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Health Workers Should Be Given Priority Access To Fuel In UK

Health workers should be given priority access to fuel in UK, says senior doctor

Dr Chaand Nagpaul tells No 10 there is ‘real risk’ NHS staff will not be able to do their jobs as pumps run dry

No 10 is facing calls to give ambulance drivers, healthcare staff and other essential workers priority access to fuel after panic buying caused shortages across the UK.

With ministers due to meet on Monday afternoon to discuss the growing crisis, the British Medical Association (BMA) called for emergency measures to let medical staff fill up, warning that as pumps run dry “there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs”.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the chair of council at the BMA, said: “Emergency and essential workers rely on fuel both to travel to work and for their work itself – whether this is to get to hospitals, practices and other healthcare settings, or for ambulances to reach people in urgent need of care and GPs to visit very ill patients at home.

“Everyone will have their own reasons for needing to fill up but as pumps run dry there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs and provide vital services and care to people who urgently need it.

“While the government has said it is putting plans in place to alleviate the shortage of HGV drivers to transport fuel, the results of this won’t be immediate. Healthcare and essential workers must therefore be given priority access to fuel so they can continue their crucial work and guarantee care to patients.”

Ministers are expected to meet on Monday to discuss deploying the army to help ease the shortage of fuel tanker drivers that has caused shortages in some areas.

The prime minister will gather senior cabinet members to scrutinise Operation Escalin after BP said a third of its petrol stations had run out of the main two grades of fuel, while the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents almost 5,500 independent outlets, said 50-90% of members had reported running out. It predicted the rest would soon follow.

Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, called on the government to deploy the army “as soon as possible”. There have been warnings, however, that this would take time to implement and would not tackle consumer behaviour.

Khan also called for priority petrol stations for key workers. He said: “As the current reductions in fuel delivery affect petrol stations across the capital, it is essential that key workers are able to get fuel to travel to work and provide the services our city needs. In the fuel crisis of September 2000, the government brought in rules designating specific filling stations for essential workers, enabling the capital to keep moving.

“The government must urgently look at taking the necessary steps, putting such measures in place, so that those key workers who have to drive to work can do so. We will continue to monitor developments closely and advise the government on required actions.”

Boris Johnson’s spokesman said people should fill up only when they needed petrol. “In the immediate term, the approach which will have the most significant impact would be for people to move more to their routine behaviours when it comes to filling up their cars.”

George Eustice, the environment secretary, said the government was using the Ministry of Defence to accelerate the training of HGV drivers and clear a backlog of tests. He said the UK had a civil contingencies section within the army that was always on standby “but we don’t judge that’s necessary at the moment”.

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Health

AIDS Agency Chief Says 1 Out Of 100 Persons Positive In Kaduna

The Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Aids Control Agency (KADSACA), Dr Isa Baka has said a survey had revealed that one out of 100 people is positive to the AIDS disease in the state.

Baka disclosed this speaking shortly after a walk in commemoration of the World AIDS Day, on Thursday in Kaduna.

The theme of the year’s’ World AIDS Day is “Equalise to End AIDS: Equal Access to Treatment and Prevention Services’’.

He said the present statistics was a remarkable development against previous survey which gave 11 of every 100 people in the state.

Baka added that the AIDS prevalence in Kaduna, which is at 1.1, being a survey carried out by the state government itself, was later done at the national level, where that of Kaduna was confirmed as very accurate.

“At the national level, the prevalence of the virus (AIDS) was at 1.4 (four people out of 100 test positive), while that of Kaduna is confirmed to be 1.1, was in determination of the state government and KADSACA’s efforts to ensure minimal prevalence of the virus,” he said.

He said as part of efforts to continue reducing the prevalence of AIDS in the state, government initiated programmes across the 23 LGAs.

He said one of the UNICEF anchored programmes, which is the ‘Adolescent and Youths Living With HIV and AIDS’ programme, was present and effective in at least, 18 LGAs and 24 sites in the state.

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Health

Malawi Commences Large Scale Malaria Vaccination- First In The World

Malawi has commenced large-scale vaccination of children against malaria.

This is the first large-scale malaria vaccination campaign since the World Health Organisation (WHO) endorsed the widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine in October 2021.

The endorsement followed a two-year vaccination programme, which involved more than 800,000 children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.

Recommended for children from five months of age to around 18 months, the vaccine  has an efficacy of 39 percent.

The first phase of the vaccination in Malawi is expected to cover 11 of the country’s 28 districts.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the WHO in Malawi said the expansion of access to the malaria vaccine will enable more children at risk of malaria to benefit from an additional prevention tool.

“Malawi has expanded access to the first malaria vaccine! The expansion of the RTS,S Malaria vaccine, into the 11 districts that participated in the malaria vaccine implementation program (MVIP) has been launched today. The vaccine offers a glimmer hope for Malawi,” WHO wrote.

Michael Kayange, Malawi’s national malaria control programme manager, told the BBC’s Focus on Africa that although the vaccine has low efficacy, “in malaria control, there is no single intervention that does it all”.

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Health

Nigeria Yet To Attain 70% Covid-19 Vaccination Coverage- NPHCDA

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has disclosed that Nigeria is yet to achieve 70 percent coverage for COVID-19 vaccination.

Faisal Shuaib, executive director of NPHCDA, said on Tuesday that as of November 25, a total of 56,790,371 eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination are fully vaccinated while 12,492,646 are partially vaccinated in 36 states and the FCT.

“We are 21.6 million eligible persons away from reaching its target of fully vaccinating 70 percent of its eligible population by December 2022,” he said.

“But 62 percent of the country’s eligible population is at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The country has fully vaccinated half of the total population eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

“We have also fully vaccinated an additional over 25 percent of its eligible population, in the last 110 days of SCALES 3.0 implementation.”

The executive director said 13.2 percent of fully vaccinated persons in the country have received the COVID-19 booster dose for additional protection against the virus.

He commended the COVID-19 strategy group for achieving 50 percent vaccination coverage in the country and promised that the momentum would be sustained.

Shuaib said he has also directed the team to intensify efforts toward the attainment of herd immunity.

“Until this is achieved, the strategy group will continue to develop strategies that will help the country achieve health security,” he said.

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