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COVID-19 distorted plans in health sector –Minister

…40m women at risk of cervical cancer


As Nigeria continues to grapple with increasing cases of COVID- 19 infections in the country, the minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has said the pandemic distorted all plans and strategies already on course and laid out to be implemented in the health sector.

This came even as the Minister raised the alarm that about 40 million women in Nigeria from the age of 15 and above, were at risk of developing cervical cancer. Ehanire who made this known while delivering a key note address at the National Stakeholders Forum in the elimination of Cervical Cancer in Nigeria, yesterday in Abuja, lamented that the programme on the prevention and control of cervical cancer was one of the very important programmes affected by emergence of the virus.

While stressing the importance of heeding the global call to eradicate cervical cancer by the year 2030, he said the health ministry under his watch would leave no stone unturned in ensuring Nigeria meets the target. According to him, the Ministry has taken steps to commence national immunisation programme against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which was responsible for over 70 per cent of cervical cancer, increase screening campaigns hitherto conducted at the tertiary hospitals, through some individuals and nongovernmental organizations and partners. He said: “There is no gainsaying that the pandemic has distorted our plans as a nation particularly in the health sector.

This is probably responsible for our inability to fully implement some of the strategic plans especially those that are time bound. One of such plans is the National Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Control of Cancer of the Cervix (2017-2021). “With a total population of about 200 million people, Nigeria has about 40 million women aged 15 years and older who are at risk of developing cervical cancer. “Available data indicates that the incidence of cervical cancer in Nigeria is about 33/100,000 and an estimated 14,089 are diagnosed every year, with eight out of every ten of them presenting at an advance stage resulting in a mortality rate of about 25 per cent.”

Okowa, wife isolate as daughter, journalist test positive Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday confirmed that his daughter has tested positive to the dreaded coronavirus (COVID- 19) pandemic and therefore, had forced the entire family into self-isolation. This came six days the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Chiedu Ebie and the the Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, contracted the virus. Barely two hours after, the former Correspondent of The Punch Newspapers, now the publisher of an online blog, the Niger Delta Today, Mr Theophilus Onojakerhen, also tested positive to the disease. The governor’s daughter and the journalist were among the 106 newly confirmed cases in the state which brings the index case of the state to 715, with 21 deaths. The Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, yesterday, said the governor and his family members would immediately commence on self-isolation for 14 days. He said: “It is again pertinent to stress that COVID- 19 is real, and citizens are advised to be disciplined and comply with the protocols of wearing Face Masks and maintaining physicaldistancing while in public places as well as basic hygiene of hand-washing with soap in running water and use of alcohol-based sanitisers as NCDC regulation demands.” The journalist, who received the result of the test two days ago (Thursday), has been drafted to one of the isolation centres in the state, even as he was said to be responding to treatment.

I tested positive for virus- Oyo commissioner

Following Oyo State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde’s disclosure that three of his Executive members tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and that test of two others were inconclusive, the state’s Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Seun Fakorede, yesterday confirmed that he was among those that contracted the pandemic. Confirming the development, the 28-year old commissioner said: “I tested positive for COVID-19 and I want you to know that there’s no cause for any panic as I’m very well, safe and sound without any symptoms/ breakdown.”

Eight doctors, nurses test positive at FMC Abeokuta

Eight medical workers, including doctors and nurses, have tested positive for coronavirus at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, Ogun State. The development came barely a week after a two and half years old girl receiving treatment at the centre was confirmed positive for the deadly virus.

The Head, Public Relations at the hospital, Segun Orisajo, yesterday confirmed that eight members of staff have actually tested positive for coronavirus. Orisajo said the affected staff consisted of medical doctors, nurses and an administration staff. He said: “They were part of the team which had contact with a two and half years old coronavirus positive toddler currently receiving treatment at the Centre’s Isolation ward. “The COVID-19 positive status of the affected staff was detected during the round of contact tracing carried out by the hospital Infection Control Team. Nonetheless, none of the staff had so far showed the symptoms of coronavirus.”

Edo govt: We’ll protect the elderly, confirmed cases rise to 851

Worried by the rising number of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the community spread of the disease across Edo State, the government has restated the need for all residents to observe safety and preventive measures. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, said: “As a government, our highest priority is the health, safety and well-being of all Edo people, and that includes the elderly who are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. “Data have shown that adults of 60 years and above, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions, especially heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or cancer are more likely to have severe, even deadly coronavirus infection than other age groups.” He said: “Edo State has so far recorded 851 confirmed cases, 5647 suspected cases, 257 discharged persons, 32 deaths and is contact-tracing 2510 persons.”

Virus cases hit 22,614

The coronavirus (COVID- 19) pandemic cases yesterday hit 22,614 while the deaths toll crossed 549 while those discharged are 7,822, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).


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