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One in six most critically ill NHS patients are unvaccinated pregnant women with Covid

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One in six most critically ill NHS patients are unvaccinated pregnant women with Covid

One in six patients requiring the NHS’s highest form of life-saving care are unvaccinated pregnant women with Covid, new figures reveal.

Twenty of the 118 patients with Covid who received extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (Ecmo) between July and September were mothers-to-be, NHS England said.

Of these, 19 had not had a jab and the other had only had one dose of a vaccine.

NHS England released the statistics as part of a renewed effort to persuade pregnant women to get fully vaccinated amid new evidence from doctors in Israel that coronavirus can cause serious problems for the mother-to-be and her baby in the later stages of pregnancy.

The new data also underline the extra risks facing unvaccinated people. Of the 118 men and women who had Ecmo in those three months, 107 had not been jabbed, four had only had one dose and only seven were fully immunised.

“This is another stark reminder that the Covid-19 jab can keep you, your baby and your loved ones safe and out of hospital,” said Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, NHS England’s chief midwifery officer.

“You can receive vaccination at any time in pregnancy, but the risks that unvaccinated pregnant women face of becoming severely unwell if they catch Covid-19 show exactly why we advise you to do so as soon as possible.”

Experts in pregnancy and women’s health, NHS leaders and ministers have been concerned at the number of mothers-to-be who have not been immunised, amid unfounded fears – partly fuelled by anti-vax campaigners – that getting jabbed could harm the mother, her baby or both.

Those given Ecmo treatment have often failed to respond after being placed on a mechanical ventilator. During the process their blood is extracted by a heart and lung machine, carbon dioxide is removed and oxygen added and then the treated blood is put back into their bodies in a last-ditch attempt to help them recover their lung function and breathe on their own again.

Dr Edward Morris, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, backed NHS England’s call for all pregnant women to get fully vaccinated as an urgent priority.

The move comes as new peer-reviewed evidence published on Monday in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine shows that pregnant women with Covid-19 are more likely to suffer from gestational diabetes, lower white blood cell counts and heavier breathing during and after birth.

The disease can also increase the risk of newborns struggling to breathe, according to the study of 2,471 women by Dr Elior Eliasiof the Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Israel. “Our findings support the importance of vaccinating all pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy,” he said.

Responding to the Ecmo figures, Sarah McMullen, director of impact and engagement at parenting charity NCT, said: “The news that unvaccinated pregnant women now make up nearly 20% of England’s most critically ill Covid patients is a damning indictment of the lack of attention given to this vulnerable group as restrictions have eased.

“It is absolutely understandable that pregnant women have questions and hesitations about vaccinations. We’ve been extremely disappointed to hear of so much misinformation and confusion about the vaccination programme and so little focus on what’s needed to keep vulnerable groups safe as restrictions have eased.”

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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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