Singapore witnesses rise in Zika infection cases

Twelve fresh cases of the Zika virus infection have brought the total number of infections in Singapore to 304, confirmed a report. The Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a joint statement that among these newly reported cases, 10 cases are linked to the the main cluster spanning Aljunied Crescent, Sims Drive, Kallang Way and Paya Lebar Way while one case is linked to the Elite Terrace cluster, Xinhua news agency reported. The NEA is continuing with vector control operations and outreach efforts in the cluster areas. As of Thursday, a total of 183 breeding habitats have been found and destroyed. Outreach activities supporting the ‘Mozzie Wipeout Movement Against Zika’ will be conducted all over Singapore to urge all residents to join in the collective effort in the fight against Zika. A ‘5-step Mozzie Wipeout’ — including removing stagnant water and not littering — would be conducted. Aligned to the dengue control approach, the NEA reiterated that they will continue to work with stakeholders and the community to reduce mosquito breeding, as vector control is key to reducing the transmission of Zika in the community.
Nigeria Approves New Health Policy
The Emergency National Council on Health meeting held in Abuja, Thursday, approved the National Health Policy document. The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, announced the approval of the document after deliberations by the council members. The National Health Policy is a comprehensive health document that spells out the functions and responsibilities of all levels of government. In his presentation, Mr. Adewole, a professor, said the overall goal of the policy was to strengthen Nigeria’s health system particularly the primary healthcare sub-system to deliver qualitative, efficient and comprehensive healthcare services to all Nigerians. The minister urged state governors to allocate at least 15 per cent of their annual budget to the health sector in line with Abuja declaration, for the implementation of National Health Policy.He said the Federal Government is going to allocate at least one per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the establishment of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund as provided by National Health Act 2014.

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