Connect with us


Flood: NMA urges State, FG to take proactive approach to avert disasters



Flood: NMA urges State, FG to take proactive approach to avert disasters

(L-R: The Imo Chairman of NMA, Dr Chidi Obiesi, NMA Secretary-General, Dr Jide Onyekwelu, President of NMA, Dr Uche Ojinmah and NMA National Publicity Secretary, Dr Peter Ekwueme at a news conference to end the 2023 National Executive Council meeting in Owerri on Sunday.)

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Sunday urged State and Federal Governments to activate emergency preparedness against the impending flood.

The President of NMA, Dr Uche Ojinmah, made the call while addressing newsmen on at the end the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Owerri between Aug. 27 and Sept. 3.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of this year’s NEC meeting is “Healthcare System in a Depressed Economy.”

NAN reports that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had said that some states are likely to be flooded, following the release of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon.


The states included Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi and Anambra.

“The state governments, especially those in flood prone areas, should be proactive, desilt their drainages, and remove barricades on flood plains.

“We also advise Nigerians living in or close to low lands to move to higher grounds while pleading with governments at all levels to assist these our fellow citizens in relocating,” Ojinmah said.

The president also called on state and federal governments to quickly roll out palliatives for Nigerians to cushion the harsh effects of ravaging inflation with the attendant high food prices.

“We believe that between June and September, the palliative should have been rolled out.


“We insist that these palliatives should go to Nigerians and no longer a case of being stored in different warehouses,” he stressed.

He noted that the country’s economic base, which he claimed was not strong enough to withstand capital flight, was fanning the ambers of medical brain drain.

“NEC calls on government to ramp up efforts at stamping out wide spread insecurity in our country as a panacea for economic recovery and mitigation of medical brain drain.

“NEC thanks the Federal Government for the recent upward review of our consolidated medical salary structure, but we wish to point out that the agreement that was implemented from June 1 for upward review was finalised on May 25, which preceded the fuel subsidy removal and attendant escalation of inflation.

“NEC has directed her national officers to send our dear government a new demand for upward review of allowances while eagerly awaiting the review of minimum wage and consequential adjustment which we call on government to implement seamlessly,” he added.


Ojinmah commended President Bola Tinubu for “the huge confidence he has reposed in the medical profession by populating his Federal Executive Council (FEC) with medical professionals.”

He also congratulated all doctors appointed into FEC and all officers in appointive positions, especially the Minister of Health, Prof. Mohammed Pate, and the Minister of state for Health.

The NMA president expressed confidence that the association’s ambassadors at the Federal Executive Council will excel.

He called on other healthcare professionals to sheath their swords, saying that the association under his leadership was keen in building a progressive consensus for a better health sector.

Ojinmah expressed the gratitude of the association to Katsina, Osun, Sokoto and Cross River state governors for being doctor friendly and also improving the welfare of their health workers in their states.


He particularly commended Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo for “hosting of the NEC meeting and for graciously attending the opening ceremony with almost all the entire state executive council.”

“NEC directed the NMA Cross Rivers state to sustain the demand for the release of our abducted colleague, Dr Ekanem Ephraim.

“We call on the Government of Cross Rivers state to redouble her efforts towards securing the release of our colleague who has been in captivity for more than one month.

“We plead on the abductors to have mercy on the grandmother and release her; she has committed no offence than staying back in the country to take care of the citizens,” Ojinmah pleaded.



Diphtheria: Children at risk as 7,202 cases are confirmed in Nigeria



A staggering 7,202 cases of diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be fatal without treatment, were confirmed in Nigeria last week.

The outbreak has been particularly severe among children under 14, with three-quarters of cases (73.6%) in this age group.

Most cases have been recorded in Kano state, Nigeria’s second most populous state. In the past three months, there have been 453 deaths from diphtheria in Nigeria.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease, but low vaccination rates in Nigeria have made the outbreak possible. Only 42% of children under 15 in Nigeria are fully protected from diphtheria.

Diphtheria symptoms begin with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases, the bacteria produce a toxin that can block the airway, causing difficulty breathing and swallowing. The toxin can also spread to other body parts, causing heart kidney problems and nerve damage.


Save the Children is launching a wide-scale health response in the three most impacted states of Kano, Yobe, and Katsina. The organization is deploying expert health and supply chain staff to help overstretched clinics detect and treat diphtheria cases and to support mass vaccination campaigns.

However, Save the Children warns that a mass vaccination campaign will only be successful if the vaccine shortage is urgently addressed.

Severe shortages in Nigeria of the required vaccine and the antitoxin needed to treat the disease mean that the situation could continue to escalate, placing many children at risk of severe illness and death.

Continue Reading


WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

Continue Reading