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A news website wholly dedicated to reporting the Nigerian health sector has been launched in Lagos.

The Nigerian Health Journal according Kingsley Obom-Egbulem , its Managing Editor, intends to satisfy the need for useful ,well researched stories on the Nigerian health sector written in an engaging prose.

“To achieve this, we are leveraging on the power of social media to access and share life saving news and information that can reverse the growing cases of preventable deaths due largely to lack of useful news and applicable health information. That is what Nigerian Health Journal is all about; news for the sake of your health”, says, Obom-Egbulem.

The website (www.nigerianhealthjournal.com )which began two years ago as a blog offering well written features, special reports, exclusive interviews and analysis of major health stories recently expanded its scope on popular demand to serve as the hub for news, information and debates on critical health issues in Nigeria. “

We are creating a one-stop market place of ideas for Nigerians to engage with those they trust with their lives and we believe this is long overdue”, says Obom-Egbulem.

Health news in most Nigerian dailies hardly ever lead the papers either as major front page or back page stories unless there is an epidemic or a major health event is happening or a personality is in town. In these circumstances, health is reported as events not necessarily as an issue with far-reaching economic ,social and even security implication.

Obom-Egbulem says “this is an anomaly that reflects weak understanding of the right to health, poor priority given to the place of health systems reforms ,universal access to quality and affordable health care and preventive medicine especially through health education within the media.”

“It is also an indictment on reporters who expect health news to just happen. When it comes to health, the news doesn’t just happen or break, you happen to the news; you literally break it. For instance, how many professors of medicine are still teaching in our colleges of medicine and how many are required to produce the quality of doctors Nigeria needs. Such news can never break, you have to break it.”

The Nigerian Health Journal according to Obom-Egbulem has taken part of the responsibility of not only holding government accountable for actions and inactions on health but would also provide a “virtual people’s court “ where anyone can be put on trial for mismanaging the health of Nigerians.

“We must start to engage so as to proliferate health information. Let’s keep talking and doing something about our health care system because if we remain silent and allow politicians to keep politicking with our health, by the time they are out of office, we would definitely have need for more morgues, hospices and graveyards.”

Health news competes with football, entertainment, celebrity gossips and the horse-trading within our political clime. And Obom-Egbulem says “because health is a matter of life and death health news must compete well and that means being innovative. It also means that health news should be sexy, sassy and smashing without losing its capacity to activate positive change”.

For more information contact:editor@nigerianhealthjournal.com

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An international children charity is looking for a Programme Coordinator to be located in Lagos.

He or she will be responsible for managing the existing programs in West and Central Africa and aggressively identifying and developing new ones. The job requires working from home (in a highly networked environment) but involves extensive traveling – up to 20 days a month. A highly disciplined attitude, strong work ethic, unimpeachable integrity and last but not least a genuine concern for children are essential pre requisites.

The ideal candidate should:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline – a Master’s degree will be an added advantage
  • Be between 30 and 45 years of age
  • Have outstanding communication skills – both written and oral
  • Have high computer literacy and a sharp analytical mind
  • Have at least 7-10 years work experience in a demanding commercial setting. Experience in the corporate world, a health services delivery organization or a high profile non profit would be preferred

Please send a printed CV (no more than 2 pages) along with a note of about 250 words on ‘Why I think I am the Ideal Candidate for this Job’ within 7 days of this announcement to the following email address: hrcc10@gmail.com

Only short listed candidates will be contacted.

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Please find below a list of information on job openings  within the Nigerian health sector.

Job Titles – Medical Officers,

Peadiatrician

Pharmacist

Pharmacy Technicians

Front Desk Officers

Closing Date –December 14,2010

Organisation –A multi-specialist Hospital

Offer     – Not Stated

Qualifications: Degrees or professionally qualified candidates should with detailed CV indicating full physical address and phone numbers.

Apply to: The General Manager ,P.O Box 2494,Festac Town, Lagos

or call 08056343315,08022951542,08028858713

 

Job Title – Customer Service Reps(Minimum of OND in any field)

-Medical Sales Reps

Closing Date – December 21,  2010

Organisation –A Pharmaceutical Company

Qualifications: University Degree in Pharmacy(for Medical Reps)

Other Requirements: Candidates for both positions must reside in Abuja,Lagos,PH,Warri

Must speak good English and not more than 28years old.

Apply to: optionshealth@yahoo.com with CV within 2 weeks.

 

 

Job Title – Paediatrician

Qualified Nurse/Midwives

Laboratory Scientists

Laboratory Technician

Pharmacy Technician

Front Desk Officers

Closing Date – December 21,2010

Organisation –An ultra modern Hospital

Apply in person to :The Recruitment Consultant

29A Oju-Olobun Close, Off Bishop Oluwole Cole Street,

Victoria Island, Lagos

 

Job Title –Pharmacist in a reputable Pharmacy

Pharmacist Grade 1

Closing Date – Not stated

Offer     – Attractive salary, accommodation, leave & out of station allowance and a car loan

To apply: call 08168380889,01-8970494

 

Job Title – Medical Officers

Closing Date – Not stated

Organisation –Graceland Medical Centre,

Location: Opp  Volkswagen of Nigeria, Badagry Expressway, Lagos

Qualifications: Post NYSC to 5 years working experience with current practicing licence and qualification  registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria

Interview dates: December 7,9,10,14,17 2010 Time;10am to 4pm each day

 

Job Title – (1)Experienced Medical Officer

(2)Medical Laboratory Scientist(applicants must have valid

registration with relevant professional bodies

Closing Date – Not Sated

Organisation –A well equipped multi-specialists Hospital

Qualifications(1) Minimum of 6 years post NYSC experience

Offer: Salary  and fringe benefits include a furnished flat with utilities

Apply to: send CV to warrihospital@yahoo.co.uk or call 08167696144

 

Job Title –(1)Senior Medical Officers with at least 5 years working experience

(2)Medical Officers with at least 3 years post qualification experience

(3)Double qualified B.Sc Nurses with at least 3 years post qualification experience

 

Closing Date – Not stated

Organisation –Goodseed Specialist Clinics

Location: Ajao Estate, Lagos

Apply to: The Medical Director,

Goodseed Specialist Clinics

1/3 Asa-Afariogun Street,

off Osolo Way, Ajao Estate, Lagos

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A Caesarean section is a form of surgery in which one or more incisions are made through a mother’s abdomen and uterus(womb) to deliver her baby(ies).It is usually performed when a vaginal delivery would put the baby’s or mother’s life or health at risk, although in recent times it has been also performed upon request for childbirths that could otherwise have been natural.

While this life saving innovation is helping to save the lives of women and contribute to reducing maternal mortality, it is often a source of stigma especially in Nigeria where some women are sometimes “ashamed” to say they were delivered by CS. Kingsley Obom-Egbulem engaged an expert on this issue . The interview featured questions you’ve always wanted to ask about Cesarean Section with answers presented in a down to earth manner by Oliver Ezechi, Consultant  Obstetrician and Gynecologist and Chief Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research(NIMR),Lagos.

What are we not doing right with respect to CS in Nigeria and what are your recommendations in addressing these ills?

Presently there are lot of negative perception about CS, with local myth that only weak women deliver by CS. CS is also termed as unnatural. There is also the believe that CS limits the number of children you want to have. With special reasons and in the hand of a qualified obstetrician  4th and 5th CS can be done. The cost of CS is also a major barrier to acceptance of CS. My recommendation is that we need to intensify public enlightenment  on dangers of having children too early, too close and too many children. We need to educate the public on the reasons for embarking on CS. Maternal health services should be free including CS.

What specific  gynecological or obstetrical problems was CS invented to solve and what is the state of this problem before the advent of CS?

Caesarean section was originally invented to save the life of the mother from dying or sustaining injuries from prolonged labour. Later, it was extended to save the baby too.

The Caesarean operation was thought to have originated in Roman times. It is known that Caesar had made a decree under Roman laws that all women who were dying in childbirth should have their baby delivered by cutting open their belly. This was meant as an attempt to save the child and increase the low population at the time. Hence the word ‘Caesarean’ was derived. In the 1500’s a French midwifery text referred to the operation as a ‘section’, making common the term ‘Caesarean section’. Later it became a tool not only to save the life of the  baby but that of the mother too.

Some women by their physical make up  and based on some medical reasons are supposed to have their babies through CS. Could you shed some light on this?

Oliver Ezechi:We must embark on constant education of women and their families what CS really does for them and their babies

The reasons for carrying out CS could be maternal or fetal or both.  For the baby to pass through the birth canal , there needs to be enough power to push it down- uterine contraction, baby small enough (passenger) to pass through the birth canal (passage).

If there is a problem with either the power, the passenger or passage, the baby will not be able to be delivered vaginal. In some women, because of their small size, or injury to the passage ( fracture of the pelvic bone during accidents), deformity from e.g. polio or congenital abnormality of the pelvic bone, the passage is small, a normal sized baby will not be able to pass through. The labour is stalled. Unless  CS is performed to remove the baby, the mother or baby  may die from injury or exhaustion. Also if the baby is too big, or presenting in an abnormal way  it will not be able to pass through a normal passage. Also some women for medical reasons in may not tolerate labour and delivery e.g. hypertension in pregnancy, previous injury to the womb will not be allowed to labour and push as this may cause severe morbidity and mortality.

Within the religious parlance delivery through CS attracts some form of stigma and you hear some women say “when the Doctor told me I am going to have my baby through CS,I rejected it and we started praying and the next thing the baby came out”. What’s behind this  perception of CS?.

In Nigeria some pregnant women will not mind losing a baby than having a CS. If the baby is not doing well during labour, a doctor will recommend CS for the woman to be able to have quality baby . A lot of babies are born compromised. The effects are not manifest until years later when the child starts having problems with learning . At that time it will not be attributed to the difficult delivery.

Do you have a personal experience in this regard?

Sometime ago, I had advised a couple about having a CS because the baby’s heart rate was not doing well during labour. The labour got prolonged as she had a borderline pelvis. They rejected it and discharged themselves against medical advice. Days later the couple came back to the clinic and boldly told me that God did it for them despite my recommendation. She proudly said ‘I had a normal delivery’. They were making mockery of me but  I professionally told them that  if  I have a situation again like theirs, I will do the same thing. As they were leaving I noticed that they did not come in with their baby and I innocently asked ,’were is the baby?’They shamelessly answered that they believed that the baby was not their own as they lost the baby soon after birth. That God will give them their own. The couple lost two other babies in quick succession. They later came to their senses and now have three kids from CS.

There is also the cultural dimension to this CS issue, where women who didn’t  go through vaginal delivery often hide the truth about how their baby was born some even lie and we are told they are said not to have the normal experience of child bearing? What’s your take on that and how can we deconstruct this mindset?.

We need to step up public enlightenment campaigns on the reasons for CS. Empowerment of women to be able to take decisions and free maternal health care. People need to know that CS is life saving option aside helping you have your baby safely and we should not be clapping for people who were told to go CS and they eventually had vaginal delivery, we are sending wrong signals about CS and women who opt for it.

How many times can a woman go for CS?

There is no fixed number. However, for every one after three deliveries ( whether vaginal or CS)  the risk of maternal morbidity and mortality increases. The ideal family size scientifically is two. The safest pregnancy is the second one. However, we generally advise women not have more than 3 CS but in the hands of  qualified obstetrician you can go as high as 5 or 6. I have done a 7th CS. The woman came to me after 5th CS and she had no child and she been advised not  have any more pregnancy. When she came to us we knew if we ask her to go, she may end up in the hands of unqualified persons and get killed. We counseled her on the dangers and agreed with her that she will be admitted in the hospital at  28weeks and delivered at 36weeks instead of 38weeks. We didn’t want her to contract at all because she may rupture her uterus and bleed to death. She has two kids now. After the 7th CS we tied her tubes.

How can we make CS safe or safer given our setting where unsafe surgery is contributing  to medical accidents and swelling the rate of needless deaths?

All maternal deaths in the country should be reported and inquiries made about how the woman died. We should insist that CS is not be performed by people not qualified to do so. Government should improve the capacity (human and infrastructure) of our hospitals to deliver quality services.

How do you prepare a woman who might require CS for surgery?

The woman should be counseled and educated on the reasons for the surgery. She need assurance and support. To increase acceptance, they do not need to be kept in the hospital for 7 days. After CS, I discharge the woman on the third day like any other woman. They come back on the 7th day for me to review the site of operation. This will reduce cost as well as prevent the relations from knowing she had a CS. We did a study in Ile-Ife which showed that our women prefer it and will accept CS in such situation.

The issue of cost  and affordability verses the need to save a woman’s life and that of her child will always pop up whenever we discuss CS in context of reducing maternal mortality. If a doctor knows quite well a woman will require CS and the husband obviously  can’t afford it, where is the fair point to stand?

Government should declare free maternal health  and improve public hospitals. Women who cannot afford the bills of the private hospitals will have a choice. If you go to a private hospital you will have to pay your bill because they receive no subvention from government.

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The production and sale of counterfeit drugs is definitely a global problem. But the sad side of this problem is that it can never be discussed without our beloved country “Nigeria” popping up. And that was exactly what happened at the 63rd World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.

You can still recall the “My Pikin” saga and all the “Pikins”* whose lives it ended in a rather tragic albeit inexplicable manner. Now, with over 8 years of constant raiding and burning of seized drugs, Nigerians simply rely on God to help them choose correctly when buying medicines with their hard earned money.

Before examining the outcome of the 63rd WHA and what progressive countries are doing about fake drugs, would it be out of place to know what is happening to the war against fake drugs since Professor Dora Akunyili left NAFDAC?

It hurts to think that sometimes a tree can actually make a forest. But that is almost becoming the truth about NAFDAC and the war against counterfeit drugs in Nigeria. Even though many of us who argued that Professor Akunyili’s tactics in prosecuting the war would not yield any sustainable result, the war right now appears to have gone to the bed as most Nigerians can’t even remember who the current NAFADAC DG is, let alone feel his presence.

Dr.Paul Orhil,NAFDAC DG:Sir this war needs some verve and creativity and we are yet to be convinced your agency has an effective strategy to prosecute it.

Well,just in case you are one of those who don’t know him and can’t feel him either, the current Director-General of NAFDAC is Dr Paul Orhii.If his doctorate degree in medicine is anything to go bye, we would have seen a renewed vigour in the fight against counterfeit drugs. Or is it too early to start asking questions?

While you are trying to make up your mind, lest find out what’s news about counterfeit drugs.

The World Health Organisation(WHO) during the 63rd WHA promised to assist Nigeria deal with the issue of counterfeit drugs. But my take is, would it be a lasting solution beyond giving loans and sending experts to access how these drugs get into the country and make recommendations on how to block such routes?

Drug counterfeiting we gather often involves expensive hormones, steroids and anti-cancer medicines and pharmaceuticals related to lifestyle in developed countries. But in developing countries, especially Africa, counterfeit medicines are commonly available to treat life-threatening conditions such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

So, you can appreciate why there must not be any lull as we make plans to wage a sustainable war against this enemy beyond the drama of raiding Alaba and Onitsha markets, seizing goods worth millions of naira and burning them for the next day’s cover headline.

Recently, we gathered that mPedigree a Ghanaian SME is working towards providing a sustainable solution to the problem which Nigeria is still struggling to overcome.

This is how the mpedigree concept works

Pharmaceutical companies will emboss  a special codes on drug packaging that are recorded in mPedigree’s database. When you  purchase a drug, you scratch off a panel(like the type on a recharge card) to reveal the unique code and send it via text message to a universal four-digit number. The request is routed to mPedigree’s servers, located in New Hampshire. After sending the code, consumers get a response by text, usually within five seconds, indicating whether the product is genuine or fake.
I hope Dr. Orhii is keeping tab of this cheering trend?

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May 27 every year provides opportunity to celebrate the Nigerian child. A particular group of children for no fault of theirs would definitely  not be part of this celebration even in their homes. They are children born with cleft lip and palate. For them, the usual children’s day fun may remain a dream unless something is done to correct this birth defect.

Lets put that smiles back on her face

This year, SMILETRAIN will use the opportunity of the children’s  day celebration to  flag-off  a major campaign  aimed at putting smiles on the faces of Nigerian children grappling with the pains of cleft lip and palate as well as call on Nigerians to stop stigmatising them.

“Our charge is  cleft lip is a defect that can be corrected and if you can’t help anyone with problem please don’t stigmatise the person; simply call on us or take them to our service centers for a free surgery”, says Remi Adeseun, Regional Director West Africa, SmileTrain.

Part of the campaign includes the launch of a toll free line 0800SMILETRAIN which is expected to bring the services closer  by engendering fast and easy referrals to service points and surgeries especially for poor families based in rural communities.

The campaign which commenced early May is expected to reduce the growing burden of cleft birth in Nigeria by scaling up its free corrective surgeries  and making it accessible to Nigerian families who desperately need them and also changing the perception of Nigerians about the problems of cleft lip and palate.

There are about 27,000 cleft birth per year in Africa and Nigeria accounts for about  25% of this figure.

“It is disheartening  when you discover  that people are still suffering for a problem for which help and stress free solution  has been made available”, says Adeseun.

He hinted that in two years ,this problem  have been reduced by about 2,000 in Nigeria and SmileTrain appears set to even conduct more free cleft  surgeries across the 36 states of the country.

“We are only bothered about one problem in the world and that is cleft lip and palate and we believe we can reduce this problem one surgery at a time”, says Adeseun.

Founded in 1999 by Brian Mullaney former Senior Vice President, Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson and Vice President, Creative Director at Young & Rubicam and Charles Wang co-founder of Computer Associates International, Smile Train has the  mission of providing free cleft lips and palate surgery for children in developing countries and providing free cleft-related training for doctors and medical professionals.

By March 2008, Smile Train had performed more than 280,000 cleft surgeries in 74 countries. By 2009, when the organization celebrated its tenth year, it had assisted over 500,000 children.

Smile Train uses technology including surgery-training software and grading of operations via digital imaging to increase efficiency.

Aside changing the lives of Nigerian children born with cleft lip and surgery and putting smiles on their faces, Adeseun hinted that Smile Train is also engaged in deliberate and sustained capacity building programmes for Nigerian plastic and maxillofacial surgeons involved in its free cleft programmes.

For further details please contact:

Kingsley Obom-Egbulem,08023208647:kingsley@hcdi-ng.org

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A s part of its 2010 Women’s Week programme, a church in Lagos offered opportunities for subsidised screening for breast cancer and cervical for women. Interested women were to pay N1000 for both tests.

Just in case we’ve forgotten both diseases kill no less than 100,000 women per year. Late presentation of patients at advanced stages when little or no benefit can be derived from any form of therapy is the hallmark of breast cancer in Nigerian women.

Most women will rather buy Aso ebi, recharge cards, hand bags to match than go for medical screening. I accompanied my wife to do this screening and her results were negative.(she had done some test earlier on her ovaries and they results were encouraging too).

But I was indeed surprised and disappointed that every few women took advantage of this opportunity to know how they weigh on the cancer scale. Most women who die from these diseases ,according to clinical research evidence either get to know about it very late or they don’t know at all until it is revealed by a post mortem.

So, why would a woman shun such a test when it can go long way in determining a lot of possibilities for her in the future? Many say the current global economic situation has distorted our priorities in Africa and that had affected our perception of critical issues such as the need for periodic checkups as disease prevention mechanism.

People would rather eat junk meals at fast food outlets, buy Nokia E71 Series, Blackberry and travel to Dubai for shopping but would choose not to spend N1000 to find out whether or not they are at risk of cervical or breast cancer. What a strange wisdom?

You can find out more about cervical cancer by clicking on this link. “This cervical cancer is killing our women softly”.

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