Uganda declares end of bird flu outbreak

By Newsdesk

The Uganda Government has declared end of bird flu outbreak which has led to death of thousands of birds and crippled the country’s poultry export for seven months since its outbreak.

Bird flu outbreak was declared in January affecting domestic and wild birds in three central districts of Wakiso, Kalangala and Masaka, along the shores of Lake Victoria.

Since outbreak of the flu, at least 50,000 domestic birds and 10,000 wild birds have been killed by the government, aimed at ending the outbreak.

Minister of Agriculture, Christopher Kibanzanga, who announced end to avian influenza outbreak in an interview with newsmen on Saturday, said that Uganda is free from bird flu.

“The laboratory samples collected from domestic poultry birds and wild birds have been confirmed negative since March to date,” Kibanzanga said.

He lamented that the outbreak had negatively impacted on Uganda’s economy, resulting from trade bans on export of poultry products to neighboring Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The minister hinted that the Kenyan government has agreed to partially lift the poultry trade ban through compartments.

Uganda is among the countries in sub-Saharan Africa that face a high risk of a bird flu outbreak as it is crisscrossed by several routes for migratory birds, which are carriers of the virus.

Avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

The infection can cause a wide spectrum of symptoms in birds, ranging from mild illness, which may pass unnoticed, to a fatal disease that can cause severe epidemics.

According to the WHO, avian influenza viruses do not normally infect humans but there have been instances of certain highly pathogenic strains causing severe respiratory disease in humans.

Kogi identifies disease responsible for 50 deaths, appeals for calm

By Newsdesk

The Kogi State government has disclosed some diseases responsible for over 50 deaths recorded in the state, even as it appealed for calm over reports that had trailed the mysterious disease outbreak.

Of the 39 patients tested, the government added that results indicated that they were suffering from gastroenteritis also known as infectious diarrhea and Malaria.

Disclosing some diseases responsible for the death, Commissioner for Health, Saka Audu, who denied that 62 persons had died from the disease, lamented that such statistics was incorrect.

The state Ministry of Health had in a statement put figure of those who died in Okunran, Okoloke and Isanlu-Esa all in Yagba West Local Government Area.

In an interview with newsmen in Lokoja, the commissioner hinted that the disease started six weeks ago but was brought to government attention less than a week ago.

“The current information available to us is that the strange disease actually started six weeks ago in Okoloke village in Yagba West, which is a settlement that is predominantly inhabited by Fulani herdsmen.

“There have been cases of reported deaths following abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea, but the patients who showed signs of illness had since been evacuated and transported to Kogi State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja for better treatment.

“So far, we have evacuated 39 patients from Okoloke area and only six of them were admitted and have shown significant sign of improvement while others have since been discharged.

“Out of the six that were admitted, three of them were diagnosed of gastroenteritis and the remaining three were just cases of malaria, and they have shown remarkable signs of improvement,” Audu added.

He debunked claim that the disease was not Lassa fever, saying the result of samples taken from the patients to Irua General Hospital for investigation proved negative.

On the 62 persons earlier reported to have died, the commissioner said the figure was given by local leaders in the affected areas and was yet to be verified by government.

“ We will investigate and trace the dead people to the grave yard and come up with the correct figure. We want to assure the general public that government is doing all that is humanly possible to stay on top of the situation and forestall further loss of lives. We will continue to inform the public as the investigation progresses,’’ Audu said.

Kwara reports first Lassa fever case

By Peter Moses, Ilorin

The Kwara State Commissioner for Health, Suleiman Alege has confirmed a case of Lassa fever in the state, following report of a 10-year-old boy who was reported to had displayed strange signs and the disease symptom after he was rushed to a nearby hospital.

It was reported that the victim, whose name was kept away from press due to the sensitivity, is from Ifelodun local government area of the state where he was discovered to had contracted the disease before he was transfered to government hospital for proper examination.

A week ago,  it was reported that a strange disease claimed scores of lives in Oro-Ago, also in Ifelodun local government area of the state, but the Kwara state government described the report as mere rumours, while it hinted that it had sent samples to virology centre in Lagos for examination.

Addressing reporters on the lassa fever on Friday in Kwara, Alege stated that the sample of the boy’s blood sample had been sent to appropriate health center where proper examination would be carried out to ascertain the level of the disease before taking any further steps.

He said that the case of the 10-year-old boy who had traces of lassa fever in his system was reported at the ministry and appropriate department of the government section have been carrying out necessary precaution to ensure the disease does not get spread.

According to him, the ministry  has sent samples to Virology Research Center, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and the results of the investigation of the samples are out.

“And as a state we don’t need to hide anything. I can authoritatively confirm to you that one of the samples taken from Babanla Primary Health Centre, Ifelodun local government area is confirmed to be positive of Lassa Fever.

“A ten year old boy is the unfortunate victim. As I am speaking with you our medical team is moving their immediately. Basically to monitor the situation on ground, look at the patient and for people that have had contact with the patient. We will continue to brief you on the happenings on ground.

“We will create isolation centre in Omu-Aran General Hospital. I want to inform you that the information has gotten to Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and other necessary partners. We are working together as a team to nip the disease in the bud.

“On the Oro-Ago axis, the other four samples are negative.”

Kwara disassociates from mysterious disease outbreak

By Peter Moses, Ilorin

The Kwara State Government has disassociated the state from sprawling report of a mysterious disease outbreak claimed to had claimed over 70 people within.

However, the state denouncement of the report came on Friday as measure to clear air against panics that may had spread after several headlines hit public recently.

It was report that a strange disease ravaged a Fulani community, with infected victims defecating black substance and vomiting blood before dying.

The Commissioner, Kwara State Ministry of Health, Atolagbe Alege,  dismissed the report, just as he clarified that was no such disease in the state.

Reacting to a report in the state, on Friday, Alege stated that the ministry treated the report of the disease as mere rumor since there was no prove even after visiting the community linked to the report.

He disclosed that a response team from the ministry which was deploy to the reported community, to investigate the outbreak,  return negative which indicated that nothing of such as claimed.

“Because we deployed a response team comprising of an epidemiologist, directors of public health and the disease surveillance response team,” he said.

He said experts at the ministry in company with a team from the World Health Organisation visited Oro-Ago where the deleged group met with elders and community leaders.

Alege hindted that the team report indicated that here was no disease affecting the Fulani population in the area.

The commissioner also claimed that  the response team had taken samples from sick people at Abanisi and ECWA hospitals in Oro- Ago, adding that, there was no mortality just as he confirmed yellow fever, diarrhea and malaria in the community.

“The governor has directed the general hospitals across the state to be on standby in case of any unforeseen occurrence,” he said.

 

Alege further disclosed that the result of the sample earlier taken from the community and was expected to arrive in Ilorin on Thursday was delayed.

He said the government would communicate the result as soon as examination was conducted on it, adding that there was no need for panic.

Strange diseases kill 50 children in Kogi

By Newsdesk

No fewer than 50 persons have died after a strange disease with diarrhea symptoms broke out in three communities in Kogi state.

The communities where the disease broke out were Okunran, Okoloke and Isanlu-Esa villages in Yagba West Local Government.

Earlier reports had suspected lassa Fever, but medics told Dr. Saka Audu, Commissioner for Health, who visited the affected areas on Thursday, that it was a strange diseases that was unknown.

A Consultant at ECWA Hospital, Egbe, Dr. Jannette Hathorn, hinted that previously, medical personnel within the communities had suspected Lassa Fever, but after thorough investigation, it became obvious that it was not.

Hathorn, who disclosed their apprehension during visit by Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, to the communities, disclosed that results of several test to ascertain the cause has proved negative.

She lamented that the first death was recorded when a two and half years child died 12 hours after he was brought to the hospital.

According to her, we are sure it is not lassa fever; but our concern is that we do not know exactly what is happening. We have not arrived at a definitive diagnosis.

“Two adult patients were also brought here; one showed symptoms of ulcer-viral illness, but there was no bleeding component of any haemorrhagic symptom. We isolated them and both of them were treated for malaria. When they started improving, we let them go.

“Another parent brought a child to the hospital and pleaded for help. He said that 50 people had died in their village with similar symptoms of bloodstained vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

“When the child died, we called the World Health Organisation (WHO). Yesterday (Wednesday), their officials came and took samples of everything; we must know exactly what we are dealing with,” she added.

The leader of the Fulani settlement, Damina Ibrahim, hinted that children were worst hit, even as he added that they administered patients with herbs but abandoned it when the patients failed to respond to treatments.

He explained that parents became more confused when doctors could not ascertain the cause of the illness, saying that many died in the hospital while others were discharged without any cure.

According to the leader, we have lost more than 50 people and still have many helpless patients at home waiting for help.

 

Responding, Audu, who described the situation as serious, said that the visit was to assess the it especially since many lives have been lost to the disease. We want to determine the cause of these mysterious deaths and then proffer solution to it.

He said: “Government is committed to assisting the people irrespective of how remote their settlements may be. We must ensure that we take healthcare to the door steps of rural dwellers.

“We want to reassure the people that government is with them and will take full responsibility of those who are already ill, so as to arrest the spread of this disease.

“For now, what is clear and confirmed is that it is not lassa fever; but whatever it is, we will carry out further investigation and come up with definitive diagnosis,” Audu added.

The commissioner stated that a technical team has been inaugurated to investigate and proffer solutions to the crisis.

“We are digging into the real cause of this ailment. All hands are on deck toward unraveling the definitive cause of the mysterious deaths among the kids,” the commissioner assured.

 

FG to end open drugs market, projects 2018

By NewsDesk,

Continuous battle against unapproved system of selling drugs such in a way it been practice in open market across Nigeria may soon come to an end as Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed that Federal Government (FG) was determined to stop sale of medications in open markets in the country by end of 2018.

According to him, FG had announced July 2017 as deadline to end the sale of drugs in open markets and it could be that people are of believe that the government never meant its pronouncement.

Adewole, who spoke during his visit to construction site of a Pharmaceutical Coordinated Wholesale Centre at Oba in Anambra State, stated that government do not longer want to have fake drugs or falsified labels in circulation, safe genuine medications, and that centralizing a market for such is only measure to curb the practices.

“We have agreed to extend the deadline till Dec. 31, 2018 and that will be the last extension. We are irrevocably committed.

“By Jan. 1, 2019, if you are not here at the coordinated centre, then you cannot be anywhere. I am saying it with all seriousness that this is the last extension,” he said.

He commended the Anambra state government for supporting FG’s move, just as he urged the leadership of the drug market in the state to settle disputes among traders amicably.

The minister lauded the state on choice of location for the center, assuring that, work on the project would commence immediately to meet the deadline.

Earlier, Adewole, in company with Acting Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Yetunde Oni, visited the state’s Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe.

While receiving the minister, Okeke commended the FG for its resolve to end open sale of drugs, just as he recognise NAFDAC’s war against fake and counterfeit medicines in the country.

On his part of the NAFDAC boss, she urged stakeholders in drug business to join hands in safeguarding health of the nation.

According to her, the reason for the coordinated centre is to ensure that any drug under the facility is in appropriate drug storage condition.

“Such drugs must be registered, must be of the right quality, safe and efficacious for use because it is impacting on the health and wellbeing of the society,” Oni said.

Hepatitis hits Borno IDP camp, kills four pregnant women, 400 under surveillance

By Newsdesk

No fewer than four pregnant women have died and 400 others under surveillance after Hepatitis (E) infection hit Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Ngala, Borno state.

It was gathered that the IDPs contacted the disease through viral infection from citizens of Niger Republic who allegedly visited the camp Borno state where they were camped.

Hepatitis E or liver inflammation is a viral disease caused by infection with a virus called hepatitis Evirus. It is one of the five known human hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D, and E.

The disease is caused by drinking contaminated water within the endemic areas or through the consumption of uncooked or under-cooked meat. Hepatitis outbreak can be epidemic or individual.

Confirming death of the pregnant women on Friday in Maiduguri, Medicine Sans Frontiers otherwise known as ‘Doctors Without Borders’,  hinted that of the 400 infected by the terminal disease in the camp include women and children.

The organisation in statement signed by its Field Communication Officer, Musa Yahaya, lamented that the number could escalate considering the huge number of IDPs in camp, saying, about 45, 000 displaced persons were currently within Ngala camp in the state.

Yahaya said that the contagious disease spread quickly in the Ngala camp due to a combination of poor living conditions and flooding, describing the situation in camp as ‘worrisome’ and portended serious health threats.

“The situation in Ngala is very worrying. Heavy rain caused flooding in the camp and water submerged pathways, latrines and shelters.

“Whenever it rains, the whole camp gets covered with mud and dirty water. “This is a recipe for spreading bacteria and disease,” he added.

The field communication officer disclosed that over 400 cases of the disease were recorded and 170 patients treated while four expectant mothers died of the disease in the past two months.

He explained that the disease could be very dangerous in pregnancy and caused high rate of abortions, stillbirth, and premature delivery, saying, it can also cause severe haemorrhages in mothers, both during childbirth and after delivery.

The communication officer said that the organisation encouraged the community to conduct waste clearance exercise to rid the camp of dirty water, adding that the organisation had also distributed soap and chlorinated water supply to contain spread of the disease.

Yahaya stressed that urgent measures were necessary to enhance access to safe drinking water and promote good sanitation to contain the disease

According to him, the organisation had been working in Ngala camp since October 2016 and currently ran a hospital providing inpatient and outpatient services, antenatal care and malnutrition treatment.

The Borno Commissioner for Health, Haruna Mishelia, explained that the cases of the disease were recorded at Mobar, Monguno and Ngala local government areas.

Mishelia said the state government had responded positively to contain the disease at Mobar, Monguno and Ngala are under control,

Ganduje discloses plans on drug market contribution

By NewsDesk,

To ensure adequate control and monitoring of drug sales across Kano State, the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, has disclosed that the state had concluded plan to construct drugs market at the Kano Economic City, the move which was said would eradicate drug abuse.

Ganduje hinted that agreement was reached between contractor, JAIZ Bank, awarded the construction,  drug marketers and other relevant stakeholders in respect of the project, and that the state government would ensure process to achieve the plan is fast-tracked.

Through a statement released on Wednesday by the governor’s Director General, Media and Communication,Salihu Yakasai, the governor explained that was in compliance with directives of the Federal Ministry of Health, to build separate market for drug vendors, to ensure that their business was properly supervised.

The statement hinted that Ganduje, while receiving an award at National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Annual conference recently, the plan was on stride in checking menace of drug abuse and his remarkable effort in supporting the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

“Maintaining that his administration is deeply concerned about the level of drug abuse and trafficking in the state, he announced that in consolidation of its anti drug war, the state government has not too long ago, confiscated banned drugs worth hundreds of millions of Naira which would be destroyed soon.

The governor also stated that the government-owned Kiru reformatory would soon be renovated and expanded to include a separate section for female drug abusers, lamenting that the problem of drug addiction among women, especially married ones in the state, was becoming alarming.

“This situation must not be allowed to continue so while thanking NDLEA for this award, I want to emphasize that our commitment in the war against drug users and traffickers will remain tough”, he said.

Kano governor signs health institutions regulator creation into law

By NewsDesk,

In a bid to ensure Kano State put in place adequate medical system, the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi  Ganduje, has signed into law a Private Health Institutions Agency after it passage it by the state House of Assembly recently.

Speaking shortly after signing the bill at the government house on Wednesday,  Ganduje explained that creation of the new agency is aimed at ensuring best practices in the health sector, in line with laid down state and federal rules”.

With this development, he stated that government would keep a keen eye on private health institutions and practitioners as well as ensure that clients are not over charged.

According to him, the new agency has powers to shut down hospital that infringes upon existing laws and pay revenues duly to the government, and will also supervise herbal and Islamic medicine practitioners.

The governor regretted that several health institutions in the state do not have the requisite facilities, trained manpower and infrastructure to offer good quality health services.

Lassa fever hits Yobe, four quarantine

By Newsdesk

A fresh outbreak of Lassa fever has hit Yobe state with no fewer than four persons quarantined at Damaturu General Hospital, barely 24 hours after the disease killed two persons and 100 patients including medical personnel, under surveillance in the state.

The four quarantined were among the seven persons earlier quarantined by government immediately the disease was discovered; the three others were discharged after clinical analysis proved they were negatives.

Commissioner for health, Bello Kawuwa, said: “Three out of the seven suspected cases had been discharged after an initial clinical analysis while the remaining four are still undergoing clinical appraisal.”

Kawuwa however stressed that the government was yet to confirm the veracity of the cases, hinting that health expert have embarked on investigation to ascertain the authenticity of the disease.

He explained that those believed to be affected have been quarantined with clinical appraisal ongoing, adding that the state epidemic response team was already in affected communities carrying out contact tracing operation and enlightening the people in line with best medical practice.

 

According to him, in the month of July, about seven cases of suspected Lassa fever were reported in Yobe and they were subjected to normal clinical appraisal and out of these seven, three were looking less of Lassa fever.

“We subjected such to laboratory analysis to confirm the true position and will only be confirmed when the result of the second laboratory test is released” he added

The commissioner noted that epidemic response team has been deployed to their communities carrying out contact tracing operation and enlightening the people in line with best medical practice.

“We have isolated such cases to prevent unnecessary contact and our epidemic response team have also gone to the affected community to carryout contact tracing as well as enlighten the people on what should be done and what need not to be done,” Kawuwa said.