Media Services

Saturday, March 4, 2017

In its effort to bring healthcare awareness to the grassroots, Federation of Muslim Women's Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN), has partnered with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and religious leaders of the Muslim community on issues of child and family health.
Speaking during the advocacy visit in Lagos State organised by FOMWAN under the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH), the Project Director of FOMWAN, PACFaH, who is also the National Vice President of FOMWAN, Farida Sada Yusuf said; "from the most recent Nigerian Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) 2013, nine percent of children under the age of five die as a result of Diarrhea and 10 percent as a result of Pneumonia in Lagos state."

Yusuf outlined other issues of child health concern which includes; routine immunization, nutrition and child spacing, appealing on the government to support the PACFAH project so as to eradicate totally or reduce to the barest minimum the incidence of diarrhea and pneumonia.

The chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos State, Apostle Alexandra Bamgbola, who was represented by his secretary, Baba Aladura, opined that the use of amoxicillin dispersible tablet and Zinc-Low Osmolarity Oral Rehydration Salt, Zinc-LO-OR, should be adopted as first line treatment for childhood pneumonia and diarrhea

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Connection between Nigeria and the United States of America (USA) has been described as profoundly important, stressing that family ties, ideas and democracy linked both nations.
This was disclosed by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, at an Alumni Strategic Leadership Workshop, held in Abuja, themed “Promoting Alumni Programmes and Networks in Nigeria.”
He emphasized that both countries were bridged together for the benefit of the nations, adding that the connection was important for the future. Symington said they wanted to capitalize and focus on people that make ideals and institutions work. He identified that grassroots leadership was critical in changing a society for better.
Furthermore, worried by the increasing rate of maternal mortality and minimal rate of childbirth spacing, a John Hopkins programme, Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, conducted a training programme for media executives and practitioners in Kano, tagged,  “Galvanising media support on maternal mortality reduction and childbirth spacing in Kano state.”

Saturday, March 4, 2017

THIS is not your typical captivating news story. If it were, you would see gruesome imagery of Amidu Subair, 4, in painted words. You will see his sunken eyes, scaly skin and parched lips. You will see his distended belly strain with ribs that cut through it, like tyre tracks on Borno’s dirt roads.
You will see him vomit his milk ration because his body is too weak to ingest food. Then you will see lurid portraiture of Borno’s camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) like a zoo. You will read of Amidu, his mother, Halima, and other IDPs like caged animals in the zoo.
But this is hardly a gothic fable, hence you won’t read of dying kids and forlorn mothers living like caged animals in Borno’s IDP camps.
This is a story of survival. It is the story of four-year-old Amidu and his mother, Halima’s undying passion to keep him well-nourished and alive. Halima, 33, desperately clings to hope as she nourishes her beloved son and only surviving fruit of her womb to good health.
Amidu’s four siblings and his father, Abu, were hacked to death on a hot afternoon in Bama, when the rampaging hordes of terrorist sect, Boko Haram, invaded their home. Thus the four-year-old is bereaved widow, Halima’s only surviving child and evidence of her 10-year marriage.
This is the story of Fatimata Ali, who fled Bama after Boko Haram hacked one of her children to death and she watched helplessly as four of her other kids drowned in a river, while fleeing the bullets and cudgels of Boko Haram’s terror squads.
Fatimata had 11 children and she was heavily pregnant with Fatima Kaomi, her last child, when Boko Haram struck in her community. The terrorist group set her house ablaze and shot hot lead into her son killing him instantly. While her son breathed his last, Fatimata fled Bama with the rest of her children. Her husband had already fled with five of their children.
But unknown to Fatimata, a greater disaster lay in wait for her as four of her surviving kids drowned in the river as they fled for safety. The 40-year-old watched helplessly as her four kids drowned in the river. No one attempted to help her as everyone else fled in search of a safe haven.
Fatimata fled into the bush from where she was eventually rescued and granted safe passage to the Dalori IDP camp in Maiduguri. She gave birth to her last child, Fatima Kaomi, in the camp soon after her husband died of a protracted illness. Fatimata believes her husband died of heartbreak over the death of his five children.
Fatimata lives in extreme agony too. It was so painful to watch her dab the tears from her eyes as she revealed that she still has nightmares of her children’s death. Fatimata eventually developed high blood pressure from the miseries she had been through.
Unlike Fatimata, Hanatu, 28, was asleep when death came knocking. She started from sleep to see silhouettes behind her window and before she could piece together the unfolding drama, the pungent smell of fumes wafted in to her bedroom.
Her eyes stung from the flumes and droplets of fire falling from her burning ceiling. Her roof crackled as the wooden beams yielded to the tongue of the fiery flame ignited atop her home by the rampaging terror squad of Boko Haram.

Friday, March 3, 2017

President of the Association for Reproductive and Family Health, Professor Oladapo Ladipo says the number of women dying from pregnancy and childbirth complications every year in Nigeria is "one of the greatest injustices of our time."
"It is shameful that Nigeria still contributes significantly to global maternal death figure. We estimate that we are losing about 58,000 mothers annually, through pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum complications," Ladipo said.
He spoke while chairing an interactive panel at the celebration of MamaYe Nigeria Day in Abuja, an event themed Maternal and Newborn Health: Making Health budgets work for Nigerians.
"Without any doubt, there is a great rationale for all hands to be on deck to ensure that our mothers do not die unnecessarily," he said.
"Maternal death ratio in developing countries, particularly Nigeria, is perhaps, one of the greatest social injustices of our time."


Friday, March 3, 2017

The Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN), has disclosed that Kaduna State has the second highest rate of childhood death from Diarrhoea and Pneumonia related diseases.
The group stated this during a media dialogue with traditional rulers, religious leaders and faith based organizations held in Kaduna.
The Head of FOMWAN/PACFaH Project, Hajiya Farida Sada Yusuf said the diarrhoea rate in the state is 16 percent while pneumonia is 13 percent for children under 5 years.
Hajiya Yusuf who solicited for the help of royal fathers and faith based organizations to reduce the menace, said traditional/community and religious leaders are highly respected and chosen by their communities because of their track record, as such PACFaH Project team and in particular FOMWAN feels they are the right target group to lend their voices to the issues of child and family health and educate their congregation to make them aware of the health challenges facing innocent and ignorant children and mothers especially at community/grassroots levels.
According to her, the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health in Nigeria (PACFaH), is a coalition of eight indigenous CSOs formed in 2014 to improve government’s understanding of challenges that confront child and family health and to solicit government’s intervention to resolve them by fulfilling policy, budgetary and administrative commitments.
“The PACFaH coalition works in Kaduna, Lagos, Niger, Kano, Bauchi, Nassarawa and Oyo States. The key areas of intervention are: childhood killer diseases; child spacing; nutrition and routine immunization.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Members of the House of Representatives on Thursday renewed call for provision of affordable, effective and efficient healthcare service in the rural communities across Nigeria.

The lawmakers gave the charge during the debate on the motion sponsored by Oladipupo Adebutu (APC-Ogun) who expressed regret over the decline in the life expectancy in the country.

While expressed concern over the plight of millions of Nigerians living in the rural areas who engage in agriculture, Adebutu emphasised the need for government to give priority to those living in the rural areas in the bid for the country to achieve its diversification programme and the Green Alternative Agriculture Policy 2016-2020, which was launched in August 2016.

According to the 2015 report of World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and child birth everyday of which majority are in the rural areas and unfortunately a high percentage of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries, including Nigeria.

“An even more specific representation is provided by the UNICEF, which reports that ‘every single day Nigeria loses about 2,300 children under five years of age and 145 women of child bearing age. This makes the country the second largest contributor to the under-five and maternal mortality rate in the world,’ Adebutu observed.

Also quoting a report by the Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP) issued in 2016, Adebutu noted that Nigeria’s maternal mortality ratio had risen to 576 deaths out of every 100,000 live birth daily, against 224 deaths per 100,000 live births recorded in 2013.

While calling for deliberate actions toward addressing the challenges, the Ogun lawmaker observed that the “poor social and health indices of accessibility (for example geographical and financial), low life expectancy, high maternal and infant mortality, high under-five malnutrition etc, remain high due to lack of equity in planing and distribution of healthcare facilities in the rural communities, and this is further compumded by the preponderance of abandoned health facilities in rural areas, up and down the country.”

Friday, March 3, 2017

Imagine, the traumatic torture of pregnant women who daily see, hear of the deaths of a fellow pregnant women dying from complications relating to pregnancy and child births.



Unfortunately, Nigeria with over 160 million people contributes 10 percent of the world annual maternal death. The figure stands at 52,000 deaths per annum from complications relating to pregnancy and child births, this is alarming.



Statistically, 4,400 Nigerian pregnant women die on monthly basis, 144 die every day, making it 6 deaths every hour and 1 maternal death every 10 minutes due to pregnancy and child births which are preventable.



From these frightening figures, one is tempted to ask what the causes are, what the government is doing to effectively addressed the issue in order to reverse the inevitable death toll of our pregnant mothers.



To this end, Development Communications Network (DevComs), under its NOTAGAIN Campaign project, supported by MacArthur Foundation, recently conducted a field trip for health reporters with keen interest in Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) reporting.



The field trip is an activity under the MacArthur funded project to strengthen Maternal Health Accountability in Nigeria. The Maternal Health field policy tour focuses on selected low-income and underserved communities in Jigawa, Abuja, Kaduna and Lagos state in Nigeria. In Abuja, the field trip was to Katampe, a suburb of Mpape in Bwari Area council of the Federal Capital Territory.



As part of the team that visited Katampe, it was unbelievable at the sight of inhabitants of the community. In terms of structures and setting, Katampe can best be described as one of the dirtiest slum settlements situated on the outskirts of FCT.



Ironically, Katampe has Maitama, an FCT highbrow area as its nearest town, yet it is in the shadow of its own as it lacks several lives aiding social amenities. The houses are ramshackled, and the residents are in miserable living conditions. In front and back of houses as well as open places are heaps of refuse dumps with putrefying odour and flies hovering on them. With its macadamised road, movement during rainy season is almost impossible as evidenced by the red earth surface, which is always slippery and muddy when touched by rain.



During dry season, the reddish dust that comes from the red sand certainly will not allow people to pass through for fear of developing respiratory ailment as a result of inhalation of the dust. The population is intimidating as children, between ages five to nine years were seen in clusters playing with sand and dirty water while some of the women were seen with wrapper tide round their chest region discussing in groups.



As a result of the squalor and deplorable living condition of Katampe people, many believed that health facilities in the area will play host to a large number of villagers in search of medical attention. But that is not to be, as findings revealed that the villagers have no health facility. The only clinic situated in Mpape, is about 5km away from Katampe.



Imagining what life would be for inhabitants of a densely populated community like Katampe when hit by an epidemic and dire need for healthcare, informed further investigation into how pregnant women cope in the area. Village Head of Katampe,  Alhaji Adamu Diga lamented the absence of life aiding amenities in the village, particularly a medical facility.



 Diga also said they are in dire need of police presence in the area. He expressed dismay that since the origin of Katampe village, “there is no dispensary, no hospital”.



Speaking through an interpreter, the village Chief revealed that the nearest clinic is located in Mpape. “A times, we go to as far as Maitama, inside the Federal Capital Territory to get medical attention”.



On the issue of pregnant women in the village giving birth at home, the chief admitted that some women do put to bed at home instead of going to hospital. “Some pregnant women do give birth at home; we have some nurses residing in the village that help out during emergency” the chief stated. However, he said no case of death upon delivery at home has been recorded in the village.



Hadiza Sani, 26 years old, mother of three said she delivered all her children at home without going to hospital. Mrs Sani, who spoke in passable English said, “I deliver these my three children at home. There is no problem at all”.



She emphasised her not going to hospital to give birth is not for lack of money. “Why I deliver my baby at home is not because of money to pay for hospital, but because my husband does not permit me. May be it has to do with their tradition”. She said her last born is about two years, adding that she has not applied any birth control measure.



Another pregnant woman, Mrs Serah Tanko also said she does not go to hospital to give birth. The 39 years old mother disclosed that out of her five children, four were delivered at home. “I give birth at home, I do not go to hospital, and it is far from us. When labour comes, it is God that helps me, when am in labour late in the night and remember that our bad road to Mpape, i quickly go to the Nurse”.



Sometimes, when I notice signs of labour, before I will prepare to go to hospital, I will deliver in the house” Mrs Tanko said. She posited that, “If there is a clinic or dispensary in my village Katampe , honestly, I will like to give birth there”.




For Gloria Yusuf, another pregnant woman, “I deliver at the hospital. I normally register for ante natal at Mpape clinic, although it is a bit far in terms of when I am in labour, but it is the nearest hospital to us”. The mother of two kids said, “When I am in labour, I manage to look for motor bike to go to Mpape clinic. It is usually painful and stressful passing through that rough road but God is always on my side”.



More so, she admitted not to have witnessed any death of a woman as a result of child birth at home. However, Mrs Yusuf claimed that most of the women that like delivering their babies do so due to lack of money to settle hospital bills.



Eight months pregnant lady who simply identified herself as Godiya said she would not like to put to bed at hospital.



Although she confirmed registering for ante natal at Mpape hospital, Godiya said, “this is my first pregnancy, I will like to deliver the baby at home”. Effort to make her state her reason proved abortive as she vehemently refused to utter any other word.



In view of the revelations made by some of the pregnant women interviewed, Daily Newswatch findings revealed that the acclaimed nurses are not professional midwives. In a chat with a medicine seller in the village popularly called nurse, she admitted assisting pregnant women in the village to give birth.



She said over the years, she has gained experience in assisting women deliver their babies, adding that she got her training in 2006 at a private health care centre in Anambra state. Mrs Jacinta relived how she carries out her child delivery session. “When a pregnant woman comes to me, I will first of all ask her series of questions as well as find out if she is in labour; if in labour, I will pray and then start the delivery process. I have a stethoscope, hand glove etc. “Most of the pregnant women usually come to me if labour hooks them in the night” she said.



“I normally charge N2000 per delivery, and if there is bleeding, I refer the woman to Maitama General Hospital. Since I started assisting the pregnant women to give birth, no death has been recorded except one baby that died after 2 days in the mother’s house” Mrs Jacinta revealed. She recounted a sordid experience she had last month.


“A pregnant woman came to me around 6:30am one Sunday morning. When she came I checked her and found out that she was in labour. When she was pushing, the ‘pikin’ (baby) was coming out through the back. We rushed her to Mpape clinic but they rejected her. It was at Maitama General Hospital that she was operated upon to save the mother and the baby” she narrated.



“After delivery, I usually advise them to go to the hospital to take BCG injection for the baby. Before childbirth, I conduct HIV test because I have the kit. Besides, I do not allow blood or body fluid of the pregnant woman to touch me, I put on gloves. In the last one month, I have delivered four women of their pregnancy” Madam Jacinta revealed. However, she appealed to government to train her professionally and provide equipment for her to carry on with her humanitarian services to pregnant women in the area.



For Esther Ologundudu, a pregnant mother of 3 children, she said only one was delivered in Katampe, but the other two were born in her village. She disclosed that the one she gave birth to in Katampe died after two years as a result of stomach upset.



According to her, “I will like to go deliver my baby here in Katampe because it is easy for me”. “When I am in labour, I will not have difficulty passing through that our bad road. If labour happens late in the night, what will I do?” Ologundudu queried. On whether she was tested for HIV during her childbirth in Katampe, Esther said, “I have not heard about HIV”.



In view of the predicament and agonizing way of life of the villagers particularly the pregnant women, most of the inhabitants said the only thing that would make life meaningful and worth living is when they have access to portable water, good roads and a health facility.




Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Federal Government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has rolled out four new strategies to boost polio eradication drive, strengthen routine immunization and ensure revitalization of primary health care centres in the country.
To this end, the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) has signed an agreement with the European Union for a €70 million grant targeted at improving maternal, newborn and child health, strengthening Nigeria’s health system and supporting ongoing efforts to eradicate polio.
According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) website, fifty million euro of the grant aims to ensure that by 2020, Adamawa, Bauchi and Kebbi states of Nigeria have functional primary health care centres, providing round-the-clock services to three million children under the age of five years as well as to almost a million pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Executive Director and Chief Executive of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, yesterday, while receiving the new World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Alemu Wondi, outlined a four-point agenda of his administration.
“They are repositioning the Agency with a culture of zero tolerance to corruption and efficient service delivery, concluding polio eradication, strengthening routine immunization and ensuring the success of Primary Health Care Revitalisation in Nigeria,” he said.
Faisal explained that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole had both provided him required enabling environment for a transparent, accountable and result-oriented leadership that would enable him work with his team to restore partners’ confidence in the Agency.
He recalled donors’ dismay on the Agency’s management of donors’ funds in the past and assured the WHO Country Representative of his renewed commitment to change the narrative by engendering of transparency, accountability and probity.
While assuring management and staff of the Agency of his commitment to reward excellence, Dr. Faisal however warned that any official found wanting in the discharge of his or her duties would be made to face the disciplinary provisions of civil service rules and regulations.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Partnership For Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH) says  no fewer than 800,000 children under the age of five are dying in Nigeria annually.
Dr Remi Adeseun, the Project Director, Strategy, for the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN)-PACFaH, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, the major causes of under-five deaths include childhood pneumonia and diarrhoea.
Adeseun, who based the figure on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ranking of health system, as well as, the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), said the nation’s health status was low.
The director said that the major determinants or indicators of a nation’s health status were under- five and maternal mortality rates.
Adeseun explained that based on the 2013 NDHS report; there had been little reduction in the under-five and maternal mortality rate.
He said that in the area of under-five mortality rate, there was little reduction from 154 in 2008 to the current 128 per 1,000 live births.
According to him, the adoption of best practice as recommended by WHO is the surest way to reduce this burden to the barest minimum.
He said that the standard practices included the adoption of Amoxicillin dispersible tablet as a first line treatment for childhood pneumonia and Zinc ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution or Therapy) for diarrhoea.
“The overall status of health of Nigerians as measured by WHO ranking of health systems is poor."
“When we say it is poor, it is because the major indicators, which are the determinant of the health status of the people, are in the area of child health."
“As at 2013, for every 1,000 children born, 128 of them are likely to die before the age of five; this means that one in every eight children born will not live to see their fifth birthday."
“To further demonstrate how significant it is in terms of number of lives lost, it translates to the fact that 800,000 children under the age of five die in Nigeria every year."
“To visualise this number is to look at our biggest stadium, which probably contains about 60,000 people at maximum capacity.’’

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

AVERAGE life expectancy is increasing slowly in Nigeria but remains lower than many poorer countries in Africa, even as longevity continues to rise globally and average life expectancy is expected to hit 90 in some developed countries by 2030.
While countries in Asia and Europe are witnessing rapid increase in life expectancy, countries in Africa are witnessing slower growth, due to problems of economic, social and developmental significance.
According to the World Health Organisation, WHO, the life expectancy at birth and at age 65 is improving globally as a result of better adult and child health, as well as improved maternal care.
But while the  average life expectancy for women at birth will most likely exceed 85 years, women in African countries like Nigeria may not fare as well as Asian and European counterparts, even as the gap in life expectancy between males and females shrink, according to The Lancet.
Higher life expectancy The large international study reveals that more countries in the developed world will continue to witness higher life expectancy than in the developing world in the next 15-30 years.
Overall, average life expectancy will rise in many countries by 2030, breaking through 90 years in some places,but is expected to still be relatively low in Nigeria  and policymakers  may have to make more efforts to plan for the increase in longevity.
Global ranking: With a current life expectancy of 54.07 years, Nigeria is ranked  216 in the world, and 16th in Africa. Thirty seven years ago,  average life expectancy in Nigeria was 44.74 years, ranking 58th in the world and 21st in Africa.
In 2020, the average life expectancy in Nigeria is expected to rise to 55.23 years (ranking 214 globally and 14th  in Africa), while in 2030, it will be 59.20 years (ranking 212) and by 2050, hit  68.15 (ranking  209 globally and 9th in Africa).
According to the “Top 100+ rank countries of the world by statistics gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau. Rankings (2012 – 2050), for   2017, Nigeria is ranked No. 3  in the world. With an estimated total population of 192,908,804 comprising 96,260,905 females and 96,647,900 males, Nigeria is the world’s 7th most populous country.
Nigeria’s population of persons aged 0-4 years (approx 31,329,912 ), is  the  world’s 3rd  highest  while the mortality rate of males aged 1-4 years  (60.61 per 1,000 births) is the 5th highest.
In Nigeria, females have an average life expectancy of 57.49 years (ranking  209 in the world), while males are ranked at 224 with an average life expectancy of 50.85 years. Average death rate in Nigeria is 12.17 per 1,000 which is 24th highest in the world.

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