Framework in the Schedule.’

According to the bill, sponsored by a member of the House, Bamidele Salam, the proposal seeks to review the terminology of the heads of the hospitals (Chief Medical Director).

It also sought to redefine the qualification of the head of hospitals, provide a definite tenure of office of the heads of the hospitals, including students of Health Sciences in the training programmes of the hospitals, and include hospitals established post-enactment of the extant legal framework.

Leading the debate on the bill at the second reading on Wednesday, Salam noted that in the United Kingdom, to become a hospital administrator, one does not have to be a medical practitioner.

“All you need is to be a graduate from high school (four years); obtain a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, business administration or a clinical discipline (four years); and a master’s degree in healthcare administration (MHA) or a related graduate degree (two years), he said.

The lawmaker also noted that in the United States, “there is no specific path to follow to get a hospital administrator’s job.” He added, “You may begin your career in some other role with that goal in mind – some start as doctors or nurses – and be promoted to the position.

“However, it is common for hospital administrators to earn a relevant degree, and an increasing number of employers now require a master’s as well.”

He added, “It is clear from the above cross-country discussion that to be appointed as a Chief Executive Officer, one does not have to be a medical doctor. Persons with bachelor’s (degree) in Management or Administration with requisite experience can be appointed to head a hospital.

“Similarly, in the composition of the board of the gospitals, other critical stakeholders were not included. Greater attention was only paid to medical doctors.

“Against this background, this bill is proposed to address all these challenges and include all other health professionals in the capacity building and administration of the Federal Hospitals in Nigeria and related issues.”

Saturday, February 12, 2022

February 12, 2022

Valentine’s Day: Share Love, Not HIV – NACA Warns Nigerian Youths


The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Gambo Aliyu has advised young Nigerians to know their HIV status and avoid risky behaviours in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

NACA’s Director General, Dr. Gambo Aliyu in a Valentine’s Day message in Abuja, Friday, mentioned that “HIV infection is currently highest among young people aged 15-24 years.”

He warned youths to love wisely this period by sharing love and avoiding any behavior that’ll make them vulnerable to HIV.

According to him,“It is important to reduce this worrying trend among Nigerian youths by encouraging faithful relationships for those who cannot abstain from sex to practice safer sex.

“This period is noted for young people to express their love for one another, I urge Nigerians, especially the youths, to express love within the context of caring deeply for their loved ones and avoid behavior that will make them vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.”

Aliyu stressed that health and productivity were vital to the future of Nigerians.

“So, I urge you to avoid risky behaviors as we commemorate Valentine’s Day. Love Wisely, Share Love not HIV. Get a HIV test today,” he said.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

February 03, 2022

Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital Begins Construction Of Permanent Site In Calabar

The management of the Neuro Psychiatric Hospital in Calabar has performed the ground breaking ceremony for the building of their permanent structure along Tinapa road in Calabar Municipality, Cross River State.

The groundbreaking ceremony was done by the Acting Board Chairman of the hospital, Kunle Dada, on Wednesday in Calabar.

Speaking at the event, Dr Bassey Edet, Medical Director, Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar, said that the allocation of the land was granted to the hospital management in 2000 by the former governor of the state, Donald Duke.

Edet said that the current facility hosting the hospital in Calabar South was no longer large enough to accommodate new buildings and office spaces.

According to him, the site allocated to the hospital was 20.023 hectares of land.

He decried that during the #EndSars protest in 2020, some hoodlums who hijacked the protest in Calabar stormed the hospital, destroyed facilities and carted away valuables worth millions of Naira.

“The hospital is going to contain an Intensive Care Unit, an isolation ward, community clinic for male, female and children and several beds.

“We want to make sure that we provide a broader reach for mental health coverage and make it more accessible by all,” he said.

He pleaded with youths of the host community, Ikpai Omin Qua Community, to support the project and also protect it from vandals.

Paramount Ruler of Calabar South, Professor Itam Hogan, commended the management of the hospital for finally performing the ground breaking of the hospital with a view to commence the building process.

Hogan called on the youths and members of the host community to support the contractors and the management of the hospital to ensure a smooth and hitch-free building of the facility.

Chairman of Joint Health Sector Unions in the hospital, Ken Bassey, said that the groundbreaking ceremony has served as a morale booster to staff of the hospital.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

February 01, 2022

Buhari Launches N62bn Trust Fund To End HIV/AIDS

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja launched a sixty-two billion Naira (N62bn) trust fund to help Nigeria end AIDS as a public health threat and place more people living with HIV on treatment annually.

Speaking at the launch of the HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria (HTFN), the President pledged that his administration would continue to prioritize health interventions to address killer diseases and public health emergencies.

”At the last United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, I made a call for a renewed global action to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa.

”Ending AIDS as a public health threat in Nigeria will require increased domestic funding. We have continued to make good our commitment of placing more people living with HIV on treatment annually using national resources.

”However, strong domestic resource mobilization with an enduring partnership and shared responsibility is required to sustain the response to HIV and other emerging public health emergencies,” President Buhari said.

The President noted that Nigeria’s purposeful partnership with the private sector in the response to COVID 19 pandemic had provided a readily available financing solution to sustain the HIV response.

He commended the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS for their efforts in establishing the HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria to secure a generation of babies free of HIV.

He also expressed delight with the attendance in person of notable global key players in HIV response and from the private sector at the event and the pledges made.

”Going forward, I hope the HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria will galvanize more of the private sector and other partners to surpass the target of sixty-two billion Naira in the next five years,” he added.

In his remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha announced that since 2005 about 6.2 billion dollars have been spent on HIV response in Nigeria.

”About 80 per cent of the funds were contributed by external donors, mainly the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Private Sector contributed 0.1 per cent to 2 per cent of total funds with the rest of funds provided by the Nigerian government.”


Friday, January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

Researchers Say They Are Closer To HIV Cure


Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA, have inched closer to finding a cure for HIV by targeting infected cells that could be lying dormant in the body.

In a study published in the journal Nature Communications this week, researchers improved upon a method originally developed in 2017 to kill hidden HIV-infected cells using cells that are naturally produced by the body’s immune system.

The advance brings scientists one step closer to controlling or even eradicating the virus, which attacks the body’s immune system.

“These findings show proof-of-concept for a therapeutic strategy to potentially eliminate HIV from the body, a task that had been nearly insurmountable for many years,” Jocelyn Kim, the study’s lead author, said in a press release. “The study opens a new paradigm for a possible HIV cure in the future.”

Globally, 38 million people are currently living with the deadly virus, and an estimated 36 million have died of AIDS-related diseases since the 1980s, according to UNAIDS. Over time, HIV can develop into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, a chronic and potentially life-threatening condition.

People diagnosed with HIV typically take antiretroviral medication to keep the virus at bay, but the HIV still has the ability to elude antiretrovirals by lying dormant in cells called CD4+ T cells.

UCLA researchers’ recent findings build on a strategy designed in 2017 called “kick and kill.” During that study, mice whose immune systems had been altered to mimic those of humans were infected with HIV and given antiretroviral drugs.

Monday, December 27, 2021

December 27, 2021

Twelve Substandard Medical Laboratories Sealed In Akwa Ibom


By Lovina Anthony

Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health has sealed 12 substandard medical laboratories in the state for alleged involvement in unwholesome medical practices.

The laboratories were sealed for lack of certificate of registration with the State Ministry of Health, Non-evidence of registration with the Medical Laboratory Council of Nigeria, lack of qualified Laboratory Scientists and other supporting staff in the laboratories.

Others were lack of Test Result Book in the Laboratories, no Laboratory Register, lack of personal operating license of Laboratory Technicians as well as unethical practices dangerous to medical diagnosis of diseases.

The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Augustine Umoh who spoke to Journalists in Uyo shortly after the inspection team sealed up the laboratories said the exercise was in compliance with the directive from the State Executive Council over reports of sub standard services of some medical labs in the state.

He said, “I have received a number of complaints with regards to medical laboratory facilities and practice and it is an attempt to correct some of these abnormalities .”

” As a matter of fact, the state Executive Council has also received many of these reports and has also directed that this exercise be carried out. So our intention is to use this exercise to give further directive to the practice of laboratory services in the state .”

The Commissioner disclosed that monitoring of Medical Laboratories will be extended to other parts of the state such as Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Eket and Oron axis of the state to check quack Laboratories in the state.

“We are going out on monitoring to make sure that Laboratory facility services in the state are in conformity with what is expected to the extent that the practices are at least of the best practices. ”

“We have started with medical Laboratories in Uyo metropolis but we would certainly extend it to all nooks and crannies of the state.

The Head of the Monitoring /Inspection Team Dr Udoh said lack of precision in medical laboratory tests administered on patients has resulted in poor medical diagnosis.

He said such medical diagnoses emanating from defective Laboratory facilities could mislead Medical Doctors in prescribing the right drugs for the treatment of various ailments.

He said one of the Laboratories visited was using a student on Industrial Training to work and issue test results instead of Certified Laboratory Scientist while others impersonate popular names of Laboratory scientists in the state to defraud members of the public.

He explained that those laboratories sealed would only be reopened when their proprietors fulfilled all conditions by the state Ministry of Health including engagement of competent technical personnel in their Laboratory facilities

Sunday, December 26, 2021

December 26, 2021

Panic In Aso Rock As Covid-19 Hits Buhari's Top Aides, Lai Mohammed, Garba Shehu, ADC, Others Affected


By Muideen Olaniyi

There is an outbreak of COVID-19 at Nigeria’s seat of power, with some presidential aides testing positive.

Premium Times had named those affected as the President’s Aide-de-camp (ADC), Yusuf Dodo; Chief Security Officer (CSO), Aliyu Musa, and the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

The online newspaper said their results were confirmed positive during the week.

The report also listed Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, among those affected.

It was learnt that those affected aren’t seriously affected by the virus because they are fully vaccinated.

The report quoted Shehu as saying: “I have no confirmation of the cases you mentioned, but yes I have been afflicted by the mild variant of the COVID-19. I felt okay from the beginning, maybe because one had received all three jabs, and right now, I feel 100 per cent. I just finished my hour-long running exercise.

“But the strange thing about this ailment is that it is the scientists, not you, that will say you are okay. Right now, I’m taking my prescriptions and isolating, and would go back for a test to ascertain if the virus is still here or it has left me. Thanks for your goodwill.”

The ramp up of testing in the Presidential Villa in the wake of the Omicron variant to ensure the containment of the virus is said to have been necessitated by the development.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday received his COVID-19 booster Pfizer Biontech vaccine.

Subsequently, the First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, also directed all her staff to proceed on leave until further notice.

When Shehu was contacted over the report on Saturday, he said: “Have you read the Premium Times report? What I said in it is the truth to the best of my knowledge. What is true is that I know about myself that I’m self-isolating and taking my medication, but I know of no other case.”

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

December 15, 2021

11 Months Unpaid Salaries: UCTH Interns Receive Their Six-Month Salary Arrears

 The management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) has finally paid six out of twelve months salary arrears of interns working in the hospital.

GRASSROOT REPORTERS had reported that the interns staged several protests for the backlog of their salaries to be paid, lamenting that some of them had been feeding from hand to mouth following the non-payment of their salaries for over eleven months. 

The hospital had earlier stated that the issue was a national one, as monies meant for the payment of their salaries had not been sent to them by the federal government.

Confirming the payment of their six months salary arrears to GRASSROOT REPORTERS, an intern who preferred anonymity, said he expected the full salary to have been paid but appreciated the hospital management for listening to their cries regardless, while pleading with the hospital to pay the remaining arrears as some of them are owing heavily.

"This is long over due. It's been a tortuous one year for the interns. A lot of us came from different state, rented accommodations, and these accommodations had expired. 

" I thank the hospital management for hearing our cries. However, I appeal to them to fast-tract the payment of the remaining arrears." He said

December 15, 2021

Nigeria Gets First Vaccine Production Facility

MilliporeSigma, the U.S. and Canada Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced the Life Science business sector has signed an agreement with biotechnology company Innovative Biotech (IB) to design the manufacturing process for the first vaccine production facility in Nigeria.

“We are committed to expanding access to life-saving and life-enhancing therapies to patients across the world and this collaboration is a testament to that commitment,” said Andrew Bulpin, Head of Process Solutions, Life Science business sector. “We are proud to provide the technical support and expertise that could help enable the first vaccine facility in Nigeria and localize vaccine development in the West Africa region.”

This collaboration is part of the West African pandemic readiness program, which aims to localize vaccine development in the African nations. The first phase of this integrated partnership focuses on designing the fill and finish facility, incorporating Mobius® single-use technology offered by the Life Science business sector, while the second phase will focus on enabling continuous manufacturing.

“By leveraging facility design expertise of the Life Science business sector, we’ll be able to build the first vaccine production facility in Nigeria and manufacture high-quality and affordable vaccines locally,” said Simon Agwale, CEO of Innovative Biotech.

Innovative Biotech’s licensor, TechnoVax, is developing a virus-like-particle (VLP)-based vaccine to target variants of Covid-19. Provisional results from the preclinical studies of the VLP-based vaccine have shown promise for virus neutralization. Technovax is a 2019 recipient of MilliporeSigma’s Advance Biotech Grant for developing a virus-like particle platform that facilitates the development and production of a range of vaccines targeting the prevention of respiratory diseases, hemorrhagic fevers, immunodeficiency and cancers.

Monday, December 13, 2021

December 13, 2021

Governor Wike Sacks Health commissioner For Hosting Event Without His Knowledge


Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has sacked the state Commissioner for Health, Professor Princewill Chike, for not seeking the state government’s approval to host the preliminary session of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, in Port Harcourt, the state capital. 

Governor Wike announced the sacking of Professor Chike when the Chairman of the MDCN, Professor Abba Wasiri Hassan paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday, December 13. He described the decision of the commissioner to host the MDCN without the consent of the state government as most embarrassing.

The governor explained that the state government never requested to host the preliminary session of MDCN in Port Harcourt, stressing that the health commissioner erred to have unilaterally scheduled to host the event at the same time state government is inaugurating and flagging off of projects.

“Frankly speaking, I have never seen an embarrassment like this in my life. Everybody knows that it is not my nature to bring people and you cannot attend to them or host. So, whoever has done this will suffer for it,” he said

Wike also said the request by the MDCN that state governors should establish one tertiary hospital in each of their senatorial districts will not be realizable due to the paucity of funds.

"You have talked about siting tertiary hospital in each of the senatorial districts, you know it is not possible. That is why in Nigeria we have a problem. When you go for your budget, you put all kinds of projects. You know it cannot work. Where will you get the money to site this in each of the senatorial districts,” he said

Friday, December 3, 2021

December 03, 2021

Health Professionals For Sen. Gershom Bassey Mark World AIDS Day With Free Tests, Donates Sanitizers, Face Mask To Residents Of Calabar

A support group, Health Professionals for Senator Gershom Bassey in collaboration with the Cross River Medical and Dental Students Association celebrated this year's World's AIDs Day with a free medical outreach on the 2nd of December, 2021 at Holy Child Secondary School, Calabar.

The epoch-making event to mark the World AIDS Day, celebrated globally on the 1st of December every year, began with an awareness rally followed by a medical outreach on the 1st and 2nd of December respectively.

Over 2000 persons  benefited from the gesture of the group, comprising students, teachers and members of the public.

A mental health talk was presented by Dr. Amaku of the Federal Neuro-psychiatry Hospital, and an awareness lecture on COVID-19 and the Vaccine by Dr. Aworo Maryvic.

Beneficiaries of the medical outreach also received free testing (HIV, Random blood glucose, malaria parasite, hepatitis B and C, weight and blood pressure measurement) and counseling. Students also got face masks and hand sanitizers to help with the prevention of Corona Virus.

Speaking at the event, Senator Gershom Bassey, a senator representing Cross River South in the Senate, represented by Dr. Ogar Emmanuel Idoko stated that the well being of the masses remains a crucial responsibility of government at all levels, and even as hands are put together to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there is a moral responsibility to launch programs like this to act as a vehicle through which the health and wellbeing of residents of Cross River would be catered for. 

Dr. Ogar who is also the Director General of  Health Professionals For Senator Gershom Bassey (HP4SGB), said the group is a conglomerate of seasoned professionals who believe in the vision of Senator Gershom Bassey. He also appreciated the collaboration with the leadership of the Cross River Medical Student Association(CRIMSA) led by Abraham Ntui and Eton Victoria

In his vote of thanks, Comrade Ina Igbong, Head of strategy and mobilization, HP4SGB expressed appreciation to Senator Bassey for the show of high humanitarian gesture. Comrade Ewa Anthony(Head of Student Mobilization, HP4SGB) also thank the Senator for the gesture and assured of continued support for the his mandate.

See photos from the event:


Sunday, November 28, 2021

November 28, 2021

Health Commissioner Flags Off 2nd Round Of Maternal Newborn And Child Health Week and Mass Covid-19 Vaccination

 Over 900,000 Children and 300,000 Pregnant Women Targeted Across The State

Cross River State is poised to deliver a basket of health care services to women and children under an integrated package of highly cost-effective MNCH interventions. Pregnant Women and Children are set to benefit from the various forms of Health Interventions which includes Nutritional supplementation Vitamin A, Delivery Kits, Vaccination, distribution of long lasting insecticide treated nets, Deworming, Screening for Malnutrition etc in Cross River State to help reduce the prevalence of Malnutrition, Malaria, vaccines preventable diseases amongst other common causes of Maternal and Child Mortality. The state also flagged off its massive Covid-19 vaccination campaign for person over 18 years of age across the entire State.

The flagging off exercise which was done by the State's Health Commissioner Dr Betta Edu on behalf of the State Governor Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade is targeted to benefit over 900,000 Children and 300,000 Pregnant Women across the State. The event which took place in Odukpani LGA also marked the commencement of the mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign across the State.

Declaring the commencement of both exercise open in the State, Dr Betta Edu assured families of government's commitment towards eradicating every vaccine preventable diseases as well as the continued fight against common causes of deaths in Pregnant Women and Children. She called on all Cross Riverians to take the COVId Vaccination if the have not had noting that the new Super Variant Omicron is very dangerous. 

This integrated intervention is preventive in nature targeted at building demand for health services across the state. It is completely free and Healrh workers are expected to Health create awareness working with communities.its better and more cost effective for us to prevent diseases rather than cure them. 

"I want to encourage our Women to take the responsibility of accessing medical care during pregnancy to help keep them and their babies safe. Our Traditional and Religious leaders needs to also see it as a duty to support government and our health workers in advising pregnant women to always register for antenatal services so they can get medical services like screening for HIV/AIDs, Vaccinations, routine drugs, awareness on Maternal and Child dietary requirements as well as giving birth in health facilities under standard professional care. Malnutrition screening across the State, deworming of our children as well as the administration of Vitamin A supplement is ongoing as this will help promote a healthy living and prevent our children from diseases.

Dr Edu charged health workers to go to the field and carry out this exercise while thanking all partners for their unflinching support and solicited that the Maternal and Newborn health week be extended to next week so the State can achieve a wider and better coverage.

On her part, the Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong described the 2nd round of the Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week as a high impact intervention for Mothers and Children which is aimed at bridging the existing gap in Communities as a result of the minimal access to healthcare services due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Health Workers have been deployed to various Communities to create more awareness. We therefore encourage our Mothers to take their Children to the closest healthcare centres in order to get access to Vitamin A Supplements for Children under age five, deworming tablets and Immunization to guarantee full Immunity against Childhood killer diseases. Let me also call on our people to ensure they take the Covid-19 vaccine as that's the only remedy to keep us safe and free from the virus. The advocacy will continue and will even be taken to market places and churches as we must continue to do these things so our people can continue to live a healthy life.

Good will messages came from the Chairman of Odukpani LGA Hon. Justina Edem as ably represented by the LGA supervisor for health Hon. Ndem Essiene, representative of the Federal Ministry of Health Dr Dominic Elue, the State Coordinator of the NPHCDA Mr Julius Idoko, W.H.O representative Mr Pella Umar, Nutrition International, Traditional leaders, Religious Leaders, etc. With highpoints of the event being the administration of Vitamin A supplements, COVID19 vaccination and distribution of delivery kits to pregnant women amongst others.


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

Ghana Induct 140 Doctors Of Medical Laboratory Science (MLS.D)


The Allied Hhealth Professions Council (AHPC) in Ghana, last week, 9 November 2021, inducted over 140 Doctor of Medical Laboratory Science (MLS.D) graduates from the University for Development Studies (UDS). 

The programme  is one of the harmonized Curricula by the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) in the ECOWAS region and adopted by a resolution by the 7th Assembly of Health Ministers (AHM) in July 2006 (Abuja).

 The UDS is the University that first sought accreditations and approvals to start the programme in Africa and still remains the only tertiary institution in Ghana running the programme amidst all the challenges.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

November 10, 2021

C'River 1000 Health Workers' Recruitment: How Innocent Job Seekers Were Allegedly Deceived By C'River Govt


By Our Reporter

Primary Health Care which was conceptualised by the Alma Ata Declaration of 1978 is a grassroots approach towards universal and equitable health care for all. It was modelled to address the health problems in rural communities in order to achieve universal health care by providing accessible, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services. It is the first level of contact of individuals, families and communities with the national health system.
This cannot be achieved without a well-trained primary health care workers to man the health centres.

In order to address the problem of inadequate staff in these centres, the Cross River State government, through the state's Primary Healthcare Development Agency, in 2018 announced plans to recruit 1,000 primary health care workers to tackle the dearth in manpower in these centres.

The agency which was then headed by Dr Betta Edu, who is now the Commissioner of Health in the state opened its portal for candidates to submit their applications. The process which began in December 2018 climaxed with the shortlisting and written interview for candidates in March, 2019.

Dr Edu had assured that successful candidates would get their appointment letters within one month after the test.

But 3 years after, the candidates are worried over the non-release of names of successful candidates and subsequent issuance of appointment letters.

Kelvin (not real name) had told GRASSROOT REPORTERS that he felt scammed by the agency. He said he spent so much to register for the job and attend the interview. 
"I spent hours on the road to attend the written interview. It is 16 months now since that interview was conducted and nothing yet. My hope is on getting that job because since I finished school, no job".

Kelvin is not the only one who seems to have lost faith in the process. Ekanem (not real name), an indigene of Odukpani LGA also told GRASSROOT REPORTERS the authorities were not being sincere with the applicants.

"We have made effort to hear from Cross River State Primary Health Care authorities but they keep asking us to be patient. How can someone write an exams for a year and 3 months now, no result, no appointment letter. I'm appealing to the present DG of the agency to please, release the list of successful candidates and issue appointment letters especially at this period of Covid-19 to enable us render our services to the rural dwellers".

The Director General of the Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong however told GRASSROOT REPORTERS in a telephone conversation in June, 2020, that those who were successful will be given appointment letters.

She attributed the delay in the release of the names of successful candidates and issuance of appointment letters to Covid-19 which has ravaged the country and disrupted activities.
"You know Covid-19 has disrupted a lot of things but those that were recruited will definitely get their appointment letters. What is left is for them to be given appointment letters and pay-rolled".

When reminded that the interview was conducted long before the outbreak of Covid-19, she said:
" After the examination, elections came and after the elections, appointments were not made till January, 2020. Like me, I got appointed in January. You know once there is no political head, it's hard to push things".

But almost two years after her assurances, nothing has been done.

GRASSROOT REPORTERS contacted  Dr. Ekpenyong again on  Wednesday November 10, 2021. She said:

"Nobody collected a dime from anyone for registration. 

"Job recruitment is a civil service issue, the Agency doesn't recruit people on it's on, it's via civil service. We are still waiting and hopeful that will be sorted out soon."

November 10, 2021

Mental Illness Increasing In Calabar – Psychiatrist Cries Out

File photo showing mentally ill persons


By Asare Asare (Daily Post)

The principal psychologist at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Calabar, Dr. Eyo Asuquo, has disclosed that there is increasing number of psychiatric patients arriving at their facility in recent times.

In an interview with DAILY POST, he adduced the reason to increasing abuse of hard drugs such as Tramadol, Nicotine, Cannabis, Indian hemp as well as high intake of alcohol by victims.

There are 93 of such patients who are accommodated in the seven wards of the hospital.

Asuquo said: “As a result of the increase in the number of mental cases in Calabar and nearby cities an emergency ward was created to receive them.

“We have seven wards that accommodate different levels of psychiatric disorders. We have multi-disciplinary approach to their treatment.”

Asuquo said they take time to attend to individual cases and do discharge those whose conditions got better than when they were admitted regularly.

He explained that the rates of recovery differ from one patient to another depending on the degree of their disorder but that even as they discharge them frequently, they encourage the inmates to keep to appointments date with them.

He expressed gratitude to the federal government for restoring and re-equipping the facility better than when End SARS protest devastated it last year October.

Another personnel, Ben Osim also disclosed that patients are brought in from all over the state including neighbouring ones.

Exception of Wednesdays, clinics are held every other official working day, said Osim.

“Presently, the facility is functioning as it should be. Patients are brought in very regularly from parts of the state and outside. We have our experts who attend to them every working day except Wednesday.”

Another staff said though the hospital is doing very well but that hazard pay due them approved by government was 40% but only 10% has been paid.

An independent visit to the hospital confirmed the aesthetics and neatness and promptitude of staffers.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

September 02, 2021

Hope For HIV Vaccine Dims As Trial Fails In Africa

Hope of an effective Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) vaccine may have been dashed, as researchers announced Tuesday that an advanced trial in Africa had been stopped after data showed that the shots offered only limited protection against the disease.

The therapy, by Johnson & Johnson, is one in a long line found to offer little defence against the virus. A particular candidate vaccine even increased the risk of infection.

Another trial was halted last year in South Africa after a different experimental vaccine failed to offer sufficient protection. Some 1.5 million people were infected with HIV worldwide in 2020, and 38 million are living with the ailment.

Scientists were dismayed by the most recent failure.

The principal investigator and chair of the South African Medical Research Council, Dr. Glenda Gray, said: “I should be used to it by now, but you've never used to it – you still put your heart and soul into it.”

She has been working to develop a treatment for more than 15 years

Entirely, new approaches might be needed. This month, Moderna announced that it would test a vaccine based on the mRNA platform to devise the company’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Named Imbokodo, the trial tested an experimental vaccine on 2,600 most predisposed HIV young women in five sub-Saharan African nations, as the gender accounted for almost two-thirds of new infections in the region last year.

Johnson & Johnson, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United States National Institutes of Health-funded the exercise.

The vaccine relied on an adenovirus called Ad26, modified to carry fragments of four HIV subtypes into the body in the hope of provoking an immune response that could guard against infection.

Participants in the Imbokodo trial, which began in 2017, were given two initial shots and two boosters in a period of one year. Researchers tracked the number of new infections in the placebo and vaccine groups from the seventh month (a month after the third vaccination) through the 24th month.

Over two years, 63 of 1,109 partakers, who received the placebo, were infected with HIV, compared with 51 of 1,079 participants that received the vaccine – giving the therapy an efficacy rate of 25 per cent.

Earlier studies, including one carried out in Thailand, had indicated that the kind of antibodies the vaccine provoked might be sufficient to offer good protection from the sickness for an initial period of time.

But a parallel trial that uses a different iteration of this vaccine will continue, Johnson & Johnson said. It is being tested on men, who have sex with men and transgender people, in eight countries, including Poland, Brazil, and the United States.

The study, labelled Mosaico, is testing the vaccine against different subtypes of HIV in different populations and could produce different efficacy results.