NAIP Urges FG to Set Up Pharmaceutical Industrial Hubs

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set up pharmaceutical industrial hubs
set up pharmaceutical industrial hubs

NAIP, The Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria, has urged the Federal government to set up pharmaceutical industrial hubs in the country to boost fortunes of the local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

 A public health consultant and Chief of Party, Promoting the Quality of Medicines, PQM, Prof Chimezie Anyakora described pharma hubs as catalysts for change.

READ ALSO: Federal Government to Ameliorate The 22 teaching hospitals – ICRC

His words: “if the Federal Government set up  pharmaceutical industrial hubs in Nigeria, it  would promote cheaper cost of manufacturing, better quality due to better regulation, more direct foreign partnership and investment and help in avoiding the mistakes of the oil sector, among others.”

He listed benefits of developing the local pharma manufacturing to include the growth of the number of pharmaceutical manufacturers with  international GMP;  improved production competencies and efficiencies; increased volume of drugs procured by local and international procurement agencies and reduction of dependence on Asian producers.

Anyakora argued that if the Federal Government set up pharmaceutical industrial hubs, it would help in attracting foreign direct investment and technology and catalyzing the formation of partnerships and joint ventures, reversing the brain drain as diaspora Nigerians with expertise come back to capitalize on opportunities and sector and cluster development opportunities.

“There would be public health benefits from an increased supply of high-quality medicines and pressure on the educational systems leading to development of appropriate curricula, strengthening industry-academia partnerships and moving into Research and Development, among other benefits.”

 Calling for a revolution in the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry, the PSN President, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa said setting up pharma hubs would revolutionize the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

“A revolution in the pharmaceutical sector is desirable. Such revolution is required to change things. We must be dissatisfied with what we are doing currently, and angry with what we are doing so that we can change it. That is the revolution we are talking about.”

In the views of the Chairman, Embassy Pharmacy, Sir Nnamdi Obi, the forum was put together to rub minds on how best to explore the enormous potentials within the pharmaceutical sector for the common benefits of Nigerians.

 “One of the critical issues  being discussed is having Nigeria as a pharmaceutical hub for Africa and the world at large. This is to explore the possibilities of seeing how best pharmaceutical products manufactured in Nigeria can be marketed  using examples like the Ethiopian model that  have a cluster of pharmaceutical companies.

 Also speaking, the National Chairman, NAIP, Pharm Ignatius Anukwu said the  best way to enhance fortunes of the pharmaceutical industry is by having pharma manufacturing clusters or pharmaceutical parks so that all manufacturers can come together in one place and share this infrastructure that have been too expensive for Nigerians.

 “As we know, there is infrastructural decay in the country, so power is very expensive, transportation is a problem, water is a problem and all of that. What is presently happening is that for every company that sets up in Nigeria to meet up with the GMP standard, you must have enough power for your plant, water treated to a certain level, and effluent plant and all of that.

 So what we are saying is if we have 20 or 30 of such companies coming together they will now act as one, so they will share resources, so costs will be reduced, the input of power in production and all of that will be reduced.


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Federal Government to Ameliorate The 22 teaching hospitals – ICRC

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ameliorate the 22 teaching hospitals
ameliorate the 22 teaching hospitals

The Federal Government will ameliorate the 22 teaching hospitals in the country and construct a new 500-bed state-of-the-art Specialist Hospital, in Abuja through Public Private Partnership (PPP), according to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Patrick Ederaro, Acting Head, Media and Publicity, ICRC.

READ ALSO: DICOMAG tasks Ehanire to Prioritize Diabetes Control

Mr. Patrick said that the concession model for the existing teaching hospitals’ equipment that would be supplied would be world class standard and life cycle maintenance.

According to him, there will not be a full concession of any of the entire existing teaching hospitals, so there will be no job losses. “There will be concessions on and of specific services, for medical equipment supplied like Dialysis Unit, Imaging Unit, Diagnostic Services and other departments mentioned above.

 “The concessionaire will finance the supply and maintenance of world class dialysis units and perform to very high output specifications and contracted key performance indicators.”

 He added that medical services in the hospitals would be run by the Chief Medical Director (CMD) and his or her staff, but with the benefit of world class support services, provided by the private concessionaire.

 Ederaro said that the scope of the concessionaire was limited to the specific service over which the concession was granted to the consortium. However, the new state-of-the-art 500-bed Federal Centre of Medical Excellence, in Abuja, would be the only full concession, where the concessionaire would be responsible for all medical services.

The statement recalled that the Federal Government in 2003 embarked on modernization and upgrading of 14 teaching hospitals in two phases, considering the magnitude and availability of funds.

“The first and second phases of the above mentioned modernization programme were implemented on a credit purchase arrangement, with a partnership agreement between the Ministry of Health, VAMED Engineering and CPL Medical Group.

 “This was with a specific delivery joint venture agreement between CPL Medical Group and VAMED Engineering.

“Since life cycle maintenance was not part of the procurement arrangement, these phases were not as successful as the federal government had envisaged”, he said.

Ederaro said that the first and second phases were procured using traditional public procurement methodology, adding that the President, thereafter, approved the new phase to be implemented through PPP procurement methodology.

He said that the commission issued an Outline Business Case (OBC) Compliance Certificate, to enable the project proceed to the PPP Procurement phase.


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DICOMAG tasks Ehanire to Prioritize Diabetes Control

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Prioritize Diabetes Control
Prioritize Diabetes Control

An NGO, Diabetes Control Media Advocacy Group (DICOMAG) has tasked Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, to prioritize diabetes control. DICOMAG tasked him to make diabetes control and prevention a  priority in view of the large burden of the disease in the country.

READ ALSO: Lagos Starts Free Health Care Delivery Service for Children

According to the group, the  Diabetes Control Media Advocacy Group (DICOMAG), a media advocacy group with focus on diabetes, the minister should  devise urgent and concrete measures to address the current heavy burden of the disease in all parts of the country to prevent a looming epidemic.

“We congratulate the minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the minister of state, Sen. Olorunimbe Mamora for their appointment.

“We are delighted that Dr. Osagie is back in the ministry where he served as the minister of state in the last dispensation and believe he is well placed to lead the ministry toward the revitalization and restructuring of the nation’s battered healthcare delivery system.

“The organization, however, urges the minister, as he settles down to work, to urgently prioritize diabetes control in Nigeria, its attendant complications, deadly consequences and impact on health and overall well-being of citizens.

 The International Diabetes Federation estimates that five million Nigerians are currently living with diabetes and the number of cases is increasing very fast. One in every two people with diabetes in the country is undiagnosed. Worse still, Nigeria is currently recording unacceptable number of lower extremities amputation and death from diabetes foot ulcer.

In a call for adoption of policies to ensure early detection of cases and preventive measures: “More worrisome is the fact that a large number of Nigerians with diabetes only get to know of their status at an advance stage of the disease when complications have set in.

DICOMAG urged the government to take a lead and encourage state governments to embark on immediate campaign for the prevention.



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Lagos Starts Free Health Care Delivery Service for Children

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Free Health Care Delivery
Free Health Care Delivery

As part of efforts to provide proper and sustainable health care to Lagosian, the state government has started a free health care delivery service.

READ ALSO: P.M.G.M.A.N Urges F.G to Aid Local Drug Manufacturers

The programme involves screening children for visual and hearing disabilities, and other illness that can negatively hinder their capacity to study.

 Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat, organized the free medical mission, in collaboration with Healthcare Mission International, a non-governmental organization (NGO) to deliver free health care services especially to children between ages zero to 12 with a strategic vision to protect children from the sickness that may hamstring their potentials.

The Lagos Healthy Bee programme commenced with a six-day screening of over 21,000 persons in seven Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state, after which those whose conditions that required higher medical examinations and surgeries were referred to the tertiary healthcare facilities for free medical care.

Seven primary health care centres were carefully selected across the divisions of the state to ensure that residents in the five administrative divisions of the state, “IBILE”, benefit from the programme. The selected primary health care centres include: Ajara PHC Badagry, Akerele PHC Surulere, Ikotun PHC Alimosho, Iga Idungaran PHC Lagos Island, Epe PHC Epe, Onigbongo PHC Ikeja, and Ita Elewa PHC Ikorodu.

Children found to have visual or hearing disabilities during screening and were provided with glasses and hearing aids to help them overcome the condition and those with more complicated issues were transferred to various General Hospitals in the state for surgeries. Even though children are the prime targets of this programme, vulnerable adults were also given health counselling and screening for tuberculosis and Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) after which those found to be positive were managed using the established channel of treatment of the illnesses.

To ensure effective and efficient health care delivery, Health Mission International brought in to the state volunteer surgeons from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom as well as within Nigeria to join their counterpart in the state’s general hospitals.

Underscoring the importance of the intervention, Executive Director, Health Mission International, Mrs. Nike Osa, told journalists that the Lagos State Government recognised the prime place of children in the survival of humanity which is why it is collaborating with her organisation to help them to be healthy to get well prepared for future roles and commitments.

“At present 806 surgeries have been conducted in the designated general hospitals in the state and yet another 615 has been booked for various surgeries. At the end of the mission over 1400 surgeries would have been carried out.

“This is an innovative program is meant to help our children to be healthy and prepare them for their roles in the future as leaders,” she said.

A beneficiary, Adaramoye Lateef, stated that he has been battling with eye issue for quite a while and was informed that he needed to undergo eye surgery but could not because of lack of fund.

“When I heard that a medical mission would take place in my neighborhood, I was so happy because I have been looking for such opportunities. After undergoing a screening exercise, I was told that I needed a surgical operation, which was done successfully. I thank the administration of Sanwo-Olu for this laudable initiative. God will continue to be with him and his government”. He said.

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P.M.G.M.A.N Urges F.G to Aid Local Drug Manufacturers

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PMGMAN
PMGMAN

Frank Muonemeh, The Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMGMAN, has urged the Federal Government to aid local drug manufacturers in the country.

 “For us to stop our country being used as a dumping ground for all manner of drugs, there is the need for the government to prioritize the local manufacturing company to live up to standard and be able to provide about 70 per cent of the essential needs of the people.

READ ALSO: Yemi Osinbajo: Infectious Disease on Increase

“Over time, the local drug manufacturers have proven to have the capacity to manufacture drugs to be used in the country, but what do you expect when they don’t get the needed support? There is a limit to what should be allowed to be imported to the country.

“Right now, 70 per cent of the products used in Nigeria including drugs are imported from Asia. It is unacceptable, we can’t continue like this. When a country keeps depending on imported drugs, it means the country is leaving the lives of its citizens in the hands of others.

“It is high time the Federal Government prioritized local pharmaceutical companies because that is the only way we can survive the African Free Continental Trade Agreement just signed by President Muhammadu Buhari,” Muonemeh said.

the commended, West Africa health Organization (WAHO) for providing training for members of the group to ensure they meet up with international guidelines on drug manufacturing.

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Yemi Osinbajo: Infectious Disease on Increase

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Yemi Osinbajo
Yemi Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President of Nigeria, on Tuesday showed concern over the increases of infectious disease. He said, Infectious disease on increase.

READ ALSO: FG To Inaugurate Six Regional Geriatric Centres In Tertiary Hospitals

The Vice President, represented by Prof. Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of Health, stated this at the opening pomp of the 55th Scientific Conference of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria held in Abuja.

At the event, a former Minister of Health Prof. Eyitayo Lambo, and the Association of Medical Scientist in Nigeria (AMLSN), warned that the spread of Infectious diseases could be used as instrument of terror.

The Vice President, said the global health security agenda was in response to the risk being faced by humanity from the emergence and re-emergence of highly infectious diseases that pose great risk to public health globally.

“With the world becoming a global village and increased human movement across countries, the risk of infectious disease has increased tremendously,” Osinbajo said.

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FG To Inaugurate Six Regional Geriatric Centres In Tertiary Hospitals

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inaugurate six regional geriatric centres
inaugurate six regional geriatric centres

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), says it will Inaugurate Six Regional Geriatric Centres in Tertiary Hospitals with the aim to improving the health status of the older person in Nigeria.

The coordinator, Dr. Saidu Ahmed Dumbulwa, Healthcare Package for Improving Quality Care on Ageing Population in Nigeria (HEPIQ-C), disclosed this in an interview.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Medical Association to Address Challenges in Health Sector

Dr. Saidu, who is also a Public Health expert, said the aim to inaugurate six regional geriatric centres in tertiary hospital was to address the health and social needs of the elderly in the country, through the HEPIQ-C project.

He said the project was designed to improve elderly peoples’ health and address some developmental issues relating to them.

President Muhammadu Buhari, had acknowledged the social and health problems the elderly population faced and saw the need to facilitate actions that would promote healthy living at old age, Dumbulwa said.

According to Dumbulwa, governments are now becoming aware of the need to validate policies that would cater for the needs of the elderly who have become vulnerable, because people have forgotten that everyone is heading towards that stage.

He said that the ageing population in Nigeria was increasing and there was yet to be a concrete strategy, framework or system, for managing the social and health structure of the aged.

Dumbulwa noted that research assessment survey conducted in 2017 on Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP), of healthcare workers in the ageing sector, showed that they lacked training on geriatric care and gerontology.

“This might be one of the main reasons why adequate funds are not appropriately allocated to the care of older persons, as budgetary allocation goes with defence and justification.

“Based on the foregoing observation, the Nigerian government, following the regional World Health Organization (WHO) meeting in Addis Ababa in 2016, set in motion an actionable strategy with a view to improving the health status of elderly in Nigeria,” he said.

Dumbulwa said that the Federal Government came up with the HEPIQ-C, to address the obvious deviation and neglect of the aged.

 Speaking on how to identify issues that the elderly were facing in accessing health and social services in Nigeria, Dumbulwa listed challenges such as lack of affordable health insurance, out of pocket health expenses and dearth of age-compliant public buildings, and transportation.

Others, he said, were lack of education, inadequate information, lack of community and family support, as well as poor social support and rehabilitation.

“Following efforts by the government, private sector in Diaspora, and a coalition of elderly, we collectively pushed for the establishment of the National Senior Citizens Centre, which will address the health and social needs of older persons in Nigeria.

“This effort by President Buhari to assent to the bill addresses a substantial part of the problems of older persons.

“In addition, Mr. President approved the allocation of one per cent of Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), to deliver healthcare to the vulnerable population, mainly children, women and elderly.

“50 per cent of the fund goes to the National Health Insurance Scheme, to procure health services and insurance for the vulnerable groups.

“Also, 45 per cent goes to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, for the training of the healthcare workforce and procurement of consumables for day to day activities of the primary health care centres.

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Nigeria Medical Association to Address Challenges in Health Sector

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The Nigeria Medical Association
The Nigeria Medical Association

The Nigeria Medical Association, N.M.A, is set to hold a National Health Conference to address some of the challenges in the health sector.

 Dr. France Faduyile, The President of the Nigeria Medical Association, said the conference, would identify the challenges militating against the attainment of basic, affordable and quality health care delivery in the country.

READ ALSO:The United Nation Discovers Threats to Portable Water and Sanitation in Nigeria

Faduyile said that President Muhammadu Buhari would be the special guest at the event, while former Military Head of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon, would chair the opening ceremony.

He said that the initiative was conceived by the N.M.A because the nation’s health sector was craving for a total transform in order to improve and meet the health needs of Nigerians.

 “This was because the health sector then was prominently bedeviled with enormous challenges ranging from inter-sectoral and inter-professional disharmony, incessant industrial action, poor facilities, brain drain leading to scarcity of man power, lack of policy implementation and man power training at undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

“The rate of poor indices was hitting the roof with unacceptable maternal morbidity and mortality as well as perinatal mortality, with poor political will to revamp the sector.

“The conference is now a statutory activity of N.M.A and it takes place every five years. This year’s event is themed, ‘Patient centered care’. This was particularly considered important because patient is at the centre of the health care delivery. Without the patient, there will be no health profession.” He said

Faduyile also called on Dr Ehanire Osagie, the new health minister, to work with major health actors in the states so that the states could increase funding to health and ensure that the primary health care system was functional.

He added, “It is when that level is functional that all the pressure we see at the tertiary level will be reduced. The tertiary will then be able to take care of the type of patients it was designed to cater for.

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The United Nation Discovers Threats to Portable Water and Sanitation in Nigeria

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United Nation
United Nation

The United Nations (UN) has discovered weak political systems and dearth of resources as threats to the delivery of portable water and sanitation services in the world’s poorest countries, including Nigeria.

The United Nations-Water Global Assessment and Analysis of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2019 report surveyed 115 countries and territories, representing 4.5 billion people.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Medical Association Urges Edo Govt To Tackle Drug Abuse

 In most countries, the report revealed, the implementation of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) policies was constrained by inadequate human and financial resources.

Nineteen countries and one territory reported a funding gap of more than 60 per cent between identified needs and available funding.

Less than 15 per cent of countries have the financial or human resources to implement their plans.

While funding gaps and weak systems are holding many countries back, the report also found that countries had begun to take positive steps towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (S.D.G) 6 on water and sanitation.

About half of the countries surveyed have set drinking water targets that aim for universal coverage at levels higher than basic services by 2030 by, for example, addressing water quality and increasing access to water on premises.

As the international authority on public health and water, sanitation and hygiene, WHO gathers scientific evidence, sets and monitors standards, and promotes best practices for ensuring safe, reliable water, sanitation and hygiene for all.

 W.H.O Director -General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, said, “Too many people lack access to reliable and safe drinking water, toilets and hand-washing facilities, putting them at risk of deadly infections and threatening progress in public health.”

“Water and sanitation systems don’t just improve health and save lives, they are a critical part of building more stable, secure and prosperous societies. We call on all countries that lack essential water and sanitation infrastructure to allocate funds and human resources to build and maintain it.”

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Nigerian Medical Association Urges Edo Govt To Tackle Drug Abuse

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Edo state drug abuse.
Edo state drug abuse.

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged the Edo Government to organize an awareness programme to tackle drug abuse in Edo state.

Dr. Valentine Omoifo, The state Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

READ ALSO: End Strike: Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Appeals to Resident Doctors

Dr. Valentine said that the drugs people abused are categorized as drugs in the medical aspects and illicit drugs.

“People abuse medical drugs in the sense that they just take drugs without the doctor’s prescription and without even taking the right dose of the drugs.

“In this part of the country, people take drugs indiscriminately; the pharmacies just sell drugs to anyone that comes to buy, because they want money.

“Some people now take medical drugs to also get high, blending medical and illicit drug abuse together,” he said.

According Omoifo, people have access to medications in Nigeria unnecessarily, adding that the laws of selling drugs in the country are not well structured.

“Even in buses people just sell drugs, on the streets, people sell drugs and also hawking drugs in the market.

“People who abuse drugs are prone to a lot of diseases. When a person abuse drugs and he or she wants to take it for the right purpose of curing a sickness, it will no longer work.

“Overdosage of drugs destroys the central nervous system.

“Drug abuse affects in terms of finance, crime rate, social disorder, mental rate of some students and also affecting the whole sector of our society,” he said.

Omoifo said that most times some doctors do not tell their patients the kind of drugs he or she is prescribing.

He said that some patients also prescribed the same drugs for a particular ailment which might be unknown to them.

He, therefore, urged the state government to provide regulation or law about buying and selling drugs in the state.

“Some people take drugs for pains and coughs using them indiscriminately for other purposes because they have access to these drugs at anytime or cost,” he said.

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End Strike: Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Appeals to Resident Doctors

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Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital
Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital

THE management of the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba (FNPHY) has appealed to the resident doctors at the hospital to call off its ongoing strike.

The Public Relation Officer (P.R.O}, Mrs. Philomena Omoike, and an Assistant Director at the hospital, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the resident doctors from the hospital had embarked on the strike on July 31.

Omoike said the resident doctors were asking for the engagement of no less than 15 more resident doctors and 10 local doctors.

She added that they were also asking for an increment in their Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) from the current CONMESS 2 Step 3 to CONMESS 3 Step 2 among other issues.

According to Omoike, the hospital’s management is making efforts to grant the demands of the resident doctors.

She added that the hospital at present had 37 residents’ doctors and recently employed five new local doctors after the doctors had started their strike.

READ ALSO: Two highly effective Ebola drugs approved by WHO for immediate use

Omoike said that the hospital was making efforts to ensure that more doctors were employed so as to ease the work of the resident doctors.

“On Aug. 5, the hospital employed five new local doctors and had written to the Federal Ministry of Health and other authorities responsible for the recruitment of the doctors in that regard.

“Meanwhile, the hospital in 2014 and 2019 employed not fewer than 15 resident doctors each, which were inclusive in the existing 37 resident doctors of FNPHY.

“In Nigeria today, recruitment does not come easy particularly for specialists like Psychiatric doctors.

“To recruit a Psychiatric doctor is not a one-day affair; it requires a lot of protocols, bureaucratic processes and certifications which needed time to accomplish,” Omoike said.

She expressed concern over the negative effect the doctors’ industrial action had continued to have on the hospital and the public. She said that it had slowed down the normal activities in the hospital.

Omoike said that the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba would remain a reference place for resident doctors

. She said that it would be appreciated if the doctors would call off the strike and return to work.

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Nigerian Medical Association Set Tree Target for Nigeria’s New Health Ministers

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Nigerian Medical Association
Nigerian Medical Association

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has set three targets for the country’s new health ministers, to work on making primary healthcare sustainable, interfacing with other ministries to achieve better health and encouraging federal government to increase health budget

N.M.A highlighted the target areas as it prepares for its second National Health Summit in November, the first of which gave rise to proposals that led to the National Health Act.

P.S.N Urges FG To Increase the Awareness of Mental Health

Dr Francis Faduyile, N.M.A president told a press conference in Abuja, “The major problem is for us to be able to have a sustainable primary health care. It is beyond the ministry of health but it is primarily state.

“We expect the new ministers to work with states to ensure states increase funding to ensure primary health centers are functional,” said Faduyile .“If primary health care is good, the pressure will reduce on the secondary and tertiary systems.” 

Faduyile said the new ministers must also interface with other ministries so they can work well together, noting that sustainable healthcare was multi-dimensional, with factors that cut across the purviews of other ministries, including agriculture, environment and finance.

He added that the new ministers must also encourage federal government to increase funding to health. “They should also encourage the public to help increase health financing by using the National Health Insurance Scheme,” he said.

The National Health Summit of the N.M.A has helped drive the enactment of the National Health Act and the Basic Health Care Provision Fund—but this year it focuses on “patient-centered care”.




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P.S.N Urges FG To Increase the Awareness of Mental Health

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Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria
Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (P.S.N) has urged the Federal Government to help increase awareness of mental health disorders in Nigeria.

 Mr Sam Ohuabunwa, the National President of P.S.N said this in an interview with the News Agencies in Ilorin, stressing the need to increase awareness of mental health in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Tobacco: W.H.O calls for Complete Ban

Mr sam argued that, Nigerians had poor knowledge of mental health disorders, which could lead to suicide, Ohuabunwa advised the government to act now and not wait until people with mental disorder start manifesting its symptoms publicly before doing something about it.

The PSN president observed that many factors could lead to mental health conditions in the country and they include societal, economical reasons, as well as family and medical histories of the afflicted.

He expressed that  the poor level of identifying and managing mental health disorders in the country is displeasing and unsatisfiable, he added, “Unless mental health disorder is identified with, people can deliberately misuse over-the- counter drugs to commit suicide because any drug misused becomes poisonous.”

Ohuabunwa described drug abuse as a major factor that must be dealt with, stressing that the only way to check the vice was to increase awareness of its existence.

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Tobacco: W.H.O calls for Complete Ban

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World Health Organization
World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for complete ban on creating awareness, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco in the world over to discourage people from patronizing and consuming the harmful product for a healthy living.

The UN health agency in its latest campaign against tobacco smoking released on Saturday, stated that tobacco packaging is a form of advertising that often misleads consumers.

READ ALSO : ENUGU STATE PUBLIC HEALTH WORKERS TO OBSERVE UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS OVER YELLOW FEVER

“Complete bans on: advertising, promotion and sponsorship are needed to fight big tobacco!“It’s time for NO Tobacco for everyone, everywhere!”, said WHO.

According to Tobacco Atlas, tobacco harms the health, the treasury, and the spirit of Nigeria as every year, more than 16, 100 of its people are killed by tobacco-caused disease and still, more than 25, 000 children (10-14 years old) and 7, 488,000 adults (15+ years old) continue to use tobacco each day.

“Complacency in the face of the tobacco epidemic insulates the tobacco industry in Nigeria and ensures that tobacco’s death toll will grow every year.“Tobacco control advocates must reach out to other communities and resources to strengthen their efforts and create change”, it suggested.

It is part of government policy in Nigeria that, all tobacco companies must boldly write on their products packs that, “THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF HEALTH WARNS THAT SMOKERS ARE LIABLE TO DIE YOUNG,” as one of the control measures to discourage smoking habit among Nigerians inline with WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

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ENUGU STATE PUBLIC HEALTH WORKERS TO OBSERVE UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS OVER YELLOW FEVER

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Enugu State
Enugu State

The Enugu State Government has concluded plans to sensitize its public health workers to the need to observe universal precautions against yellow fever to check the spread.


Dr Okechukwu Ossai, the Administrator, Enugu State Hospital Management Board, stated this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Saturday. Ossai said that Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.

READ ALSO: Dr. Osagie Ehanire Nigeria’s New Minister of Health.


He said it could result in sudden bleeding from the nose, mouth, ear and stomach. He stated that while most infections could be resolved, some could lead to death.


According to Ossai, in mild cases, yellow fever causes fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. He, however, added that it could become more serious, causing heart, liver and kidney problems along with bleeding. “Up to 50 per cent of people with the more severe form of yellow fever die of the disease,” he noted.


Ossai said in addition to getting the vaccine, one could help protect oneself against yellow fever by protecting oneself against mosquitoes. Ossai said to reduce exposure to mosquitoes one must avoid unnecessary outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most active.


“Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you go into mosquito-infested areas and also if your accommodation doesn’t have good window screens or secured ventilation, use bed nets. “Not just ordinary nets but mosquito nets that have been pre-treated with insecticide offer additional protection.”


He said the transmission of the disease was usually sustained through blood contacts and health workers were always at risk, and it is usually the first contact by those infected.


“Yellow fever is sustained through blood contacts an those who are at risk of being infected are the health workers. This is because, on a daily basis, they have one thing or the other to do with blood,” he said.

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Dr. Osagie Ehanire Nigeria’s New Minister of Health.

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Dr Osagie Ehanire
Dr Osagie Ehanire

The beginning of a new administration in May 2019, Nigeria now has a new captain to improve the affairs of the health sector and lead the Federal Ministry of Health and its many agencies.

The submission of the ministerial nominees to the Senate by the Presidency and subsequent screening, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has been handed the portfolio of leading this important sector that has the potential to make or mar Nigeria’s development.

He is not new to the health space and is expected to bring his best experience and knowledge of the sector to help Nigerians live healthier and more productive lives.

Dr Ehanire is not new to leadership in the Nigerian health sector as he served as Nigeria’s Minister of State for Health between 2015-2019 where he forged a close working relationship with Professor Isaac Adewole, the former Minister of Health.

READ ALSO: Medical directors demand national holiday for Dr. Stella Adadevoh

The Minister of Health and Minister of State for Health were able to forge a collaborative working relationship during their just-concluded four-year tenure. Nigeria’s Ministry of Health has been described as one of the most complex, with well over 100 mini-parastatals, given that every tertiary health institution has its own board and management. Therefore, the opportunity of having a Minister who already understands the system, the challenges is a major advantage for Dr. Ehanire’s tenure.

Dr Osagie Ehanire is a surgeon and holds a medical degree from the College of Medicine, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany. He also holds post-graduate diplomas from the teaching hospital of the University of Düsseldorf and Essen, Germany in the areas of anaesthesiology, general surgery, and orthopaedic trauma surgery.

He has served on various boards both within and outside Nigeria, including Chair of the Board of Trustees of the TY Danjuma Foundation. Before going into administration, he had an illustrious clinical career –

He was Senior Registrar Clinical Instructor, University of Benin Teaching Hospital; Member of the old Bendel and Edo States Hospital Management Board; Consultant Surgeon, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria; Clinical Course instructor, Fracture Internal Fixation course at the BG Accident Hospital, Duisburg, Germany. He co-authored the orthopaedic book “The severely injured limb” edited By John Ackroyd.

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Medical directors demand national holiday for Dr. Stella Adadevoh

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Dr. Stella Adadevoh
Dr. Stella Adadevoh

On Tuesday, The Guild of Medical Directors of Nigeria called on the Federal Government to immortalise the late Dr. Stella Adadevoh, who died after treating victims of the Ebola Virus disease that broke out in the country in 2014.

 The organisation urged the government to declare August 19 a national holiday every year in memory of the deceased, who worked with the First Consultant Hospital in the Obalende area of Lagos.

READ ALSO: UNICEF to support Adamawa on SDG goals

The GMDN in a statement titled, Remembering Stella Adadevoh and issued by the Public Relations Officer of its Abuja chapter, Dr. Biodun Ogungbo, said nothing less than declaring a national day could be done to immortalise the deceased for the sake of posterity.

 “Adadevoh made a huge sacrifice. It is said that there is no greater demonstration of love than to lay down your life for your friend. The tragic part of her passage is that she couldn’t be given a proper burial, with all the respect that her sacrifice demands,” he said.

Ogungbo added that Adadevoh had put her life on the line for the safety of 170 million Nigerians, many of who did not even understand the concept of what it meant to be a citizen.

“The Guild of Medical Directors of Nigeria and other medical associations honoured Adadevoh in their small capacities in the past. We gave awards and plaques and foodstuff to the hospital. This is not enough.

READ ALSO: 526 teeth discovered in boy’s mouth by doctors

“Nigeria should declare August 19 a national holiday every year to honour of Mrs stella Adadevoh. That way, some Nigerian children in six decades (time) can ask their parents, ‘Who is Stella Ameyo Adadevoh?’ And the parents will reply, ‘That woman saved my life, and the lives of all of us’, it is the least we can do. It is the least we should do,” he said.

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Osun Begins Construction of 120 Bed Ward, 30 Doctors Quarter

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Governor of Osun State, Mr. Adegboyega
Governor of Osun State, Mr. Adegboyega

Governor of Osun State, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, has said his administration is committed to improving the health sector through the deployment of technology-based approach to ensure quality and affordable delivery.

Oyetola said this while turning the soil for the construction of the 120-bed ward and 30 doctors’ quarters at the state specialist hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo recently.

READ ALSO: Nigeria :N19.46bn needed to prevent 70,327 cancer deaths yearly

In the same vein, the governor commended President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for giving the state the privilege to participate in the competition that enabled the state to source funds from the federal government-facilitated World Bank’s Save One Million Lives (SOML) initiative in which Osun got 20.547 million dollars, having been adjudged number two in the contest.

He noted that the administration had on assumption of office commenced work on the revitalisation of nine general hospitals and 332 Primary Health Centres – one per ward – across the state.

He noted that the state has been partnering development partners and was exploring other windows to attract more funds to further deliver quality healthcare to the people.

Oyetola appealed to corporate organisations and relevant associations to partner the state in its efforts to revamp the health sector.

“This is a further fulfillment of the resolve of our administration to use health, which experts say is wealth, to power all the sectors of the state to deliver prosperity and good life to the people.

“Our revitalisation programme is holistic. It comes with the use of technology to boost health delivery, provision of modern equipment, training and re-training of staff for efficient healthcare.

“In order to give prompt vent to this resolve, we executed the flag off of the facilities in Ejigbo (Osun West) and Ifetedo (Osun East) Senatorial Districts barely three months into our administration.

“Work has reached advanced stages on the two projects. They will be delivered very soon. We also commenced work on the revitalisation of nine General Hospitals and 332 Primary Health Centres – one per ward – across the state.

“We are here to complete the one-per-senatorial-district revitalisation of hospitals with this expansion project at the State Specialist Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo.

“This project consists of the construction of a 120-bed ward and 30 doctors’ quarters. This hospital is the flagship of the facilities under the Hospitals Management Board,” he said.

According to him, it was a multi-specialist hospital which offers specialised services in major areas including obstetrics and gynaecology, general surgery, radiology, pediatrics, internal medicine, physiotherapy and medical rehabilitation, optical services, medical laboratory services, dentistry, HIV testing, counselling and treatment, TB/leprosy care and family planning services, among others.

He said his administration has carried out major works on the theatre complex, blood bank building, medical laboratory, trauma centre, hope clinic and the external wall of the hospital.

Oyetola said: “This year, we have executed six major campaigns and capacity efforts to boost impact and efficiency. These are Maternal, Neonatal and Child Week; Immunisation Plus Days; exclusive breastfeeding campaign; polio eradication campaign; net hanging campaign and facility level training for the activation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in Osun.

“Osun State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (O’SACA) will soon start a project that will involve the introduction of incentives for pregnant mothers who attend ante-natal clinic and have HIV test result.

“By the time the 120-bed facility whose sod we are turning today is handed over, we should have upgraded the hospital to a 180-bed facility and expanded its overall efficiency.

“Going forward, we are partnering with development partners and exploring other windows to attract more funds to the state to further deliver quality healthcare to the people.

“We would also appeal to corporate organisations and relevant associations to partners us to achieve our laudable objectives.

“Our collective resolve to build a dynamic and prosperous Osun as government and people is in our mutual interest”, the governor said.

The Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye, implored the health workers in the state to make judicious use of the facilities procured by the government.

Owoeye, who described the successes recorded by the Oyetola led-government as a clear manifestation of good governance, said the governor has demonstrated to the world that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was the only party that has the capability to take the state to the next level.

The Permanent Secretary, Osun State Hospital Management Board, Mr. Isaac Dayo Oluwoye, commended the administration of Oyetola for prioritising the health sector in the state.

He said: “Everyone knows that Oyetola’s administration is one of continuity from the progressive and people-focused administration before it, which makes provision of good health for the people as one of its cardinal programmes.”

Chief Consultant and Head of the Specialist Hospital, Dr. Bello Akeem Babatunde and member of the Osun Health Revitalisation Committee, Dr. Simeon Afolayan, hailed the state government for providing quality healthcare service in the state.

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Two highly effective Ebola drugs approved by WHO for immediate use

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highly effective Ebola drugs
highly effective Ebola drugs

Two of four highly Ebola treatment drugs have been determined “more effective” than the others and will be the only ones used on patients going forward, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced.

WHO announced in a statement that two of the four Ebola treatment drugs were determined more effective in treating patients than others in a trial which began as part of the emergency response in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Nov. 20, 2018.

The trial was called the Pamoja Tulinde Maisha study.

ZMapp, remdesivir, mAb114 and REGN-EB3 were the four drugs used in the trials.

During trials, REGN-EB3 and mAb114 were determined to be more effective in treating Ebola than the other two, and will be the only two used going forward, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced in a statement.

As part of an emergency response team in the Congo, the “Together Save Lives” trial was done with a collaboration of organisations, including the Congo’s National Institute for Biomedical Research, the Ministry of Health, the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Alliance for International Medical Action and other organizations.

READ ALSO: UNICEF to support Adamawa on SDG goals

Although the final analysis of data will be completed in late September or early October of this year, the NIAID said the effectiveness of REGN-EB3 and mAb114 was “compelling enough to recommend and implement” the changes immediately.

The other two treatments, ZMapp and remdesivir, will no longer be used.

Some 681 patients were enrolled in the trial as of August 9, 2019, with a total aim of 725 patients, the NIAID said.

The new experimental treatments are both cocktails of monoclonal antibodies that are infused intravenously into the blood, the New York Times reported.

Jean-Jacques Muyembe, director of Congo’s National Institute for Biomedical Research, said the news of a cure could change the course of this outbreak — the worst of the 10 that Congo has endured.

Mr Muyembe, 77, pioneered the use of survivors’ blood serum — which contains antibodies — in order to save patients. The two new treatments descend in part from his original research, the New York Times said.

Ebola is a virus that is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids of someone infected with the virus or who has died from it, or through blood, body fluids or tissues of infected fruit bats or primates.

Symptoms, including fever, muscle pain, fatigue, vomiting, severe headache, weakness, diarrhea, abdominal pain or unexplained hemorrhaging, occur within two to 21 days of coming in contact with the virus.

Currently, there is no approved vaccine or treatment for the virus, so prevention is crucial, the CDC states.

Trials like “Together Save Lives” have been introduced in areas like the Congo during outbreaks to test what treatments may be most effective for infected patients.

Just under a month ago, the Ebola outbreak in Congo was declared a global health emergency.

As at Aug. 6, there have been 2,781 reported cases of Ebola in the country, according to the WHO.

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UNICEF to support Adamawa on SDG goals

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UNICEF
UNICEF

The United Nations Children Emergency Funds has pledged to support Adamawa State Government in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals relating to healthy lives and wellbeing of its citizens.

The UNICEF Health Specialist, Bauchi Field Office, Dr Halima Abdu, stated this during the handover of seven PHCs renovated with funding from the European Union to the Governor of Adamawa State, Alhaji Ahmadu Fintiri, in Yola, on Tuesday.

She said UNICEF has committed $1,856,643.65 in purchasing essential medicines distributed to the 226 Primary Health Centers and provided a mobile storage unit worth $14,000 in the state.

Read Also: GMO food is postponed suicide in disguise, environmentalists warn

According to her, UNICEF’s pledged to support the state achieve the sustainable development goal of healthy lives and wellbeing for her citizens was partnered the European union to renovate PHC’s in the state, in phases.

She said, “This €54m multisectoral health and nutrition project being implemented across the three states of Adamawa, Bauchi and Kebbi has supported Adamawa State to ensure 226 Primary Health Centres are functional and provide integrated PHC services through capacity building for over 1,130 health workers on different PHC services and provision of equipment, motorcycles and essential medicines. She said the implementation of the health care service was to strengthen primary health care and community resilience for improved maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition outcomes.

“We have also supported the state through this project with 2,700 community resource persons, trained and kitted, who have provided appropriate treatment to 334,463 under-five children aged 6-59 months, identified with symptoms of any of the three most common child killer diseases and to support universal health coverage achievement, delivery of health care to hard-to-reach settlements using mobile outreach teams and outreach services.”

The Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri, who was represented by the Secretary, Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Mr Umar Pariya, thanked UNICEF for the intervention and support of the health care system.

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Polio Outbreak: Kwara Govt steps up response in 7 LGAs

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Kwara State
Kwara State

The Kwara State Government says it has embarked on vaccination against polio in seven local governments areas of the state in response to an outbreak.

The Executive Secretary, Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Abimbola Folorunso, made this known on Thursday in Ilorin.

According to Mrs Folorunso, the local government areas are Asa, Baruten, Ifelodun, Ilorin South, Ilorin West, Ilorin East, and Moro.

Read Also: Ko Ko Ko Make We Yan with Dr.Weyoms Women and HIV

She explained that the exercise was in view of “circulating derived poliovirus’’ being transmitted in the state.

The agency’s executive secretary said that 30 derived cases of polio were earlier detected in the state.

She said the state government had conducted five different campaigns to battle the outbreak.

Mrs Folorunso also said, “The exercise is aimed at boosting the immunity of our children against the deadly disease (poliomyelitis)’’.

She said another round of vaccination had been slated to take place from August 3 to 23 and would be administered to children aged zero to five.

The executive secretary urged mothers and caregivers to bring their children and wards for the exercise, promising that complimentary gifts would be given to children who were vaccinated.

Mrs Folorunso said the exercise would be conducted from August 3 to 18 in Edu, Ekiti, Irepodun, Isin, Oyun, Offa, Oke-Ero and Patigi local government areas.

She said from August 18 to 23, the exercise would take place in Asa, Baruten, Ifelodun, Ilorin East, Ilorin West, Ilorin South, and Moro local governments. (NAN)

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Nigeria :N19.46bn needed to prevent 70,327 cancer deaths yearly

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cancer deaths
cancer deaths

Experts seek disease mortality register, plan study on annual cost in country

Breast, cervical, prostate, colorectal tumours constitute 52.7% of all cases

To stop the deaths of 70,327 lives lost yearly to cancer, Nigeria needs over N19.46 billion yearly for prevention, diagnosis and treatment, hospice and palliative care, advocacy, data management and research, and governance and finance.

According to the National Cancer Control Plan (NCCP) 2018 –2022, Nigeria needs to spend N97,321,725,422.53 (N97.3 billion) on cancer treatment and care in five years. A breakdown showed that the country plans to spend N19.46 billion on cancer treatment and care yearly.

The NCCP 2018 –2022 has provided cost estimates for the five-year period of the NCCP so that stakeholders know the cost required to operationalise the plan. It also provided the cost estimates to be used for advocacy and resource mobilisation from stakeholders (international donors and local private sector, civil society, and government in the fight against cancer in Nigeria.

Read Also: Osun State: ‘56 out of 1,000 new babies die within 28 days of birth

A further breakdown of the figures showed that N60,508,390,843.09 (N60.5 billion) is for prevention; N59,508,662.50 (N59.5 million) for diagnosis and treatment; N272,032,497.06 (N272 million) for hospice and palliative care; N418,153,850.83 (N418.15 million) for advocacy; N419,787,613.31 (N419.78 million) for data management and research; N35,551,788,079.18 (N35.55 billion) for supply chain management (logistics); and N92,063,876.56 (N92 million) for governance and finance.

Also, current mortality estimates from modelling using incidence mortality rates derived from cancer registry data in GLOBOCAN 2018 showed cancer killed 70,327 and afflicted 115,950 Nigerians in 2018.

The GLOBOCAN 2018 data for Nigeria showed breast, cervical, prostate, and colorectal tumours constitute 52.7 per cent of all cases.

GLOBOCAN 2018 is an online database providing estimates of incidence and mortality in 185 countries for 36 types of cancer, and for all cancer sites combined.

Meanwhile, unlike in the United States (US) where the overall lost earnings were $94.4 billion, and $191,900 per cancer death and lost earnings were $29.0 million per 100,000 population overall, according to a new United States (US) analysis published in JAMA Oncology, Nigeria does to have such figures.

Why? A professor of Radiology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Enugu, Enugu State, Ifeoma Okoye, and the Medical Director, International Research Centre of Excellence, (IRCE) Institute of Human Virology, Abuja, Dr. Elima Jedy-Agba, told The Guardian that the amount of money Nigeria loses to cancer yearly is difficult to compute because the country does not have national mortality register and does not know the exact numbers of deaths from cancer.

Okoye and Jeddy-Agba said another reason is that the cancer cases particularly those in rural Nigeria or who are self employed like traders do not have information on their annual income that is for those who work and support families and whose income would be lost should they die from cancer.

Okoye, who is also the Director of UNN Centre For Clinical Trials, said this could be a research question, which needed to be investigated in a proper research study, “To estimate the annual cost of cancer in a particular state or geographic region in Nigeria” or “The annual cost of cancer care in Nigeria”.

Until now, several studies have shown that cancer deaths impose significant economic burden in Nigeria because of productivity losses due to premature death. Experts are unanimous that accurate information on the economic burden of cancer mortality can help in setting policies and prioritizing resources for cancer prevention and control.

However, contemporary data are lacking for not just in Nigeria but also in the United States nationally and by state.

According to the JAMA Oncology study, a total of 492,146 cancer deaths occurred in people ages 16 to 84 in the in 2015, translating to a total of 8,739,939 life years lost. The study identified which cancers and which states are associated with the greatest cost.

To update estimated lost earnings due to death from cancer, investigators led by Dr. Farhad Islami calculated person-years of life lost using numbers of cancer deaths and life expectancy data in individuals aged 16 to 84 years who died from cancer in the United States in 2015. They created estimates for cancer deaths overall and for the major cancers in the United States nationally and by state. The estimates are for lost earnings alone, and do not include other costs associated with cancer, including costs of treatment and caregiving.

Islami said: “Years of life lost and lost earnings were high for many cancers for which there are modifiable risk factors and effective screening and treatment, which suggests that a substantial proportion of our current national mortality burden is potentially avoidable.

“Applying comprehensive cancer prevention interventions and ensuring equitable access to high-quality care across all states could reduce the burden of cancer and associated geographic and other differences in the country…”

Health care professionals can contribute to achieving this goal because they play a central role in the delivery of cancer prevention, screening, and treatment.”

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526 teeth discovered in boy’s mouth by doctors

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526 teeth
526 teeth

Doctors have discovered about 526 teeth inside a 7-year-old Indian boy’s mouth.  “He always complain of jaw pain”, the hospital that treated him said. The boy whose name was not mentioned, was admitted last month in the southern city of Chennai because of swelling and pain near his molars in his lower right jaw

Read Also: Osun State: ‘56 out of 1,000 new babies die within 28 days of birth

 When doctors scanned and x-rayed his mouth, they found a sac embedded in his lower jaw filled with “abnormal teeth,” Dr. Prathiba Ramani, the head of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, said. Ramani said the boy was suffering from a very rare condition called compound composite odontoma, noting that it took his team about four to five hours to empty the sac after two surgeons had operated on the boy.

However, Dr. P. Senthilnathan, head of the hospital’s Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department and one of two surgeons who operated on the boy explain the procedures to the reporters “Under general anesthesia, we drilled into the jaw from the top,” he said.

We did not break the bone from the sides, meaning reconstruction surgery was not required. The sac was removed. You can think of it as a kind of balloon with small pieces inside.” Dr. Senthilnathan said the discovery showed it was important to seek treatment for dental issues as early as possible.

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GMO food is postponed suicide in disguise, environmentalists warn

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GMO food
GMO food

With the recent agricultural updates that if the world’s population should hit 10 billion, then the genetic modification of crops popularly called GMO would be the only way to meet food production.

Some environmentalists and agricultural experts have debunked the claim insisting that the world can always feed itself if wastage is checked.

Read Also: 20 million Nigerians on hepatitis death list- Anambra State Commissioner for Health

The experts made this assertion at a town hall meeting with civil society organisations and other stakeholders CSOs organised by Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, in Benin City. Executive Director of HOMEF, Dr Nnimmo Bassey in his opening remarks upheld that artificial means of food production is as good as signing one’s death warrant and should not be considered in Nigeria.

He said those insisting on GMOs were those desperate to keep their jobs. Bassey said: “Records show that up to 30 per cent of food produced globally is wasted and in Nigeria, it is believed that up to 50 per cent of food produced gets damaged before getting to the cooking pots or dining table.

 Several reasons are responsible for the damage of harvests in Nigeria, genetic engineering cannot solve that problem”. I’ll not share public funds to few greedy individuals —Obaseki(Opens in a new browser tab) A Professor of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology of the University of Benin, Daniel Olorunfemi kicked against the idea of trying to alter nature with laboratory modulated findings as a contest against the order as ordained by nature and  God.

He likened GMOs to altering the DNA of a human being and the result can never be the same as the original DNA, adding that the hunger in Nigeria is artificial caused by misplaced priorities.

 He said: “We already have enough problems and GMO is just complicating. They have lasting effects that may not even present itself now but for unborn generations. We have been surviving well before the introduction of GMO in our country and taking it as an option in order to meet the status-quo of achieving Vision 2020 is mass ambush for Nigeria. It will never solve the issue of food crisis in Nigeria”.

While calling on proper investment in agriculture, participants called on the Federal Government to ban GMO foods into the country rather than claiming that there can be room for authorized GMO foods

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Second man in Goma to have Ebola is dead

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Ebola Goma
Ebola Goma

A Congolese official has said that the man who became the second confirmed Ebola case in the city of Goma has died.

Ebola response coordinator Jean-Jacques Muyembe confirmed the death on Wednesday morning, a day after the case was announced

Read Also: 20 million Nigerians on hepatitis death list- Anambra State Commissioner for Health

Muyembe has said there appears to be no link between the case and the previous one in Goma that was announced two and a half weeks ago. It is not immediately clear how the man arrived in Goma on July 13 from a mining area in northeastern Ituri province and what he did after he started showing symptoms on July 22. He was isolated at an Ebola treatment center on Tuesday.

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20 million Nigerians on hepatitis death list- Anambra State Commissioner for Health

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hepatitis death list
hepatitis death list

NO fewer than 20 million Nigerians are believed to be on the hepatitis death list, with the country contributing significantly to the global chronic viral hepatitis infection.

Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, who gave the figure when members of the Rotary Club, Awka, paid him a courtesy call in commemoration of this year’s Hepatitis Day, described Hepatitis C as 10 times more infectious than HIV and has no vaccine.

 He said apart from the fact that hepatitis has no vaccine, the most disturbing aspect of the ailment was that most people live with it for years without knowing.

According to him, Nigeria had the prevalence rate of 11% and 2.2% for viral Hepatitis B and C respectively, adding that the percentage corresponds with the over 20 million people living with the virus in a population of about 198 million, who are at the risk of developing chronic complications of liver cirrhosis and primary liver cell cancers.

Okpala said: “Without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will continue to suffer and lives will continue to be lost. Every single day, thousands of people are newly infected with Hepatitis yet viral Hepatitis B is entirely preventable.”

Read Also: Osun State: ‘56 out of 1,000 new babies die within 28 days of birth

 He listed some of the modes of transmitting viral Hepatitis B and C to include contact with infectious blood, semen and other bodily fluids. Others means of contracting the disease, he added, were through birth from a Hepatitis B-infected mother, sexual contact with a Hepatitis B-infected person, sharing needles, syringes or drug paraphernalia and tattooing.

 While commending Rotary Club for its role in reducing diseases in society, Okpala noted that the fight against hepatitis was everyone’s responsibility, explaining that the state would collaborate with the club in conducting free screening for civil servants and traders at the Bridge Head Drug Market in Onitsha.

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Osun State: ‘56 out of 1,000 new babies die within 28 days of birth

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Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey
Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey

The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) has shown that out of 1,000 newly-born children in Osun State, 56 die within 28 days of their birth. The data also indicated that 78 out of 1,000 children in the state die before they are 12 months old. It also revealed that 101 out of 1,000 children in the state die before they are five years old.

Read Also: 7500 Gombe kids at risk of acute malnutrition – Investigation

 The Director, Department of Nutrition Services & Health Education (DNSHE) of the Osun Primary Health Care Development Board (OPHCDB), Dr James Oloyede, said such deaths would be avoidable if women in the state practised exclusive breastfeeding.

 At a sensitization programme organised yesterday for women groups in the state, Oloyede declared that the figure was unacceptable and the situation must be dealt with. He urged mothers-in-law to support their daughters-in-law to practise exclusive breast-feeding. The OPHCDB Director commended the state governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, for setting up a steering committee on breastfeeding, while urging representatives of women groups in the state to disseminate the exclusive breast-feeding message to their various communities and become its advocate. A public health specialist in the Board, Mr Michael Izuchukwu, advised women in the state to imbibe the exclusive breast-feeding culture to ensure that their children stay alive in sound health. He noted that breast milk already contained 88.1 per cent of water and cautioned nursing mothers to desist from giving water or any liquid to their children in the first six months of the baby’s life. Izuchukwu said, “The baby needs only breast milk to make him or her stay alive, healthy and brilliant. Exclusive breast-feeding has the potential to save more children’s lives than any other preventive intervention. In fact, a study has shown that an estimated 13 per cent of child deaths could be averted if 90 per cent of mothers exclusively breast-feed their infants for the first six months of life. “Breast-fed children have, at least, six times greater chance of survival in the early months than non-breastfed children. An exclusively breast-fed child is 14 times less likely to die in the first six months than a non-breastfed child.”

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7500 Gombe kids at risk of acute malnutrition – Investigation

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acute malnutrition
acute malnutrition

No fewer than 7, 500 children are at the risk of becoming severely malnourished as a result of impending shortage of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), supplement use to treat acute malnutrition in children. Findings by North East Trust revealed that at least 300 new cases of malnourished children are register monthly at each of the five LGAs with the Centre the Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM).

Read Also: NMA Embarks on Protest against Frequent Kidnapping of Doctors in C’River

 The Nutrition officer of Gombe Local Government Area, Mohammed Bawa, said they have run out of stock since January when they had the last supply of the RUTF.

 “The supply resumed only last Friday and there is fear that it will not last beyond September over non-release of counterpart funding by the last administration and the likely withdrawal of UNICEF from the RUF programme,” he said. Bawa disclosed that the 500 cartons of the RUTF received at his centre may last for only two months considering the high demand from within and, especially, outside Gombe metropolis. During a visit to one of the CMAM site in Gombe metropolis, several nursing mothers, with their malnourished children, were seen waiting to be given the RUTF ration for their children.

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NMA Embarks on Protest against Frequent Kidnapping of Doctors in C’River

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NMA Embarks on Protest

Medical doctors in Cross River State, operating on the platform of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), stormed the state House of Assembly in Calabar, the state capital, where they laid their protest against the incessant kidnapping of their members at the door steps of the state lawmakers.

The doctors also took their protest to the Government House where they also laid a similar complaint before the state Governor, Professor Ben Ayade.

While the medical doctors were marching through some streets in Calabar to the seat of power in the state, all public and private hospitals remained closed in continuation of the indefinite strike they embarked on recently following the abduction of Dr. Inyama Marcus a week ago. As at press time, Marcus was still in captivity.

Chairman of NMA in the state, Dr. Agama Ayuk, who led the protesting doctors to the state government, lamented that in the last your years, eight medical doctors and six members of their households have been kidnapped in the state.

Ayuk said the NMA was demanding the immediate release of Marcus from those who kidnapped him last week in Akpabuyo Local Government Area close to Calabar.

Speaking at the premises of the state House of Assembly, Ayku, who was flanked by hundreds of his colleagues, said the frequent kidnapping of medical doctors in the state was “worrisome.”

Lamenting the plight of medical personnel in the state in the hands of kidnappers, he said the government should provide adequate security, not just for members of the NMA, but for everybody in the state.

According to Ayuk, “On July 18, 2019, one of our colleagues, Dr. Marcus, was kidnapped on the way to his house. Since then, he has been held captive and they are demanding outrageous sum of money which is very difficult for doctors to pay.

“This is the 14 doctors and their dependents kidnapped across the state in the last four years. We work day and night, and we feel that we are not safe in carrying out our responsibility of saving lives.”

“And if we are not safe, we cannot save lives. When the people make emergency calls, we cannot go out of our houses to attend to them. So we have to withdraw our services to strengthen the hands of government to do more in providing security for everyone in the state.

“As we speak, many people are been kidnapped in Cross River State everyday, and we believe that the government, whose primary responsibility is security and welfare of the people, should do more to protect us.

“Cross River State is no longer safe for us. We hope that this issue will be taken as a matter of urgent public importance because we want the unconditional release of our colleague.”

Ayuk said the ongoing strike by members of the NMA would continue until Marcus regains his freedom.

Speaker of the assembly, Eteng Jonah-Williams, who responded to their complaints and address NMA members, said the lawmakers would give serious attention to the demands of the medical doctors.

“We need the Permanent Secretary on security to explain to us what’s going on. Within one week alone, I know of three persons that have been kidnapped within Calabar metropolis; this is a very sad development.

“We are with you, we will make sure that something is done urgently because I see no reason why doctors who save lives should be targeted and kidnapped always,’’ the Speaker said.

At the Government House, while addressing the medical doctors, the state Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, who stood in for the state governor, said the state government remained poised to providing security for the people of the state.

Esu promised that the state government was working seriously to secure the release of Marcus from the kidnappers den, as he appealed to the medical doctors to call of the strike in the interest of the public.

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NCDC records 82 suspected cases of Cholera Outbreak in Adamawa, Bauchi, Katsina

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Cholera Outbreak
Cholera Outbreak

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, yesterday said no fewer than 82 cases of suspected cholera had been recorded from seven local government areas in Adamawa, Bauchi and Katsina. The agency gave the breakdown of affected state as Adamawa 60 cases, Bauchi two cases and Katsina 20 cases. The Director-General of the council, Mr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said out of the 82 suspected cases, 36 were confirmed in laboratory and one death recorded. Ihekweazu noted that the Cholera Technical Working Group, TWG, had continued to coordinate activities in states, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, FMWR, and support from partners. According to him, the Adamawa Emergency Operations Centre, EOC, was leading the response to cases in the state. The Director-General said Rapid Diagnostic Test kits, RDTs were distributed to local government councils by Disease Surveillance Notification Officers (DSNOs) for prompt test and action, saying:  “DSNOs and health facilities in high-risk areas and the TWG members, with a team from John Hopkins University, visited four states to conduct training on the use of measles RDTs. They planned to follow up to ensure continued vigilance and early reporting. They also planned to conduct level training on sample management and RDT testing for high priority states and conduct community sensitisation in Adamawa local government areas.” Lassa fever outbreak: NCDC confirms 23 new cases, 4 deaths (Opens in a new browser tab) On Lassa fever, he said there were 78 suspected cases from 17 local government areas in eight states in the country. He listed the states as Edo with 40 cases, Ondo, 16 cases; Ebonyi, seven cases; Plateau, nine cases; Gombe, one case; Enugu, one case; Kebbi, three cases and Cross River, one case. Ihekweazu added that 12 cases were confirmed in the laboratory with one death recorded. The NCDC boss announced a plan to support indigent patients through Basic Health Care Provision Fund and harmonisation of Lassa fever laboratory and surveillance data into one database. On measles, he disclosed that there were 633 suspected cases reported from 30 states. He added that none was confirmed in a laboratory but the Multi-Agency National Measles TWG was monitoring and coordinating response activities across the states. He said “TWG is working closely with National Measles Technical Coordination Committee toward an upcoming measles Supplementary Immunisation Activity (SIA) and introduction of second dose of measles vaccination. “The group conducted a planning meeting for After Action Review (AAR) and measles guideline review meeting and a travel advisory on measles outbreak shared across different media platforms.” The NCDC chief said that the centre would continue to review measles surveillance data across the nation and also continue planning for AAR and measles guideline review meetings.

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Ko Ko Ko Make we yan with Dr Weyoms – Family Planning

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Dr Weyoms

Family Planning in a Big Context.

Do you think family planning should start when you have had your first day or much earlier?

I think with the present state of the world’s economy, family planning should start when the certainty of a marriage union is 150%. In this case, partners should start making healthy decisions regarding family planning.

Aside genotypes, do screenings and health checks to know if you are healthy to have a baby or babies. Also, it is not a one-sided show, both the man and the woman has to be involved.

Plan ahead for the hospital and baby. Don’t wait until the last minute or the 9th month to prepare for a baby’s arrival. Also, have
e an emergency fund and if possible a health insurance plan for your family.

Don’t forget to space your children as this is critical to your wellbeing. Both of you as partners have to make a choice of the type of contraceptives to use.

Take family planning into consideration as you prepare your wedding plans.

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Air Pollution Bad News for Your Blood Pressure

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Air Pollution

 In yet another finding that shows air pollution is bad for more than just your lungs, a new study suggests long-term exposure could raise your risk of high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic Syndrome includes a number of health conditions that increase the risk of Heart disease, Stroke and diabetes

After researchers have investigated between long-term exposure to air pollution, how far people lived from green spaces and major roads, and the development of high blood pressure and some components of metabolic syndrome, such as high triglyceride levels, lower levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, high blood sugar levels and obesity.

The investigators found that the effects were seen only in people who lived in apartment buildings. And while the study found an association, it could not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

“Our research results enable us to say that we should regulate as much as possible the living space for one person in multifamily houses, improve the noise insulation of apartments, and promote the development of green spaces in multifamily houses,”

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10 million Nigerians use cannabis – UNODC

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UNODC

Cannabis is the most widely used drug globally by the United Nations on Drug and Crime (UNODC) with an estimated 188 million people having used the drug in the previous year.

UNODC Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe, disclosed this at the 2019 World Drug Day on Wednesday in Abuja.

The theme for the 2019 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is: ‘Justice for Health, Health for Justice.’

According to him, an estimated 10.6 million Nigerians had used cannabis in the previous year as disclosed in a survey conducted by National Bureau of Statistics with the technical support of UNODC and funded by the European Union.

Mr Stolpe said more than one third of cannabis users suffer from drug use disorders.

He said UNODC annual report shows that 271 million people or 5.5 per cent of the global population aged between 15 and 64 have used drugs in the previous year.

“In this context, I would like to remind you that drug use prevalence in Nigeria stood at 14.4 per cent of Nigeria’s population in the age group of 15 to 64 years.

“That means that the prevalence of past year drug use in Nigeria is more than twice the global average of 5.5 per cent.

“In 2017, more than 53 million people worldwide had used opioids, 56 per cent higher than the estimate for 2016.

“In Africa, the survey data from Nigeria led to a revision of the number of past year users of opioids to 6.1 million, compared to the previous estimate of 2.2 million.

READ MORE : Genotype and Sickle Cell on Ko Ko Ko Make We Yan with Dr Weyoms

“With the new information from India and Nigeria, the number of people who are thought to suffer from drug use disorders is now estimated to be 35 million globally.

“This number is 15 per cent higher than the previous estimate of 30 million,” Mr Stolpe said.

He said the use of cannabis and poly-drug have been a fairly common phenomena in Nigeria with large number of dependent users.

Mr Stolpe said cannabis production, trafficking, prevention and treatment should not be addressed in isolation, but as part of a holistic approach to drug control.

He explained that a single substance approach such as the ban of codeine, containing cough syrup, are unlikely to produce results in terms of reduced drug use.

The UNODC rep added that in spite of the aim to prevent criminals from generating profits from the illicit trade, cannabis market continue to exist in countries that have legalised the non-medical use of the drug.

He also said the UNODC world drug report shows that the intensity of cannabis use has been increasing in the context of cannabis legalisation.

Mr Stolpe said that the issue of cannabis legalisation should be considered within the international legal framework and the specific country’s context.

He added that with the renewed commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the issue of drug use the country would continue to employ a balanced approach to drug control.

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She’s Taking Control with Dr. Rasheedah

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SHE'S TAKING CONTROL

Body image has been in the news lately and rightfully so. The way we view ourselves as women is very important and I’m all for cultivating a positive body image. women are more likely to report negative body image issues and as a result more likely to develop mental health conditions secondary to this. This week it’s #selflove#bodypositive

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Genotype and Sickle Cell on Ko Ko Ko Make We Yan with Dr Weyoms

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Dr Weyoms

Have you ever asked someone what their genotype is? How was the response? 
So I am asking you, “Do you know your genotype?  
This is not a show but a serious question that determines how the future plays itself especially when you want to have children. Sickle Cell Disease is a public health issue and affects us as a people in Nigeria. 
We tend to discriminate those whose genotypes are SS, but we need to challenge the myths we have about them and start embracing them as humans who are warriors. 
We can support these warriors and their carers in many ways. Look for a Warrior Community today and ask them how you can support them. 

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Ko Ko Ko Make We Yan with Dr.Weyoms Women and HIV

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women living with HIV

We have about 1.7M women living with HIV in Nigeria between the ages of 15-49 years according to 2017 statistics. It is something that calls for serious conversations as it applies to our everyday lives.

HIV may cause some health problems that are unique to women, which includes cancer, gynaecological health issues, aging related issues and a whole range of other things.

HIV affects women and adolescent girls because of vulnerabilities which are created by unequal cultural, social and economic status.

We can go on about the barriers facing women and HIV, but I think it is time to start designed targeted measures to help women living with HIV, increase knowledge about HIV among adolescent girls and provide appropriate services that address our sexual, reproductive and HIV needs.

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She’s Taking Control: Few tips and key points on health screening

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SHE'S TAKING CONTROL

It’s the month of June and midway through 2019, are you being proactive with your health? How are those health goals going? It’s never too late to start you’ve still got time.
Join me as I share a few tips and key points on health screening and checks that I would recommend for every woman.
Remember it’s all about taking control ❤

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Ko Ko Ko Make we yan with Dr Weyoms: Beat Air Pollution

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women living with HIV

The quality of the air we breathe depends on the lifestyle choices we make every day.  This is why you should care about air pollution where you live according to the UN Environment: Polluted air is creating a health emergency and it is threatening everyone from unborn babies to children walking to school, to women cooking over open fires and poorly ventilated kitchens. Children are mostly at risks with a lot of death resulting from air pollution such as pneumonia. 
Air pollution goes hand in hand with poverty. The cheaper the fuels, the higher the costsThe right to clean air is a human right. 
What are you doing today to curb the air pollution in where you live? Let us work together to #BeatAirPollution

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NACA Empowers Young Women and Girls to Curb HIV Prevalence

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NACA

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) in collaboration with the Association of Women Living with HIV in Nigeria (ASWHIN) and Tosin Alibaba Memorial Fund has empowered 50 young women and girls in Lagos as part of plans to reduce the spread of the Human Immuno Virus in Nigeria.

Speaking during the presentation of empowerment packs to the beneficiaries in Lagos recently, the Acting Director General, NACA, Dr. Kayode Ogungbemi, said the agency was targeting females because the recent study done by NACA has shown that young women and girls are more prone to HIV infection, hence the need to make them economically independent so they can make choices themselves.

He said: “We have come to understand that without empowering them economically, it will be difficult to address HIV epidemic in the country. Evidence has shown that one of the major drivers of gender inequality and HIV especially amongst females is poverty and financial dependency.

“The findings from the recently conducted Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) indicate almost double the number of males is females living with HIV. That is 1.9 per cent females and 1.1 per cent males while the national prevalence is 1.5 per cent.

“The study estimated about 1.9 million people are living with HIV in Nigeria. 75 percent of persons with HIV are between the reproductive and working ages of 15 and 49 years. Poverty is recognised as one of the drivers of the HIV epidemic in Nigeria, and evidence suggests that economic empowerment as a social protection strategy can improve the response and coping strategies of people infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS.
“Economic empowerment opportunities could also reduce women’s financial dependence which predisposes them to gender based violence, sexually risky behaviour and HIV infection.”

He explained that the empowerment strategy was equally important in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of leaving no one behind, adding that gender-related interventions were potent tools for breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty, particularly for disadvantaged women and girl children.

He said the empowerment will focus on provision of livelihood training/ skills acquisition programmes for fifty vulnerable and indigent young women and girls including women and girls living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

On her part, the Deputy Director, Gender, Human Rights and Care Support Service, NACA, Dr. Yinka Falola-Anoemuah said the goal of the initiative was to economically empower 50 young vulnerable women and girls in Lagos State including living with HIV & AIDS and those affected/vulnerable to HIV&AIDS through the transfer of economic empowerment and livelihood skills and opportunities.

She said: “The objective is to promote entrepreneurships and income generation through acquisition of skills and provision of startup kits to selected HIV vulnerable women and girls in Lagos.

“It is also to provide linkages for other relevant and available services with the communities for HIV vulnerable women and girls in Lagos, as well as to contribute towards achieving gender equality in the national HIV and AIDS response.”

The Chairman, Tosin Alibaba Memorial Fund, Senator Dipo Odujirin said the programme would help in reducing the prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the country.

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2.6 Million LLITN to be distributed By USAID in Cross River

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The United States Agency International Development

According to the Malaria Logistics Advisor, Global Health Supply Chain, Godwin Aidenagbon, The United States Agency International Development (USAID) will distribute at least 2.6 million Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLITNs) in Cross River State valued at N2.3 billion,

Disclosing this during a sensitisation workshop on Malaria Eradication in Calabar recently, he said the programme, which is being sponsored under the auspices of the US President’s Malaria Initiative, targets the distribution across the 18 local government areas of the state.

Aidenagbon said the programme will run through nine weeks, with 11,000 people deployed to embark on distribution of the LLITN.

He said: “Over 45 percent of Nigerians sleep inside the LLITN regularly, and what we are doing is to increase the number using the net to prevent malaria and we are doing this through campaign, community distribution, schools, and antenatal clinics.

“Nets protect us from the mosquito that spreads the parasite. People should sleep inside the net correctly and consistently.”

In her remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Cross River State, Dr. Inyang Asibong, said the net has a life span of three years.

Represented by the Director of Public Health, Dr. Iwara Iwara, she urged the residents not to use the net to protect their garden from insect, but rather they should sleep under it every night to protect themselves from having malaria

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Pastor in trouble for Impregnating 20 Followers

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Pastor Impregnating 20 Followers

Men of the Enugu State Police Command have held a pastor for allegedly impregnating 20 members of his ministry.
The 53-year-old General Overseer of Vineyard Ministry of the Holy Trinity, Enugu, Pastor Timothy Ngwu, reportedly claimed that the Holy Spirit commanded him to impregnate as many female members of the church as possible.
Enugu police spokesperson, Ebere Amaraizu, said that the pastor had been charged for sexual abuse.
It was learned that whenever a woman allegedly impregnated by the pastor is delivered of a baby, the child is supposed to remain in the ministry with the mother for life.
Reports say the police were called in when the niece of the pastor’s wife was impregnated.
According to the police, the pastor said he had “only five wives with 13 children along with other concubines he got after the ‘Holy Spirit commanded’ him to do so.”

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Ko Ko Ko Make we yan with Dr Weyoms – Mental Health is Everybody’s Business

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Dr Weyoms


How are you?

This is more than just a formal way of greeting as it can lead to many conversations. Mental health is a very sensitive topic in our region but it doesn’t mean we should not talk about it. The more we speak our minds on mental health, the barriers and stigma attached to mental health will be lowered. Mental Health affects women, men, children, young people and older people. A lot of people suffer from mental health issues and they need our support and help. We can do our best by speaking out, using the right words and support and helping those who need professional help find one. Let us make use of the opportunities we have to curb mental health issues in our communities.

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Ko Ko Ko make we yan with Dr Weyoms: Type 2 Diabetes

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Dr Weyoms

Type 2 Diabetes is serious! Why? 

Every day around 700 people are diagnosed with diabetes. That’s one person every two minutes. If you do not know your risk of type 2 diabetes or even follow the right treatment, there could be problems with your eyesight, risk of heart attack or a stroke. The risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are age, family history, ethnicity, high blood pressure and being overweight. It is important to know the risk factors and find out your risk but remember to look out for these signs: Peeing a lot? Thirsty? Lost weight without trying? Feel tired? Blurred eyesight? itchy genitals and thrush? Cuts that do not heal? If you notice any of these, please see a doctor and get tested for Type 2 diabetes. You and your doctor can then plan your next steps.

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Advancing health security in Nigeria

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Prof. Isaac F. Adewole Minister of Health

One of the biggest priorities of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led government in its first tenure was to strengthen and revitalise Nigeria’s health sector. This was evident in several ways.
Perhaps one of the most valuable long-term investments of this administration is the passage of the Act establishing the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

This agency, which was established in 2011 to lead the response to the challenges of public health emergencies and to enhance Nigeria’s preparedness and response to epidemics, had existed for over 10 years without a legislative mandate. This led to some uncertainty about its role and mandate. This has now been resolved by the leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, providing an unambiguous mandate to NCDC as contained in the new Act.

Across the world, there is a rise in the awareness of people, on the critical importance of science driven national public health institutes, in protecting the health of its citizens.

In several global health meetings, which I have been privileged to attend, and in some cases chair, Nigeria’s national public health institute is often cited as a model for other countries.

In recognition of this, the Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited the agency in 2018, together with all his Regional Directors from across the world. They were impressed by the progress made by this nascent but vibrant new centre.

Prior to 2017, the ability of NCDC to completely deliver its mandate was limited by the absence of a legislative mandate.

Other factors that limited effective and smooth operationalisation of activities included inadequate funding, limited development partners support, a non-effective incident coordination mechanism, limited laboratory diagnostic capacity, lack of standard operation procedures and guidelines, etc. This had a negative impact on outbreak preparedness and response in the country.

However, since the Buhari administration prioritised health security and universal health coverage in the last four years, we have recorded incredible progress across several areas.

In 2017, NCDC on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health coordinated the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) of International Health Regulations (IHR) for Nigeria. This described the country’s gaps and defined the progress that has been made in health security.

Subsequently, this led to the development of a National Action Plan for Health Security, which I was privileged to launch in December 2018. This plan has an outline of roles for every player in health security, within and outside the Nigerian health sector.

For the first time, we have a concise and well-defined plan that speaks to health and ‘non-health’ sector leaders. The plan has helped us interact better, as members of the Federal Executive Council, to assure Nigeria’s health security.

Prior to 2015, Nigeria depended largely on other African and Western countries for laboratory testing. In 2017, the new National Reference Laboratory was operationalised in Abuja, and now leads public health laboratory diagnosis in the country.

The laboratory together with its network of laboratories across the country, has the capacity to test for the six epidemic prone diseases in Nigeria; Lassa fever, measles, cholera, yellow fever, cerebrospinal meningitis and monkeypox. This is in addition to leading surveillance on antimicrobial resistance, external quality assessments and other important areas.

The National Reference Laboratory also served as the central laboratory for the National AIDS Impact and Indicator Survey (NAIIS). This is evidence of national ownership in ensuring sustainability of investments in the country. We are now leveraging on outputs from the AIDS survey to improve our knowledge of the burden of other diseases.

In line with President Buhari’s agenda for a digital Nigeria, a new digital surveillance tool- Surveillance and Outbreak Review Management System (SORMAS), was developed and introduced for ease of reporting. This has been fully deployed in 211 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 16 States in Nigeria. This enables digital reporting of infectious disease data, improved response time and better data management. This new system will position Nigeria as a leader in infectious disease surveillance in Africa.

Following the 2014 Ebola outbreak, several structures were lost after the response. The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) that was used for the response was shut down.

The emergence of NCDC has now changed this landscape. Nigeria now has a new National Emergency Operations Centre, known as the Incident Coordination Centre (ICC) within NCDC. This was set up in 2016 and has led the coordination of over 10 outbreaks till date. In addition, NCDC began a project to establish state level Emergency Operations Centre for coordination.

By the end of April 2019, this project had been completed in 14 states with plans for further expansion to cover the entire country.

A National First Responders Team (N-FIRST) for highly pathogenic infectious disease outbreak was set up in 2018 in alignment with the Emergency Medical Team (EMT) concept. This includes health workers of different cadre from various health facilities in Nigeria, prepared to respond to highly pathogenic outbreaks with NCDC’s coordination.

As part of the overall mandate of the Federal Ministry of Health, NCDC has contributed significantly to research and development, especially for infectious diseases. Nigeria is now at the forefront of Lassa fever research globally. There is a new national Lassa fever research plan, working with partners to understand and push for the production of new countermeasures such as Lassa fever vaccines.

In addition, Nigeria now contributes to the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System, one of the new threats to global health.

Given the increased trust and renewed vigor in the health sector and NCDC, there has been an increase in partnerships and support globally. NCDC has built partnerships with other national public health institutes in United Kingdom, Germany, United States of America and other countries.

In addition, NCDC receives support from the World Health Organization, Africa CDC, West African Health Organization, UNICEF, Gates Foundation, a credit facility from the World Bank and other international agencies.

Finally, in 2018, the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) was passed into law for the first time. Of the 5 per cent earmarked for emergencies, 2.5 per cent is for health emergencies and will be managed by NCDC.

Our Government recognises that universal health coverage and health security are two sides of the same coin. Therefore, this sustainable act and several others that we have built will support NCDC in continuing its mandate of protecting the health of all Nigerians.

As the first tenure of President Buhari draws to an end, we celebrate one of its most important achievements. The full operationalisation of NCDC will protect the health of Nigerians for generations yet unborn.

  • Prof. Isaac F. Adewole is the Minister of Health, and a consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician.
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She’s Taking Control with Dr Rasheedah

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SHE'S TAKING CONTROL

Topic: Living Positively

It’s mental health awareness week and we are discussing “Living Positively”. As humans we will experience a whole range of emotions go and bad, some we can explain and others not so much. 
I’ll be sharing a few things I have found that help me reset when I start to slip into negativity or start to feel low. 
Everyone has their happy space and things that work for them, it’s all about trying to find your HAPPY

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KO KO KO Make we yan with Dr Weyoms

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women living with HIV

Topic: ASTHMA

Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties. It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also develop for the first time in adults. There are simple treatments that can help keep the symptoms under control so it doesn’t have a big impact on your life. People with asthma have very sensitive airways that become inflamed and tighten when they breathe in anything that irritates them.

 The main symptoms of asthma are wheezing (a whistling sound when breathing); breathlessness, a tight chest, which may feel like a band is tightening around it and coughing. The symptoms can sometimes get temporarily worse and this known as an asthma attack.

Most people with asthma who receive the right treatment and take it correctly can control the symptoms and lead normal lives

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How can I get to sleep easily?

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woman sleeping on a bed

Being unable to fall sleep easily or naturally can be a frustrating experience, with consequences for the next day. One solution is to take medications that help to induce sleep. However, these medications are not a long-term solution to the problem.

This article will discuss 14 methods that people can use to help them fall asleep naturally. It is important to remember that different things will work for different people; so take some time to experiment to find what works.

14 ways to fall asleep naturally

There are many ways to improve sleep including:

1. Creating a consistent sleeping pattern

Creating a consistent sleeping pattern can help a person to fall asleep naturally.

Going to bed at different times every night is a common habit for many people.

However, an irregular sleeping pattern could interfere with sleep because it interrupts the body’s circadian rhythm.

The circadian rhythm refers to a selection of behavioral, physical, and mental changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. A primary function of the circadian rhythm is to determine whether the body is ready for sleep or not.

This is heavily influenced by a biological clock that releases hormones to induce sleep or wakefulness.

Going to bed at the same time every night helps the body clock predict when to induce sleep.

2. Keeping lights turned off

The circadian rhythm is also influenced by cues, such as light, which help the body judge when it is nighttime. Keeping the room as dark as possible when going to bed might help bring on sleep.

3. Avoiding napping

Naps during the daytime can also disrupt the circadian rhythm, particularly those longer than 2 hours or close to the evening.

One study found that students who napped at least three times per week for longer than 2 hours or napped close to the evening had a lower quality of sleep than their peers.

After a poor night’s sleep, it is tempting to take a long nap, particularly close to the evening. But try to avoid this as it can adversely affect a healthful sleep cycle.

How can I get enough sleep?

Adults and children need plenty of sleep for their mind and body to function correctly. Learn more about how much sleep people need at various stages of their lives, as well as tips for better sleep here

4. Doing exercise

Physical exercise is known to have a positive impact on sleep quality.

One study that looked at 305 people over 40 years old with sleep problems found that moderate or high-intensity exercise programs led to improvements in sleep quality. The study also found that participants took their sleep medication less frequently.

It is currently unclear whether exercising at different times of day has an impact on sleep.

5. Avoiding using your mobile

Currently, there is much debate about whether the use of mobile phones at bedtime affects sleep.

One study on college students found that those who scored high on a scale of problem phone use, such as addictive texting behavior, had a lower sleep quality. However, there was no difference in the length of time they slept.

Much of the current research is on students and young people, so it is unclear whether these findings extend to other age groups. Studies also tend to focus on problem phone use. People who do not use their phone in this way may not be as susceptible to sleep disturbances.

More research is needed in this area to understand the extent to which phone use can impact upon sleep.

6. Reading books

Reading books can be relaxing and may help prevent anxious thought patterns that could interfere with a person’s sleep. It is best to avoid books that might cause strong emotional responses.

7. Avoiding caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant. It stimulates wakefulness and can disrupt sleep patterns. It is best to avoid caffeine for at least 4 hours before going to bed. In some people, consuming caffeine at any time of the day could have a negative impact on sleep quality. For these people, it is best to avoid caffeine altogether.

8. Trying meditation or mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness can help reduce anxiety, which often disrupts sleeping.

A study in older adults with sleeping difficulties found that mindfulness meditation improved sleep quality, compared to people who did not practice mindfulness.

9. Trying counting

A longstanding method of inducing sleep is counting down slowly from 100. There are several ideas about why this may work, including boredom or distracting the individual from anxious thoughts.

10. Changing eating habits

It is best to allow the body time to digest food before sleep.

What a person eats, particularly in the evening, can have an impact on sleep.

For example, eating a large meal within 1 hour of going to bed may impair a person’s ability to sleep. Digesting a meal can take at least 2 to 3 hours.

Lying down during this period can cause discomfort or feelings of nausea and slow the digestive process in some people, though this is not the case for everyone.

It is best to allow the body enough time to digest a meal before lying down. The exact time needed will vary from person to person.

11. Getting the room temperature right

Being too hot or too cold can have a significant impact on the ability to sleep.

The temperature at which people feel the most comfortable varies, so it is important to experiment with different temperatures.

However, the National Sleep Foundation recommend temperatures around 65°F as being the ideal condition for sleeping.

12. Trying aromatherapy

People have long used aromatherapy to induce feelings of relaxation and sleep.

Lavender oil is a popular choice for helping with sleep. A study on 31 young adults found that using lavender oil before bed had a positive impact on sleep quality. The participants also reported feeling more energy after waking up.

13. Finding a comfortable position

A comfortable sleeping position is essential for sleep. Frequently changing positions can be distracting, but finding the right spot can make a big difference to the onset of sleep. Most people find sleeping on their side is the best position for a good night’s sleep.

14. Listening to music

While this may not work for everyone, some people benefit from listening to relaxing music before going to bed.

A person’s response to music will depend on their personal preferences. Sometimes, music may be too stimulating and induce anxiety and sleeplessness.

Takeaway

Getting to sleep naturally is the best way to ensure the mind and body gets the rest that it needs.

Trying the methods above can increase the chances of falling asleep without the need to use any sleep aids.

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Ramadan: Ulcer patients can observe fasting with caution, says Surgeon

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Ramadan fast

A Consultant Plastic Surgeon with the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), says ulcer patients can observe Ramadan fast by avoiding foods that cause them problems. Ramadan Adigun said in an interview on Saturday in Ilorin, that ulcer patients should be able to realise the type of food that precipitates the ulcer in them. He said that some ulcer patients react to fried foods, while some react to roughage foods such as garri. The Surgeon advises people to reduce the consumption of hot, spicy and acidic-containing foods as they tend to irritate the digestive tract. According to him, the best alternative for ulcer patients who want to fast is to vary their food intake throughout Ramadan to include all the essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins and fibres.

 He warned that fried, fatty and acid-containing foods and fruits such as citrus fruits like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges, along with tomato-based products contain acids. “Therefore, patients should be moderate when breaking their fast, eating in smaller portions, but more frequently. “For instance, start off with dates and light food before giving it a rest, later it can be followed by the main meal,” he said. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which it is obligatory for all healthy adult Muslims to fast during daytime. According to Islamic rules, those who cannot fast due to illness or who have severe discomfort during fasting are exempted from Ramadan fast. (NAN)

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Researchers generate antibodies to Ebola virus disease

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Ebola Virus
Ebola Virus

In a breakthrough that could lead to a simple and inexpensive test for Ebola virus disease, researchers have generated two antibodies to the deadly virus.

According to a report published in the ScienceDaily, the team of researchers from Loyola University, Chicago, USA, said the antibodies, which are inexpensive to produce, potentially could be used in a simple filter paper test to detect Ebola virus and the related Marburg virus.

Using a technology called cell-free ribosome display, the researchers generated two synthetic antibodies that bind to all six Ebola and Marburg viruses. The research involved the use of non-hazardous proteins that sit on the surface of Ebola and Marburg viruses. Because the actual viruses were not used in the study, there was no risk of infection to researchers or the public.

The report read in part, “Ebola and Marburg viruses can cause severe bleeding and organ failure, with fatality rates reaching 90 percent in some outbreaks. The diseases spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of an infected person, monkey, gorilla, chimpanzee or bat.

Ebola and Marburg belong to a class of viruses native to Africa called filo viruses. There are four known types of Ebola virus and two known types of Marburg virus. They are textbook examples of emerging diseases that appear quickly, often in remote areas with little or no public health infrastructure. There were major Ebola outbreaks in West Africa from 2013 to 2016. There is no effective vaccine or drug to treat the diseases.”

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She’s Taking Control with Dr Rasheedah Ayandipo

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She's Taking Control

NEW PODCAST ALERT !!!

Being pregnant is a period most women look forward to in their lifetime. For some women, conception is easy but the pregnancy isn’t. 
Hyperemesis gravidarum affects 1 in 100 women worldwide but this figure might just be higher. Join me as I discuss this topic with an amazing guest on the show.

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Ko Ko Ko, Make we yan with Dr Weyoms, The waffi Doctor.

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Ko Ko Ko, Make we yan with Dr Weyom (The waffi Doctor)

Welcome to Kokoko! I Get Talk! A fun, informative, unfiltered and real podcast in Pidgin English run by Weyoms, a medical doctor. This Waffi Doctor is here to crack the code on all things health focusing especially on women and children’s health. Get ready, because she’s ready to reveal some serious tips, tricks and healthy hacks!

LISTEN LIVE EVERY WEDNESDAY BY 10AM

Don’t Miss It!!!

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Recruit more nurses, midwives to reduce Nigeria’s infant mortality rate, NANNM tells Govt

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Nigerian Nurses

ABUJA – National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, has called on the government to recruit more caregivers in public hospitals to reduce the country’s 6.7 per cent infant mortality rate. Nigerian nurses and midwives want employment of professionals It said the current ratio of one midwife to 25 nursing mothers in government-owned hospitals across the federation reflects gross inadequacy of care-giving personnel in these facilities, and demands urgent steps to address the manpower gap. Speaking on Monday at a medical outreach programme in Abuja which was organised to commemorate the 2019 International Nurses’ Week, NANNM National Vice President, Mrs Mercy Azonwu said: “We are pleading with the federal government to retool the current employment policy as far as nurses and midwives are concerned. “If you check the hospitals in Nigeria today, the midwives are not many. A lot of midwives are retired and are no longer in the system. “How can there be a decrease in Nigeria’s maternal and infant mortality rates when the hospitals are short of midwives? The government is not employing personnel to fill the existing gaps, and there are also inadequate facilities for the overworked few to deploy in discharging their duties maximally. When these essentials are not in place, it will impact on the morbidity and mortality rate of women during childbirth.” Similarly, Chairperson of NANNM (FCT Chapter), Comr. Deborah Yusuf, said it is ironic that while Nigeria boasts of a huge supply of trained nurses and midwives, a majority of them are unemployed and unable to contribute in the provision of care to those in need at the hospitals. She, however, explained that the health outreach was not only to highlight the manpower gaps in public hospitals but also to provide medical care to those in need, especially the underprivileged. The medical outreach featured the administration of various tests on pregnant women in Dutse-Alhaji community of Abuja and the dispensing of free drugs to beneficiaries as well as the referral of complicated cases to relevant hospitals for further treatments.

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PATERNITY FRAUD: 30% of Nigerian men are fathering children that aren’t theirs

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Dr Maymunah kadiri

Popular Nigerian Pastor, recently divorced his wife, not only for extra marital affairs but having given birth to children that were not his. Maymunah Kadiri In 2015, Nigerian women cried foul when a survey conducted by condom manufacturer, Durex, branded Nigerian “married” women as the most sexually unfaithful in the world. The outcry was understandable though, as these are women known for their awe of culture and religion, far more than their counterparts anywhere else. Four years down the line, the marital fidelity of Nigerian women has again been questioned with a report making the rounds since late 2018 claiming Nigeria has the second highest rate 30 percent of paternity fraud in the world. Paternity fraud is the pretence that a man is the legitimate and biological father of a child that isn’t his; a woman wrongly pinning a child on a man. In the report’s graphical presentation, Jamaica ranked first with 34.6%, while Canada, the UK and France were on the list with 2.8%, 1.6% and 1.4%, respectively. As if that wasn’t injurious enough, one Mr Ayodele Ayodeji of Paternity Test Nigeria, a Deoxyribonucleic Acid, DNA, test centre in Lagos, was widely alleged to have affirmed, following the emergence of the above report, that there is one case of paternity fraud out of every four paternity tests conducted at the centre. Although these statistics have not been verified by any institution, disregarding it entirely is impossible as it continues to provoke conversation and, of course, reactions on cyberspace. The claim too ridiculous, mothers react “I don’t agree with that claim. It is too ridiculous. I am a Nigerian mother and I am sexually faithful to my spouse. How on earth will I now pin a child that isn’t his on him? How will I conceive such child in the first place?” retorted Ijeoma Thomas-Odia, a Lagos-based mum, while debunking the allegation during a conversation with Vanguard. Government yet to provide enabling environment for academics, sports – Mrs Onoh “If accusing fingers should be pointed at any of the parties in a marriage, then Nigerian men should be the focus. Most Nigerian women are sexually faithful to their marriages against all odds and will never engage in whatever they know will bring them disrespect and disgrace; such as sleeping with another man,” added Enitan Lawrence, a mother of three from the South-West. Arguing that cheating is common among men more than women, Thomas-Odia emphasised that the only difference is the fact that women are the ones who bear the evidence of sexual recklessness pregnancy. For Lawrence, Nigerian wives who cheat at all do so either because they have been frustrated by their cheating husbands into revenge, have been pushed to the wall by husbands who fail to provide for their needs but would rather spend money on extended family members, they are trying to cover-up an infertility issue in the home, or because they do not love the men they are married to, but were forced into the marriage by either their parents or circumstances. Whatever may be the reason for marital infidelity on the part of a woman, the fact  remains that she will bear the evidence of her sexual recklessness either in the form of a contracted sexually transmitted infection, pregnancy and/or even child birth; which could therefore result in paternity fraud, as no woman would let her child be labeled a bastard. Nigerians should not be swayed by unnecessary sensationalism —Pathologist Speaking to WW on condition of anonymity, a renowned pathologist and Chief Executive Officer of a notable laboratory in the country argued that there is no official statistics to prove that Nigeria truly has the second highest rate of paternity fraud in the world. Woman drags estranged husband to court over son’s paternity According to him, in the first place no reputable establishment will publicise such delicate information about the paternity of a person; which makes any official national data on paternity fraud difficult to collate. “There is no statistical evidence to prove that. You get all sorts of data on the internet. The regular population does not do paternity test except to resolve an issue of trust or perhaps for immigration data purposes; of which I am also sure embassies will never publicize such information concerning anyone. Nigerians should not be swayed by unnecessary sensationalism,” he added. On whether DNA testing should be made mandatory for all children to curtail any possibility of paternity fraud as some Nigerians now suggest since the controversial report surfaced, he said: “Even in the UK and in some other countries, you can’t do paternity test unless it is a court-ordered test. So, how does anyone come up with such national statistics on paternity fraud? In France where the report claims the percentage is 1.4%, it might interest you to know that paternity test is banned completely in that country; you can’t do it. So how did anyone get such data? In Nigeria, we do not have any restrictions but of course, a reputable laboratory will be required to successfully and reliably carry out one.” For families that might still be anxious about verifying the paternity of their children but feel discouraged due to the purported exorbitant cost of the test, he debunked claims that DNA testing is affordable only to the affluent. His words: “Anybody can afford to do a paternity test. It is not a sickness or diseases that its diagnosis will now be expensive. It can be done in any laboratory, but I will advise that we do every test in reputable laboratories. If a DNA test is done in a reputable laboratory, you can be sure it is 99.8% accurate. That is almost 100% accurate.”   Why paternity fraud might be dangerous Speaking on the likely dangers of pinning a man’s biological child on another man, Professor(Mrs)Ibironke Akinsete, a renowned pathologist who was formerly Chairman, Pathcare Laboratories (now Synlab Nigeria), said occasions such as inheritance and organ donation may arise. Edo govt assures justice for 12-year-old girl allegedly defiled by community leader “Usually, blood relatives are the best to do a match for any organ donation. So, if such a need arises and it turns out that there is a mismatch somewhere, the truth will be unraveled by an eventual DNA test. For inheritance, some family might require a test perhaps because they doubt the paternity of a particular child; especially if the father died intestate,” said Akinsete. Victims pay huge price—  Maymunah Kadiri, Psychiatrist In her analysis of the psychology behind paternity fraud, popular psychiatrist, Dr Maymunah Kadiri, said a married woman whose husband is in a better financial condition than the actual father of her child, might lie about the paternity of that child so the child can get the opportunity of a better life. “Also, the fear of embarrassment and the consequences of divorce could make her lie about the paternity of the child. Due to the pressure from society to have children, some women become desperate if their husbands have fertility issues, and thus go ahead to reproduce with someone else and pass it off as their husband’s child,” Kadiri said. Kadiri, however, warned that such children risked growing up with issues such as  abandonment, lack of trust and also a sense of identity loss, noting that on the defrauded fathers also, the implications of discovering the truth could range from resentment to loss of self-esteem, lack of trust and also, severe embarrassment.

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She’s Taking Control with Dr Rasheed

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SHE'S TAKING CONTROL
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She’s Taking Control with Dr Rasheedah

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SHE'S TAKING CONTROL

She’s Taking Control A show mainly for women health and empowerment sharing deep and real tips in the world of womanhood. It is handled by a medical doctor that touches on women health issues

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