FG Increases Airport Screenings After Ebola Outbreak In Congo

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has increased screening tests at airports and other points of entry as a precautionary measure following an outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Spoesman of NIS, Sunday James, said said thermometers had been used to monitor some entrants into the country since the virus last hit the region. Screening had been stepped up since the latest outbreak in Congo.

“We are using all the facilities available to detect the virus. That means extra use of thermometers. We must take extra measures to make sure people are screened at all the entry points into the country,” he said.

Health Minister Isaac Adewale late on Wednesday said the cabinet had ordered his ministry to step up emergency surveillance at all land and airport borders, with a particular emphasis on screening people visiting from Congo.

“Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) will also consider sending some team to DRC as part of building capacity for managing  the outbreak,” he told reporters.

Recall that Ebola spread to Nigeria in 2014 when Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American diplomat, flew into the country from Liberia and collapsed at the main international airport in Lagos.
Nigeria was hailed as having contained the virus in 2014, with 8 deaths, following fears that it could spread through the commercial capital of some 20 million inhabitants and across Africa’s most populous country of around 180 million people.
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Military Not Involved In Monkey Pox Vaccination, Says Health Minister

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has said that the military is not involved in any monkey pox vaccination as presently rumoured.

Adewole said this while briefing State House correspondences at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the rumour that the military is involved in monkey pox vaccination campaign is not true.

“It is also important to use this opportunity to dispel the rumour circulating in the country that the military is vaccinating people and trying to spread monkey pox across the country. The military is not involved in any vaccination exercise and I must also really educate the Nigeria people about how vaccination campaigns are done.

“Federal will take the lead but we do not conduct campaign without involving states.  So, there is no way we will do campaign for vaccination without working with the states and it is the state that will be in front and we provide support.

“We are doing vaccination campaign against yellow fever in Kwara and Kogi because of yellow fever outbreak in some parts of the country. We are also doing cholera vaccination in Borno state and so anybody carrying the rumour,  please help us educate Nigerians that it is not true. We are not vaccinating anybody, we plan to do missiles campaign very soon and we will also do yellow fever before the end of the year and we will let you know.

“You will never find Federal staff conducting vaccination campaign without the support and active participation of the state ministry of health, this is just to correct the misconception.” he stated

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FG Extends Suspension Of NHIS Boss

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has announced the indefinite suspension of the embattled Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf.

In a letter dated October 5 addressed to the suspended NHIS boss, the minister said the suspension was indefinite pending decision of President Muhammadu Buhari on the report of the committee that investigated activities of Prof Yusuf at the agency.

In July, Adewole suspended Yusuf for three months over allegations of fraud.

Adewole had set up a committee to probe the NHIS ES, saying his response to the petitions written against him were “considered unsatisfactory”.

The letter partly reads:  “Please refer to my earlier letter ref C.405/1/132, dated 6th July 2017, suspending you from office for three months to allow for an interrupted administrative, investigative committee to look into the various allegations against you including that of monumental fraud, gross abuse of office and nepotism inimical to the NHIS scheme under your leadership,” the letter read.

“While awaiting Mr President’s directive and considering that the committee found you culpable in many areas of your performance as the executive secretary of the NHIS, I am further extending your suspension from office pending the decision of his Excellency Mr President C-in-C on the report.”

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Negotiation Meeting Between FG And Striking Health Workers Ends In Deadlock

Striking health workers have disagreed with the Federal Government over the legality of its ongoing strike, saying the government was notified several times before it agreed to commence on the strike.

The workers, at a meeting with Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and Health Minister, Issac Adewole, in Abuja, stressed that no law was violated in carrying out their strike.

“We waited patiently for 30 days. We notified the government. After 30 days, we still gave 7 days and that was the final ultimatum,” the union said.

Meanwhile, Labour Minster, Chris Ngige criticised the health workers for not following the provisions of existing labour laws, the union insists that no labour law has been violated by their action.

“Workers that are in Energy, Medicine, and Allied medical professionals and those that their action will cause danger to health are the people that are called essential services. For those who are in essential services, Doctors, pharmacists, nurses, technologists and those who have anything to do with the hospital are on essential service.

“So, when those who are in essential services go on strike, like the doctors did about four weeks ago, and you following suit, it gives us a lot of worry, especially when those strikes are not done according to the labour law,” Ngige said.

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FG, Sokoto Govt Seal Pact On Use Of Federal Doctors

The Federal and Sokoto State Governments have signed an agreement to deploy health consultants and resident doctors of the Usmanu Danfodio University Teaching Hospital Sokoto (UDUTH) to state health facilities so as so expand access of professional personnel to rural areas across the state.

The agreement was signed by Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Minister of Health, Professor Isaac F. Adewole, at the Minister’s office in Abuja.
A statement issued in Sokoto by Tambuwal’s spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, said the strategic partnership, the first of its kind Nigeria, will boost healthcare delivery and provide avenue for training of health personne at state government hospitals.
“With 100 consultants and 30 professors of medicine in its employ, UDUTH will deploy them to state government health facilities cross the state while Sokoto government and FG share the burden of their entitlements for the period they are at work with us.
“Basically, the agreement boarders on five thematic areas. One, the Teaching Hospital would deploy consultants to cover three state-owned hospitals within Sokoto metropolis while the state would pay certain remunerations to the consultants.
“Two, the teaching hospital would assign resident doctors to six general hospitals in the state, two resident doctors will be assigned to each of the three senatorial district in the state. Three, the resident doctors would then be supervised by consultants.
“Four, the state will deploy staff of the Teaching Hospital for its outreach programs and in turn, it will share share the cost of such outreaches with the Federal Government.
“Finally, the agreement covers ambulance service programme whereby the state would provide ambulances at major entry and exit points of Sokoto, while the FG would provide personnel who will provide emergency services,” the statement added.
The statement said said the ambulances to be provided was aimed at reducing mortality at various scenes of accidents in the state.
At the signing of the MoU, Governor Tambuwal and the Health Minister commended the state government for the innovation that was geared towards better and enhanced quality healthcare delivery in the state.
Adewole recalled that he attempted a similar initiative in 2002 while at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, but the effort was not successful.
The two leaders reiterated the commitment of the present administration to provide quality healthcare services to all Nigerians in a bid to achieve the universal coverage in the sector.
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Breaking: Health Minister Isaac Adewole Suspends Eight Top Officials Of NHIS

The Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole has approved the suspension of five Managers and three officers at the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, to ensure a thorough investigation into allegations of mismanagement and maladministration at the agency.

A statement by the Ministry on Monday reads: “In furtherance to the activities of the investigative panel of inquiry and the desire to have an uninterrupted and robust investigation of all petitions at the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), including Security reports on Maladministration and Mismanagement by officials of the Agency, the Honourable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac F. Adewole has approved the suspension of the following officers, in order to pave way for thorough investigation.

“The Minister urged the committee to ‘’ to remain focused, fair and transparent in the discharge of this National task despite the sensation this development has generated.

“The Acting Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr. Attahiru Ibrahim has also been directed to ensure the immediate implementation of the suspension order.

The affected officers are as follow:

1.    Mr. Olufemi Akingbade   – General Manger, Zonal Coordinator South- South Zone

2.  Mr. John Okon –    General Manger, Finance Account

3.  Mr. Yusuf Fatika – General Manger, Human Resources and Administration

4.  Mr. Shehu Adamu – Assistant General Manager,  Audit

5.  Mr. Vincent Mamdam – Assistant General Manager, Head Insurance

6.  Mr. Safiyanu Attah – Senior Assistant Officer, Marketing

7.  Mr. Owen Udo Udoma-Senior Manager, Contribution Management

8.  Mr. Innocent Abbah- Senior Assistant Officer, Planning Research and Monitoring.

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Acting President Osinbajo Orders Probe Of Suspended NHIS Boss

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has directed the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, to probe the allegations leveled against the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf.

In a letter dated July 10, 2017, Ade Ipaye, the chief of staff to the acting president, acknowledged receipt of two petitions against Yusuf, “dated April 21, 2017 from Solomon Agbo” and “May 12, 2017 from Dr Tunde Ladele”.

Ipaye wrote: “His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, Acting President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, is in receipt of the referred two petitions, in which allegations of fraud and abuse of office were levied against the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Professor Yusuf Usman; and has directed that the petitions be forwarded to you for inquiry and necessary action.

“Please accept the assurances of His Excellency, the Acting President’s consideration and best wishes.”

Recall that the House of Representatives had on Wednesday asked the Minister to recall the suspended NHIS boss.

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Ebola Outbreak: Nigeria On Red Alert

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has called for heightened vigilance and intensified awareness efforts over the latest outbreak of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Minister noted that health care providers and the general public must report any sign of illness to public health officials immediately.

This is coming as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has assured of adequate surveillance at the nation’s airports. Henrietta Yakubu, FAAN’s Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that there was no direct flight from Congo to Nigeria and that all the preventive measures being put in place at the airports were still in place.

The federal government in response to the announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which confirmed cases of Ebola in the DRC has directed port health officials to step up inspection activities and to report any sick person or suspects to ensure that epidemiologists in the states where they are present are immediately alerted and relevant tests conducted.

The symptoms to look out for include; fever, fatigue, weakness dizziness and muscle aches. Patients with more severe cases show bleeding under the skin, internal organs or even from bodily orifices like mouth, eyes, and the ears.

Nigerians are urged not to panic as the Centre for Disease Control is on ground and equipped to secure the health of citizens. The agency has for a while now, been strengthening states capacities to detect, manage and respond to hemorrhagic fevers including Lassa fever.

The minister called on states to begin social mobilisation and media awareness efforts via TV, radio, print and social media and charged state health ministries to strengthen their supervision services and escalate any incident appropriately.

Yakubu FAAN’s spokesperson, said that port health officials were at alert at all airports, adding that the authority had also informed them of the need to increase surveillance.

“We don’t have direct flights from Congo, we only have from Rwanda but I want to assure members of the public that we still have all preventive measures in place at our airports.

“There are sanitisers at our arrivals with the scanning apparatus called thermal scanners being installed by the Port Health Services.

“The scanners have camera monitors that display pictures aside the capturing of temperature.

“Passengers still fill that form to ensure that people arriving the country through our airports are not potential carriers of deadly diseases.

“The port health officials are always at alert and we will also inform them of the need to increase their surveillance.

“So, there is no cause for alarm,” she said.

Nigeria experienced the Ebola virus in July, 2014 when a Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who had the virus flew from Liberia to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and died five days later.

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