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Over 700 Nigerian nurses investigated in UK over certificate fraud



Some Nigerian nurses in the U.K are being investigated for their alleged involvement in a widespread qualifications fraud.

It’s been reported that over 700 nurses are entangled in this potential scandal, raising concerns from a former head of the Royal College of Nursing who warned of potential risks to NHS patients.

The scheme reportedly includes proxies posing as nurses and completing a critical exam in Nigeria, a requirement for registration and employment in the UK.

Peter Carter, the ex-chief executive of the RCN and ex-chair of three NHS trusts who described it as an “industrial-scale fraud” said;

“It’s very, very worrying if … there’s an organisation that’s involving themselves in fraudulent activity, enabling nurses to bypass these tests, or if they are using surrogates to do exams for them because the implication is that we end up in the UK with nurses who aren’t competent.”

He praised the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for taking action against those involved “to protect the quality of care and patient safety and the reputation of nurses”.

Carter emphasized the necessity for proper qualifications for nurses working in the UK, given their crucial responsibilities in administering medication, managing intravenous infusions, and responding to emergencies like cardiac arrests.

Currently, 48 of these nurses are employed within the NHS, as the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) lacks the authority to revoke their registration without a directive from an independent panel following a hearing. Although the NMC has instructed them to retake the test to demonstrate their proficiency, it cannot suspend them in the interim.

These 48 individuals are scheduled for individual hearings, commencing in March, during which they will be required to account for how they seemingly completed and passed the computer-based test (CBT) of numeracy and clinical knowledge administered at the Yunnik test center in Ibadan. If found responsible, the panel may instruct the NMC to remove them from the register. The rapid completion times recorded have raised suspicions, as they are among the shortest observed by the nursing regulator.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is pursuing more decisive measures concerning a second group comprising 669 Nigerian healthcare personnel, predominantly nurses but also including fewer than five midwives, whose test results have been determined to have been obtained fraudulently. Most of them have already relocated to the UK, according to sources.

However, their situation differs from the aforementioned 48 individuals, as they are believed to be primarily employed as healthcare assistants in the NHS and care facilities. This is because the NMC has not sanctioned their inclusion in its register while it investigates the widespread impersonation occurring at the Yunnik test center.

Of the 669 applicants, approximately 80 nurses have undergone a new CBT test and applied for registration with the NMC to assume nursing roles. Nonetheless, the nursing regulator has declined nearly all of these applications due to “serious concerns” regarding their integrity and reliability.

Andrea Sutcliffe, the NMC’s chief executive and registrar, stated that the organization had taken necessary and rigorous action after being alerted by Pearson VUE, the contractor for the Yunnik test center, about “widespread fraudulent activity” last year, involving a “proxy tester” assuming the identity of a nurse.

“This is the first instance where we have encountered evidence of widespread fraud at a test center,” she remarked, adding that it constitutes the largest-scale fraud the NMC has encountered to date.

The fraud uncovered at the Yunnik test center has prompted the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to invalidate the Computer-Based Test (CBT) results obtained by 1,955 Nigerian-trained healthcare professionals. All of them, including the 1,238 individuals for whom the regulator cannot definitively prove involvement in fraud, have been given three opportunities to retake the CBT test or face expulsion or exclusion from the register.

“We have concerns that 48 individuals already registered obtained their test results fraudulently. We will hold hearings where an independent panel will determine whether these individuals gained fraudulent entry to our register. If so, they are likely to be removed from the register,” stated Sutcliffe.

“We have similar fraud concerns regarding 669 applicants to the register. We are carefully reviewing each application in accordance with our guidance on health and character. The majority of the 80 applications we have assessed thus far have been refused entry to the register, and those individuals have the right to appeal.”

The future of the 717 nurses remains uncertain. The GMB union is apprehensive that those denied entry to the NMC register will be repatriated to Nigeria. The union asserted that nurses had been “exploited” in Nigeria, urged the NMC to allow all individuals with questionable test results the opportunity to retake the test in the UK, and emphasized the healthcare system’s need for their skills to help alleviate the nationwide nursing shortage.

The GMB expressed concern over the cases of two Nigerian women, both members of the union, whose applications for Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration were denied despite their insistence that their test results from Yunnik were genuine. Subsequently, both women were terminated from their positions at a private care home pending clarification of their status. They now fear deportation to Nigeria along with their families.

“The individuals in charge at this center have exploited the aspirations of workers seeking nursing opportunities in the UK, leaving our members in dire circumstances,” remarked Louise Gilmour, the GMB’s Scotland secretary.

“While it’s imperative to uphold the profession’s standards of integrity, these prospective nurses were ill-advised, first to enroll at this center and then to provide questionable accounts of their experiences there,” she added. “They deserve another opportunity and should be permitted to work if they successfully pass the required tests in the UK.

“These individuals, predominantly women, have demonstrated their willingness to relocate and contribute to the healthcare and social care sectors in a nation grappling with a crisis in staff recruitment and retention.”

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has ceased utilizing 40 out of the 800 test centers globally that it previously employed, including the Yunnik center, following the exposure of fraud there.

A spokesperson from the Department of Health and Social Care stated: “We are cognizant of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) investigations into fraud involving nurses who passed their computer-based test at a center in Nigeria. We have been informed that the NMC is implementing all required measures to safeguard the integrity of its register and ensure patient safety.”


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Human cases of Bird Flu ‘an enormous concern’, says WHO



The World Health Organization voiced alarm Thursday at the growing spread of H5N1 bird flu to new species, including humans, who face

The World Health Organization voiced alarm Thursday at the growing spread of H5N1 bird flu to new species, including humans, who face an “extraordinarily high” mortality rate.

“This remains I think an enormous concern,” the UN health agency’s chief scientist Jeremy Farrar told reporters in Geneva.

The current bird flu outbreak began in 2020 and has led to the deaths of tens of millions of poultry, with wild birds also infected as well as land and marine mammals.

Cows and goats joined the list last month — a surprising development for experts because they were not thought susceptible to this type of influenza.

The A (H5N1) strain has become “a global zoonotic animal pandemic”, Farrar said.

“The great concern of course is that in… infecting ducks and chickens and then increasingly mammals, that virus now evolves and develops the ability to infect humans and then critically the ability to go from human to human.”

So far, there is no evidence that the influenza A(H5N1) virus is spreading between humans.

But in the hundreds of cases where humans have been infected through contact with animals, “the mortality rate is extraordinarily high”, Farrar said.

From the start of 2023 to April 1 this year, the WHO said it had recorded 463 deaths from 889 human cases across 23 countries, putting the case fatality rate at 52 percent.

In a worrying development, US authorities earlier this month said a person in Texas was recovering from bird flu after being exposed to dairy cattle.

It was only the second case of a human testing positive for bird flu in the country, and came after the virus sickened herds that were apparently exposed to wild birds in Texas, Kansas and other states.

It also appears to have been the first human infection with the influenza A(H5N1) virus strain through contact with an infected mammal, WHO said.

When “you come into the mammalian population, then you’re getting closer to humans,” Farrar said, warning that “this virus is just looking for new, novel hosts”.

“It’s a real concern.”

Farrar called for beefing up monitoring, insisting it was “very important understanding how many human infections are happening… because that’s where adaptation (of the virus) will happen”.

“It’s a tragic thing to say, but if I get infected with H5N1 and I die, that’s the end of it. If I go around the community and I spread it to somebody else then you start the cycle.”

He said efforts were under way towards the development of vaccines and therapeutics for H5N1, and stressed the need to ensure that regional and national health authorities around the world have the capacity to diagnose the virus.

This was being done so that “if H5N1 did come across to humans, with human-to-human transmission”, the world would be “in a position to immediately respond”, Farrar said, urging equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

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Nigeria takes lead in meningitis vaccine – WHO



Nigeria takes lead in meningitis vaccine – WHO

Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, has launched a “revolutionary” vaccine against meningitis, which the World Health Organisation on Friday said was a world first.

“Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives,” said WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Nigeria’s rollout brings us one step closer to our goal to eliminate meningitis by 2030,” he said.

The Men5CV vaccine shields against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria (A, C, W, Y and X) in a single shot.

The WHO said it offers broader protection than the current vaccine used in much of Africa, which is only effective against the A strain.

Last year, the number of meningitis cases jumped 50 per cent in Africa.

Nigeria, with a population of 220 million, is one of the continent’s 26 meningitis-hyperendemic countries, an area known as the African Meningitis Belt.

WHO noted that 153 people died during an outbreak of meningitis in Nigeria between October 1 and March 11.

Gavi, the global Vaccine Alliance, funded the new campaign from March 25–28 to initially vaccinate more than one million people aged from one to 29 years.

“Northern Nigeria, particularly the states of Jigawa, Bauchi, and Yobe, were badly hit by the deadly outbreak of meningitis,” said Professor Muhammad Ali Pate of Nigeria’s Health Ministry.

“This vaccine provides health workers with a new tool to both stop this outbreak but also put the country on a path to elimination,” he said in the WHO statement.

Meningitis infection leads to inflammation of the membranes, or meninges, that protect the brain and spinal cord.

It has multiple causes, including viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic pathogens.

Symptoms often include headaches, fevers, and stiff necks. Bacterial meningitis is the most serious and may result in septicemia or blood poisoning that can seriously disable or kill within 24 hours.


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NAFDAC bans Turkey-made soap, tracks fake Indian injection powder



NAFDAC bans Turkey-made soap, tracks fake Indian injection powder

The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control has banned the sale of Turkey-made Dex Luxury Bar Soap.

It also called on Nigerians to watch out for the counterfeit of Tandak injection powder made in India.

NAFDAC, on its website, said Dex Luxury Bar Soap does not comply with the Cosmetic Products Regulation, explaining that it contains Butyphenyl Methylpropional, which is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its risk of harming the reproductive system, causing harm to the health of the unborn child and may cause skin sensitisation.

“As a result, a ban on the marketing of the product has been placed by some regulatory and public authorities in the EU,” NAFDAC stated on its website.

With barcode number 8694965531, NAFDAC noted that the product is manufactured in Turkey

It said although the product was not in the NAFDAC database, importers, distributors, retailers, and consumers were advised to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain to avoid the importation, distribution, sale, and use of the product.

“The product’s authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked. Members of the public in possession of the product should discontinue the sale or use and submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.

“Healthcare professionals and consumers are advised to report any suspicion of adverse reactions, or substandard and falsified regulated products to the nearest NAFDAC office on 0800-162-3322 or via email:

“Similarly, healthcare professionals and patients are also encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of the products to the nearest NAFDAC office, or through the use of the E-reporting platforms available on the NAFDAC website or via the Med- safety application available for download on android and IOS stores or via e-mail on,” it said.

The agency also alerted Nigerians to the sale of counterfeit Tandak injection 1.5g powder and water for injection.

It said the product was discovered in Gombe State and was reported to the agency by Marcson Healthcare Ltd., the marketing authorisation holder.

NAFDAC noted that the product is manufactured by Intracin Pharmaceuticals in Gujarat, India.

“Tandak® injection of 1.5g powder is a co-formulation of Ceftriaxone 1000mg and Sulbactam 500mg. It is prescribed for use in the treatment of various types of bacterial infections.

“It fights against the microorganisms by preventing their growth and further spread of the infection. Ceftriaxone+Sulbactam 1000mg/500mg Injection should only be administered under the supervision of a healthcare professional,” NAFDAC wrote on its official X account.

Differentiating the original product from the counterfeiter product, the agency said the batch number of the original product is BN: 23P24, while the counterfeited has 22P21 as its batch number.

The original was manufactured in August 2023, and will expire in July 2025; while the fake was manufactured in May 2022, and will expire in August 2026.

It said the original brand has a hologram on the primary carton but the counterfeited brand does not have it. A mobile authentication service label is present in the original product but it is photocopied/scanned in the fake product.

The original product has a green cap on the vial while the cap on the vial of the fake one is white.

It also noted that while the leaflet insert is present in the original product, the fake product has none.

“NAFDAC has directed all zonal directors and state coordinators to carry out surveillance and mop up the counterfeit products within the zones and states.

“Importers, distributors, retailers, healthcare professionals, and caregivers are hereby advised to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain to avoid the importation, distribution, sale, and use of counterfeit products. All medical products must be obtained from authorised/licensed suppliers. The products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked.

“Healthcare professionals and consumers are advised to report any suspicion of the sale of substandard and falsified medicines or medical devices to the nearest NAFDAC office, NAFDAC on 0800-162-3322 or via email:

“Similarly, healthcare professionals and patients are also encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of medicinal products or devices to the nearest NAFDAC office, or through the use of the E-reporting platforms available on the NAFDAC website or via the Med- safety application available for download on android and IOS stores or via e-mail on,” it said.

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FG sets up safety, health, hazard control committee



FG sets up safety, health, hazard control committee

The Federal Government through the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) has inaugurated a 12-member Committee for the promotion of the health and well-being of its staff.

The inauguration was carried out by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, who was represented by the Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office (SWO) in the OHCSF, Dr Comfort Adeosun.

Yemi Esan, noted that the initiative was in line with pillar six of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025 (FCSSIP-25), which is to improve the value proposition of staff through continuous promotion of a safe and convenient work environment, well-being, as well as the provision of basic support services for civil servants through various activities.

She also disclosed that the inauguration of the Committee marks a significant step towards actualising the objectives of the National Policy on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), which was developed, amongst other things, to provide a general framework for the improvement of working conditions and workspace for workers.

She reiterated the need for the members to prioritise safety at all levels and times, adding that a safety audit will be carried out, very soon.

“You are going to become the voice and the eyes of safety in the OHCSF,” she said.

Membership of the Committee was drawn from the Occupational Health Safety and Environment (OHSE) Department and other critical Departments that are key stakeholders in the implementation of Safety and Health Policy in the OHCSF.

The mandate of the committee, among other things, is to make recommendations to the Management on hazards control measures and other aspects for the improvement of safety, health and welfare of staff in the workplace.

She further urged members of the committee to serve with diligence and commitment because the safety and well-being of all staff is very essential for improved productivity as well as quality service delivery.

Also speaking, the Acting Director, OHSE, Engr. Bello Kwali, acknowledged the giant strides taken by the OHCSF to domesticate the National Policy on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), which was revised in 2020 in the Public Service by issuing a circular in 2022 for the establishment of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Desks in all Ministries, extra-ministerial Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

He also disclosed that one hundred and fifty (150) OSH Desk Officers have been equipped by the OHSE Department in the OHCSF with requisite competencies to discharge the responsibility of coordinating the implementation of OSH activities in their MDAs, while some have gone further to acquire relevant safety certifications.


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NiMet, LIFE-ND sensitise Abia farmers on 2024 weather prediction



NiMet, LIFE-ND Sensitise Abia Farmers On 2024 Weather Prediction

The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise for Niger Delta (LIFE-ND), in collaboration with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), has trained 100 farmers on the 2024 Seasonal Climate Prediction in Abia.

The one-day training, which held in Umuahia, had participants drawn from Abia, Delta and Cross River.

The Abia state Coordinator of LIFE-ND, Dr Uchenna Onyeizu, said the objective of the training was to inform the farmers of possible climatic conditions, which might take place during the year.

Onyeizu, who said that most farmers operate without clear knowledge of weather and climatic conditions, said the information will help farmers make informed decisions.

He said: “This is a high level interactive session for our beneficiaries, where we have representatives in different communities that LIFE-ND is very active.

“Our experts from the Federal Ministry of Environment have been able to bring out the map of Abia and show the different climatic conditions in terms of total rainfall and how it is distributed across the various local government areas and communities.”

The General Manager, Agro- meteorology, NiMet, Dr Haruna Zakari, said the agency had collaborated with LIFE-ND in the past three years in sensitising clusters of farmers across six states in the application of weather and climate information.

Zakari, who is also the Technical Assistant to NiMet Director-General and CEO, Prof. Charles Anosike, said that the farmers were expected to use the information to reduce the risk in their farming chain activities as well as improve their productivity.

“We do this seasonal climate prediction as an early warning tool, giving out information to all sectors in the country, especially agriculture, which is one of the focal points of the government.

“It is actually for people to plan, given a foresight of what is going to be the outlook of the season from January to December, to increase food security,” Zakari said.

LIFE-ND National Officer for Environment and Climate Change, Bemigho Wategire, said the training involved cropping calendar and livestock.

Wategire said the participants were expected to go back to their various communities and step down what they learnt to other farmers.

Abia LIFE-ND Environment and Climate Change Specialist, Mr Chidozie Kanu, said it was a train-the-trainers technical support for the participants.

Kanu said that the agency had also put in place a monitoring mechanism to ensure that its efforts were not in vain.

“Beyond this, we support our beneficiaries with gadgets, such as weather station, to help them see the temperature reading for the day and know if it will rain or not,” he said.

LIFE-ND is sponsored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, in collaboration with the Federal Government, to boost agricultural production in the Niger Delta.


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Gavi to allocate $250 million grant for vaccines in Nigeria



Gavi to allocate $250 million grant for vaccines in Nigeria

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has pledged a $250 million grant to support vaccine initiatives in the country in a stride towards strengthening Nigeria’s healthcare infrastructure.

This announcement comes amid a meeting between President Bola Tinubu and a delegation from Gavi, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Sania Nishtar.

During the meeting held at the State House, President Tinubu emphasized the need for collaboration between Gavi and potential Nigerian vaccine manufacturers to ensure widespread access to life-saving vaccines.

The $250 million grant
Noting the challenges faced by developing nations, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, President Tinubu highlighted the capability and readiness of Nigerian professionals to contribute to vaccine production.

Expressing Nigeria’s commitment to fulfilling its obligations for routine vaccine procurement, President Tinubu directed key ministries to facilitate the release of necessary funds.
He reiterated his administration’s dedication to eradicating preventable childhood diseases through comprehensive vaccination programs.
In response, Dr. Nishtar commended Nigeria’s proactive healthcare initiatives and expressed readiness to collaborate with the government to enhance health outcomes.
She highlighted Gavi’s commitment to addressing vaccine inequity in Africa through initiatives such as the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator, which is earmarked at $1 billion and aims to bolster the continent’s vaccine production capabilities.
As a result, Gavi would be providing a grant support of $250 million to Nigeria.
The GAVI CEO additionally disclosed to the President that the GAVI Board is scheduled to convene in the upcoming weeks to deliberate on policy matters that will shape Nigeria’s future assistance from the organization, extending beyond 2028.

She clarified that her visit to the country was primarily aimed at engaging in discussions with Nigeria’s health managers.


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