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Torchlight Series

Lessons for Bida: Three approaches that may solve Niger state’s public sanitation dilemma

The Katsina family of Bida will probably never forget June 20th 2018. Just before 8 p.m. on that day, Mr. Farouk Katsina received an urgent call from his wife asking him to come home. Salihu, their beloved three-year-old son, had been vomiting and stooling uncontrollably. By the time Mr Katsina got home, a neighbour, who […]

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Health Torchlight Series

Before the first impact: How your little actions can save lives on Nigerian roads

On Monday, February 10, 2014, Mr. Celestine Chima kissed his two children, seven-year-old Goodluck and five-year-old Goodness goodbye and stepped out of his residence in Owerri, the Imo state capital. Celestine was certain about two things; his destination, a small densely populated town called Nekede, approximately 20 minutes’ drive from his house and his mission […]

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Health Technology Torchlight Series

How “SatComms Tablets” are reviving primary healthcare in Kano State

A few mothers are seated with the Health Officer-in-Charge of Sumaila Yamma Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC), who has just finished post-natal counseling. Bilikis, a second-time mother, cannot hide her delight that today she was attended to earlier than usual. She comments that during her first pregnancy, also attended to at this PHC, things were a […]

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Health Torchlight Series

Traditional Birth Attendants: Friend or foe?

The young mothers in the community fondly call her “Aunty Dada” Her first attempt at helping a woman deliver a baby was in a forest while escaping from insurgents. She had already seen several pregnant women die in childbirth in the forest and so at that point, she felt she had only two options. She […]

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Health Torchlight Series

How Lagos used community influencers to bridge gaps in its measles vaccination drive

“Creativity in communication is necessary to elicit the desired action” – Health Compass, 2011 Otodo Gbame in Eti-Osa Local Government Area (LGA) in Lagos was like any other low income, high-density community in Nigeria’s largest city, but the events that took place in February 2016 changed that. A disease detected in Lagos State, at first […]

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Health Torchlight Series

Peanuts, Millet, Beans: simple foods helping to stem Kano’s malnutrition crisis

Two-year-old Umar is in his mother Saratu’s arms, a playful boy. She says he was not always this healthy, and that just over six months ago, “His spinal cord was showing like a tree, he could not sit or stand and whenever I needed to carry him on my back, I had to tie him […]

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Health Torchlight Series

How 72-hour “makeovers” are transforming primary healthcare in Kaduna state

How long does it take to transform a primary health centre, equip it and have it ready for business? The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), a non-governmental organization, has come up with an approach that takes ‘72 hours’- starting at the close of work on a Friday and completing it by Sunday evening. At […]

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Africa Health Torchlight Series

Global Health: Chatham House round-table re-defines development of bio-safety labs in developing countries

In February, several global biosafety lab experts joined a roundtable organised by Chatham House in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. They were seeking solutions to a major challenge facing the world today – finding and staying ahead of the viruses and bacteria that challenge human existence. To achieve this, the global scientific community needs to detect these bugs rapidly and then mount an appropriate response. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has […]

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Health Torchlight Series

A ray of hope: Fighting codeine and tramadol abuse in Kano state

“I would take two bottles of codeine in the morning and after like an hour follow up with 200mg of tramadol. At night I would take a bottle of codeine again. The feeling was… indescribable.” Bello Yunusa Adali said he started taking tramadol and codeine in 1997. He was an okada rider and other drug […]

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Torchlight Series

Fighting Lassa: Five lessons from three special hospitals managing most cases of Lassa fever in Nigeria

At the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Mrs. Martha Okonofua moves around the ward with a smile. The Lassa Fever isolation ward at the hospital is unusually full. Mrs. Martha and her team are working extra hours as they are responsible for managing the highest number of Lassa fever patients in any hospital in Nigeria. Laughter […]

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Torchlight Series

The story of Madadi: How an act of courage created a unique maternal care clinic in Kebbi

Over the years, different methods have been applied to provide solutions to the long list of problems the world faces, from cutting down on carbon emissions to help control climate change, to the adoption of a mechanised agricultural system to combat extreme hunger. Although every problem or challenge has unique solutions, it is widely agreed […]

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Health Torchlight Series Visits to Health Projects

Can Art Heal? How a Lagos creative group is using Art as therapy

Entering the Paediatric Oncology ward of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Yaba, where children are treated for cancer, you would naturally expect a solemn environment. That was not the case if you had visited on the 1st of March 2018. The atmosphere was practically festive, the ward, colorful, lively and far from unnerving, unlike […]

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Torchlight Series Visits to Health Projects

Defying the odds, one nutritious meal at a time: The Story of Yalwa

Sitting in a small room outside the chief’s residence in the tiny village of Yalwa in Jigawa State, a group of Fulani women have gathered to chat. A fair-skinned boy, about a year old, is in his mother’s arms, smiling and kicking around with both his hands and feet. He has adorably chubby cheeks and […]