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Labour Would Double Dementia Research Spending


Labour would double dementia research spending, shadow health secretary to say

Labour will double spending on dementia research if it wins power to help British scientists’ efforts to find a cure, the shadow health secretary will pledge.

Jonathan Ashworth will commit Labour to increasing investment in research into the condition from £80m to £160m a year if the party is elected.

His promise comes amid concern among dementia charities that Boris Johnson has not delivered on an almost identical promise two years after making it during the 2019 general election campaign.

Ashworth will accuse the Conservatives of breaking the pledge they made in their manifesto to put “an additional £83m a year” into research on potential treatments for dementia as part of a plan to invest £1.6bn over 10 years.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) admitted last month that, despite the government declaring dementia to be a priority, funding for research had fallen by £7.2m from £82.9m in 2018-19 to £75.7m in 2019-20 – the year Johnson committed to the much larger sum. No figures for spending in 2020-21 have yet been published.

In his keynote conference speech in Brighton, Ashworth will say: “The economic cost [of dementia] is billions; the human cost unquantifiable. Throughout the history of the NHS, the genius of medical science has developed cures and therapies once thought beyond our horizons. What seem like medical miracles today will be routine tomorrow.

“I want us to raise our sights and glimpse at the possibilities of the future. But in recent years dementia research funding has fallen under the Tories. Instead, a Labour government will double funding for dementia research to play our part in finally finding a cure for this cruellest of diseases.”

The money would come from the 3% of GDP that Labour plans to ringfence for science and research.

Ashworth will add that at the present rate, it will take the government 19 years to deliver the promised £1.6bn, whereas Labour’s commitment means it would happen within a decade.

One in three people born today are expected to develop dementia in their lifetimes.

“Dementia research is making progress, but funding still lags behind other serious conditions, so it’s encouraging to see the Labour party prioritising research for this devastating condition,” said David Thomas, head of policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“Doubling dementia research funding to £160m a year will be crucial in speeding up progress towards the life-changing treatments that people with dementia so desperately need. The government’s 2019 election manifesto promised to double dementia research funding, but nearly two years on, that promise has yet to be honoured.”

The Alzheimer’s Society has also said that hitting the £1.6bn target will involve spending an extra £800m.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease kill more than 66,000 people a year in England and Wales, according to the most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics. That represents 12% of all deaths.

Britain is a world leader in research into improving the diagnosis and treatment of dementia.

Thomas said: “The strength of UK scientists and investment over the last decade has led to some real progress in dementia – in translating breakthrough in research into potential new treatments and in innovations around using big data to help with early diagnosis.”

A DHSC spokesperson said: “We are already funding a huge range of projects designed to make breakthroughs for people living with dementia and UK researchers are at the forefront of global efforts to find a cure or disease-modifying treatment by 2025.”

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F.G Approves Establishment Of Teaching Hospital In Taraba

The establishment of a Federal teaching hospital in Taraba State has been approved by the Federal Government.

Approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, the teaching hospital is to be sited at the federal university in Wukari Local Government Area of the State.

In a letter dated 26th of September 2022, the President gave the nod to the leadership of the institution to go ahead with the establishment of the health institution.

The letter which was signed on behalf of the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, by the Director of Health, Teaching Hospital Division, Dr. Noah Andrew, urged the leadership of the university to make sure that all the needed facilities are in place.

“I am directed to refer to a letter dated 2nd September 2022 referenced SGF 6/T/380 from the Secretary of the Government of the Federation to inform you that His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari, has graciously approved the establishment of a federal teaching hospital for the federal University, Wukari, Taraba State”, the letter read in part.

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Kaduna Enrolls 136,507 Into Health Scheme

The Kaduna state government has disclosed that it has enrolled about 136,507 poor and vulnerable population into the Kaduna State health insurance scheme.

Head of Administration and Finance, Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA), Mr Suleiman Mustapha, disclosed this in Kaduna, during a one-day Roundtable Dialogue on maternal and child health.

The Maternal and Child Health-Civil Society (MCH-CS) Partnership with support from Save the Children International organised the round table.

Mustapha said 79,329 poor and vulnerable populations were enroled for free basic health under the one per cent consolidated revenue of the state government.

According to him, the state government had so far released N1.1 billion to cover the basic health care services of the poor and vulnerable.

He also said an additional 50,648 poor and vulnerable population were enroled under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, adding that a total of N1.1 billion had also been contributed to cover their healthcare.

KADCHMA Executive Secretary , Mr Abubakar Hassan, said the agency was established in February 2018 and began provision of health services in June 2020.

According to him, the health scheme is part of the state’s human capital development and social protection strategy for all residents.


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55,000 Die Of Rabies Annually In Nigeria- USAID

The United States Agency For International Development USAID has disclosed that at least 55, 000 Nigerians die of rabies every year.

It said rabid dogs account for about 94 percent of confirmed human infections.

This was revealed by Mieko Mckay, Deputy Office Director for Health, USAID Nigeria, in Abuja on Monday during the launch of the National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Dog-Mediated Human Rabies in Nigeria.

The event was organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Federal of Health and Breakthrough ACTION -Nigeria and other partners ahead of this year’s World Rabies Day.

Country Representative, World Health Organisation, Walter Mulombo, represented by his deputy, Alexander Chimbaru, said there were recent cases in Gombe and Enugu States.

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