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FG Intensifies COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign to Stem Yuletide Risks



The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency  (NPHCDA) says 3,487, 298 eligible persons in Nigeria have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, having received their second jabs.

NPHCDA’s executive director, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this during the inauguration of mass vaccination exercise for Nasarawa State on Friday in Lafia.

Shuaib said that as at Friday, Nov. 26, a total of 6,242, 224 eligible persons in the country had received their first doses of the vaccine.

“From the data above, it is clear that Nigeria is still far from reaching its target of vaccinating almost 112 million of its eligible population,” he said.

Shuaib said that the federal government came up with the mass vaccination campaign in view of the festive period characterised by large gatherings with risk of spread of the virus.

He said the campaign was geared towards creating access to the vaccines in order to ward off a potential 4th wave of the pandemic.

He said the mass vaccination campaign was a carefully designed service delivery strategy to rapidly increase the number of fully vaccinated eligible people and fast track the country’s economic and social recovery.

“The main aim of the mass vaccination campaign is to vaccinate 50 per cent  of Nigeria’s eligible population by January 2022,” Shuaib added.

In Nasarawa State, the executive director pointed out that based on data from the National Population Commission (NPC), about 1.5million persons in the  state were  eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination.

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“As it stands, we have only been able to vaccinate 8.1 per cent  of eligible Nasarawa residents with the first dose and only 5.3 per cent are fully vaccinated.

“This is below our target which is to vaccinate all eligible residents with the COVID-19 vaccines in order to ensure full protection against the deadly virus.

“In order to address the logistical problems of getting to vaccination site by Nigerians, the Federal Government in collaboration with the State Government has expanded the vaccination sites in Nasarawa State.

“The COVID-19 vaccines are now available in our public health facilities, designated private health facilities, shopping malls, open markets, schools, general hospitals, tertiary health institutions, recreation parks, religious centres, motor parks and other designated sites, he said.

Shuaib encouraged Nasarawa residents, who are 18 years and above to come out en masse to receive the vaccines in order to protect themselves, their loved ones and communities.


Diagnosing Cancer in a Resource-Scarce Setting: A Heartbreaking Tale of Poverty and Healthcare



Dr Ibrahim Musa


By Dr Ibrahim Musa

With her beaming smile, she seemed excited that the surgeons had finally removed a growth troubling her tommy that had proven difficult to diagnose. She stretched her arm to deliver a sealed envelope containing a histology report of the growth. As an Attending, I was the only one working that day because the resident doctors were on a strike. Charmed by her smiles, I quickly opened the envelope hoping to read good news that would match her spirit and her equally excited mother. My smile froze. What should I tell her? The pathologists had made a diagnosis of a diffuse large B lymphoma. It’s quite an aggressive tumor that could overwhelm a patient within a short time.

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“Doctor, what is the report saying?” “You have cancer”, I replied. The devastating news instantly changed her mood. Breaking such bad news is a job no doctor wants to engage in. I explained the treatment options and the fact that there is a targeted therapy called Rituximab that could potentially improve survival if added to her chemotherapy. A vial of the drug costs hundreds of thousands and she would need at least 6 cycles within ~5 months of 3 weekly treatment. “Doctor, we cannot afford it,” her mother interjected.

Three months later, when I came for the ward round she had deteriorated badly. The growth is already back and almost 10 times bigger- obstructing her intestine and protruding on the anterior abdominal wall from her pelvis. She could barely breathe while struggling to hold on to her mother. As I watched her writhe in pain, I felt hopeless and sad. I felt defeated but beyond that I felt like we have all failed her. I silently fought tears as I struggled not to betray emotions. If I cry I would break the hearts of the people around at the time they needed me to give them hope. “You must be strong”, I told myself. But at that moment I was so sure that death would be a relief for her. She died the next morning unable to do even an X ray due to poverty. I keep asking myself what we can do to mitigate these unfortunate scenarios? Over 40% of the Nigerians live on less than $1 per day. With this extreme poverty, how do we expect them to shoulder the cost of exorbitant care from the angle of catastrophic spending?

Dr Ibrahim Musa is a consultant at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital

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Kano State Stakeholders Meet to Strengthen Health Response, Focus on COVID-19 and Other Diseases



The stakeholders meeting

KANO- The Kano State Programs Officer for Resilient and Sustainable System for Health, Abdulhakeem Dayyab, recently led a biannual meeting in Kano aimed at bringing together stakeholders to raise awareness about deadly diseases such as HIV, COVID-19, and other severe illnesses.

The meeting sought to integrate traditional rulers into the healthcare system, ensuring the availability of health facilities in five local government areas within Kano. By involving community leaders, the aim is to facilitate smoother consultations with community members, ensuring their active participation in healthcare initiatives.

Community members, recognizing their role as privileged individuals, have taken the responsibility of ensuring the availability of health facilities, particularly at the Primary Health Care (PHC) level and dispensaries.

Abubakar Sadiq, from the Department of Public Health and Epidemiology Unit at the Kano State Ministry of Health, emphasized the significance of the response team’s role in combating deadly diseases. Their support plays a vital role in effectively addressing health challenges faced by the less privileged members of society.

The stakeholders’ meeting was convened with a specific focus on strengthening the provision of healthcare services at the community level, particularly in PHCs. The active involvement of privileged individuals in addressing health challenges aims to bridge gaps in healthcare access and ensure improved health outcomes for all segments of the population.

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United States Foundation Donates Medical Equipments To FMC Gusau



The medical equipments


Federal Medical Center, FMC, Gusau has received donation of Medical equipment worth millions of Naira from an American Based charity foundation.

Chief Medical Director, CMD, of the Center, Dr Bello Muhammad Kwatarkwashi revealed this to journalists while receiving containers of the equipments in Gusau

Dr Kwatarkwashi explained that, the equipment were donated to the FMC Gusau by the Project CURE foundation of the United States through the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB and Support from federal ministry of Finance

He noted that, the Medical equipments received include; Operation related, ultrasound, Sterilizers, Analyzers, inspection/measurements opthalmic, monitoring x-ray and other sophisticated equipments.

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Others were Modern Hospital Beds, trolleys, Drip stands, bedside lockers, urinals/Bedpans, sputum mug, wheelchairs, Furniture, orthopedic equipments among others.

“I must sincerely appreciate and thank the Registrar of JAMB Professor Ishaq Oloyede and his Team for the kind gesture. I equally thank the Hon. Minister of Finance Haj. Zainab Shamsuna for the role she played to make this project a reality”

“Special thanks and appreciation also to Honourable Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire and state minister of Health Ekunmankama Joseph Nkama for their continues support to FMC Gusau” He said

Dr Bello Kwatarkwashi said, the FMC Gusau under his watch will continue to uphold professionalism in the discharge of its mandates, saying “our workers/staff are up and doing to ensure effective service delivery” he added

On his part the acting chairman of the FMC Gusau governing Board, Alh. Lawal M. Liman who commended the CMD for his commitments to reposition the Medical facility said, the Project CURE as well as JAMB Registerar and Ministers of Health and finance have done alot to the People of Zamfara for the donation and ensuring safe delivery of the equipments.

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