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Health and Pharmaceutical Sector: 2016 in Retrospect

Health and Pharmaceutical Sector: 2016 in RetrospectThe 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.


         Ojukwu Varsity graduates first medical doctors

         World and regional organisations partner to expand access to quality healthcare in Nigeria

         Ogun government partners UNFPA to reduce maternal and paternal deaths –

         Nigeria intensifies surveillance as Lassa fever epidemic spreads

         Lagos Assembly to float Health Trust Fund bill

         FIIRO and NASCO Foods to boost school feeding programme

         FG to build 10,000 primary healthcare centres 


The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) inaugurated its new team of leaders with Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai at the helm of affairs. The umbrella body of registered pharmacists in Nigeria also inducted 70 eminent Nigerians into its board of Fellows.

         The first frozen egg baby was delivered in Nigeria at the Bridge Clinic, an indigenous fertility centre based in Lagos. Tiwatope, according to Dr. Emmanuel Owie, a fertility physician with the hospital is the 5001st to have been born through the process in the world. FCTA to commence microbial swab test in hotels

         Poor child nutrition casts dark cloud on Nigeria in global index

         Lassa fever: Ogun equips 3 isolation centres for possible isolation cases 

         530,000 women test positive for cancer in Nigeria

         Health sector investment to exceed $140m on NSIA and IFC collaboration 

         FG begins review of National Health Policy

         NGOs to support Ondo on health care delivery

         “600,000 Jigawa children malnourished”, says UNICEF report

         Ondo records 75% reduction in maternal deaths

         Nigeria can realise over $100bn yearly from medicinal plants


Surgeons at Cleveland clinic in the United States performed the first uterus transplant on a 26 year woman.

         UNICEF challenges Gombe on rising cases of malnutrition

         FG and UN partner to end violence against children in Nigeria

         Nigeria, US and GE launch $20mn Women’s Health Initiative link


The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and Howard University Pharmaceutical Care and Continuing Education (HU-PACE), United States of America, signed a memorandum of understanding to move the pharmacy profession in Nigeria to greater heights and for improved healthcare delivery in the country.

         “FG to provide 7 radiotherapy machines this year”, says Prof. Adewole (Hon. Minister of Health)  

         Sokoto provides free drugs to 6,569 mentally-ill patients


NAFDAC raided drug markets over unregistered Teva Amlodipine and Lisinopril  

PharmaTimes health newspaper was unveiled to authorities in government, stakeholders in health and the media by its management in a bid to strike strategic partnership aimed at moving the health sector forward.

         LASUTH records first successful bone bridge surgery 

         “80,000 Nigerians die of cancer yearly”, says Oscar Onyeama (CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange)

         Nigeria gets 34 million tablets to treat school children of worms

         U.S and Nigeria intensify efforts to eradicate tuberculosis 

         Interswitch enhances healthcare with hospital management solution

         NHIS to enrol 20 million school pupils in Kwara State for free health care

         Nigeria’s readiness unclear as Zika virus spreads to Africa


The Institute of Human Virology (IHVN), in collaboration with Access Bank Plc and Dangote Foundation unveiled plans to establish a N5 billion world class medical research centre to facilitate research into infectious and non-infectious diseases ravaging Nigeria.

In a bid to strengthen the counterfeit and fake drugs and unwholesome processed food (Miscellaneous provisions) Act, Cap C, 34 ,laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, the House of Representatives initiated a bill to amend it in other to impose harsher penalties for offenders.

The 35th Annual National Conference of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) held in Enugu on the theme: “Man Power Development in Community Pharmacy Practise – Adopting Global Best Practice”.

         Medical practitioners decry misuse and abuse of cough syrups by youths 

         Malaria vaccine loses effectiveness over several years

         UCH takes delivery of N100million laboratory equipment


Irked by the plight of Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS, the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, Yaba, Lagos, has commenced research into the failure of first line Antiretroviral, ARV, drugs in the country. The Institute has also updated its Human Virology Laboratory to carry out molecular studies and screening for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

         Pharmamax, a fledgling pharmaceutical marketing company in the KCH group, launched its brand of Lisinopril and Amlodipine. Nigeria and 22 other countries still at risk of Ebola outbreak

         Fidson Healthcare half-year profit drops by 88%

The World Health Organisation, (WHO), disclosed that worldwide a total of 214. 6 million people are infected with three most common Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) annually. These include chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis; the world body also raised alarm that the STIs are becoming more difficult to treat with some antibiotics due to misuse and overuse.

Fidson Pharmaceuticals PLC unveiled N9 billion WHO standard drug factory.

Emzor Pharmaceuticals Limited marked its 30 years of existence.

         TUC supports NHIS for workers

         Health sector needs N8.2bn to address humanitarian crisis


A New Health Policy that would restructure the building blocks of the nation’s health sector was approved at the emergency National Council on Health meeting held in Abuja on Thursday, 8th September, 2016 even as plans for the establishment of a Bank of Health is in the pipeline.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who explained that although the country has had two previous sets of health polices since 1988, the new policy would reset the image, consciousness and the mind-sets of people about the health sector.

He said the new Policy would accelerate the social economic development of Nigeria.  “The only reason why we are using that is to illustrate the role health can play in promoting social economic development. Over the years, no one has talked about health as a contributor to economic development, but we know many countries that have attained improvement in healthcare or achieved improvement in health development.

         2.6 billion people in Zika risk areas in Africa and Asia

         “More Nigerians are taking health insurance”, says Senator Olayinka Omilani (Chairman, Healthcare International Nigeria Limited)

         70% of TB patients don’t seek care until late stages

         Taraba State becomes first state to build capacity on HIV/AIDS programming for adolescents and young people

The leadership of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), on Wednesday, 14th September, received the official approval letter for Pharm D from the National Universities Commission. 

The Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, have begun mapping of areas across the country that are likely to be most at risk to mosquitoes that spread the Zika virus.

The campaign to eradicate polio from Nigeria spanning over two decades suffered a major blow when on 11 August 2016, the World Health Organisation, WHO, confirmed two fresh cases of wild poliovirus in the northern part of the country.

Six distinguished professionals were inducted into the Pharmacy Academy of Nigeria General Secretary of the Academy, Professor Fola Tayo, said the highpoint of this year’s investiture will be a presentation by Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Christopher Kolade  

World Health Organisation approved new guidelines for the treatment of gonorrhoea, with the use of a new class of antibiotics in the face of increasing resistance. The WHO is urging countries to update their national gonorrhoea treatment guidelines in response against the backdrop of growing antibiotic resistance, and fear of development of a strain of so-called “super gonorrhoea,” which is proving highly resilient to effective treatment.

Nigeria reportedly recorded 154 Lassa fever deaths in one year.

The Lagos State Government sealed over 37 illegal pharmaceutical outlets as part of its measures to stem the tide of counterfeit and unwholesome drug products as well as avert the dangers posed by the activities of illegal operators


The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has launched a website that will be at the centre of the digital channels to be deployed for communications functions.

The Federal government has launched Rapid Results Initiative, RRI programme aimed at performing 10,150 Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) free surgeries as part of the better health for all project of the Buhari administration.
The President of Nigerian Academy of Science and renowned virologist, Professor Oyewale Tomori was elected as international member of the US National Academy of Medicine, Class of 2016.

In a bid to address the burden of cardiovascular disease, a new partnership between leading health technology company, Royal Philips, with the World Heart Federation, WHF was consummated.

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) sealed off 216 drug outlets comprising 30 pharmacies and 186 patent medicine stores, for offences ranging from operating without registration, failure to renew premises licenses and dispensing ethical drugs without supervision of pharmacists.

         Mark Zukerberg, Facebook CEO and wife, Dr. Chan, announced a commitment of $3 billion in aid of preventing and managing diseases that affect children globally. 

         UITH to commence kidney transplant

         Nigeria has over 2million recorded cases of cancer

         Malaria and HIV remain top killer diseases in Nigeria

         Kano State distributes anti-malaria drugs to 17 hospitals

         Nigeria spends $1bn annually on medical tourism

         “Nigeria facing shortage of Anti retro-viral drugs”, says UNAIDS

         NNPC/Chevron to deworm 60,000 pupils nationwide 

         Experts score health sector low at 56

         FG to vaccinate 41million children against polio before January 2017

         FG to distribute cervical cancer vaccine

         Lagoon Hospital wins ‘Best Hospital in Nigeria’ 2016 Award

         HMCAN and HCPAN set up joint committee to self-regulate health insurance in Nigeria –

         Experts urge states to allocate 15% of 2017 budget to health

         U.S. Based HMO Max International, opens Nigeria office

         AMSWON seeks govt support for better delivery of medical services

         300 million children breathe heavily toxic air


Following predictions that over 18.2 million Africans, including an estimated 4.8 million Nigerians, may become diabetic by 2030, the World Health Organisation (WHO) called for prioritisation of actions to prevent people becoming overweight, beginning before birth and in early childhood.

As part of its regulatory roles, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, PCN, gave approval for the training of pharmacy technicians by private Colleges and Schools of Health Technology.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) hosted its 89th Annual National Conference in Minna, Niger State from 7 to 12 November, 2016, on the Theme: Pharmaceutical Industry Contributions to National Development. 


KCH launched Zeramal-TS, anti-malarial for children (9-14) into the Nigerian market


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