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FG to curtail medical tourism through establishment of specialised centers for heart surgeries

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FG to curtail medical tourism through establishment of specialised centers for heart surgeries

The minister of Health Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole has disclosed that the Federal Governor will create specialised centers for the routine activity in Cardiovascular and Thoracic surgeries to stem the tide in medical tourism.
The minister spoke at the 2nd Annual General Meeting & Scientific Conference with the theme: Sustainable Cardiovascular Surgery in Nigeria; leaning from the experience of regional centres.

Professor Adewale who spoke through the director Health Services Federal Ministry of Health Dr. Joseph Amedu the minister observed that the brain drain in the sector is affecting the country negatively.
He said the Government would encourage the Association of cardiovascular and Thoracic surgeon of Nigeria(ACTSON) and other professionals that have to do with cardiac diseases, which have to do with high blood pressure, cardiac arrest so that such ailments can be taken care of locally.
“Nigerians are in the best position to take care of fellow Nigerians and we know that we have the means and the capabilities and what it takes to properly take care of cardiac diseases in Nigeria.”
He said what the program by the ACTSON is out to achieve is to ensure that cardiac surgeries and diceases are properly taken care of in Nigeria.
“Their deliberation would center on how they can carry out these activities so that all patients having cardiac problems in Nigeria are well taken care of and the Federal ministry of health is fully in support.”
Cases of sudden deaths are usually caused by heart failures and the essence of this program is to ensure that such issues don’t arise and where they occur they are properly taken care of and the Federal ministry of health under the Federal Government has put in place strategies to ensure that all cases of cardiac diseases are properly taken care of.
The President of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon of Nigeria (ACTSON) Dr. Bode Falashe said it is their second conference, as the society was innaugurated February last year.
“We have had one year in the house to developethe association. Like in most association we need to exchange ideas to map out a vision for the association in conferences and meetings, this is our annual general meeting.

“Cardiovascular and thoracic surgery is availlable in Nigeria. We have the surgery taking place in the public and the private sector. The patients can benefit from the skills availlable for members of the Association.”
Hiwever he observed that there are challenges towards achieving their goals which are muti factorial, like having adequate number of surgeons, having the training, having the infrastructure, getting the consumables and getting the funding.
He said even when all the human resources, human capital and consumables are availlabke that patients can afford the surgery it is all arms working together.
“You can’t solve all the problems. Like we can’t solve all the funding issues, that is a Government thing, at the moment most patients pay out of the pockets they spend into the insurance for our surgeries. “Part of what we are working on is by coming together bringing the cost of surgeries down by collaborating, by having different suppliers attend our conferences, they would not be supplying one person but many in bulk so that the cost can be brought down.”
He sais by doing the professionals in the field would be sharing resources that can make the surgeries affordable and cheaper. “When we have sponsors and more insurance that can bring the cost down more patients can afford the surgery.
“In summary what we are doing here is we are working together to make sure the surgeries are available from our resources, training, residence, scheming ourselves, refreshing ourselves, helping our institutions to domicile surgery in the country and working with Government, NGOs and the insurance to bring the cost of surgery down.”
On whether people that go for medical tourism can be stopped he said going abroad for treatment would never be a thing of the past because it is always about the patient’s interest.
“What we are making available is choice. This means even the best of countries in the US, in the UK it is always the patients’ choice because people leave those countries for elsewhere to seek the best of services because they may want a better enviroment, five star treatment which they can afford. “What we are doing is to.make the surgery available on regular bases and make it safe for good results. If you are a patient the question you ask is, is it availlable yes or no? In the past it was never available.
“So they are having a choice, those who have no choice will stay at home take local treatment and die, those who can afford will go out of the country.
“If it is available they will ask if it is safe, who is doing it, which hospital and whether they will survive. Nobody wants to be experimented upon so what we want to do is to ensure that we have centers that can do this surgeries safely.”

I need to see a doctor and they have it without which they will stay at home. In the last five years have things really changed? There have been so much development. Like now there are so many places in the country people can confidently say if they have the money they can have the surgery in the past but more needs to be down because for the average persoons it is still expensive.

He said, “In India that does local surgery it costs N8m to 10m, could you afford N10m? No. Right now in the country the cost of the best of the insurance is between N2.5m and N4m to N5m between the public and the private sectors.
“So it is about half to a one third of the cost in the country. The benefit is that you have the same operation in your country so that you don’t have to go out, and the social factors, your family and friends are around you to visit you so it is a win win.
“Would Medical tourism be a thing of the past? It would be reduced but you cannot stop those that want to go out.”

The Secretary general of the Association Dr Kelechi Okonta said they want to conglomerate the practice of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at a particular point such that they would not have the splinter group as it were.
“At the moment in the country we have enough to start off daily and active cardiac cases in this country. This meeting will chart a part towards creating where people will conglomerate at two or three points.”

The vice president of the Association Dr yahaya Adamu said a forum such as theirs which brings them together is for them to be able to channel an organise strength so that they can bring the practice of cardiac surgery into fruition in Nigeria.
“In this country today we rearly have any meaningful cardiac surgery activity going on as almost all patients travel out of the country to the US, UK, India and so on. “When ever you find our people on the flight they are going for one medical treatment or the other. The bulk of these are for heart surgery so we believe it is high time we organize ourselves to make sure that this is practiced routinely at home.
“For most centers where this thing is being done there is this kind of organised activity with partners and colleagues coming in from other countries to help for them to hold and we think it should be done routinely.
He said the forum is actually also meant to train the younger surgeon on how to practically do this job of mending the heart.

The Chief Medical Director of the National Hospital Abuja Dr .Jaf Momoh said for those of them who train cardiovascular doctors they have observed that many of them go for greener pastures looking for better training centers while others branches off to take to the training in general surgery.
He said such trend is not good enough for a country like Nigeria of over 180m.
He said there are fewer cardiothoracic surgeons in Nigeria whose number can not take care of cardiothoracic surgeries in Nigeria.
“This is a good move and I will appreciate if it is sustained and we all cooperate. Development of Cardiothoracic centers should not just be a solo effort, everybody needs to come on board to make sure the centers are not only created but developed. “Cardiothoracic centers are capital intensive we can no longer decieve ourselves that we can continuue to do things the way we have been doing it if not we would be left behind. We are already left behind by the world”
The 2nd annual general meeting &scientific conference theme:sustainable cardiovascular surgery in Nigeria:leaning from the experience of regional centres”

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Sanitation: 22 persons arrested for violating environmental laws in Nasarawa

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Sanitation: 22 persons arrested for violating environmental laws in Nasarawa

From Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia

At least twenty two persons have been apprehended for allegedly violating the Nasarawa state environmental sanitation laws.

The Chief Environmental Officer in the state, Mr. Abubakar Mohammed made the disclosure shortly after this month exercise on Saturday, in the state capital.

He said the victims were arrested within Lafia metropolis.

According to him, the 22 violators arrested would pay different fines based on their offences, raging from N5000 to 10,000 respectively.

“We arrested 22 offenders who committed different kinds of offences and their fines range from N5,000 to N 10,000.”

He explained that the offenders have already been handed over for prosecution by the environmental mobile courts set up to prosecute violators.

“This month’s sanitation exercise took another dimension as we deployed our sanitation officers to the hinterland for a house to house monitoring.”

He, added that the state will continue to deploy drastic measures to ensure strict enforcement of the state Environmental sanitation Laws to avert environmental disasters across the 13 local government areas of the state.

He attributed most of the environmental disasters in the state to human factors, particularly building on waterways, indiscriminate dumping of refuse and other activities that pose great danger to the environment.

The environmental officer admonished all the residents of the state to desist from indiscriminate waste disposal, warning them to always clean their surrounding’s as a priority.
He noted that the state government would continue to strengthen all the environmental mobile courts set up to prosecute offenders for optimal results.

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World Malaria Day: PMI to distribute 1.6 million mosquito treated nets in Nasarawa

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World Malaria Day: PMI to distribute 1.6 million mosquito treated nets in Nasarawa

From Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia

Nasarawa state Government is set to receive about 1.6 million mosquito treated nets from Presidential Mosquito Initiative (PMI) for onward distribution across the 13 local government areas and 18 development areas of the state.

The state commissioner of Health, Pharmacist Ahmed Yahaya made the disclosure in an exclusive interview with the NationalUpdate to mark 2021 World Malaria day in Lafia on Friday.

He said that the burden of the menace has reduced consistency over the years from 6% to 30%, adding that it is now 13% when compared to the 6+1 North central states.

According to the health commissioner, it is the second lowest burden of malaria.

Speaking on this year’s theme “Zero Malaria-Draw line Against Malaria” with the slongan “Stand up-Take Action”, Yahaya revealed that they have over 150, 000 mosquito net in stock.

His words: “Between last year and this year we had a stock that will last for 2 years so what they did last year was to monitor the usage of what they had distributed about two years ago.”

He, however, stated that what they distributed last time would last till 2021, noting that the one they have distributed would expire by the end of this year.

“We are expecting the Presidential Malaria Initiative to give us about 1.6 million mosquito treated nets this year which will be distributed from September upwards,” he added.

He said the state government through the state ministry of health and the State Malaria Elimination Programme would not rest on its oars to ensure that the menace is reduce to zero level.

He urged the citizens of the state to always sleep in a treated mosquito net adding that it would go a long way in contributing their quota to making the state a Malaria free state.

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Orthopedic Hospital Dekina bill, scales second reading

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Orthopedic Hospital Dekina bill, scales second reading

A Bill seeking to amend the Orthopedic Hospital Management Board Act to provide for the establishment of Orthopedic Hospital Dekina, for specialized Orthopedic treatment to complement Kogi State University Teaching Hospital, Anyigba has scale seconnd reading in the senate

The Bill which was read for the first time at the Hallowed chamber on Wednesday, 7th October 2020 is sponsored by
Sen Isah Jibrin (Echocho)

Senator Jibrin in his lead debate on the bill, explained that Kogi East Senatorial District where the Hospital is proposed to be sited, is made up of nine (9) local Government Areas (Ankpa, Olamaboro, Ofu Dekina, Bassa, Igalamela, Idah Omala and Ibaji).
He estimated the population to be over 2,000,000, adding that with the increasing incidence of road traffic accidents, the need for orthopedic Hospital is highly imperative, he clarified.

“Kogi East like many others in the North Central geopolitical zone, is primarily an agrarian economy. The nature of the occupation of the people entails Orthopedic hazards, especially as it relates to Palm fruits harvests, forestry, and similar activities”, Echocho said.

Stressing the need for the Establishment of the Orthopedic Hospital in Dekina, he pointed out the challenges and complications associated with traditional bone setting, that has little or no knowledge of anatomy, physiology, or radiology.

This he said, has brought about limb and life threatening complications.

Sen Isah Jibrin, while urging his Distinguished colleagues to support the second reading of the Bill, noted that the establishment of the Hospital will cater for the orthopedic health needs of the people of the District and Kogi state generally, as well as some of the neighboring States in Nigeria.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan refferred the bill to the Senate committee on Health to report back to the senate in four weeks.

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