Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Director General, Ministry of Defence Health Implementation Programme, Brig-Gen. Nurudeen Hussain, has said that the health status of troops is a critical index in combat efficiency and readiness, especially in the face of contemporary challenges.
The DG made this known in Abuja at an event commemorating this year’s World Malaria Day with the theme “Together We Must Fight Against Malaria “; where he stressed that the attainment of optimum health of troops was a sine-qua-non in the achievement of the Nigerian Armed forces goal.
He added that malaria remains a disease of public health significance due to its morbidity, mortality and increased in socio-economic burden on Nigeria in particular and the world in general.
Hussain stressed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that about 3.2 billion people, which is half of the world population, are at risk of malaria, noting that the sub-Saharan Africa has a disproportionately high share of the disease.
According to him, “Malaria is endemic in Nigeria and accounts for spontaneous abortions, anemia (shortage of blood) in pregnancy, low birth weight babies, infant and ubder-five mobility and mortality. It also accounts for about 30 per cent sick absenteeism at work. Globally, the annual expenditure on expenditure on the treatment if malaria is about $1.2 billion.”
Hussain emphasised that malaria is preventable and curable, stressing that increased awareness and sustained efforts are needed to drastically reduce its burden in the communities.
Meanwhile, the guest of honour at the event, and the President, Defence and Police Officers Wives Association (DEPOWA), Mrs. Omobolanke Olonisakin, said malaria is a fatal disease caused by the plasmodium parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito that feeds on humans.
She noted that the effect of malaria is mostly felt in the sub-Saharan Africa where a child dies every minute from the disease, stressing that WHO recorded that 88 per cent of global cases and 90 per cent of global death occurred in the African continent.
Olonisakin stated that, “most of the casualties included children and pregnant women. The disease has continued to have both psychological and socio-economic impacts on the population.”
She emphasised that malaria can be prevented through the use of long lasting insecticidal bed nets, indoor residual spraying, preventive therapies for infants pregnant women and children-under five as well as quality diagnostic testing and treatment.
“Limited access to facilities and improper or under utilisation of available malaria interventions within countries are the major causes of excessive high burdens of malaria cases and deaths, ” DEPOWA president added.
MDCAN Set to Audit Members over Alleged Professional Laxity
The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has declared its readiness to institute a process of self-auditing to address the alleged issue of professional laxity on part of her members.
This was contained in a five-point Communique issued at the end of the NEC meeting of the Association held in Sokoto recently, copies of which were made available to newsmen in Ibadan.
In the Communique jointly signed by Professor Balarabe Sani Garko and Dr. Abdulkadir Rafindadi, the President and General Secretary respectively, MDCAN resolved to put in motion a machinery to actualize the self-auditing of members without further delay.
While resolving to reactivate the Medical Defense Union as an instrument to provide support or cover to members who may suffer some vicarious liabilities in the course of pursuit of their legitimate duties, MDCAN also pledged to continue to support members/branches of the Association and the management of their respective hospitals who are currently embroiled in professional related lawsuits.
It however enjoined all branches of the Association to demand payment of skipping allowance to members from the management of their hospitals while insisting that MDCAN branches should be proactive to ensure its realization.
The MDCAN used the forum to commiserate with the Government and people of Ekiti State, Ekiti State NMA and families of the six doctors who died in a road accident on their way to Sokoto for the NMA Annual Delegates Meeting while praying God to grant the families of the deceased colleagues the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.