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Global Agency Faults Nigerian Doctors on Malaria Treatment

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  • Global Agency Faults Nigerian Doctors on Malaria Treatment

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) yesterday expressed dismay that Nigerian doctors were treating malaria without carrying out key tests.

“Too many medical professionals are still treating without testing. This is easy to fix but the men and women need to be taught about changing that culture in the Nigerian medical professional,” said the agency’s Country Director, Michael Harvey, in Abuja.

He added: “Secondly, we are not treating malaria properly. I am surprised to find that when you travel around Nigeria, Chloroquine is readily available and too readily prescribed as treatment for malaria. This is a major public policy we have to get on top of. We are still producing Chloroquine in Nigeria, a drug that has no benefit, either for malaria or any other use.”

Harvey was also disturbed about the continuous importation of mosquito nets into the country when there is “an industry in Nigeria that is producing them at a cost people can afford. What is very clear from the report, however, is that there are some immediate to-dos in our action list. First, testing to see if a fever is malaria. And this is something that should be doable, since affordable test kits are readily available either through the public sector or private sector at an affordable cost.”

Meanwhile, a new national survey released yesterday indicates decline in malaria rates among children. But this, notwithstanding, experts say the country is still far from its vision of a malaria-free state.

The ‘2015 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey (NMIS)’ was conducted by the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), the National Population Commission (NPC)), and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), and was funded by several international development partners.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who spoke at the launch of the report, said malaria remained a major public health challenge, though the last 10 to 15 years of elimination initiatives in Nigeria had witnessed increased human and material resources deployment.

He said: “The 2015 NMIS is distinctively different from the 2010 NMIS in that its data are disaggregated to provide state-specific indicators, which, of course, provide us with the opportunity to develop state-specific malaria control strategies, as we move the country towards malaria elimination.”

He said the report should help government and partners re-appraise efforts in line with the current national malaria strategic plan.

Director of Public Health at the ministry, Evelyn Ngige, noted: “Malaria-related deaths account for 11 per cent of maternal mortality, 25 per cent of infant mortality and 30 per cent of under-five mortality in Nigeria.”

The 2015 NMIS is the second malaria indicator survey to be implemented in Nigeria. It shows a 35 per cent decline since the 2010 survey. It describes the development as an important stride towards elimination of the disease. It also shows that about one in four children under five years tested positive for malaria.

“This represents a 35 per cent decline since the last malaria indicator survey in 2010 when more than 40 per cent of children tested positive for the disease.”

Nigeria accounts for 29 per cent of the global burden of malaria and has the highest number of cases of any country. Experts say this highlights the need to focus on treatment as well as prevention.

Nationwide, malaria prevalence varies widely, ranging from 14 per cent in the South East Zone to 37 per cent in the North West Zone.

The survey says the decrease in malaria rates correspond with expanded prevention interventions, as ownership of insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) has increased eight-fold since 2008 when only eight per cent of households had one.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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