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NERICC set to address poor performance in routine immunization

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NERICC set to address poor performance in routine immunization

By John Akubo

The National Emergency Routine Immunization Coordination Centre (NERICC), Abuja,set to improve performance in routine immunization in some States that were lagging behind, Dr Daniel Ali, a Routine Immunisation Officer at the Centre has indicated.
He gave the indication yesterday after an advocacy meeting with the Chief of Staff to Kogi Government, Mr Edward Onoja, in Lokoja.
According to him, the centre was established two years ago when the Executive Director of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), declared a state of emergency on routine immunisation due to its poor performance in some States including Kogi.
According to him,’We have been able to identify 18 States that have poor performance of routine immunisation, and we are trying to see how we can support them to really come up interms of performance, and Kogi is one of those States.
He appealed to Kogi Government to actively support routine immunisation activities in the state.
Dr. Ali harped on the importance of funding as being critical to carrying out all the activities involved in routine immunization, particularly to take the services to remote communities without health facilities.
“We want the state to also create more awareness among caregivers through the traditional institutions, and to take front seat in the leadership role,” Ali said.

“This is our second meeting with the CoS to present the issues that need to be looked into and address so that Kogi can be among those performing state in immunisation.”
He appointed the chief of Starf as Immunization Ambassador in Kogi, to encourage people to do everything to have their children vaccinated.
“We are very glad with what we heard today from the state government, and for being able to fulfil part of those promises made during the previous meeting,” Ali said.

In his response, Onoja assured the team of the government’s support and total commitment to getting Kogi children immunised against killer diseases.

The chief of staff also promised to encourage the Local Government Administrators to be actively involved in the routine immunization services in terms of moral, manpower and financial support.

He said that the issue of inadequate manpower and welfare of health workers raised by the team would be addressed by the government.

He promised to double check the unresolved issues on the payroll with the Head of Service for the workers that are off or on.

“On salaries, I am very much aware that salary matter at LG level in terms of what they get paid on a monthly basis has improved in this government vis-a- vis former governments.”

He said when the expected outstanding of N30 billion bailout that is due to Kogi is released it would go a long way to resolving some of the outsanding salaries to provide the needed motivation.

“We believe that when the money comes, the union, labour and those who are involved will sit together to appropriate it in such a manner that nobody will feel alienated.”

He expressed appreciation for the frank observation made by the team.

Onoja promised to work with the commissioner for health and other stakeholders to see how the bill on primary healthcare that had been passed by the House of Assembly could be expressly signed into law including the disability bill.

Ealier, Dr Abubakar Yakubu, Executive Director, Kogi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (KSPHCDA), said that the essence of the meeting was to appeal to stakeholders to get involved in state’s immunization activities.

”By tomorrow, we will also have a meeting with the Commissioner for Health to get his input.

“We have also selected some stakeholders in the state that we will talk to, so that their roles in the routine immunization can be moved beyond what is expected of them.

“We will soon achieve a very stable immunization program in the state.”

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USAID, other stakeholders resolve to strengthen healthcare system in FCT

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USAID, other stakeholders resolve to strengthen healthcare system in FCT

By Ummul Idris

The USAID Integrated Health Programme (IHP), FCT Primary Health Care Board (PHCB) and traditional rulers have resolved to work together to strengthen healthcare system across the territory.

The stakeholders made the resolution at Orientation and  Inaugural Meeting of Area Council Health Authority (ACHA) Management and Advisory Structures for Abaji, in Abuja on Thursday.

The FCT Director of USAID IHP, Dr Juliana Nathaniel said Health indices within the FCT was poor hence major stakeholders must work together to adress it headon.

Nathaniel explained that morbidity and mortality had remained high amongst women, children, and the general population because of the weak health system which was not currently performing optimally.

She stated that the cost of health services had persistently denied the poor and vulnerable access to quality health care services and had indeed remained an issue of great concern to all and sundry.

“I am truly excited to be part of this historic event because what we are witnessing today is not just long overdue, but a very critical step towards the right direction.

“I want to congratulate the FCT leadership for this giant stride. Setting up these structures as prescribed under the PHC Act, is necessary for proper management, coordination, and effective delivery of PHC programmes.

“When in place, the structures will not only help to ensure that Primary Health Care (PHC) plans are properly articulated, but that it represents the interest and felt-needs  of the communities, thus helping to actualize the concept of bottom-top approach in PHC programming in the FCT.

“We are all aware that setting up the management and administrative structures for each AC is crucial because it is in line with the principles of the Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR) initiative and was mandated by the PHC Enabling Act of 2019.

“Putting  these structures in place and making them functional is not just a basic requirement, but a prerequisite for accessing the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF)” she stated.

She enjoined the stakeholders involved to focus on implementation of well-articulated  strategies and interventions  to  bring about a complete turn-around  in PHC management  and the service delivery system, in order to  impact positively  on the health indices within the FCT.

Similarly, the Director, Finance and Administration of FCT PHCB, Alhaji Ishaq Sadeeq reiterated the government’s commitment to strengthen healthcare system adding that the meeting was critical in order to fortify the governance structure of PHC in FCT.

According to him, the structure is relevant in line with the Primary Healthcare Revitalisation Programme of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He explained that setting up the Abaji Area Council Health Authority was a prerequisite for FCT to access Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

He expressed appreciation for the technical assistance the board received from USAID funded IHP on task order seven in the FCT.

He added that the intervention had  supported FCT to implement its policies to improve management and delivery of Health Care at all levels in the territory.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ona of Abaji, Alhaji Adamu Yunusa and the Chairman of Abaji Area Council, Alhaji Abdulrahman Ajiya pledged their support for successful implementation of the health authority in Abaji. (NAN)

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Half a million families got succour from N1b across Nigeria says VSF COVID-19 taskforce

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Half a million families got succour from N1b across Nigeria says VSF COVID-19 taskforce

Victim Support Fund (VSF) COVID-19 Task Force has indicated that its preliminary N1b earmarked for cushioning the effect of Coronavirus pandemics was used to reach out to about 500 000 families across the country in real terms.
Speaking while delivering some of the support items that included laptops computers, and other technical equipments to the Federal Ministry of Health recently, the Chairperson of VSF COVID-19 Task Force, Toyon Akerele-Ogunsiji said they calculated that an average Nigerian will have a father, mother and four children, hence they provided food that will last them for at least a few weeks to a month.

She said from that point they observe to see what the government would do next from there.
According to her, the spread of Coronavirus could have peaked between March and April but for their intervention in providing more than enough food to the tune of of N1b.”For Abuja we spent about 20% out of the preliminary N1b, for Lagos 20% then for Yobe, Adamawa and Ogun State they got 10% each, maize, rice all in 10kg, sugar, salt in 2kg, 4litres gallon for cooking oil.
“One of the things priortized in our donation is the dignity of our beneficiary.
We didnt just want to donate food because we considered them as indegent of the vulnerable population.
“It was important that the food we donated will keep and sustain their families for a while.
“People were able to feed, we were giving out drugs because we priortized the immunity of Nigerians at that time. We have multivitamins, pain medicines and other supplement.
“We bought about 300. 000 pieces of tablet soaps because hand washings the single preventive mechanism against Coronavirus.”

She reiterated the fact that healthcare is not only about providing medication and drugs adding that the taskforce extended its support in combating the COVID-19 pandemic beyond drugs and medicals to human capacity development as well as provision of technical support for the Federal Ministry of Health. She said the quality of human capacity will determine to a very large extent the successes the ministry will achieve in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today we are providing technical equipments to the Federal ministry of health, we are supporting them with the ministerial expert advisory committee and we are also providing support for the development and the management of the national pandemic action plan.
“We are going to be supporting the ministry by renovating the elevators within the ministry because now we have more staff coming in and out spending more time within the ministry than they use to and we are providing support for the secretariat.
“We are paying for Zoom subscription, we are covering the cost of Wi-Fi of the COVID-19 of the FMOH we believe that healthcare is not just about providing medication and drugs, the human capital element is also very crucial.
She said the VSF earmarked N1B naira in the first phase of its intervention, adding the the second phase got N832, 720, 000,480 adding the the third phase will get a little less than N1b.
She said so far the task force has given support worth more than N150m to the federal ministry of health which is apart from the support it gave to the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
On the extent to which the support of the taskforce has impacted positively in bringing down the pandemic she said,
“I am very bold to say that we are probably the first private sector led humanitarian initiative in this country that responded to the COVID-19 pandemic at the peak of it.
“COVID-19 task force was set up by General Danjuma and was inaugurated on the 30th of March and we tried to take action and by 14th of April we were already in Abuja here at the Malaysian Garden in Karu to give out food items, medicals, PPE, drugs, family care drugs to IDPs in Abuja from Abuja on the same day we were in Borno to meet with Governor Babagana Umaru.
“From Borno we were in Yobe to Kano and from there we moved on to Lagos and Ibadan and Ogun State.”
She said they chose to intervene in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja because they were the frontline COVID-19 locations
She said, “The people were so Hungary they could not stay at home, they had to go out. As schools resumes she said, “We are going to set wash facilities going forward, we are going to providing wash facilities for schools, support the gradual reopening of schools from Nursery to primary and secondary because we want children to be able to wash their hands.
“We will setup more boreholes, donate tablet soap for hand washing, wristband hand sanitizers that children can press constantly and sanitizer their hands support teachers, we know that education is important and we cannot stop the education of children.
“What we must do as a responsible organisation is to make sure we set in motion a system where the health and the hygiene of children are not compromised as they go to school.”

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Respite as FMC Lokoja resumes wednesday 23rd, september, three months after deadly attack

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Respite as FMC Lokoja resumes wednesday 23rd, september, three months after deadly attack

The Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Lokoja chapter of the Joint Action Congress (JAC) on Thursday suspended their three-month old industrial action embarked upon following deadly attack by unknown hoodlums.
It would be recalled that while the FMC was under lock and key, health workers and patients who needed specialised care were at the recieving end.
Suspected hoodlums had stormed FMC, Lokoja, in the early hours of Wednesday-July 1, destroying the administrative block, carting away computers and files allegedly relating to COVID-19. 

I a statement after emerging from a meeting with the management of the hospital, JAC said it suspended the strike after the show of commitment by the hospital management to guarantee and ensure the safety of lives and property of the workers, among other demands.
According to the statement, “This decision is premised on the compliance with our request to guarantee safety of lives and properties among other things as a result of attack by unknown hoodlums on the Federal Medical Centre Lokoja and her staff dated 1st of July 2020.”

It however disclosed that the tertiary health institution will resume full services from Wednesday 23rd September 2020. “We have decided to resume full services on the 23rd of September 2020.” The statement, jointly signed by the various unions and professional associations, thanked the Minister of Health, Kogi State Government, State House of Assembly, FMC Lokoja Board and security agencies for their intervention, and people of the state for their understanding. Recall that medical doctors and other health professionals of the facility had on July 1, 2020, embarked on industrial action after the hospital was invaded by hoodlums. The Kogi State House of Assembly has recently called for the urgent reopening of the medical facility in the interest of the masses.

The House, in a motion of urgent public importance, argued that the continued closure of the health institution was not in the best interest of the people of the state considering the deteriorating health situation of the people of the state, hence called for its immediate reopening. 

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