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FG Approves Commercial Production Of Vaccines In Nigeria

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Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire on Wednesday, disclosed that the Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved the production of vaccines in commercial quantity to support routine immunization programmes in the country.

The FEC meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari also deliberated on the partnership deal which has been sealed with an Indian firm, Serum Institute of India.

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In the new arrangement, Bio Vaccine Nigeria, an indigenous public firm will control 15 percent of the market share, which will be used for contract manufacturing of those vaccines as an initial step over the next few years when the plant in Nigeria will start to work.

Giving further details shortly after the meeting, Ehanire said, “Council considered a memorandum from the Ministry of Health today, which has to do with the first stage in indigenizing vaccine production in Nigeria, we are talking first of all the routine vaccines, the one to call the standard programme on immunization, not COVID-19 vaccine.

READ ALSO: Rich Countries May Start Hoarding Vaccines Again, WHO Warns

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“As you know, the government has a joint venture agreement formed with a company called Bio vaccine Nigeria limited, which is to start producing vaccines domestically.

“Now, they are in sourcing for international partners, who will join them and give them the technology transfer that they require. And after going to various countries, including South Africa and Indonesia, they settled with the Serum Institute of India, which will now be the technical partner to support them in setting up the vaccine production plant in Nigeria.

“But of course, the Serum Institute of India as you know is the largest vaccine producer in the world, and also has vaccines that are approved by World Health Organization.

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“So all of our countries, including UNICEF, procures from Serum Institute of India, and in the partnership, Serum Institute of India requires that you must have a certain order. It will help you to produce in Nigeria who will buy and that’s what we call market access because vaccines are not things you put on the shelves where people will go and buy like Panadol. They have been purchased by the government and they are supposed to be administered by the government through the Primary Health Care Development Agency.

“So that arrangement has now been approved by the Federal Executive Council for Bio Vaccine Nigeria to have 15 percent of the market share, which will be used for contract manufacturing of those vaccines as an initial step over the next few years when the plant in Nigeria starts to work. So that was the approval that council gave today”.

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Why We Rename Monkeypox – WHO

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The World Health Organisation has said it will start using a new preferred term, ‘mpox’, as a synonym for monkeypox.

The change of name is following a series of consultations with global experts and both names will be used simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out, according to the WHO.

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In a press statement issued on Monday and made available to The PUNCH, it said when the outbreak of monkeypox expanded earlier this year, racist and stigmatising language online, in other settings, and in some communities was observed and reported to the WHO.

The statement read in part, “In several meetings, public and private, a number of individuals and countries raised concerns and asked the WHO to propose a way forward to change the name.

“Assigning names to new and, very exceptionally, to existing diseases is the responsibility of the WHO under the International Classification of Diseases and the WHO Family of International Health Related Classifications through a consultative process which includes WHO Member States.

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READ ALSO: WHOWhy Nigerians Suffer Poor Healthcare – WHO

“The WHO, in accordance with the ICD update process, held consultations to gather views from a range of experts, as well as countries and the general public, who were invited to submit suggestions for new names.”

Based on these consultations, and further discussions with the WHO’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO recommends the adoption of the new synonym mpox in English for the disease and mpox will become a preferred term, replacing monkeypox, after a transition period of one year.

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“This serves to mitigate the concerns raised by experts about confusion caused by a name change in the midst of a global outbreak. It also gives time to complete the ICD update process and to update WHO publications.

“The synonym mpox will be included in the ICD-10 online in the coming days. It will be a part of the official 2023 release of ICD-11, which is the current global standard for health data, clinical documentation and statistical aggregation.

“The term “monkeypox” will remain a searchable term in ICD, to match historic information.

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“Considerations for the recommendations included rationale, scientific appropriateness, extent of current usage, pronounceability, usability in different languages, absence of geographical or zoological references, and the ease of retrieval of historical scientific information.

“Usually, the ICD updating process can take up to several years. In this case, the process was accelerated, though following the standard steps.

“Various advisory bodies were heard during the consultation process, including experts from the medical and scientific and classification and statistics advisory committees which was constituted of representatives from government authorities of 45 different countries.

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READ ALSO: WHO Proffers Solution To Ending Tuberculosis In Nigeria

“The issue of the use of the new name in different languages was extensively discussed. The preferred term mpox can be used in other languages. If additional naming issues arise, these will be addressed via the same mechanism. Translations are usually discussed in formal collaboration with relevant government authorities and the related scientific societies.

“The WHO will adopt the term mpox in its communications, and encourages others to follow these recommendations, to minimise any ongoing negative impact of the current name and from adoption of the new name,” it added.

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Proposed Orthopedic Hospital, Fistula Centre In Edo: More Facts Emerge

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Joseph Kanjo, Benin

Recently, the media was awash with a report of two Specialist Hospitals – a Fistula Centre and an Orthopedic Hospital – proposed to be sited in Edo State by the Federal Ministry of Health. The ‘news’ of the report was not on the two federal health facilities to be sited in the heartbeat state, but the impediments to the establishment of the health facilities in the state.

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The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, as reported by the media, had reportedly said though his ministry was set to commence the health facilities, bureaucratic bottleneck in acquiring land from the Edo State Government was largely responsible for the delay in takeoff of the facilities in the state. Ehanire was reported to have disclosed this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Oba of Benin in his Palace.

But contrary to earlier report, facts have emerged that the Edo State Government, through the State Ministry of Health is fully in sync with the offer by the Federal Ministry of Health on the siting of the two Specialist Hospitals in the state, a closed source to the parties, Mr. Tony Abolo, who is in the know of the whole thing had disclosed to INFO DAILY.

According to the Ace Broadcaster and Veteran Journalist, Fistula Centre to be established at the Daisy Danjuma Health Centre, GRA Benin, and the Orthopedic Hospital to be established inside the premises of the EDO SPECIALIST HOSPITAL, along Sapele Road, Benin City not only has the blessing of the State Government, who instructed the State Commissioner of Health, Professor Obehi Akoria to accompany the visiting Federal Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire to select the best of places most suitable for purpose, but has the promise of a full services support of the State Government.

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READ ALSO: Bureaucratic Bottleneck In Edo Govt. Delaying FG Projects – Health Minister

He added that the location choices were made under the guided instruction of the State Governor, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, and had the team moving about as late in the day, when the Minister visited Edo State in order to show the enthusiasm of the Edo State Government.

According to him, the take off of the projects is expected to commence immediately as against earlier reports, as the sites are now agreed upon but the full commissioning will take place in the New Year.

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“Interestingly, as a mark of concern of fulfillment and a duty to Edo State, the Hon. Minister of Health announced that the two projects have been injected into the 2023 budgetary provisions of the Federal Ministry of Health in the new fiscal year. To all intents and purposes, all hurdles surrounding the twin projects will be cleared as the Budget defence takes place soon in Abuja.”

 

 

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Golden Jubilee: Free Training, Cancer Screening, Subsidized Surgeries Outlined To Celebrate UBTH @50

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Free Cancer Screening, Executive Screening, Subsidized Surgeries and free training for first responders on basic life support are parts of activities mapped out for the 50th anniversary of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), slated for May 12, 2023.

The Chief Medical Director UBTH, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, disclosed this in Benin City on Wednesday while briefing journalists during the unveiling of the theme and logo of the golden jubilee celebration.

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The theme of the 50th anniversary is ‘Advancing the Legacy of Quality Healthcare’.

He said the activities are part of giving back to the society for standing by the institution for the past 50 years.

Obaseki,who is a Professor of Pathology, said the free training which involves first responders like the members of the Federal Road Safety Corps, the police and drivers will be in December, 2022.

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Obaseki added that the free Cancer Screening takes place in January, 2023, while the Executive Screening which involves medical Screening for top executives, including members of the Edo State Executive Council takes place in February, adding that the subsidized surgeries are to take place in March before the anniversary in May, 2023.

READ ALSO: Antimicrobial Awareness Week: UBTH Embarks On Rally, Calls For Increased Awareness

He also said that the famous medical institution built by the then governor of the mid- western region, Brigadier General Samuel Ogbemudia started as a 300-beding hospital in 1973, but hasnnow grown to a 900- Bedding facility today.

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Eulogizing the founding fathers of the institution, he said: “If l have seen further than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants, that UBTH is a great tertiary multi-specialty. I make bold to say this morning that the successes and heights we have attained as a Teaching Hospital is because of the foresighted
ness and the labours of our founding fathers and heroes past.

“They set a solid foundation for us upon which every one of us that has come thereafter has
built.

“l am convinced that on 12h May, 1973 when this great institution was commissioned, it was already set on the path of greatness. That the hospital started as a 300 bedded facility was a pointer to greatness that awaits her.

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“We have come a long way these past 49 years and have achieved a lot along this evolutionary journey. We are the first public hospital to set up a neonatal unit in this country, the first to commence Invitro fertilization (IVF) in Nigeria
and still sustaining the service, the first to have a breakthrough in stem cell transplantation for the treatment of Sickle cell in West Africa with successful
outcomes just to mention a few.

He also added that
when his administration came in to office 5 years ago, “we immediately got to work and produced a document “the strategic reform Plan”, this document, according to him, “was reviewed when we got a renewal of our mandate.”

He maintained that the institution has a 50 years tripod projection which involves infrastructure upgrade, comprehensive Cancer Care and Comprehensive Cardiology Center as it major focus.

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He lamented that the hospital waved N84 million for indigent patients in 2021 and that over N100 millions have been waved for the same class of people this year.

He pleaded that government at all levels capture more citizens into its health insurance schemes to enable the hospital sustain it’s operations.

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