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Congo : Ebola vaccinators need armed escorts – WHO

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Armed escorts will be required to protect vaccination teams as they battle to contain Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the World Health Organization has warned.

The Ebola outbreak area in North Kivu province, classified as a level four security threat by the WHO – one of the highest set by the UN – comes amid local unrest including violence between rival militia groups.

The turmoil poses major challenges for those tasked with locating and vaccinating people who may have come into contact with Ebola victims.

“Even though we have access to the towns of Mangini and Beni, we don’t know to what extent we will be able to rely on armed escorts for broader contact tracing outside those small towns.

“That’s going to be a critical determining factor in our ability to respond,” said spokesman Tarik Jasarevic.

So far there have been 43 cases, of which 16 are confirmed; 34 people have died. The cost of the response, said the WHO, “is likely to be significant”.

The one piece of good news is that the Ebola strain has been confirmed as Zaire, which is the same as that in the previous outbreak in the west of DRC.

That means the vaccines, first trialled in Guinea towards the end of the massive west African outbreak, are likely to be effective – as long as medical teams can reach those who have come into contact with the sick to vaccinate them.

A team of vaccination experts from Guinea will be deployed to oversee “ring vaccination”. This method involves offering a shot to everyone who has been exposed to an Ebola case – family, friends and other contacts – setting up a ring of people who are hopefully immune around every case. Vaccination is expected to start this week.

Two planeloads of supplies arrived in Beni over the weekend, with cold chain equipment, isolation units and vehicles.

The vaccine needs to be stored in an “ultra cold chain” at -60 to -80 celsius, which is another major challenge, but that was expected to be operational on Tuesday, said the WHO.

The UN peacekeeping force in DRC, which has more than 20,000 personnel, is already playing a key role, while the WHO, Unicef, the World Food Programme, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Médecins Sans Frontières also have people in Kinshasa or the area of the outbreak.

Treatment centres are being set up in Beni and Mangina, where safe burial grounds have also been established. Some of the teams who were deployed to Équateur province in the west have now been diverted to north Kivu.

Contact tracing is underway but needs to be expanded rapidly, said the WHO. So far 900 contacts have been registered in Mangina. A mobile lab has been set up in Beni.

The WHO’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, will travel to DRC on Thursday with his deputy, Peter Salama.

Source:ttps://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/aug/08/congo-turmoil-ebola-vaccinators-will-need-armed-escorts-world-health-organization-warn

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Health

FCTA develops N162b strategic health plan, records high achievements in health Services

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By Jessica Dogo

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has developed a 4-year Strategic Health Development Plan (SHDP) that will require about N162 billion to execute.

The Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), Adamu Bappah who made this disclosure in Abuja during the end of year press briefing, said that N7.9 billion was spent on healthcare delivery in the FCT for 2018.

He said FCT Strategic Health Development Plan (SHDP) 2018-2022 has been developed, which will provide policy and pragmatic directives of the FCT health sector for the next five years.

According to Bappa, the strategic blueprint would be sourced from budgetary allocations, Internally Generated Revenue from health services, international donors such as the World Health Organization (WHO).

”United States Department for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund, among others.
Highlighting major achievements of the Secretariat in 2018, Bappa revealed that N200 million was spent on recapitalization of the Drug Revolving Fund.

He also said that N1.3 billion was spent on drugs and medical supplies distributed to various FCT Hospitals and commodities for control of HIV cost N2.5 billion.

More achievements of the Secretariat include establishment of Public Health Emergency Operation Centre with support from Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, ongoing construction of 12 Primary Health Centres and 12 solar powered boreholes in the Six FCT Area Councils, Public Health Laboratory for routine screening for food handlers, as well as construction and equipping of 220 bed Gwarinpa District Hospital, which is at 30 percent completion.

The Secretariat also recorded increase in the coverage of mother to child HIV transmission from 36.7 to 81.1 percent, immunization coverage from 63.4 to 80.5 percent, increased distribution of mosquito treated net from 16.5 to 36 percent and distributed over N1.3 billion worth of drugs to FCTA hospitals.

Accordingly, a total of 4075 clients, consisting 1127 principals and 2948 dependents were enrolled under FHSS, secured accreditation for residency training in opthalmology in Asokoro District Hospital, Residency training in general surgery for Bwari General Hospital and distributed 45255 rapid diagnostics test kits for to health facilities in the Area Councils.

The Administration also constructed 4-bed Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in Gaube -Kuje Area Council, renovated PHCs in Jikoko, Cumi and Ayaura in Abaji Area Council, constructed cold store -fitted with direct drive solar refrigerators in Apo, among others.

He also stated that N15.3 million has been spent on tuberculosis control, family planning consumables gulped N20.7 million and vaccines programmes cost N3.7 billion for the year 2018.

The FCT Health Secretary however disclosed that the Secretariat generated N114.1 million internally, with N60.3 million generated by Private Health Establishment Registration and Monitoring Committee while Abuja Central Medical Store generated N53.7 million.

He added that the secretariat is collaborating with Institute of Human Virology to develop a database for all health workers in the FCT 60 per cent reporting rate on submission and utilization statistics at health facilities has been achieved while 508 public and private health facilities in the FCT are on District Health Information System Platform National Server.

Bappa however decried that the Secretariat was confronted with challenges such as funding, epidemics, understaffing, delayed budgetary releases and overstretched amenities.

He urged the Federal Government for more funding as well as partnership to fulfill the responsibility of providing and delivering health services to the public.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Secretary debunked insinuations that there was outbreak of any disease in any part of the FCT. (NAN)

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FCT Dept. engages area councils, states on primary healthcare

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Health workers

Health workers


By Jessica Dogo

The Save One Million Lives Programme for Results (SOMLforR) will engage FCT area councils and states in providing healthcare services to Nigerians in 2019.

SOMLforR is a subsidiary of the FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS).

The Programme Manager, SOMLforR, Mr Samson Eriba, stated this on Friday at the end of a five days training on capacity building for ISS in Mararaba, Nasarawa State.

He said SOMLforR would give quality services at its primary healthcare facilities through an Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS) by using area councils and the states.

Eriba said that SOMLforR resolved at the meeting to engage area councils and states’ supportive supervisions to enhance the activities of the primary healthcare.

He explained that the state level ISS would be quarterly and the area councils’ bi-Monthly.

“We have come up with key resolutions on how to improve quality of services at our primary health facilities through integrated supportive supervision.

“We reviewed and updated the checklist to accommodate more programme indicators; we resolved to have area councils and state level supportive supervisions.

“State level ISS will be quarterly while Area Council teams will be bi-monthly. These are to be imputed into the 2019 work plan and commence implementation,’’ he said.

He, however, stated that the unit was faced with challenges such as lack of vehicles for movement and access during operations.

According to him, other challenges includes difficult terrains that make communities hard to reach and inadequate human resources to provide services.

“We are forced to engage community volunteers and mentor mothers to promote Ante Natal Care and Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (ANC/PMTCT) Services,’’ Eriba said.

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6-week-old baby miraculously survives Ebola in Congo

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Six Week Old Baby Survive Ebola

Six Week Old Baby Survive Ebola


A six-week-old child simply called baby Benedicte has survived deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo.

The six-week-old infant has been dubbed “a miracle’’ by Congo’s Ministry of Health for surviving Ebola which she caught as a newborn.

“The little girl is called Benedicte and she was born on Oct. 31, so she’s about one and a half months old,’’ Jessica Ilunga, a spokesperson for the ministry told dpa on Friday.

Sadly, Benedicte’s mother died during childbirth while also infected with Ebola which has so far killed more than 300 people in eastern Congo.

Benedicte received 24-hour care throughout her hospitalisation and is the youngest person to recover from the virus in this outbreak, the ministry said.

She is now home with her father and aunt.

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