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Senegal testing kits not available till June and it’ll cost $18 to $20- NCDC

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control [NCDC] DG, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has revealed that each COVID-19 test cost the country $20.

The NCDC DG was reacting to news of the cheaper testing method being developed in Dakar, Senegal. He said that the West African country had always enjoyed the presence of the World Health Organisation [WHO] and a reference laboratory run by the WHO.

The NCDC DG said this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 media briefing in Abuja. He added that the cost between $18 and $20 to test a COVID-19 sample.

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According to him, the cost does not include human resources and other expenses.

It said the new testing method would only be available by the middle of the year. He, however, said that it would not come as cheap as being said in the media.

He added,

“There is a long-standing World Health Organisation laboratory in Dakar, Senegal that has been a reference centre for a long time. There is a new testing development that will become available sometime in June or July. It is not available now. All the tests they have done so far (in Senegal) were done using PCR (polymerase chain reaction). There is no way that it (the new testing method) will be available at that price ($1).

“It costs between $18 and $20 to test a COVID-19 sample. This is for reagent alone. We have not put a cost to human resources and other costs.”

Referring to his speech on Monday, when he called on states with low or zero cases to get samples for the NCDC to test, the NCDC DG said that he was only expressing concern about the danger of leaving cases behind without treating them

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Bayelsa Gov. canvasses more support for primary healthcare

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Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has stressed the need to pay more attention to the primary healthcare system towards ensuring effective and efficient management of disease control and public health.

This was contained in a statement issued on Sunday in Yenagoa by Mr. Doubara Atasi, the Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Media, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.

The statement quoted Gov. Douye Diri as making stating this while receiving a report from the ad-hoc committee on funding challenges and other related issues of the state Primary Healthcare Development Board.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, described primary healthcare as the gateway to a vibrant healthcare system.

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While decrying the long neglect of the primary healthcare system in the country, he noted that the COVID-19 challenge would not have become so alarming if the government had paid adequate attention to the health sector.

Diri commended members of the ad-hoc committee for the report, expressing optimism that the implementation of the report would, in no small measure, help in addressing some of the major challenges facing the health sector in the state.

”The basic truth is that more than 80 percent of all the health challenges that we have in this world are adjustable with primary healthcare.

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“So if we have an effective primary healthcare system, then we will also have an effective disease control and management system.

“The primary healthcare is the gateway to the entire health system.

“If we had deployed primary healthcare effectively in this country and even across the world, we wouldn’t have gotten to this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is, therefore, failure or lack of emphasis on primary healthcare that has taken us to where we are now,” he said.

Diri also stressed the need to provide health workers with personal protective equipment at the community level to enable them to provide immunization and other services in the midst of the COVID-19 infection.

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Presenting the report, Chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Mr. Gowon Toruyouyei, said the 17-member committee made some findings, with some short and long term recommendations towards moving the sector forward.

Toruyouyei also noted that the committee, among other recommendations, urged the state government to amend the Primary Healthcare Development Board Law, 2018, with inputs from critical stakeholders to address the ambiguity in the funding structure.

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Global coronavirus cases increase by over 230,000 – WHO

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The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases were from the U.S., Brazil, India, and South Africa, according to a daily report.

The previous WHO record for new cases was 228,102 on July 10. Deaths remained steady at about 5,000 a day.

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Global coronavirus cases were approaching 13 million on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed more than 565,000 people in seven months.

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Lagos doctors begin three days warning strike Monday

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Doctors under the aegis of the Medical Guild in Lagos State are set to begin three days warning strike from Monday, over issues that affect their safety and welfare.

reports that Medical Guild is the Association of Medical Doctors under the employment of the Lagos State Government.

Dr. Oluwajimi Sodipo, Chairman of the Guild, made this known to newsmen at a press briefing on Sunday in Lagos.

Sodipo said that the strike, which would run from Monday, July 13 to 16, would exempt members working in the state’s COVID-19 isolation centers.

He said that Congress of the Guild had on June 27 extended the two weeks ultimatum to the state government, after the expiration of its initial 21 days ultimatum to resolve the issues.

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The guild leader noted that the grace period was given to the government to meet 70 percent of the doctors’ demands in order to avert the strike.

He, however, said that the Council, after its meeting on July 11, observed that some of the demands were unresolved by the government.

According to him, wage disparity between the Federal and Lagos State doctors is not being given necessary attention by the state government.

“The issue of COVID-19 hazard allowances and inducement allowances Memorandum of Understanding approved by the Federal Government to the doctors has not been approved by the Lagos Government to her doctors.

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“Doctors working in COVID-19 isolation centres are still being owed two months’ salaries which has remained unpaid at the moment.

“They are also being unceremoniously disengaged without recourse to their welfares,” he said.

The chairman stressed that the issues of doctors getting infected and re-infected on a daily basis were not getting the required attention from the government.

“Our members are putting themselves on the line daily to provide care, and we need to do everything to protect our colleagues,” Sodipo said.

He maintained that adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), prompt testing of health workers, and insurance should be provided.

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Sodipo added that issues of shortage of doctors in health facilities have yet to be resolved with no visible substantive action taken by the government to resolve it.

“The congress will reconvene after the three days warning strike to review the progress made and plan for further actions.

“We call on the Lagos State Government to do all within its power to resolve the impasse,” he said.

Also, Dr. Babajide Saheed, former Chairman of the Guild, said that the government could still avert the strike within 24 hours if the needful was done

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