Countries around the globe have commenced vaccination of their citizens against the COVID-19 virus which has infected over 120 million people globally.

Meanwhile, there are growing safety concerns about the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, which is important especially to the COVAX arrangement, the UN-backed facility that promises access to vaccines for up to 20 per cent of participating countries’ population.

About four European countries have suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines citing blood clotting difficulties and a death suspected to be from its usage.

Nigeria took delivery of 3.94 million doses of the vaccines in early March and has since begun administration to prioritised groups.

The Nigerian government, however, said it will not discontinue its use.

Amidst the pandemic, World Kidney Day was commemorated on March 11 to raise awareness on the need for identifying kidney disease as a significant public health problem.

Here is a round-up of some of the health stories which made headlines last week.

Nigeria records 205 new COVID-19 cases, four more deaths

In continuation of a steady run of low figures that began almost three weeks ago, Nigeria on Saturday recorded 205 new COVID-19 infections in 15 states, according to health authorities.

The new figure, one of the lowest since the beginning of this year, raised the total number of infections in the country to 160,537.

This is according to an update published by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Saturday night.

World Kidney Day: 10 signs you could be having Kidney disease

Kidney disease, like many other diseases, is treatable if detected early.

Kidney disease refers to the injury or damage to the kidneys that has usually been on for a long time.

The World Kidney Day is observed on the second Thursday of March each year with the primary objective of spreading awareness around the globe on the need for identifying kidney disease as a significant public health problem.

The Economic Times]Another country halts rollout of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines

Another country has suspended the use of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine adding to a growing concern about the vaccine Nigeria received almost four million doses of last Tuesday.

Authorities in Austria on Tuesday said vaccination with the Oxford vaccines in the country was halted as a precaution while investigating the death of one person and the illness of another after taking the shots, according to Reuters.

Kidney Disease: Late detection, high cost hinder treatment for affected Nigerians

After undergoing dialysis on Thursday at the Garki general hospital in Abuja, Dannuma Tadi, a retired army officer, said he was already thinking of where to get money for the next one.

The cost of each dialysis session is N23,000 at the hospital and Mr Tadi needs at least two treatments each week to keep his system filtered and running.

For many years, doctors were busy treating Mr Tadi for high blood pressure and diabetes without recommending a kidney test for him. This allowed his kidney disease to get to an advanced stage, he said.

HIV treatment still expensive for many Nigerians – Report

About 11.2 per cent of People Living With HIV (PLWHIV) in Nigeria still incur huge out-of-pocket costs for treatment, a new report has shown.

The report titled “Community-Led Monitoring (CLM) initiative on COVID-19 and HIV in Nigeria” shows that 212,800 PLWHIV in the country make significant out of pocket expenses to access treatment.

The report indicates that distance of treatment centres and out of pocket expenses are major barriers to HIV service accessibility.

Nigeria can achieve universal health coverage by 2030, says NHIS boss

Despite recent challenges towards enrollment of 90 per cent of Nigerians into one form of health insurance or another, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is optimistic that if all factors of implementation work according to details set out in its ten-year strategic plan, it will leapfrog the country into Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by the year 2030.

The Executive Secretary of NHIS, Mohammed Sambo, expressed this optimism in Kaduna, at a two-day management retreat to adopt the ten-year strategic plan document, adding that careful implementation of the roadmap would ultimately bring the country at par with other nations where out-of-pocket expenditure for health had been eliminated.

President Muhammadu Buhari receives the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. [PHOTO: Presidency]Nigeria moves to douse anxieties over AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

Nigeria’s health authorities Thursday evening through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) moved quickly to douse growing anxiety around the suspension of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, produced in partnership with Oxford.

Early Thursday, four European countries citing blood clotting difficulties and a death suspected to be from the usage of the vaccine, suspended its use.

World Sleep Day: Ten things to do to achieve healthy sleep

The World Sleep Day (WSD) is commemorated on March 11-13 every year to raise awareness about the importance of healthy sleep.

Created and hosted by the World Sleep Society, WSD is dedicated to spreading awareness about all aspects of sleep including the importance of getting good sleep, sleep medicines and social aspects of sleep problems.

With several concerns about the implication of lack of good sleep, the American Psychological Association highlights the following steps as helpful in changing unhealthy habits and improving your sleep.

NAFDAC Destroys N1.4bn Counterfeit, Expired Products

The National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Thursday destroyed substandard, falsified and expired products in the South East and South South geopolitical zones.

The products, worth N1.4 billion, were destroyed at the Anambra Waste Dump in Awka.

The Director General of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye, who supervised the exercise, said the destruction was part of the efforts to rid Nigerian market of unwholesome products and engender public confidence.

Health experts call for inclusion of family planning, cancer treatment in Nigeria’s NHIS

The inclusion of family planning and cancer treatment into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was the topic of discussion when some health experts gathered in Abuja on Wednesday.

“The first rationale for family planning is in the interest of the mother and the child to reduce mortality,” the President of the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), Oladapo Ladipo, said at the two-day strategic advocacy retreat.

Nigeria distributes COVID-19 vaccines to states

The Nigerian government on Monday said it has started distributing the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to various states across the country.

The Executive Director of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, made this known at the weekly briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.


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