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Stop drug abuse, PCN tasks stakeholders

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PCN Registrar Mr Elijah Mohammed

PCN Registrar Mr Elijah Mohammed

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has urged parents, religious leaders, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to stop drug abuse in the society by sensitising Nigerians on its inherent dangers.

Mr Elijah Mohammed, the Registrar of PCN, gave the task in interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja on the sideline of an awareness campaign organised by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN).

NAN reports that the campaign was part of activities of PSN to commemorate the World Pharmacists Day (WPD), marked on Sept. 25 annually.

The theme for 2018 is “Pharmacists: Your medicines experts’’.

He said: “Drug abuse control is not just the responsibility of health professionals but also that of the government as well as communities, families, schools, civil societies and religious organisations.

“Through enlightenment by parents, guardians, teachers, policy makers and youths the development of drug abuse/misuse and risky behaviours can be controlled and prevented.”

He further urged the clergy, religious leaders, law enforcement agencies to intensify efforts at sensitising the public especially the younger citizens.

“It is our collective their responsibility to sensitise and educate the populace against drug and substance abuse; through such efforts the society will witness remarkable decrease in the prevalence rate of this menace,’’ according to him.

Mohammed, who noted that drug abuse was an act consciously perpetrated by mostly the young ones, however urged parents to be at the forefront in educating their children and wards on the dangers associated with the menace.

He decried the prevalence rate of the menace across the globe, adding that in the early 60s, 70s and 80s the reverse was the case.

The registrar pointed out that large number of mental or psychiatric cases emanated from drug abuse.

While identifying the menace as a socio-economic problem, Mohammed also attributed the rise in crime in society to drug and substance abuse.

Citing the recently recovered Boko Haram dent by the military at Sambisa forest in Borno, Mohammed noted that most prominent relics found were hypodermic syringes, narcotic analgesic, empty packs of Tramadol capsules and other substances of abuse.

According to him, this is an indication that criminals, terrorists and all people that commit one crime or the other are under the influence of drugs.

He therefore called for all hands to be on deck in order to successfully address the social menace.

“The consequence of drug abuse is that it increases crime rate, morbidity and mortality particularly it is a danger to mental health.

“This is because the end result of substance abuse is that it damages the brain and if the brain is damaged a lot of organs in the body like the liver and kidney will be damaged.

“The effects are monumental and because of the wide range of it, it has become an epidemic.

“Drug abuse is an epidemic of global proportion in the sense that today you see large number of psychiatric cases emanating from drug abuse which was very rare in the early 60s, 70s and 80s.

“Today anywhere you go you will always see young people that are mad as a result of drug and substance abuse.

“Drug abuse is responsible for large number of psychiatric problems not organic brain problems,’’ Mohammed said.

On this year’s WPD theme, Mohammed said it implied that the global awareness for the year focused on the extensive expertise that pharmacists have and put to use every day to ensure better patient health.

Mohammed said: “This expertise is applied through science and research, educating the next generation through transforming patient needs to service.

“The theme became necessary because as one of the most accessible healthcare professionals globally, we use our learning to protect health and prevent illness.

“The theme also provides an opportunity to showcase the relationship between pharmacy and other areas of the healthcare system.”

NAN reports that the global event was set aside by the Council of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) in 2009 during its congress at Istanbul, Turkey.

It is aimed at showcasing the key position pharmacists occupy as the backbone of healthcare in many different settings.

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WHO declares Uzbekistan malaria-free

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says Uzbekistan’s success in becoming recognised as a malaria-free country is an “extraordinary outcome”.

Executive Director of the Global Fund, a UN-backed partnership to end malaria epidemics, Peter Sands, on Tuesday said malaria had a long and deadly history in Uzbekistan.

Sands noted that in the late nineteenth century, the disease killed nearly 40,000 people in the capital district alone, and in 1943, one tenth of the population was infected.

In the post-war years, the Uzbek Government concentrated on eliminating malaria, but the country was hit by a devastating resurgence in the early 1960s, according to WHO.

That trend has been reversed in recent years, with the Global Fund and WHO helping Uzbekistan to combat malaria, using an innovative results-based approach that put the country on the path to finally eliminating the disease in 2018.

Sands said: “We have achieved remarkable progress against malaria in Central Asia. It’s a great example of commitment and a sustainable approach.

“The Global Fund has invested in this region for over a decade. With committed partners, every investment can achieve great value.”

A significant number of countries are now eliminating malaria: in Central Asia – aside from Uzbekistan – Turkmenistan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan have been classed as malaria-free since 2010.

However, these positive indicators are set against a worrying backdrop of increased global rates of infection.

The WHO’s 2018 World malaria report, released in November, showed that targets to reduce new cases of infection worldwide are not being met, and that, while new cases fell steadily up until 2016, the number rose from 217 million to 219 million in 2017.

The targets call for a drop in malaria case incidence and death rates of at least 40 per cent by 2020.

“A child dies of malaria every two minutes. We have to stop that, enabling elimination where possible, and reducing malaria as much as we can in the hardest-hit countries,” Sands said.

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FCTA tasks health workers on service delivery

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By Jessica Dogo

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has called on healthcare workers to improve on current indices in Abuja.
The Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), Malam Adamu Bappah, made the appeal on Tuesday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a training of capacity building on Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS) organised by Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results (SOMLforR) under the service.
He said that the criteria for earning money for health under SOMLPfoR was performance, adding that FCT had continuously earned in the last two disbursements thereby maintaining the second time as North Central champions.
He, however, explained that capacity building was very key to improving the performance of the FCT health staff.
He described the ISS as an avenue to improve performance at the facility levels where quality of service would be measured.
He commended the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, who found the training worthy for approval and called on all to be serious so that the approved resources for the training would count.
He urged them to work as a team and explore for better performance and health system under the SOMLPforR programme.
The scribe assured that the implementation of the SOMLforR programme in the FCT Administration.
“I want you all to work as a team by deploying your wealth of experience to support your team mates at all times for the good of FCT Health System and better performance under the SOMLPforR programme.
“I am delighted to be the one declaring open this very important training on Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS) of the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Result.
“The capacity building is very key to improving the performance of the staff and the criteria for earning money for health under SOMLPfoR is performance.
“I urge you to take this training with all seriousness. Let us make the resources approved for this training count to the last kobo by paying attention and contributing as much as possible.
“I want you all to work as a team deploying your wealth of experience to support your team mates at all times for the overall good of FCT Health System.
“Let me reiterate the commitment of the FCT Administration to the full implementation of the SOMLpforR programme in FCT and thank the national team for their constant support and leadership role,’’ he said.
The National Programme Manager, SOMLforR, Dr Ibrahim Kana, explained that the programme was launched in 2012 due to the poor health outcome in the country.
Kana, who was represented by the North Central Coordinator, Dr Dogara Okara, gave an overview of the programme and said it is estimated that almost 1 million women and children die yearly.
The programme manager said that SOMLforR was to improve maternal and child health, adding that it will save the lives of maternal newborn and child health.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the five-day event is holding at Fresh Land Hotel, Maraba.
The programme would also improve participants understanding of the definition, standards and processes of ISS.
It would also enhance capacity of the FCT Area Councils health personnel to effectively plan and implement ISS. (NAN)

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Roche Diagnostics partners ASLM for Pandemic Response Conference

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By Augustine Aminu

Roche Diagnostics has partnered with African Society for Laboratory Medicine ASLM 2018 for the fourth Biennial International Conference in Lagos in a bid to prevent and control the next pandemic in Africa with a focus on the “Role of the Laboratory.”

ASLM plays an important role in advancing and strengthening laboratory services in Africa and in line with this, Roche Diagnostics will be showcasing its achievements in tackling Hepatitis B and C in Nigeria as well as new solutions in the HIV space.

The purpose of the conference is to provide information on the laboratory medicine landscape and needs in Africa as well as increase awareness of opportunities to invest in laboratory medicine amongst private, public and philanthropic donors.

The conference further facilitates networking among participants, particularly for newcomers to African healthcare settings and markets while promoting the creation of public-private partnerships to ensure further development of both African laboratories and African diagnostics companies.

Speaking at a Press Conference Roche Diagnostics Acting Interim General Manager and Head of Management Centre South Africa, Duncan Mackay said that the partnership with ASLM was ideal as the conference is an important step in building and advancing healthcare systems on the Continent taking into consideration the AU Agenda 2063 where the African Union adopted Vision 2063 as a roadmap for continental development.

“This is very much aligned with our commitment to support the improvement of the health care system in Africa. We will continue to partner with organisations that have associated objectives with us in improving the healthcare of our people in Africa.” He added

Roche Diagnostics believes in collaborative efforts to achieve universal health coverage and is currently working with CHAI for HIV, Hepatitis and Cancer across Africa; PEPFAR, Global Fund for HIV across Africa, Cervical cancer screening in Partnership with the Society for Gynaecology and Obstetricians of Nigeria (SOGON) in Nigeria. Over the past 3 years it has also developed Public Private Partnerships with CDC for “Good Laboratory Practise” training Program in Africa, which strengthens Quality.

Roche Diagnostics Country Head for Nigeria, Taofik Oloruko-Oba said “Our solutions have direct positive impact on health and lives of millions of people across the world for example the Taraba State Project Zero Hepatitis campaign.

The prevalence of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Nigeria is 11% which implies that there are almost 19 million Nigerians infected with Hepatitis B (HBV). Therefore our solutions for screening, diagnosis, treatment and treatment monitoring are required for everyone who is infected. The National guidelines for HBV management recommend screening for all relevant people.”

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