By Abdullahi Tsanni (Lead Writer)

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Researchers, led by Professor Christian Happi, at the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) are working to detect SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus variants in Nigeria. Photo source: ACEGID

When 2020 drew to a close, public health experts warned about a highly transmissible variant of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — first detected in the United Kingdom (UK) in September and since documented in over 80 countries worldwide.

“It would be naïve of us to think that we will not get the new variants of SARS-CoV-2 in Nigeria,” Professor Christian Happi, a Harvard-trained geneticist and Director of the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) at Redeemer’s University in Ede, said.


By Atinuke Akande-Alegbe and Bashar Abubakar (Lead Writers)

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The current lack of access to water and sanitation services in healthcare facilities in Nigeria poses a threat to quality healthcare delivery. Photo credit: Nigeria Health Watch

Healthcare, according to the Alma-Ata declaration of 1978, is a basic human right of all people regardless of race or socioeconomic status. The declaration went further to identify primary health care as a gateway to achieving optimal healthcare for all. Primary health care is so important that it can, if adequately funded, cater to more than 80% of an individual’s health care needs throughout his or her life. For primary health centres (PHCs) to operate at their optimal capacity and serve the public with the necessary care, they must be equipped with…


Vivianne Ihekweazu (Lead writer)

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Doctors and nurses at the Ogun State COVID-19 Isolation Centre. Photo Source: NCDC

On the day marking one year since the first COVID-19 case was reported in Nigeria, this article reflects on the experience and lessons learnt from the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker as she led the response in Ogun State. What a difference a year makes. Three hundred and sixty days that changed our lives forever. The 27th of February 2020 will forever be etched in the memories of residents of Ogun State. The Chinese government had alerted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to a cluster of patients with pneumonia in early January 2020. At…


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Image credit: Nigeria Health Watch

Editor’s Note: In today’s Thought Leadership Piece, Dr. Okonkwor Oyor of Hygeia HMO explains the looming threat that ACT-resistant malaria poses to the long global struggle to “roll back malaria”, and shares insights into what Nigeria must begin to do if we are to stall the spread of drug-resistant malaria today.

Malaria has been with us for as long as we can remember. The Chinese, Egyptians, and ancient Greeks have documented evidence of diseases we believe to be malaria. But until 1880, no one knew the organism responsible for malaria. Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran discovered malaria parasites and helped shift…


By Olubunmi Oyebanji (Lead Writer)

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Village health workers educating a group of women on the importance of antenatal care and child spacing in Dalori community of Konduga LGA. Photo source: Girl Child Concerns

“Educate a boy, and you educate an individual. Educate a girl, and you educate a community.” — Adelaide Hoodless

In Nigeria, maternal health care is fragmented, so maternal health services are provided by various service providers in the public sector, private sector, informal providers and even religious institutions. In communities, culture and tradition influence maternal health-seeking behaviour and consequently, women turn to older women in the community or traditional birth attendants for maternal health care, particularly when they are about to give birth.

Health education, community mobilisation and skilled birth attendants are key to reversing…


By Olubunmi Oyebanji (Lead Writer)

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International Childhood Cancer Day calls for every individual, group and organisation in all facets of society, to stand up for children who depend on us to stay alive and thrive. Photo source: World Child Cancer

On the 15th of February every year, the world observes the International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD). It is a global collaborative campaign designed to raise awareness about childhood cancer and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, as well as the survivors and their families. A cancer diagnosis is upsetting at any age, but especially when the patient is a child. The ICCD helps foster an increased appreciation and deeper understanding of issues and challenges impacting children and adolescents with cancer and the survivors.

Globally, cancer is surpassing infectious diseases as the leading…


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Conspiracy theories emerged about COVID-19 Vaccines in the wake of the global spread of the coronavirus. Photo source: Zebralter Medical

Editor’s Note: This week’s piece comes from researchers Dr. Chizoba Wonodi, Chisom Obi-Jeff, Dr Carleigh Krubiner, Elana Felice Jaffe, Dr. Ruth Karron, and Dr. Ruth Faden. They analyze the rise of conspiracy theories during public health crises like the current coronavirus pandemic and explore who is most vulnerable to conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines and why people display vaccine hesitancy. The research is part of COVER, a six-month Wellcome-funded project led by researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and implemented in Nigeria by Direct Consulting and Logistics.

Less than 12 months after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared…


By Rabson Kondowe and Feston Malekezo (Lead Writers)

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This Speedboat ambulance has ferried 861 pregnant women in Tchalo since it was bought in 2017. Photo source: Rabson Kondowe

I thought I was going to die, I nearly gave birth on a ship,” Lucy Chirambo said somberly.

It was in the wee hours of a cold July in 2016 when Chirambo started showing labour signs. Without hesitation, her husband hastily took her to Tchalo Health Centre, run by a church, Church of Central Africa Presbytarian (CCAP) Synod of Livingstonia, in the village of Tchalo, west of Rumphi District in Northern Malawi. Due to the complications in her pregnancy, Chirambo was referred to a better-equipped health facility, David Gordon Memorial Hospital, run…


By Adaobi Ezeokoli (Lead Writer)

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Children in conflict-affected parts of Borno State are still able to receive immunisation services because of the collaborative efforts of the State government and donor partners. Photo credit: Nigeria Health Watch

Maina Modu is the programme manager for Routine Immunisation in Borno State, working with the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA). He coordinates the state emergency routine immunisation coordination centre activities.

Borno State’s routine immunisation emergency coordination centre is nestled at Maiduguri’s Maman Shuwa Memorial Hospital, in the Polio Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). Modu and his team work with partners and the state to ensure that routine immunisation (RI) continues to happen in the state. They coordinate logistics, service delivery, and community engagement activities.

Modu said his team has targets on how many children…


By Vivianne Ihekweazu & Atinuke Akande-Alegbe (Lead Writers)

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Nigeria needs to have a much stronger educational foundation in science to build the necessary research capacity. Photo credit: Nigeria Health Watch

“Is Nigeria no longer the GIANT OF AFRICA? Why are we not producing the Covid-19 vaccine yet or we’re waiting for free doses of vaccine from foreign aids?” This sentiment was shared on Twitter in December 2020 and has been echoed in multiple forums since the onset of the race to produce a COVID-19 vaccine.

Many lives have been irreparably affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and global economies devastated in its wake, resulting in over 2.2 million deaths in just over 12 months. The emergence, rapid spread and impact of the virus…

Nigeria Health Watch

We use informed advocacy and communication to influence health policy and seek better health and access to healthcare in Nigeria. nigeriahealthwatch.com

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