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BHCPF Review To Accommodate Aged Persons Currently On – Health Minister



…UBTH Committed In Providing ‘Locally Relevant And Affordable Training’ Of International Standard – CMD

As part of efforts to ensuring implementation of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s health sector agenda whereby all senior citizens of seventy years of age and beyond are covered, a review of the Operational manual of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF), is currently on.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this in Benin at the opening ceremony of international training of trainers in Geriatric and launching of elderly friendly hospital initiative at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City.

According to the Minister, the review was to accommodate affordable health insurance through the National Health Insurance Scheme gateway particularly for aged persons.


The Minister commissing one of the projects.

Dr. Ehanire said his ministry is committed to working with all concerned agencies to ensure that formal sector retirees retain the benefit of their NHIS up to age 70 before switching over to the National Non-Contributory Health Insurance Scheme.

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“We are also committed to working with the National Pension Commission, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to ensure that formal sector retirees retain the benefit of their NHIS up to age 70, before switching-over to the National Non-Contributory Health Insurance Scheme.

“This initiative of the hospital, in collaboration with Health Care Package for Improving Quality of Care of the Aged Population in Nigeria (HEPIQ-C) Project is unique as a demonstration of our resolve and commitment to achieve the objectives of the global decade for healthy aging. We shall mount advocacy to make UBTH a regional centre for geriatric training for the African Region”, he added.

While commending the management of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and other partner agencies for setting the pace, Ehanire said, “this training of trainers in this discipline is the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa.”


On his part, the Chief Medical Director, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Prof. Darlington Ewaen Obaseki, said UBTH is committed in taking the lead in providing “locally relevant and affordable training” of international standard to multi-disciplinary professionals drawn from the three levels of the health sector (primary, secondary, tertiary).

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He noted that Geriatrics services in UBTH have impacted greatly on the health of older persons, and that the initial 15-bedded ward in the hospital has increased to 20, yet utilization demand by older persons and their relatives keeps increasing thereby creating a strong need for a comprehensive geriatric centre with expanded space and improved equipment.

The Minister being decorated by UBTH

He said, “University of Benin Teaching Hospital is taking the lead in providing “locally relevant and affordable training” of international standard to multi-disciplinary professionals drawn from the three levels of the health sector (primary, secondary, tertiary), private sectors and related disciplines. We are pleased to announce that a lawyer and a clergy attended the 2019 national training.

“Geriatrics services in UBTH have impacted greatly on the health of older persons, such that the 15-bedded ward has increased to 20, yet utilization demand by older persons and their relatives keeps increasing, thereby creating a strong need for a comprehensive geriatric centre with expanded space and improved equipment.


“The Geriatric unit has extended its services to the community. The Maiden edition of the United Nations International day of older persons (UNIDOP) was hosted by the hospital in 2018, which brought together over 700 retirees of UBTH.”

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Some of the projects commissioned and inspected by the Minister at the UBTH are a new administrative block (commissioned); Brachytherapy building/oncology complex (Inspection).

Others are Premium (corporate services) ward (commissioned); emergency room ICU (commissioned); newly renovated Geriatric ward (Inspection), and
digital X-ray machine ( Inspection).



Lagos Cholera Cases Rise To 421



The Lagos state suspected cholera cases have risen to 421.

The Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi disclosed this on his Instagram handle @profakinabayomi on Saturday.

As of June 20, 2024, an additional four suspected cholera cases have been reported, as illustrated in the accompanying graph,” he wrote.


He noted that the Emergency Operations Centre in collaboration with all relevant partners is actively engaged in contact tracing, community-based surveillance, awareness campaigns, sample testing, and ensuring that confirmed cholera cases receive appropriate medical treatment.

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On Friday, the commissioner confirmed 35 cases out of the 417 suspected cases and 24 deaths across 20 Local Government Areas in the state.

The cases were reported from Agege, Badagry, Ikeja, Mushin, Ajeromi-Ifelofun, Epe, Ikorodu, Ojo, Alimosho, and Eti-Osa.


Others were Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Amuwo-Odofin, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos Island, Shomolu, Apapa, Ifako-Ijaiye, Lagos mainland, and Surulere.

Cholera is a food and water-borne disease caused by ingesting the bacteria— Vibrio cholerae — in contaminated water and food. Cholera can cause severe acute watery diarrhoea, and the severe forms of the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.

In Nigeria, cholera is an endemic and seasonal disease, occurring annually mostly during the rainy season and more frequently in areas with poor sanitation.

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The World Health Organisation on Thursday announced a spike in cholera in several regions of the world, with almost 195,000 cases and over 1,900 deaths reported in 24 countries since the start of 2024.

WHO said the Eastern Mediterranean Region reported the highest number of cases, followed by the African Region, the Region of the Americas, the Southeast Asia Region, and the European Region.

The global health body, however, noted that there are no reported cases in the Western Region, according to its bulletin released on Wednesday.

It said it exhausted its global stockpile of Oral Cholera Vaccines by March but was able to exceed “the emergency target of five million doses in early June for the first time in 2024.”



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AUTISM: What You Need To Know



By Silver Yeibake 

Autism, commonly known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. Autism is referred to as a spectrum condition since it can manifest in a variety of symptoms and abilities. While the actual cause of autism is unknown, evidence suggests that genetic and environmental factors interact to influence its development.

The risk factors include a sibling with autism, advanced age of parents, exposure to certain air pollutants and pesticides before birth, extreme prematurity, mothers with diabetes, immune system disorders or obesity, any difficulty with delivery leading to deprivation of oxygen to the baby’s brain, fever during pregnancy, lack of certain vitamins minerals during pregnancy, and certain genetic conditions, such as Down, fragile X, and Rett syndromes.


“Risk factors can not on their own cause a disease. However, they can increase the likelihood of that disease in a person.”

It is important to know that contrary to trending claims online, there is no scientific or medical evidence that vaccines or consumption of sugar are risk factors for autism.

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Autism is defined by difficulties in social interaction and communication. Individuals with autism may struggle to grasp social cues, maintain eye contact, and engage in typical back-and-forth conversations. Some people may also engage in meaningless, repetitive actions, such as hand-flapping or rocking, and have strong interests in specific areas.


It is essential to remember that autism is a lifelong diagnosis, but with early intervention and adequate care, people with autism can live fulfilling lives.
Autism treatment frequently includes behavioral therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and social skills training. Each individual with autism is unique, thus interventions should be tailored to meet their personal needs and strengths.

In spite of the difficulties that autism can cause, many people with autism possess unique talents and abilities. Some people may succeed in fields such as music, art, mathematics, or programming, thus it is important for society to acknowledge and honor the qualities and achievements of people with autism.

In summary, autism is a complicated and diverse disorder that affects individuals in various ways. By raising autism knowledge, understanding, and acceptance, we can build a more inclusive society in which people with autism can thrive and attain their full potential.

Dr. Yeibake, Weriwoyingipre Silver.
Senior Registrar,
Faculty Of Pediatrics,


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Don Confirms ‘Zobo’ As Antihypertensive Therapy



The Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, UNEC, Prof. Daniel Nwachukwu, after research findings and clinical trials in both animals and human, has confirmed that Hibiscus Sabdariffa, popularly called ‘zobo’ drinks, has all the curative potentials as an antihypertensive therapy.

Nwachukwu, who is a Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology in the university, stated that the antihypertensive effectiveness of the Hibiscus Sabdariffa (zobo) was comparable to those of known antihypertensive drugs that are popular in the retail pharmacies, adding that zobo’s availability, cheapness and absence of side effects make it attractive as an alternative therapeutic agent in mind to moderate hypertensive subjects.

He however cautioned that care should be applied to avoid abuse in the consumption of Hibiscus Sabdariffa (zobo), adding that the therapy could interfere with some anti-malaria drugs while its high dose was also reported to have toxic effects on the liver and kidney.


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Nwachukwu’s discoveries were contained his 201st Inaugural Lecture of the University of Nigeria with the topic “The Marriage Between the Cardiovascular System and Hibiscus Sabariffa: Let no One Put Asunder,” delivered at the moot court hall, Law faculty of the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus.

The DVC warned that Hibiscus Sabariffa consumption is not recommended for persons with low blood pressure because of its well established hypotensive action, advising that during combined therapy with antihypertensive drugs, the blood pressure, BP, must be carefully monitored.

He recommended that industrialists and investors should support large scale production of Hibiscus Sabariffa beverage and its distribution to rural communities in Nigeria, particularly since the raw materials (Hibiscus Sabariffa calyx and water) are cheap and readily available.


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According to Nwachukwu, “This lecture is intended to draw the public attention to our research efforts and unveiling the antihypertensive ability of Hibiscus Sabariffa which is called zobo in our common parlance. What we used for our studies was the same concentration as the locally produced zobo, and we found out that it exerted significant antihypertensive ability, in some cases even higher than the antihypertensive drugs and also did combination therapy with other antihypertensive drugs.

“What is significant is that this zobo is within us, it’s very cheap and it does not have any side effects compared to other antihypertensive agents. The raw material is just to buy zobo, prepare it under hygienic conditions, boil water and put it, sieve it and drink. It may have a sour taste but we do not encourage people to add things like pineapple or sugar in order to make it sweet, because once you do that, you are diluting or reducing its antihypertensive effectiveness.

“We have demonstrated it, both in animal studies and in humans. We are the first to do clinical trials, using mild to moderate antihypertensive Nigerians and we found it very useful. Some of the results show that one can actually use it and we equally saw that you can use it to prevent even diabetes from occurring because it reduces the rise in glucose level.”


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Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Charles Igwe while summarizing the lecture said that the lecture was in three dimensions; one on health grounds, another in academics and the third an economic value.

“Its economic in the sense that we can also begin to use what God has given us to make money. Maybe because God gave us everything in abundance in this country, we don’t recognize the simplest things God gave us in our environment. Therefore, what we are saying is that we should begin to, at all these pure water productions and incorporate zobo production so as to make money out of it.

“The university has made its contribution through our laboratories and it’s now left for the business community and the industries to come and buy into it and start widening it and make it very economic,” Igwe suggested.


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