Health news in October


The quality of some of the health reporting in the Nigerian press is still extremely poor. It is obvious that most of those reporting health stories apart from the few that have benefited from training on HIV/AIDS issues from JAAIDS founded by Omololu Falobi have no contextual knowledge of the issues. But we will continue linking you to the health stories…while we work towards some improvement in quality.

Again, positive noises coming from the Health Minister, Prof. Adenike Grange, as she announces that the main thrust of government’s plan in the health sector in the next four years will include eradication of polio by next year, reduction of maternal mortality and reduction of diseases burden on Nigerians, especially the vulnerable groups….and announced free medical care to pregnant women and children under five years of age. Details in the Guardian

To the general public, especially those who have not had any personal experience, LUTH is not only an apex health institution in Lagos where doctors and nurses are trained but also a place where the best medical services are supposed to be provided….however for more than three weeks between the months of June and July surgery appointments had to be canceled or rescheduled. Why? Lack of oxygen! Read an astonishing personal account in the Guardian

Infrastructure is crucial in maintaining health care services. But health infrastructure is less the buiding but the small things that matter; a working stethoscope, clean beds etc. Finally the Nigerian Medical Association is waking up and advocating for more…read more in the Champion

The Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu says they are setting up outposts in every local government in the region…about time! But seeing is believing….read report in the Champion

The Pfizer Trovan controversy runs and runs. 2 reports here and here.

A group called the Association for Good Clinical Practices in Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation, which comprises health professionals called for local clinical trials for drugs before granting license for their registration. AGCPN frowned at a situation where NAFDAC would approve some herbal drugs for sale in the country without any evidence of clinical trials either abroad or in the country. Details in the Guardian

Finally, medical doctors in the country have been able to surmount a two-year major hurdle in the realization of their dream to have their own housing estate….as the Sun reports.

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 (, 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.

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