Nigeria to get 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine – Newstrends
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Nigeria to get 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine

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The Federal Government says it is expecting to receive 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the first quarter of 2021.

Executive Secretary, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, gave the indication at the presidential task force on COVID-19 media briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

He said Nigeria had put in place the machinery for this, adding that the country is a member of COVAX, an international coalition, under the WHO umbrella.

Shuaib added that 92 countries came together to ensure access and safety of vaccines.

He said the expected 20 million doses will first be given to workers in the health sector and vulnerable citizens.

“We are on course to access safe vaccine in the first quarter of 2021. We will be leveraging on the polio platform to ensure effective delivery of vaccines to our vulnerable population,” he said.

H added, “We have established a supra-ministerial advisory committee to ensure a seamless administration. A technical group meets every week and has devised a risk communication plan to deliver safe vaccines to Nigerians.”

A former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said Nigeria and other African countries will have access to COVID-19 vaccines as from the end of January through the first quarter of 2021.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday that Okonjo-Iweala disclosed this at a closed-door meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama in Abuja.

The big breakthrough came when Pfizer/BioNTech published its first results in November.

They showed the vaccine is up to 95 per cent effective and the UK is due to get 40 million doses.

The vaccine is given in two doses, three weeks apart. About 43,000 people have had the vaccine, with no safety issue.

The vaccine must be stored at a temperature of around -70C and transported in a special box, packed in dry ice and installed with GPS trackers.

On 2 December, the UK became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for widespread use.

On 8 December, 90-year-old Margaret Keenan became the first patient to receive the vaccine at University Hospital in Coventry, with 800,000 more doses expected to be given in the coming weeks.

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Dentist shortage: UK to waive qualifying exam for foreign dentists

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Dentist shortage: UK to waive qualifying exam for foreign dentists

The UK government is currently making plans to permit foreign dentists to practice their profession without undergoing a qualification exam in a bid to address the shortage of dentists. 

The proposed changes therefore aim to expedite the process, allowing foreign dentists to commence work sooner.Currently, dentists from non-European countries must pass an overseas entrance exam to work in Britain. 

The General Dental Council (GDC) would therefore be empowered to provisionally register dentists based on its assessment of their qualifications, ensuring patient safety and care quality are upheld, while dentists on the provisional register would require supervision. 

  •  Shortage of dentists 

A significant majority of NHS dental practices are unable to accommodate new patients, resulting in a notable increase in emergency room visits for dental issues, particularly among children with tooth decay. 

Also, the shortage of NHS dentists has led to long queues forming outside a new dental practice in Bristol, the first in the city to accept new patients in over six months.

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The situation escalated to the extent that police had to intervene as the practice struggled to accommodate the overwhelming demand, resulting in the disappointment of many patients. 

The dental union has therefore criticized the government for attempting to address the shortage without tackling the underlying issues deterring dentists from NHS work. 

On the other hand, Health Minister Dame Andrea Leadsom The shortage of NHS dentists has led to long queues forming outside a new dental practice in Bristol, the first in the city to accept new patients in over six months. 

  •  Current situation

Currently, dentists who obtain their qualifications outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) such as Nigeria must undergo an examination administered by Britain’s dental regulator, the GDC.

This is with the exemption of dentists holding qualifications from 14 specific universities in Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and New Zealand are exempt from this examination requirement, only if they graduated before 2001. 

Health authorities have characterized this UK entrance exams as “red tape,” attributing them to “prolonged delays” in dentists’ registration processes and subsequent commencement of treatment for patients.

Dentist shortage: UK to waive qualifying exam for foreign dentists

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Heatwave: Drink more water, doctors issue health care tips

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Drink more water

Heatwave: Drink more water, doctors issue health care tips

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors has issued health care guidelines for the heatwave currently being experienced in parts of the country.

The association made the advisory in a message posted via its X handle on Saturday.

The advisory, titled ‘Stay safe in the heatwave,’ read, “As temperatures soar, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and take care of ourselves.”

The association warns “that the extreme temperatures could provoke ill health, endanger Eutherians, and may cause death. Staying safe in hot weather is essential for your well-being. Let us look out for each other and take the necessary precautions to stay healthy.”

The tips are as follows:

Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, as they can contribute to dehydration.

Wear loose, light-weight, and light-coloured clothing to help your body stay cool.

Seek shade: Limit your time outdoors during the hottest part of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you must be outside, seek shade whenever possible.

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Take cool showers or baths, as they can help lower your body temperature and provide relief from the heat.

Know the signs of heat-related illnesses: Be aware of symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, headaches, rapid heartbeats, and confusion. Seek medical attention immediately if you or someone you know experiences these symptoms.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency had said that the excessive heat being experienced in the country presently would remain for a while.

NiMET disclosed this in its weather and climate update posted on its official X page on Wednesday.

The agency, in the post, also outlined the weather implications and guided the public on how to manage the situation.

“Air temperatures hit 41°C over the North and 39°C over the South, with model projections indicating temperatures to remain high in the coming days,” NiMET said.

The agency listed the implications of the heat, noting, “This could also cause fainting; chickenpox disease, measles, heat rash, weakness of the body, slight fever, and dry lips; heat-related illnesses; respiratory issues; and increased vulnerability to chronic conditions.”

However, NiMET advised citizens to ensure adequate fluid intake. seek shade, use fans, and wear light, breathable clothing to reduce exposure to high temperatures, amongst others.

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Fresh lassa fever outbreak claims 10 life in Ebonyi

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Fresh lassa fever outbreak claims 10 life in Ebonyi

Ebonyi State Government has confirmed 10 persons dead and 15 others infected following an outbreak of Lassa Fever in seven local government areas.

Confirming the incident, the Disease Surveillance Notification Officer, State Ministry of Health, Mr. Orogwu Sampson, said the cases occurred between January 4 and February 16, 2024.

He noted that within the one-month period, “25 people were infected including 2 healthcare workers with 10 deaths.”

Orogwu said that last year, the State recorded 53 cases while 36 died, adding that the disease cuts across all ages.

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He maintained that out of the 25 confirmed cases,16 people were men while nine people were women.

“Those who died include a pregnant woman, two children, men and women.

“The Local Government Areas affected include Onicha, Ikwo, Ezza North, Ebonyi, Izzi, Ohaukwu and Abakaliki with Hausa quarters and Nkaliki residential areas recording the highest number of cases.

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