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Anambra NMA fetes elderly colleagues, urges doctors to take care of their health



Last Updated on July 24, 2023 by Fellow Press

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), has called on members to take good care of themselves in order to deliver healthcare services to the public more effectively.

The NMA made the call at the Elders Hangout to mark the end of the 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Anambra Branch of the association in Awka on Sunday.

The theme of the AGM was “Mass Emigration of Doctors and Other Health Workers: the Origin Challenges and Solution”.

Emeritus Prof. Okechukwu Mbonu, the chairman of the occasion, said the call becomes necessary to enable doctors pay attention to their own health while taking care of others.

Mbonu, 83, called on the Federal Government to address the continued depletion of manpower in the health sector through the brain drain or outward migration of professional health workers.

He said the factors responsible for the ‘japa’ or the brain drain phenomenon should be addressed to bridge the widening generational gap in the sector.

According to him, “we should go for check up regularly, most of us take our health for granted, at 83 I still see patients, I operate without glasses, so doctors should take care of themselves too.

“The elders hangout is a forum to advise our young ones who want to leave the country on why they should stay back and be patient with the government.

“In our own time, before you graduate, you had a car to enable you to function well but today, some consultants don’t have cars. If a doctor is paid N800,000 here, in the UK he is paid 8,000 pounds, you can do the mathematics.

“The System works better there, no fear of insecurity or kidnapping, as I am talking to you a professor was kidnapped on her way to the clinic in Calabar, and there is no word after five days,” he said.

Also speaking, Dr Jide Onyekwelu, National Secretary of the NMA, said every doctor should have a doctor to manage his or her health as they were also humans who could be patients.

Onyekwelu said no doctor could treat himself objectively as they were advised as a matter of ethics not to treat their relations.

He said beyond complacency, the ‘japa’ phenomenon which had reduced the number of practicing doctors in Nigeria had further put pressure on available ones.

Onyekwelu commended the NMA leadership in Anambra, under Dr Jane Ezeonu, for its innovativeness and the success achieved in the last one year.

He said the young doctors’ summit gave the branch first hand information on the reasons young doctors always look forward to leaving Nigeria to practice in other countries after graduating.

Also speaking, Ezeonu, Chairman of NMA in Anambra, said the AGM which lasted four days was a success.

She said the AGM started with an outreach for the Police where it delivered free medical services to no fewer than 150 patients and donated some basic medicines and equipment to the Command.

She said the NMA in Anambra was worried by the brain drain phenomenon and decided to interrogate it with a view to finding possible solutions.

“That is why we had the young doctors summit where we interacted with newly-qualified doctors and those who had practiced for less than 10 years.

“We also had an AGM lecture on the brain drain which is hitting the sector,” she said

She commended members of her executive for their team spirit and expressed the hope that the ideas would be sustained and improved upon.


Milk Day: Shettima unveils National Dairy Policy



Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Fellow Press

The Federal Government has inaugurated the National Dairy Policy to catalyse development in the livestock and dairy sectors.

The policy, unveiled on Tuesday in Abuja by Vice President Kashim Shettima, aims to achieve sustainable diversification of the national economy, a key objective of its National Development Plan (2021-2025).

The document was designed to serve as a roadmap for energising the dairy industry over the coming years.

The policy is the outcome of several consultations and engagements with key stakeholders who shared the vision of a productive and globally competitive dairy sector in Nigeria.

Speaking at the unveiling of the document, Shettima said that milk was not a staple but a cornerstone of Nigeria nutritional security and economic development.

He said theme of the 2024 Milk Day, “Harnessing the Nutrition and Investment Opportunities in a Sustainable Dairy Value Chain,” was particularly significant.

Shettima was represented by Dr Kingsley Uzoma, Senior Special Assistant to Shettima on Agribusiness.

He said that since its inception, the benefits of milk and dairy products had been actively promoted worldwide, highlighting how dairy supported the livelihoods of one billion people.

“Dairy is an accessible, affordable, and nutrient-dense food, essential for balanced diets across the world.

“Billions of people consume milk and dairy products daily, not only as a vital source of nutrition but also as a means of livelihood for farmers, processors, shopkeepers, and other stakeholders in the dairy value chain.

“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that consumers, industry and governments have up-to-date information on how milk and dairy products contribute to human nutrition.

“Also how dairy-industry development can best increase food security and alleviate poverty in Nigeria.”

Shettima said that dairy farming presented significant opportunities for economic development and youth employment.

“However, these opportunities do not come without challenges.

“Our livestock farmers often face issues such as inadequate feed for their animals, conflicts over grazing lands, and the adverse effects of climate change.”

He said that the these challenges were compounded by violent conflicts between farmers and cattle herdsmen over land use.

“A situation exacerbated by increasing droughts and the pressing need for sustainable solutions.

” Recognising these challenges, the Federal Government is launching the National Dairy Policy with the objective of transforming the dairy industry in Nigeria.”

Shettima said the policy would address key obstacles such as the lack of modern global best practices for cross-breeding and calving, high costs of mik and poor transportation infrastructure among others.

“Currently, Nigeria spends 1.5 billion dollars annually on importing dairy products due to a production deficit.

” Nigerians consume an average of 1.6 billion liters of milk and its products but domestic production is insufficient to meet this demand.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration is determined to achieve national production security, with the longer term goal of eventually exporting dairy products to other African countries under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).”

He said that implementation of the policy would ensure improved dairy farming practices, increased investment in dairy processing and preservation, evidence-based policy implementation, and enhanced collaboration.

Shettima said that it would also enable ease of business for the dairy industry, fostering public-private partnerships, embracing technology and innovation, empowering women-friendly and youth-centric business models.

“Its implementation will promote good animal health practices, and monitoring and evaluating progress,” he said.

In a remark, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Aliyu Abdullahi, said that the national dairy policy was in line with Federal Government’s Renewed Hope Agenda to reposition the livestock sector.

He said that the document would create enabling and supportive environment for growth in the dairy sector.

Abdullahi said that there were potential in the dairy industry, adding that with consistency and steadfastness to the policy’s implementation, Nigeria would before long become self- sufficient in milk and dairy products.

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I’m a witness for Christ– Okupe recounts as he defeats cancer



Last Updated on May 21, 2024 by Fellow Press

A former Labour Party, LP, presidential spokesperson, Doyin Okupe, has described himself as an evangelist of Jesus Christ.

Okupe disclosed this while recounting how God saved him from cancer for the second time and his weight loss journey.

He spoke while appearing on Channels Television’s programme, Political Paradigm.

Responding to if he achieved his weight loss through surgery or discipline, Okupe said: “It’s part in part, the first problem was cancer I had and the chemotherapy makes you lose appetite, you have nausea, and even as you sustain for several months, you lose weight.

“When I started chemotherapy, I was 127kg, and then I came down to 97kg… the chemotherapy ended and I went back to 103kg

“This is the second time I’m beating cancer, the first time was 16 years ago, which was prostrate and this time it was the soft tissues of my right shoulders.

“In all these, I bear witness to God and Jesus Christ, I’m a testimony to the fact that there is nothing the Lord God Jehovah can’t do. From now on, I have become an evangelist and a witness for Christ.”

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