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Vesicular Vaginal Fistula Pandemic: Over 800,000 Nigerian Women Needlessly Suffering

Vesicular Vaginal Fistula Pandemic: Over 800,000 Nigerian Women Needlessly Suffering

Cover Stories, NEWS
Nigeria houses largest number of cases globally According to the Federal Ministry of Health, between 500,000 and 1,000,000 women and girls in Nigeria are living with Vesicular Vaginal Fistula (VVF), with about 12,000 fresh cases reported each year. This figure alarmingly is the highest rate worldwide, thereby contributing grossly also to an equally disturbing high rate of maternal/infant mortality ratio. PharmaTimes Editor, MORGAN NWANGUMA in this write-up reveals the reasons for this - being mainly socio-cultural as well as ethno-religious, but still needlessly avoidable. For many years running Nigeria has been battling with the issue of Vesicular Vaginal Fistula. The stigmatising health condition which is seen mainly among (young) women and girls is mainly concentrated in two ...
Gains of the 4th Lagos International Pharma Manufacturing Expo

Gains of the 4th Lagos International Pharma Manufacturing Expo

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•Key stakeholders laud the Okey Akpa-led group Recently the 4th international Exhibition on Complete Pharma Manufacturing, as well as Lab Expo took place in Lagos. It was an interesting turnout of participants from mainly India, China, Nigeria, Japan, Ireland and Bangladesh, etc. The three day event was put together under the auspices of the collaborative efforts of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) and GPE EXPO PVT. Ltd. Heralding the opening of the exhibition, Pharm. Ahmed I. Yakasai, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) extolled the active contributions, and the critical role played by PMG-MAN in the actual development of the pharmaceutical sector in Nigeria and by extension, overall development of the coun
Re-Positioning NHIS for Accessible Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria

Re-Positioning NHIS for Accessible Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria

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The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) introduced by the Federal Government in 2005 for the purpose of ensuring universal access to qualitative healthcare services for the citizenry has performed abysmally below expectations, and therefore needs to be re-positioned in order for it to deliver on its mandate. PharmaTimes takes a historical and performance assessment of the scheme so far, and seeks to proffer solutions for a more workable system that the country really deserves. In the last 12 years that the scheme began operation, a greater percentage of the Nigerian population have not benefitted from its services and yet its future appears to be hanging on the balance as a result of numerous controversies trailing its operations. For instance, in March this year, the Senate set up a...
The Role of Community Pharmacists in an Emerging Economy

The Role of Community Pharmacists in an Emerging Economy

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Nigeria at the moment is at crossroads regarding the level of performance as well as the critical role that the community pharmacist is cut out to play in the society. However, in an emerging market economy such as is the case with Nigeria, there seems not to be a better time and opportunity than now for the community pharmacists to make their impact really felt. And as the Association of Community Pharmacists in Nigeria (ACPN) congregate this time in Jos, to deliberate and forge a way forward, PharmaTimes Editor, MORGAN NWANGUMA, and Correspondent, GABRIEL IFINNWA take a deep look at the key ingredients required in the discharge of their responsibilities in such an environment.   The Pharmacy profession has expanded significantly around the world in terms of professional servic...
Pushing For Prevention: Malaria, A Tropical Disease On The Run!

Pushing For Prevention: Malaria, A Tropical Disease On The Run!

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Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that is commonly carried by the female anopheles mosquito which feeds on human blood. Globally, the World Health Organisation estimates that for instance, in 2013, 198 million clinical cases of malaria occurred, and 500,000 people died of malaria, most of them children in Africa. Because malaria causes so much illness and death, the disease is a great drain on many national economies. Every year the UN through its health agency, the World Health Organisation (WHO), marks World Malaria Day with a view to mitigating the destructive effects of the killer tropical disease. In this special write-up PharmaTimes Editor, MORGAN NWANGUMA takes us through the current actions of the global agency and its partners with a view to r...
Adverse Drug Reactions and the changing Face of Therapeutics

Adverse Drug Reactions and the changing Face of Therapeutics

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(Cover Story) Adverse drug reactions and, or side effects come in various shades and colours, and have overtime become issue for concern except that much attention has not been paid to this recurring phenomenon, or so it seems. Most at times the effects of adverse drug reaction is just mild and so it is easily overlooked, but at some other times they can be dangerously alarming such as even leading to death! And so health watchers are wont to ask: with all of these, is therapeutics entering a new phase?  In this write-up, Editor, MORGAN NWANGUMA ponders these issues, and brings to light what we ought to guard against, and what we all can do. In a developed society such as Australia, facts have it that an estimated 140,000 patients are admitted to hospital every year because of problems a
The Cancer Scourge and Why We Must All Be Worried

The Cancer Scourge and Why We Must All Be Worried

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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) about 24.6 million people live with cancer worldwide while about 12.5 percent of all deaths are attributable to cancer. It also states that an estimate of more than 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer yearly, while about 80,000 die from the disease. This then implies that about 240 Nigerians fall victim to this dreadful epidemic on a daily basis, or 10 Nigerians dying every hour from cancer. We are also reminded that the country’s cancer death ratio of 4 in every 5 affected persons happens to be one of the worst in the entire planet! PharmaTimes Editor, MORGAN NWANGUMA in this story lets us know why there is a great cause for worry, and what can be done. Cancer is any malignant growth or tumour caused by abnormal and uncontrolled
Health and Pharmaceutical Sector: 2016 in Retrospect

Health and Pharmaceutical Sector: 2016 in Retrospect

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The challenge posed by the prevailing economic recession in the country was perhaps the major factor that limited efforts of government, stakeholders, existing and potential investors in the sector from achieving greater successes.  However, looking through the eye of PHARMATIMES, the highlights and monthly review of events that took place during the year indicate that the sector witnessed considerable strides during the period when compared with the preceding years. Generally speaking, the health and pharmaceutical sector in 2016 recorded remarkable achievements and successes, though there were areas clearly in dire need of improvements.  JANUARY          Ojukwu Varsity graduates first medical doctors          World and regional organisations partner to expand access to quality heal
The Pharma Industry in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities

The Pharma Industry in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities

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Since the inception of the pharmaceutical industry in the 19th century, it has come a long way, and since emerged as one of the most influential and successful industries in the world. As the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) congregate in Minna this November to deliberate, PharmaTimes tries to pre-empt the discourse in matters relating to the practice of pharmacy in the country. The discovery of insulin and penicillin by Fredrick Bating and Alexander Fleming respectively in the 1920s indeed marked the beginning of modern pharmaceutical industry that has become a major contributor to the economy of many nations of the world. Apart from providing health benefits to populations around the world, the impact of Research & Development in the industry is being felt in the discovery an
PNEUMONIA – ‘In the Air’

PNEUMONIA – ‘In the Air’

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The rainy season and the wintry winds of this period especially as we get into the August Break, some people argue, perhaps comes with it so much that maybe having to do with people falling ill. There seems to be so much sneezing and coughing around, and people wonder what’s in the air. As we continue to wade through the rains, Editor, MORGAN NWANGUMA seeks to know if there is a possible link between the frequent occurrence of the flu and Pneumonia, as well as what you can do to be on top of the weather. At this time of the year or season, it is somewhat rampant to hear or see an increase in the number of people complaining of various body discomforts. Thus it is common to see people manifesting all manner of symptoms ranging from mild cough to sneezing, feverishness and cold, etc.  We ha
Aspirin Therapy: Can Your Heart take the Risk?

Aspirin Therapy: Can Your Heart take the Risk?

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Of late studies have been revealing likely promises held by the use of aspirin in the treatment of cardiovascular disease patients, but not many actually know how this new ‘heart drug’ works as well as the dangers in its wrong application. As experts continue the search for a heart-friendly remedy for cardiovascular disease sufferers, Editor MORGAN NWANGUMA reveals some salient issues surrounding the use of aspirin. Among so many remedies that are available today from over the counter, special prescriptions, to a range of alternative applications, there is little question aspirin has earned its reputation as a powerful drug among well known heart drugs and remedies. But the question we all need to tackle seriously is: just how much do you really know about aspirin with respect to the he
Understanding Stevens-Johnson syndrome

Understanding Stevens-Johnson syndrome

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If your skin has been showing some ncommon‘allergic’ reactions and you have been on some medication lately, it is advisory you go see your healthcare provider for professional examination. This is the advice from the Federal Ministry of Health especially concerning the recent sudden appearance of the deadly Stevens-Johnson Syndrome in Nigeria. But this rare medical condition contrary to opinions was not discovered in Nigeria, and it is not new. In this report, Editor, MORGAN NWANGUMA examines the genesis and the nature of this emerging dreaded killer disease in Nigeria. As if in a game of cards, Nigerians have once more been placed on red alert regarding the latest ‘strange’ disease in town. In recent times the country has had to battle with somewhat strange diseases such as Ebola, Lassa
NHIS – Long Road to Universal Coverage

NHIS – Long Road to Universal Coverage

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Rights of the Patient and Healthcare Provider The National Health Insurance Scheme has remained as just an idea since 1962 when it was first mooted. The lofty idea as it is, did not come to fruition until an enabling law was promulgated in 1999, and then in May 2005 the programme kicked off in earnest. And down the line the general consensus has been that the scheme that was given legal teeth 17 years ago is yet to seriously get up and run. Editor, MORGAN NWANGUMA in this write-up looks at the programme’s long road to universal coverage, vis-a-vis the rights of the parties involved. Since the National Health Insurance Scheme project was set in place health watchers and experts alike have come to the opinion and conclusion that so far it has remained largely a paper tiger. Accordi
Zika, Mosquitoes – Latest Nightmare of Expectant Mothers

Zika, Mosquitoes – Latest Nightmare of Expectant Mothers

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  As if by a sudden twist of fate, the South American country of Brazil, and by extension the entire world looks on with bewilderment as the Zika virus disease is unsettling the minds of so many health watchers and experts alike. This new epidemic coming at a time the whole world is preparing to gather in Brazil for the forth coming Summer Olympics (August) this year, has raised more than enough concern already and the World Health Organisation is declaring an emergency situation. Health Editor, MORGAN NWANGUMA traces the root of the fast spreading viral disease, and how the authorities are dealing with it. Currently Brazil is being ravaged by the new epidemic called Zika – a viral infection that is transmitted through the bite of the Aedes Mosquito, the same that is responsible for
The Resurgent Lassa fever Epidemic and What You Ought to Know

The Resurgent Lassa fever Epidemic and What You Ought to Know

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While news of the resurgent viral epidemic filtered in, Health Officials and government people alike have been caught in frenzy once again since the end of the battle with Ebola. Health Editor, MORGAN NWANGUMA who has been keeping a steady tab on the unfolding events, captures the details of these as well as what you need to know about the renewed Lassa fever epidemic which has become like a recurring decimal. Ever since August of 2015 when the dreaded disease - Lassa fever made its latest come back into the country, the health authorities have continued to grapple with this renewed scourge. The major vector of this disease is a species of the popular house mouse, but not every rodent is necessarily a carrier of the disease, however, they are all potential hosts and transmitters of the vi...