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In this edition we explore health care within Africa in 2017 and congratulate Ghana and Nigeria for their lead and vast improvement in this sector. Firstly we present 3 world class hospitals within Africa in Kenya, Nigeria and Madagascar.. We present Ghana’s vigourous expansion plans of hospital building aimed at meeting their population’s basic health needs and we congratulate Nigeria in their world class performance during the ebola crisis that contained and prevented it becoming an epidemic within Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country. Well Done Nigeria.
3 World Acclaimed Health care centres within Africa.
Neuropsychaitric Hospital Aro Abeokuta Nigeria
Located in Nigeria, this modern mental health hospital is committed to providing quality mental health service, training and research in a conducive environment with community participation and international collaboration. The cost of obtaining any service in this hospital is tailored to the economic power of the average citizen of Nigeria.
Institute Pasteur de Madagascar
The International Vaccination Centre of the Institute Pasteur de Madagascar called (IMC) immunization consultation centre provides the vaccinations recommended in Madagascar and required for international travel. It also provides intradermal reaction (IDR) to tuberculin. Finally, it is a supplier in Madagascar of products used in allergy.
Could this be the way forward in health care in Africa?
builttocareghana.com & NMSInfrastructure ltd
The Ghana Ministry of Health and NMS Infrastructure Ltd have invested $175 million for the delivery of six new district hospitals under its programme to invigorate regional and district health care throughout Ghana. New district hospitals will be developed in Dodowa, Sekondi, Kumawu, Abetifi, Fomena and Garu-Tempane. A seventh hospital – The European Hospital in the Takoradi Metropolitan District – will be upgraded and re-equipped.
Beyond just a building
1100 New Jobs * 2190 New Beds * 135 New Medical Staff * 50% Shorter Waiting Times
With cost effectiveness and ‘the patient experience’ at the heart of the designs, they have developed a sustainable, flexible, intuitive district hospital concept. These new units are designed to be environmentally friendly, with the lowest possible operating costs, reducing the need for air-conditioning to a minimum, whilst paying particular attention to massively reducing airborne infection rates by increasing the air exchange ratio.
As a critical Sector of the economy, the MOH seeks to improve the health status of all people living in Ghana, thereby contributing to the Government’s vision of transforming Ghana into a middle income country. The MOH, working in partnership with its agencies and stakeholders aims at improving the health within Ghana thus ‘creating wealth through health’ through the development and implementation of proactive policies that will ensure improved health and vitality. To this aim they are prepared to put aside a substantial amount of government revenue.
NMSI provides a full design / build / equip / training service for the development of locally appropriate health-related infrastructure. NMSI brings to bear the expertise of award-winning experts in the field to provide the latest in innovation and design. A world class team of experts from NMSI in the UK
How Did Nigeria Quash Its Ebola Outbreak So Quickly?
What can be learnt from the boot leather, organization and quick response times that stopped Ebola from spreading in this African nation Nigeria? By Katherine Harmon Courage on October 18, 2014
On July 20 a man who was ill flew on commercial planes from the heart of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia to Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. That man became Nigeria’s first Ebola case—the index patient. In a matter of weeks some 19 people across two states were diagnosed with the disease (with one additional person presumed to have contracted it before dying).
But rather than descending into epidemic, there has not been a new case of the virus since September 5. And since September 24 the country’s Ebola isolation and treatment wards have sat empty. If by Monday, October 20 there are still no new cases, Nigeria, unlike the U.S., will be declared Ebola free by the World Health Organization (WHO).
What can we learn from this African country’s success quashing an Ebola outbreak?
Authors of a paper published October 9 in Eurosurveilance attribute Nigeria’s success in “avoiding a far worse scenario” to its “quick and forceful” response. The authors point to three key elements in the country’s attack:
- Fast and thorough tracing of all potential contacts
- Ongoing monitoring of all of these contacts
- Rapid isolation of potentially infectious contacts
There was vigilant disinfecting, port-of-entry screening and rapid isolation but also with boot leather and lots and lots of in-person follow-up visits, completing 18,500 of them to find any new cases of Ebola among a total of 989 identified contacts.
The epidemic that wasn’t
The arrival location of the index patient was a prime place to cause a widespread outbreak. Lagos is Africa’s largest city, with a population of 21 million. It is a major hub for travel and business. “A dense population and overburdened infrastructure create an environment where diseases can be easily transmitted and transmission sustained,” wrote the authors of a paper for the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s Mobidity and Motality Weekly Report (MMWR) As such, “A rapid response using all available public health assets was the highest priority.”
But, says Folorunso Oludayo Fasina, a senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, co-author of the Eurosurveillance paper and a native Nigerian, it was actually lucky that the index patient in Nigeria fell ill at the airport. “Had the index case gotten the opportunity to contact persons in Lagos or Calabar—[another Nigerian city] where he was to deliver a lecture—it may have been a complete disaster.”
Although it took three days to diagnose Ebola (a period during which nine health care workers were infected with the disease), once the diagnosis was confirmed health authorities swung into action. The Federal Ministry of Health worked with the CDC’s Nigerian office to declare an Ebola emergency. On July 23—the very same day the patient was diagnosed—they created an Incident Management Centre (which morphed into the Emergency Operations Centre) and kicked into action an Incident Management System to coordinate responses. Such a centralized and coordinated system “is largely credited with helping contain the Nigerian outbreak early,” the MMWR authors wrote.
It wasn’t the Emergency Operations Centre’s first time tackling a highly infectious disease. Two years ago, after a global call from WHO, Nigeria redoubled its efforts to eradicate polio, another infectious virus, within its borders. The centre has played a large role in working toward that goal, improving response times and preparedness along the way, the authors of the MMWR paper wrote. Many of those leading the Ebola response were chosen for their success working on polio eradication.
The government’s first priority was to locate all potential contacts. A team of more than 150 designated “contact tracers” tracked down each of the individuals. Such tracing is the most challenging part of this sort of work, Fasina says, especially in Nigeria, where “houses cannot always be traced by street numbers.” With all of those potentially exposed to the virus pinpointed, workers conducted an astounding 18,500 face-to-face visits to check for fever and other Ebola-related symptoms in each of these contacts, according to data in the MMWR paper. The check-ups took a little cajoling, Fasina notes. To get folks to meet with tracers also requires a good deal of effort to remove social stigma around the disease.
Any individual showing symptoms was quickly moved to an isolation ward for further testing, which could be completed locally at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital for rapid diagnosis. Once an Ebola case was confirmed, patients were transferred to a special Ebola virus treatment center. Even those contacts that tested negative but showed Ebola-like symptoms were held—separately from Ebola patients—until all symptoms resolved. As cases were confirmed the Emergency Operations Centre tracked down additional contacts and decontaminated potentially infectious areas.
In addition to contact tracing and rapid isolation, teams of “social mobilizers” canvassed areas around the homes of Ebola contacts, reaching around an additional 26,000 households with health information. Communicating that information effectively to the broader public is another challenge. Ensuring that people have confidence in the government—and understanding of what it is trying to do—is absolutely key, Vanderbilt’s Schaffner notes. Part of that is controlling what he calls “the outbreak of anxiety.”
In Nigeria the response team was able to corral enough funding, staff and tools from state partners, international groups and nongovernmental organizations to successfully launch its attack on the outbreak right away. “National preparedness efforts should consider how resources can be quickly accessible to fund the early stage of the response,” the authors of the MMWR paper wrote.
“Every country needs to evaluate its preparedness and must be ready to respond to an emergency immediately,” Fasina says. “Nigeria was not completely ready,” but they identified the index case early and then hit the streets.
March 2017 Prayer points requests
- Please pray for all health care agencies within all African countries, thanking God for the successes of the Nigerian Ebola experience
- Please pray for Franca our sister volunteering in Tanzania with only income rent from her little flat in London. Her tenants are moving out at the end of April, Need prayers for the Estate Agents to find new and amazing tenants straight away in May as otherwise she won’t have any money at all to live on. She will have bills to pay whilst people and children are depending on her. She knows God is always faithful and He has always provided for her, even in the tightest times ever, so she is peaceful and certain He will get her the best tenants and He will do so straight away so she won’t be left with no income
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