A few good signs….


Is this a sign of openess and transparency by the new Minister of Health Professor Babatunde Osotimehin? If it is..it is a sign of good things to come. See story in The Punch below as well as others out of the Nigerian Press this Friday.

Punch – My Pikin: Ministry confirms deaths of 84 children, 111 cases

The Federal Government on Thursday reported the deaths of 84 children between the ages of two months and seven years from the contaminated “My Pikin” teething mixture. It, therefore, ordered the immediate surrendering of the deadly product by all drug pharmacies, government medical stores, patent medicine stores, clinics, and hospitals in the country to the nearest office of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control. In a press statement in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Prof Babatunde Osotimehin, said the government was deeply concerned about the number of deaths and would leave no stone unturned in getting to the root of the matter. Osotimehin asked parents to quickly get in touch with Dr Henry Akpan (0807626718), Dr Oladejo (08062278615), and NAFDAC (09-6702823), if they suspected that their children were sufferring from the use of the product. As expected this is also all over the international press today. CNN – Poison in teething drug kills 84 Nigerian children

On the other hand…there are worrying signals from a group on Nigerian elders, led by the man many consider as the one the most erudit thinkers in modern Nigeria – Professor Pat Utomi…., and former director of the Lagos Business School.

The Guardian – Utomi; Nigeria: a failed state

“The team also discussed issues of healthcare and noted that a lot of Nigerians of prominence seem to be dying in foreign hospitals and a great deal of our resources being poured into air ambulances bailing Nigerians out at a cost above 30,000 euros per person every night with some days having as many as 10 persons being flown abroad,” he said.

And after 5 years of oil selling at over a $100 per barrel….we go to the World Bank again. With a 10 year moratorium….this is the legacy we are leaving for our children….

Thisday – FG, World Bank sign 12.8Billion naira health care agreement

The Federal Government yesterday in Abuja signed an additional N12.870 billion International Development Association’s (IDA) credit agreement with the World Bank for the strengthening of primary health care systems in the country. …the facility had a 40-year repayable period, 10 years moratorium and is interest free, but with a commitment charge of 0.5 per cent per annum and a s 0.75 per cent payable on amount withdrawn….the World Bank Country Director, Dr Onno Ruhl, said that between 2002 and 2009, the project renovated and equipped 1,329 primary health centres and trained more than 9,000 health workers. Beneficiaries of the loan Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue Borno, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo and Kebbi states and the FCT. Others are, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ondo, Osun, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and the Federal Ministry of Health.

And our hospitals get boards…with a few good men definitely among them…

Thisday – Yar’Adua Approves Varsity Hospitals Board Appointments

University of Port Harcourt, Professor Nimi Briggs, is the Chairman of the Board of University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Chief Sunny Folorunsho Kuku Chairman of the Board of the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan. University of Calabar Teaching Hospital – Dr A.Y.E. Dirisu (Chairman), The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu has as Chairman, Professor Mbonu, University of Lagos Teaching Hospital board is headed by Dr Omotayo Dairo. For Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Professor Wole Akande is Chairman, University Of Ilorin Teaching Hospital has Professor John Idoko as Chairman, while the Chairman of Otibor Okhae Teaching Hospital, Irua, is Dr J.I. Okey. Professor Shima Gyoh is the Chairman of the board for the University of Jos.

….I planned end on that positive note…but just found this. Caused me to cuddle my 3 month old…extra tight.

Thisday 18 Babies Escape Death in UBTH Inferno

Eighteen babies undergoing intensive care at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), miraculously escaped death, when the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) of the Hospital was gutted by fire Wednesday night. The unit was the only functional Special Care Baby Unit in the whole of Edo State.



Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (www.epiafric.com), which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

Discussion1 Comment

  1. Is it really true that the “only functioning special care baby unit in Edo state” had only 18 patients?
    Is UBTH now inaccessible to most sick neonates or are the majority of newborns in Edo state in excellent health?

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