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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.

Health

Ninety percent of medical consultants leaving Nigeria –MDCAN

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The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria has shown that nine out of every 10 medical and dental consultants with less than five years of experience plan to leave the country for greener pastures.

The MDCAN said the survey carried out in March 2022 by its Medical Education Committee also found that over 500 medical and dental consultants had left Nigeria for developed countries over the preceding two years.

The association made this known in a statement signed by its President, Dr Victor Makanjuola, and made available to The PUNCH on Wednesday.

The statement read in part, “Disturbed by the impact of this ugly trend on our country’s health sector growth and development, the MDCAN has conducted a survey among its chapters in March 2022 and found that over 500 medical and dental consultants had left Nigeria for more developed countries over the preceding two years.

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“A further exploration of data by the association’s Medical Education Committee showed that nine out of every 10 medical and dental consultants with less than five years experience on the job had plans to leave the country.

“Furthermore, the Nigerian Medical Association recently reported that only 24,000 doctors are currently registered to practise in Nigeria, giving a ratio of one doctor to over 8,000 Nigerians, against the World Health Organisation’s recommended ratio of one doctor to every 600 people.

“It is important to note that the average medical and dental consultant is not only a clinician but also doubles as a teacher for medical students and doctors in specialist (residency) training. It, therefore, goes without saying that the loss of this category of highly skilled workforce to other countries will not only have an immediate negative impact on clinical service delivery but will leave a long-term devastating impact on the training of future doctors in Nigeria.”

According to the association, the country produces approximately 12,000 doctors per year to meet the required number of doctors in the country.

“Anecdotal projections indicate that the 3,000 fresh medical and dental doctors, on average, produced by our local medical schools in Nigeria and another 1,000 produced by foreign medical schools, fall far short of the number of such healthcare personnel required to meet the country’s yearly medical manpower supply needs, estimated to fall between 10,000 and 12,000 (about three times the current rate),” it added.

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There’ll be no doctor in Nigeria as 4,000 set to migrate – NARD

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  • •Says we’re getting to a point where there’ll be no doctors in Nigeria
  • •Tasks govt to stop situation to avoid disaster in health sector
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No going back on December strike – UK nurses

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Nurses across the UK are set go on strike after ministers rejected their pleas for formal talks over NHS pay.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says there is no going back on the individual action, declaring that its members will  stage the national strike – the first in its 106-year history – on 15 and 20 December.

The industrial action is expected to last for 12 hours on both days – most likely between 8am and 8pm.

The unprecedented national industrial action will seriously disrupt care and is likely to be the first in a series of strikes over the winter and into the spring by other NHS staff, including junior doctors and ambulance workers.

The RCN said it had confirmed the dates after the UK government turned down its offer of formal, detailed negotiations as an alternative to industrial action.

“Ministers have had more than two weeks since we confirmed that our members felt such injustice that they would strike for the first time,” said the RCN general secretary, Pat Cullen. “My offer of formal negotiations was declined and, instead, ministers have chosen strike action.

“They have the power and the means to stop this by opening serious talks that address our dispute. Nursing staff have had enough of being taken for granted, enough of low pay and unsafe staffing levels, enough of not being able to give our patients the care they deserve.”

Nurses like me aren’t just striking over pay – we’re striking to save lives | Jodie Elliott
The strikes will take place in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The RCN will announce which particular NHS employers will be affected next week, when formal notifications are submitted, it said.

In Scotland, the RCN has paused announcing strike action after the Scottish government reopened NHS pay negotiations.

The strikes are taking place after a series of individual ballots were held at NHS trusts and boards, rather than one national ballot.

At more than 40% of England’s hospitals, mental health and community services nurses will not be entitled to strike because the turnout was too low in those ballots. Action can happen, however, at all of Northern Ireland’s health boards and all but one in Wales.

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