By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Federal, States and Local Governments in Nigeria have been urged to ensure efficiency in all healthcare facilities across the country for the benefit of the masses.
This passionate appeal was made by the Senate President, Mr Bukola Saraki, on Saturday at the commissioning and handing over of an 80-bed hospital built by Senator Hassan Mohammed and donated to the Federal Government in Potiskum, Yobe State.
Mr Saraki noted that with the hospital, residents of Potiskum will no longer need to travel to neighbouring states for treatment.
“This is why I committed to helping Senator Mohammad with getting the support of the Federal Government in the running of this hospital so that its benefits to the people of Potiskum and Yobe at large, are guaranteed and sustained.
“This is the kind of leaders we find today in the Nigerian Senate; people who are abandoning the practice of yesterday’s politics. It must be strongly lauded that this is a PDP Senator, in an APC led state, donating this edifice to an APC government.
“The lesson is that what matters is not the political party or the government in power but the love you have for your people and your connection with them.
“I challenge the Federal Government to ensure that this hospital that has been entrusted to them is adequately taken care of, and is run with the highest level of professionalism and efficiency possible.
“I implore the Ministry of Health to ensure this Hospital continues to receive priority attention both in management and in resource. I expect that this hospital will be run with the highest degree of efficiency possible; and to the good people of Potiskum, I encourage you to use this hospital and demand efficiency in service from the management,” the Senate President said at the occasion.
He added that the Senator chose to make a difference in the lives of people in his Senatorial District by building the hospital.
“To build such an imposing edifice at a time like this, is not a mean feat,” Mr Saraki said.
“To build and then transfer by donation, a hospital of this size and capacity to a different government in power other than his party, freely, for the service of his people is a signature statement of extraordinary leadership,” he said further.
The Senate President said he was moved when Senator Mohammad told him that he preferred to build a befitting hospital than the typical practice of sharing money to constituents. He said that with the hospital, the lives of many children and that of many pregnant women will be saved.
During a visit by the Senate President to the Palace of the Emir of Fika, Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed Abale, the Emir expressed gratitude to Saraki and his colleagues for making possible the passage of a law creating the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) which he said will help to rebuild and restore the areas ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Emir said his Emirate was a popular commercial centre before the advent of insurgency and sought for the help of all Nigerians to bring back prosperity and normalcy in the area. He thereafter presented a horse to the Senate President as a mark of honour and appreciation.
The Senate President who thanked the Emir for the gift said from his experience in the banking sector he could attest to the fact that Borno and Yobe States were major trading centres which all banks could not ignore before the outbreak of the crisis and that he was committed to the rebuilding of the area.
BOC Gases Changes Name, Logo After Acquisition by TY Danjuma
By Dipo Olowookere
One of the players in the medical industry, BOC Gases Nigeria Plc, has changed its name to Industrial and Medical Gases Nigeria Plc.
This development followed the acquisition of the company by a businessman, Mr Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, through one of his firms, TY Holdings Limited.
Recently, the former Minister of Defence in Nigeria acquired a 60 per cent stake in BOC Gases, taking his total shareholding to 72 per cent, making him the largest shareholder in the organisation.
This made the representatives of the former owners on the board, Hendrik Mentz de Waal and Joseph Ramashala, both non-executive directors, to exist BOC Gases, while efforts were made to change the corporate name and logo.
In a statement issued on Thursday and filed to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, BOC Gases said it “has obtained a new certificate of incorporation from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)” showing the new name, Industrial and Medical Gases Nigeria Plc.
It would be recalled that 14 years ago, the company adopted the now-rested BOC Gases Nigeria Plc.
Industrial and Medical Gases Nigeria is into industrial and medical gas production, sale of medical equipment and special gases.
FG to Support Cholera-riddled Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi
By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government has said that it is currently stepping up the technical support and guidance it is giving the states of the federation worst hit by cholera.
This was disclosed by the Director of Family Health department at the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Salma Anas Kolo.
She disclosed that Kano, Jigawa and Bauchi are the states worst hit by cholera in the country, noting that more than 48 per cent of the cases reported in the country are from the three sub-nationals.
“Efforts are ongoing by the health ministry in collaboration with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to continue to provide support to the states through the national response in a well-coordinated manner.
“We continue step up in providing technical support and guidance to the states that are worst affected by cholera. “At the moment we have recorded some slow progress and success in the worst affected states.
“We have conducted some trainings for health workers for early detection and prompt treatment of victims of cholera outbreak.
“Unfortunately, the outbreak is among children between the age of 5-14 years. This is closely link to lack of access to portable clean water and also poor defecation practices and poor hygiene,” she said.
Dr Anas Kolo, however, said that the ministry was intensifying its collaboration with partners on the need to re-invigorate the Water Sanitation and Health (WASH) programme in the relevant sectors of the economy considering it requires multi-sectoral approach.
“It has to do with sanitation, toileting facilities available and personal hygiene. We are working closely with the ministries of water resources, information and culture and the ministry of environment who are very critical partners in this.
“We have developed a framework at the national level that require to be operationalized at the state level to adopt similar approach so that the populace, especially, in the worst affected areas can have access to clean water,” she said.
The Director further explained that: “Part of the response we have undertaken is the distribution of essential response commodities at the point of need including hygiene kits for affected states, using traditional medium of information transmission in most of the worst affected states.
“Hand washing is very important in the prevention of the cholera. At any time, you are handling food, hand washing is very key with running water and soap. Where soap is not available, we encourage the use of ashes and table salt.”
She further advised pregnant women in the country to attend ante natal care at the health centres nearest to them in order to access services including test HIV and Syphilis.
This, according to her, is to prevent Mother-To-Child transmission of HIV.
“This is an opportunity for us to call on all Nigerian pregnant women to attend antenatal clinic at any nearest health facility to them and get themselves tested for HIV and Syphilis.
“By doing that we can prevent the transmission of HIV from the infected mother to the unborn baby and avert the transmission of Syphilis which is also very dangerous to the unborn baby.
“It causes still-birth, miscarriages and death and brain damage leading to malformation to the unborn baby. It also affects the heart. So implications are so numerous.
“So it is cheaper and more cost effective to prevent the transmission of Syphilis from an infected mother to the child. The good news is that both are almost 100 preventable. But only if women that are pregnant avail themselves to be tested of syphilis,” the health expert stated.
COVID-19: Nigeria to Start Vaccination of Children
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
In a few months’ time, Nigeria will commence administering vaccines to children under 12 years to protect them against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
This vaccination of children against the virus would be done in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The UNICEF Health Specialist and Officer in charge of Enugu Field Office, Mr Olusoji Akinleye, said during a recent media executive meeting in the state that it had taken so long for this to be implemented because of the cluttered processes involved before any drug would be administered to children.
Speaking at the event, which was in collaboration with Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA), Umuahia, on Child Rights-influenced Reporting on COVID-19, the specialist said that a lot of children had died due to the COVID-19, adding that, “In the next few months, Nigeria will start administering the vaccine on children under 12 years of age.”
He said, “We recognize the partnership in promoting and highlighting the right of every child to life. The very first right that every human being is supposed to have is the right to life; we recognise that the media have always supported the effort of government and partners, including UNICEF, in promoting the right to health.”
Noting the challenges faced by the health sector regarding public hesitancy, unwillingness, and misconceptions against the COVID-19 vaccines, Mr Akinleye encouraged parents to ensure that their children were protected by obeying the safety protocols that have been put in place.
In addition to this, he said, “UNICEF looks forward to more robust collaboration with the media and an expected upward trend in the promotion of health and hygiene practices by the media in Nigeria by daily communication to the public of protocols enforced by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
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