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Malaria: We Must Prioritize Prevention – FG

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The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare,
Daju Kachollom, has said that Nigeria must prioritize prevention, strengthen health systems, and ensure access to effective diagnosis and treatment for all, to achieve the malaria elimination target.

Kachollom expressed displeasure that the country bears a third of the global burden of malaria, with the country accounting for 27 percent of global malaria cases and 31 percent of global deaths, based on the 2023 World Malaria Report issued by the World Health Organisation.

“The country has consistently maintained this position,” she said.

However, she said the country has made some progress over the years. “The World Health Organisation has estimated that malaria incidence has reduced by 26 percent since 2000, from 413 per 1000 population in 2000 to 306 per 1000 in 2021.

“Within the same period, malaria mortality rate (i.e. deaths per 1000 population at risk) fell by 55 percent from 2.1 per 1000 population in 2000 to 0.9 per 1000 population in 2021.

“From 2009 till date, more than 230 million insecticide treated nets (ITNs) have been distributed in the 37 States and the Federal Capital Territory.

“According to the 2021 Malaria Indicator Cluster Survey, the proportion of the population who slept under ITNs the night before the survey increased from 22.9 percent in 2010 to 36.4 percent in 2021.

“The percentage of children under the age of five years (one of the most vulnerable groups) who slept under an insecticide treated net (ITN) the night before the survey increased from 28.9 percent in 2010 to 41.2 percent in 2021.

“Among children who were reported to have had fever, two weeks preceding the household surveys and among those who sought care for fever, the percentage who received a blood test did increase from 6.5 percent in 2010 to 39 percent in 2021,” Kachollom revealed.

 

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Global Alert: WHO warns Of Fake Diabetes Medicines Circulating Worldwide

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Counterfeit diabetes drugs have been in circulation since 2022 in a problem affecting all regions of the world, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned.

The health authority, in a statement, specifically referred to findings in Britain, the U.S., and Brazil since October 2023.

The drug concerns Ozempic, a medicine containing the active ingredient semaglutide, which was also approved in the EU for treating type 2 diabetes.

The counterfeit version looks identical to the real medicine.

Because the product also suppresses the appetite, it is increasingly being prescribed for weight loss.

But counterfeit drugs may not contain the right amount of active ingredients and could, therefore, lead to uncontrolled sugar in diabetics, the WHO said.

It added that they may contain other active ingredients that pose health risks.

The WHO called on doctors, pharmacists, regulatory authorities and the public to be vigilant.

The WHO said that people should only buy medicines on prescription from pharmacies and not online.

It added that users should ensure that the dosage scale on insulin pens is displayed correctly, the label looks correct, and the box has no spelling mistakes.

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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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