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Health Reform Committee: Buhari Appoints Osinbajo As Chairman

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Health Reform Committee: Buhari Appoints Osinbajo As Chairman

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the setting up of a Health Sector Reform Committee, for the development and implementation of a Health Sector Reform program for Nigeria.

The committee, to be chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, would also work in collaboration with State Governments and the FCT administration.

Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed this development in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

READ ALSO: Buhari, Osinbajo To Take COVID-19 Vaccine On Saturday

According to the presidential aide, the approval of the committee is a sequel to a Health Sector Diagnostic Review Report,  developed by a consultant, Vesta Healthcare Partners, and the Federal Ministry of Health.

He said the committee would undertake a review of all healthcare reforms adopted in the past two decades and lessons learnt,  and factor them into the development of the new health sector reform programme.

He added that the committee, set up for a period of six months, had members are drawn from the private and public sector,  health care management professionals, development partners, representatives from the National Assembly,  as well as the Nigeria Governors Forum among others.

Other members are; Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta; Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health; Mr. Alex Okoh Director-General,  BPE; Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar,  Professor in Infectious Disease Epidemiology,  University College London and Director of the UCL Institute for Global Health.

Mr Babatunde Irukera, Director General, Federal Competition and Consumer  Protection Council; Sen. Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe;  Dr Adedamola Dada;  Dr Sani Aliyu and  Dr Mairo Mandara would also serve in the committee.

Others are: Dr Haliru Yahaya, Emir of Shonga;  Prof. Uche Amazigbo ; Director Hospital Services, Federal Ministry of Health; Dr Faisal Shuaib; Prof.  Nasiru Sambo; Dr Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa and Dr Gambo Aliyu.

Other members of the committee are; Dr Betta Edu ( Chairman Nigeria Health Commissioners Forum,  representing National Council on Health); President Nigeria Medial Association and  President Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria;

President, National Association of Nigeria Nurses & Midwives;  President,  Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria; Mrs Temi Marcella Awogboro; Dr Muhammad Sadiq;  Dr Azubike Tagbo and  World Health Organisation, Nigeria are also members of the committee.

Vesta Healthcare Partners and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would serve as resources persons, with observer roles in the committee.

Meanwhile, President Buhari had also approved the appointment of Dr Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa, as the new Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“The President also named him as a member of this important committee,’’ the presidential aide added.

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Health & Wellness

Top 6 Seafood Restaurants In Lagos

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Top 6 Seafood Restaurants In Lagos

The best seafood restaurants in Lagos are no longer relegated to the coastline, as major inland cities continue to pop up with raw bars, crudos, and ceviches to call their own. Still, there’s something pretty special about sitting in a seaport city with a looming tower of shellfish to nibble on.

This is why we’ve compiled the Top 6 Seafood Restaurants in Lagos, from upscale classics to casual oyster bars, presented in alphabetical order.

Top 6 Sea Food Restaurants In Lagos

Ocean Basket, Victoria Island

The contemporary family-oriented ambiance of Ocean Basket makes it a great place to enjoy a variety of seafood in Lagos. The menu has a reputation of having some of the best stir-fry salmon, juicy prawns, and delicious calamari rings. Enjoy a peaceful ambiance in addition to pleasant customer service and great food, as you wine and dine with your friends and family.

Talindo Steak House, Victoria Island

Talindo Steak House is notable for its fine dining experience which makes for an intimate setting. Be entertained with good music and an impressive collection of fine wine as you enjoy a variety of seafood, European, and steak dishes.

The Sky Restaurant, Eko Hotel Victoria Island

Dining at the tallest penthouse in Eko Hotel and one of the highest restaurants in the city of Lagos, while overlooking the beautiful metropolis and Eko Atlantic City is a must-have experience. The Sky Restaurant offers a wide range of seafood, as well as international, European, and vegetarian-friendly cuisines. Dine-in style as you watch the sunset right before your eyes.

B.L. Restaurant

B.L. Restaurant may be the ideal place for Bulgarian and Lebanese cuisines in Victoria Island, Lagos, but its wide range of delicious seafood, barbecues, and hummus is undeniable. From a welcoming ambiance to excellent customer service, and mouthwatering meals, this spot is the place to be.

Sailor’s Lounge, Lekki

If you love Venice, Ibiza, or the Greek islands then Sailor’s Lounge is the place for you. This tastefully furnished, relaxing, and adventurous lounge with the ambiance of a sea view is home to the first floating bar built on water in Nigeria. It boasts of three sections; Sailor’s Bar, Captain’s Cabin, and Captain’s Deck. it is specifically tailored to capture the experience of floating atop the ocean for an unrivaled experience. Enjoy a variety of seafood options as you unwind in the beautiful Lekki location while listening to cool live music.

Brazzerie Restaurant, Victoria Island

Located in the sensational Four Points Hotel by Sheraton, Brazzerie Restaurant satisfies your craving for a tasty seafood menu in Lagos. Styled much like a French brasserie, the restaurant gives off a 1920s vibe. Indulge in a splendor of seafood every Friday evening, as they offer a vast selection of themed special delicacies. It is also a highly recommended go-to place for a filling buffet experience with family and friends, serving an extensive variety of both local and international dishes.

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Now That WHO Has Approved Malaria Vaccine: Which Way Nigeria?

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Now That WHO Has Approved Malaria Vaccine: Which Way Nigeria?

The World Health Organisation (WHO), on  Wednesday, Oct. 6,   recommended the use of the first-ever produced malaria vaccine, the RTS, S/AS01.

A vaccine is an immunological approach against the plasmodium parasite.

This vaccine which showed great results in the phase III trials carried out in 2014 in about 11 African countries, has the potential of reducing global malaria deaths to a great extent.

READ ALSO: Lagos State Gov. Sets-Up Security Team For Protection Of Transport Infrastructure

But in July 2015, the RTS, S/AS01 (RTS, S) malaria vaccine passed its phase III clinical trial and was adopted by the European Medicine Agency.

Before this time, the vaccine was administered to children, aged 5-17months and 3years. The WHO approval indicates that children under the age of five can now have the vaccine.

Malaria a life-threatening disease, according to UNICEF, caused the death of about 260,000 children in Africa in 2020 alone.

Data from WHO also showed the devastating effect of malaria.

According to the WHO, every two minutes a child dies from malaria and this fact is not exaggerated in any way as research has proven that children under the age of five and pregnant women are most at risk of the deadly disease.

Malaria is one of the oldest diseases that have plagued the human population for several decades.

History dates it as far back as 2700 BC, while permanent solution remained vaccination, now possible after many years of researches.

Unarguably, many lives would now be saved as a result of the development and approval of the RTS, S malaria vaccine. The question at this point remains, how will this vaccine be distributed?

Will priority be accorded to high burden countries? Will children in these countries have access to this vaccine at all?

The vaccine has a four-dosage plan as its complete dose. Will children living in malaria-at-risk populations have access to the complete dose of the vaccine?

With inequalities are already seen in the COVID-19 vaccination globally, what should be done to ensure that the malaria vaccine gets to the right people, at the right time, at the right place, and the right dosage?

According to Dr. Odinaka Obeta, Zero Malaria Youth Champion and West African Lead, ALMA Youth Advisory Council, another major area of concern is the affordability of the vaccine.

With the high cost of antimalarial in the Nigerian pharmaceutical market, what will be the fate of families living in rural areas?

Obeta noted that GSK, the manufacturers of the RTS, S malaria vaccine, said that the vaccine development had cost millions of US dollars.

However, there were plans to make the vaccine available for African children, at a not-for-profit price covering the cost of manufacturing and just about five percent return to be reinvested in research and development of the second-generation malaria vaccines or vaccines of other neglected tropical diseases.

WHO also said that the vaccines will be distributed through the various already existing immunization programs established in primary healthcare systems of various countries.

“In a bid to ensure that we have wide acceptability and effective administration of the malaria vaccine, the government through the Federal Ministry of Health must begin to educate its citizens on the malaria vaccine and also initiate risk communication programs to help respond to any concerns citizens might have about the vaccine,” he added.

Obeta said it was also very pertinent that government begin to strengthen the primary health care structures across the nation in preparation for the vaccine, even as the continent awaits a scale-up production.

According to him, considering that Nigeria is a high burden country, the government must use this opportunity to make a good case for Nigeria to be prioritized in the distribution of the vaccine and possibly make financial commitments to support increased production before it becomes too late to participate.

Dr. Ernest Nwokolo, Project Director, Society for Family Health Global Fund Malaria, said Nigeria, being one of the worst-hit by malaria, has every reason to be proactive and ensure early deployment of the vaccine.

“Early engagement, planning, and deployment are expected to be critical in harvesting the good outcomes of the new vaccine,” Nwokolo noted.

He explained that it was also expected that government would facilitate the deployment of this vaccine as an additional preventive resource rather than a one-shot, single bullet replacement strategy.

“Accordingly, weaving the roll out within the confines of already existing successful interventions as well as ensuring that the other preventive and curative actions are sustained seems to be the best way to tap the positive outcomes of this new vaccine development.

“Early actions, such as policy adjustments, vaccine advocacy, integrated and sustained deployment through already successful intervention models, appropriate quantification as well as fund mobilization are key steps that Nigerian implementers must be pushing now.

“Articulated stratification of effective interventions targeting different épidémiologies and groups might also be considered in the face of resource constraints.

“Opportunities and excitement created by the arrival of this new vaccine must be explored to revive and expand all levels and layers of partnership,” he stated.

Nwokolo added that with sustained efforts, Nigeria and other affected sub-Saharan African countries might well be taking definite last steps towards malaria elimination.

This might just be it! It’s an exciting period! Let’s live it,” he said.

According to a professor of virology and former Vice-Chancellor, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, the anticipated rollout of the vaccine would boost the health of millions of at-risk children on the continent.

Tomori stressed that the vaccine cannot be replaced with other measures for the prevention of malaria.

He noted that the WHO recommendation does not immediately usher in the widespread use of RTS, S, rather, it marked the beginning of the vaccines.

“Yes, another bullet in the armory against malaria, but certainly not yet the magic bullet. We must continue with the age-old and new drug therapies and most importantly the prevention methods -antiseptic nets, vector control, environmental sanitation,” he advised.

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Health & Wellness

WHO Commends African-Made World First Malaria Vaccine

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WHO Commends African-Made World First Malaria Vaccine

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described malaria vaccine developed in Africa and by African scientists, recommended for children in sub-Saharan Africa, as “historic’’.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said this at a news conference on Wednesday at the UN headquarters in New York.

Dujarric said WHO had announced that it is recommending widespread use of a malaria vaccine for children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions.

READ ALSO: African Qualifiers Match Day 3 Fixtures For 2022 FIFA World Cup

“The recommendation is based on results from an ongoing pilot programme in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi that has reached more than 800,000 children since 2019.’’

It was reported that the WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, had announced the development at a news conference in Geneva on Wednesday.

Ghebreyesus said the vaccine was a powerful new tool, but like COVID-19 vaccines, it is not the only tool.

According to him, vaccination against malaria does not replace or reduce the need for other measures, including bednets, or seeking care for fever.

“Of course, the key to any public health endeavour of this size and scope is a partnership.

“I thank the children, families and communities who have participated in this historic pilot programme.

“I thank the Ministries of Health of Ghana, Kenya and Malawi for their leadership in embarking on these pilot programmes, which have continued despite COVID-19.’’

The WHO chief, therefore, thanked the researchers in Africa who generated the data and insights that informed this decision, saying” this is a vaccine developed in Africa, by African scientists, and we’re very proud’’.

He also thanked GlaxoSmithKline and many research partners for creating the vaccine, and PATH for bringing it from discovery through development, with support from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“I thank Gavi, the Global Fund and Unitaid, who funded the pilot programmes and the evaluations.

“Malaria has been with us for millennia, and the dream of a malaria vaccine has been a long-held but unattainable dream.

“Today, the RTS, S malaria vaccine – more than 30 years in the making – changes the course of public health history.

“We still have a very long road to travel. But this is a long stride down that road,’’ the director-general said.

In addition, he said the vaccine was a gift to the world, but its value would be felt most in Africa because that’s where the burden of malaria is greatest.

The malaria parasite is mostly transmitted by infective mosquitoes and carried in the blood, after being bitten.

It is not contagious person-to-person, and symptoms include a fever of flu-like illness, nausea and vomiting, and if left untreated, it can be fatal, killing more than 400,000 each year worldwide.

Since 2000, deaths have fallen by more than half, and the disease has been eliminated in many parts of the world.

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