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Gov. Otti Announces to Launch Medical City Project to Transform Abia State’s Health Sector

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Abia State Governor Alex Otti has revealed plans for an ambitious medical city project aimed at revitalizing the health sector and generating employment opportunities within the state. Governor Otti made this announcement during his monthly interaction with the press, titled “Governor Otti Speaks to Abians,” held at the Government House in Umuahia, the state capital.

“This project will take us some time to complete. In another two or three years, it will be finished. When it is, it will attract people and reduce the need for health tourism abroad,” Otti stated.

Although the governor did not disclose the specific location or cost details of the proposed medical city, he assured that the facility would be equipped with state-of-the-art amenities comparable to those found in leading medical centers globally.

Governor Otti also highlighted the enthusiasm from both Abia State indigenes and other Nigerians, including those in the diaspora, who have shown significant interest in the project. This wide interest underscores the potential impact and importance of the medical city.

Expanding on the healthcare sector’s progress, Otti noted that his administration, which has been in power for about a year, has already made significant strides in retrofitting existing medical facilities. These upgraded facilities are now staffed by skilled professionals, ensuring high-quality healthcare delivery.

“Our administration has also achieved success in other critical areas, including infrastructure development, security, education, agriculture, service delivery, and the liquidation of pension arrears inherited from previous administrations. We have also improved the ease of doing business and stabilized the economy,” the governor added.

The medical city project is part of a broader strategy to enhance the quality of life in Abia State, positioning it as a hub for medical excellence and innovation. By investing in such a transformative project, Governor Otti aims to not only improve healthcare outcomes but also to stimulate economic growth and development in the region.

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Health

Akwa Ibom Government Takes Proactive Steps to Contain Cholera Outbreak

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The Akwa Ibom government says it has initiated precautionary measures to prevent an outbreak of cholera.

The health commissioner, Augustine Umoh, disclosed this in an interview in Uyo on Friday.

Mr Umoh said the state government has commenced sensitising residents in all 31 LGAs to the need to maintain personal and environmental hygiene.

He said that the state government has also stocked primary health centres in the state with adequate drugs in case of an outbreak of cholera.

“For now, there is no reported case of cholera outbreak in the state. We have commenced sensitisation of residents to maintain hygiene, both personal and environmental.

“Residents during this period are advised to boil water before drinking, wash their hands with soap and clean water regularly, especially after use of the toilet and before eating, and wash fruits and other food items before eating,” Mr Umoh advised.

The commissioner added that the state government has reactivated all emergency operations centres across the state to handle any outbreak.

He said the government would continue monitoring and ensuring surveillance, especially in the border communities.

Mr Umoh advised residents to take salt sugar solution in case of diarrhoea and report to the nearest health centre for prompt action.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, in a recent report, said between Jan. 1 and June 11, it recorded over 1,141 suspected cases with over 65 confirmed and 30 deaths in 96 local government areas in 30 states.

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Health

JUST IN: Lagos Cholera Death Toll Hits 21, Cases Rise To 401

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The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Health, Dr Kemi Ogunyemi, said that the suspected cholera cases in the state have increased to 401 with 21 fatalities.

The statement noted that Lagos Island, Kosofe, and Eti Osa recorded the highest numbers.

This was disclosed in a statement on Thursday signed by the Director of Public Affairs at the state Ministry of Health, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo.

Cholera is a food and water-borne disease caused by ingesting the bacteria— Vibrio cholerae — in contaminated water and food. Cholera can cause severe acute watery diarrhoea, and the severe forms of the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.

In Nigeria, cholera is an endemic and seasonal disease, occurring annually mostly during the rainy season and more frequently in areas with poor sanitation.

“Following the last update on the cholera outbreak in Lagos, which reported 350 suspected cases and 15 fatalities, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Health, Dr Kemi Ogunyemi, disclosed that the total number of cholera cases has increased to 401 across Lagos, with Lagos Island, Kosofe, and Eti Osa recording the highest numbers.

“Dr. Ogunyemi revealed this today while providing an update on the outbreak after meeting with members of the Lagos State Public Health Emergency Operations Centre. She added that the death toll has also risen to 21, an increase of six from the previously reported 15 fatalities,” the statement partly read.”

According to Ogunyemi, the rise in cases was anticipated following the Ileya festivities, during which large gatherings occurred.

She, however, noted that suspected cases are subsiding across Local Government Areas, particularly in previously affected LGAs due to the state government’s interventions and surveillance efforts.

The Special Adviser stated that the government, through the Ministry of Health and other sister agencies, is maintaining rigorous surveillance and monitoring of the situation and implementing planned programs and activities to curb the spread.

“The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the State Ministry of Environment and its agency, the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, continues to collect samples of water sources, food, and beverages to identify the source of contamination. We have also intensified our surveillance activities in communities, particularly in affected local government areas, to address the situation head-on.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education as well as the Ministry of Tertiary Education to ensure all precautions are taken in our schools to protect children and scholars as they return. Residents must, however, remain vigilant, practice good hand hygiene, and participate in community sanitation activities to stop the spread of cholera,” she stated.

She advised that citizens seek medical attention immediately if they experience symptoms such as watery diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, general malaise, and fever, stressing that cholera treatment is provided free of charge at all public health facilities.

While noting that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu remains committed to ensuring that residents of Lagos receive quality and affordable health care, the Special Adviser extended the gratitude of the State Government to local, national, and international partners—including the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organisation, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research, Red Cross, and others—for their support in combating the outbreak.

“Appreciation is also extended to the dedicated team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab scientists, environmental health officers, Water Corporation officers, surveillance officers, heads of agencies, members of PHEOC, and volunteers who are working around the clock to combat the disease and keep Lagos safe,” Ogunyemi said.

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SDGs Boss Advocates Better Care For Sickle Cell Patients

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Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, has called for concerted efforts to improve the country’s care for patients with Sickle Cell Disease.

Orelope-Adefulire explained that with Sickle Cell contributing to approximately 376,000 under-5 deaths annually, compared to 34,400 deaths from other causes, there is a pressing need for stakeholders to intensify efforts to reverse the trend.

In a statement issued by her media aide, Desmond Utomwen, she made this call to commemorate World Sickle Cell Day, with the theme: “Hope Through Progress: Advancing Sickle Cell Care Globally.” World Sickle Cell Day is observed on June 19 every year. It is an annual event to raise awareness about sickle cell disease globally.

According to her, a Lancet Haematology publication in August 2023 revealed that globally, between 2000 and 2021, the rate of children born with sickle cell disease increased by 13.7 percent, reaching an average of up to 515,000 babies per annum.

“The study also found that sickle cell-specific under-5 mortality was 11 times higher than deaths due to other causes, amounting to approximately 376,000 deaths from sickle cell disease annually compared to 34,400 deaths from other causes.
“In Nigeria, approximately one in four, or 25 percent, of Nigerians carries a sickle cell gene, meaning about 50 million people can transmit it to their children. We must act now to reverse this trend,” she stated.

Orelope-Adefulire further noted that the OSSAP-SDGs had demonstrated commitment by delivering a fully equipped, state-of-the-art Sickle Cell Care Centre at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).

She expressed confidence that the Sickle Cell Centre, which was recently commissioned by Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other related interventions by OSSAP-SDGs, will contribute to achieving SDG 3.2 on reducing under-five mortality to 25 per 1,000 live births or less by 2030, as well as other cross-cutting SDGs, as it aligns with the cardinal pillars on healthcare and empowerment in the Renewed Hope Agenda of the current administration.

 

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