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AFRO-NETS> Dateline Health Nigeria No. 10. March 21, 2000

  • Subject: AFRO-NETS> Dateline Health Nigeria No. 10. March 21, 2000
  • From: A Odutola <chpss_abo@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 19:19:11 -0500 (EST)

Dateline Health Nigeria No. 10. March 21, 2000

* Lagos moves to curb River Blindness.
* New HIV strain isolated from Ibadan, Nigeria shows more aggression
* Menakaya charges Local Government Council on Healthcare.
* Hot weather, power outage take toll on Health
* University College Hospital and trouble with NEPA
* Cholera claims 20 lives in Cross River


In its drive to minimize various blinding disorders in Lagos and its
environs, the Lagos State Government has set up a committee compris-
ing the Optometric and Ophthalmological Association of Nigeria. The
committee will see to the control and management of blinding disor-
ders like Onchocerciasis (River Blindness), which has been reported
to be responsible for blindness in over 130,000 Nigerians. The com-
mittee will also increase opportunity for cataract extraction and
glaucoma treatment in health institutions owned by the State. Dis-
closing these and other matters in Lagos during the year's World On-
chocerciasis Day, the State Commissioner for Health Dr. Leke Pitan,
said about N5,000,000 had been voted in the state's year 2000 budget
for this project. Source: Vanguard, Tuesday February 22, 2000, p. 23.
By Sam Eferaro. Key words: Blinding disorders Nigeria


A new strain of the Human Immuno-deficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1),
code named HIV-1 1b Ng, isolated in Ibadan, has been found to be more
aggressive than any of the subtypes currently in medical books. The
strain HIV-1 1b Ng, signifying Ibadan, Nigeria, the place of isola-
tion, is said to be a recombinant of A and G subtypes - an hybrid
strain - which causes more aggressive form of AIDS. A virologist at
the University College of Hospital (UCH) Professor David Olaleye, who
characterized the virus with some American medical experts, said the
subtype A 1b Ng, has now been shown to be the predominant strain cir-
culating in West Africa. Olaleye explained that none of the blood
samples collected in Nigeria before 1994 was positive for subtype B.
But from 1995, according to him, the country started detecting evi-
dence of infection with subtype B among Nigerians infected with HIV.
As at now, Nigeria has multiple HIV subtypes (A,B,C,D,E,G and O) to
deal with. Source: The Guardian, Sunday, March 19, 2000 p. 1. Key
words: HIV subtypes


The Minister of Health, Dr. Tim Menakaya, recently urged local gov-
ernment councils in the country to show more concern about the
healthcare services of the people in their areas. Menakaya, who was
speaking in continuation of his nation wide advocacy tour on the Na-
tional Programme on Immunisation blamed some council chairmen over
the decline in the routine immunization exercise after the 80 per
cent coverage attained in 1990. He therefore advised that the chair-
men should set aside 25 per cent of their budgetary allocation for
the health sector and also ensure effective supervision and coordina-
tion of the NPI programmes to achieve the desired goal. Source: The
Punch Wednesday, February 23, 2000, p. 9. Key words: Immunisation.
Health services


Temperature in many parts of Nigeria of recent has been between 360
and 400 C (95.8 - 104oF). At Abule Egba area of Lagos State, about
six children were recorder to have died within the last one week be-
cause of heat-related ailment occasioned by the steaming weather.
Mrs. Funmi Olawale, a trained microbiologist and a proofreader with a
Lagos-based newspaper said her neighbour's nine-month old baby with
high temperature was rushed to a private clinic but by the following
day, he gave up. Another two-year old girl in the area, died in simi-
lar circumstance. The epileptic power supply has also affected water
supply, as children and households now go about the streets in search
of water to buy. This may soon manifest in gastro-intestinal ailments
such as diarrhoea, typhoid and cholera. Source: The Guardian, Sunday,
March 19, 2000 p.16. By Seth Akintoye. Keywords: Heat related deaths


Officials of the National Electric Power Authority recently cut off
electricity supply to Nigeria's first and premier teaching hospital
over a N25 million (approx. U.S. $250,000) debt. A similar event oc-
curred in March 1998 when it took the personal intervention of the
then Oyo State Military Administrator before NEPA could agree to re-
connect the hospital to the national grid. This last power outage was
not without some unpleasant consequences. One neurosurgical patient
died in theatre while an operation was going on because the hospital
generating set was switched off during the surgery for reasons of
overwork and lack of fuel. In addition, most departments of the over
700-bed tertiary hospital were closed except for the Accident and
Emergency department. A spokesman for the hospital Mr. Kunle Atin-
wore, attributed the huge power debt to low income and non-release of
the budgetary subvention to the hospital by the Federal Ministry of
Health and asserted that the hospital will start paying down its
power debt as soon as the statutory subvention is released to it.
Source: The Guardian, Sunday, March 19, 2000 p.37 By Seth Akintoye.
Keywords: Power cut in hospital.


An outbreak of cholera in Obudu Local Government of Cross Rivers
State has claimed over twenty lives while several others have been
hospitalized. A member of the State House of Assembly representing
Obanliko Constituency Hon. Pius Awah, broke the news while speaking
to reporters in Calabar on Friday, February 25, 2000. Hon. Awah who
also tabled the matter on the floor of the House said some of the
victims of the disease are presently receiving treatment at hospital
and health centers in the area. Awah described the outbreak as pa-
thetic saying there was virtually no water in Obudu as the State Wa-
ter Board no longer supplies water to the area. Source: This Day,
Sunday, February 27, 2000 p.5. By Okon Bassey. Keywords: Cholera in

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