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India: over 100 million people fail to turn up for second Covid vaccine

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India: over 100 million people fail to turn up for second Covid vaccine

More than 100 million Indians have not turned up for their second coronavirus vaccine dose, official data showed, raising concerns of a resurgence in the disease despite a relatively low infection rate.

Apart from leaving these people at risk of catching Covid-19, their “vaccine truancy” endangers India’s target of inoculating all adults by 31 December, a target that is in any case unlikely to be met owing to the earlier shortage of vaccines at the start of the inoculation campaign.

“We have seen this complacency with tuberculosis patients. They start taking the drugs and after a few weeks, they feel better so they stop even though they have to take them for six months,” said Bhavna Dewan, a health worker in Nainital. “It’s a similar mentality with the vaccine. I’m sure they feel one dose is enough because no one is falling ill.”

Mansukh Mandaviya, India’s health minister, is urging states to address the issue. From next month, he said, health workers will make door-to-door visits to find the truants.

The figure of 103.4m missed doses comes just a week after India celebrated administering 1bn doses thanks to the efforts of health workers who trekked over mountains, picked their way through landslide rubble, crossed turbulent rivers, and braved jungles to reach the remotest hamlets.

India has administered first doses to 725 million people, or to 77% of its’ 944 million adults, and second doses to 316 million, or 34%.

But some experts are wondering if giving the second dose might prove to be even more of a challenge if complacency, spawned by the belief that the worst is over, has set in.

For the last 29 days, new daily cases have been below 30,000. In the past few days, they have hovered around 13-to-15,000 a day, the lowest for eight months.

Life has returned to something very close to normal. People are celebrating festivals with abandon, socialising, shopping, and eating out. The low daily new infection rate has made many Indians believe a third wave is unlikely. Experts have also been saying that, barring a new variant, a third wave seems a remote prospect.

Still, Dr Satyajit Rath, a scientist at the National Institute of Immunology, said the 103.4 million figure was only a cause for concern if people never get their second shot.

“If people have always dallied a little in coming in for their second dose, maybe coming a week or two or a month later than prescribed because they were busy, then it is not alarming. It simply means that many of these 103.4 million people will catch up. But if a larger percentage of people are coming in late, then it is concerning. But we don’t know,” he said.

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Health

12 State Governors Owing Us, Health Workers Cry Out

The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria MHWUN, has cried out that governors of 12 states of Nigeria are unfair to their members by owing them several years of salary arrears and also failed to standardise their payments .

The medical body noted that the worst of it all is that these governors have failed to implement the N30,000 new minimum wage that has become a law in the country.

They said the governors have subjected them to harrowing life.

The MHWUN National Vice President , Femi Adebisi stated this in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital at the weekend during the 2022 international youth day organized by the South West leadership of the union, under the theme , ‘Intergenerational solidarity : creating a world for all ages.’

Adebisi said the welfare of health workers remains the only recipe to the recurrent brain drain crippling the health sector.

He however, did not identify the affected 12 states.

“We have nothing less than 12 states that are owing health workers their entitlements.We are engaging them as a union and we are hoping the governors and everyone concern will do the needful soon”, he stated.

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Health

Pay Hazard Allowance To Health Workers, NLC Urges F.G

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Ayuba Wabba, has urged the Federal Government to immediately begin the payment of hazard allowance to health workers in the country.

Wabba made the call at the 2022 annual Federal Capital Territory Nurses Week/Scientific Workshop of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives on Thursday in Abuja.

At the workshop with the theme, “Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health,” Wabba said the allowance has been reviewed but payment is yet to begin.

“Many health workers have fallen victim to diseases in taking care of patients. I salute the nurses and Midwives, your reward is not only in heaven but here on earth. I urge you to learn so you can discharge quality healthcare service to Nigerians.

“The payment of hazard allowance will boost the morale of our health workers in the country”, he added.

 

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Health

Cholera Outbreak Kills 10 In Gombe

Gombe state government has declared an outbreak of cholera after ten deaths were recorded across the state.

This was made public by Habu Dahiru, Gombe commissioner for health,  on Thursday.

Dahiru, who was represented by Abdulrahman Shuaibu, executive secretary of the Gombe Primary Health Care Development Agency, said as of September 20, 236 cases of cholera had been recorded in the state.

“This year, from June, we had sporadic cases of cholera in Balanga LGA and because of the preparedness and prompt response; it has been largely subdued without escalation,” he said.

These outbreaks are recorded in eight wards across Balanga, Yamaltu-Deba, Nafada, Funakaye and Gombe LGA of the state.

“The state ministry of health has promptly initiated public health actions for prevention and control of the disease.

“As of September 20, there was an increase in the number of cases in Gombe state as 236 cases have been listed so far.”

The commissioner said increased downpour of rain and flooding in many parts of the state led to the cholera outbreak.

He said decontamination of wells and boreholes in affected communities would be carried out and distribution of water treatment tablets in all affected communities would be conducted.

 

 

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