Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Aids Control Agency Adopts New Technology For Screening HIV

Aids Control Agency Adopts New Technology For Screening HIV

Aids Control Agency Deploys New Technology

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has deployed a new technology for HIV screening.

Dr Yewande Olafa, NACA Assistant Director, Community Prevention and Care Services, disclosed this while speaking with the Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, on Saturday.


Olafa said the new technology was that of a non blood based test kit, designed to promote privacy and confidence among users.

She said that the screening kit was oral based with simplicity, accuracy and speed in ascertaining one’s HIV status.

“It is in line with the commemoration of World Aids Day with the title “Community makes the difference” in which we are engaging the community to help in reduction of HIV spread”.

Olafa urged Nigerians to embrace the new technology for HIV screening, saying that HIV detection was not the end of life.

”If you are positive with oraquick, don’t conclude yet, go for confirmation in a nearby hospital facility,” she said.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Resign Or Be Sacked: Okowa Warns Non-Committed Health Workers

Resign Or Be Sacked: Okowa Warns Non-Committed Health Workers

Resign Or Be Sacked: Okowa Warns Non-Committed Health Workers


In line with his administration’s determination to ensure full routine immunization coverage of Delta, the Governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, has advised health workers not committed to their jobs to resign or be sacked.

The governor gave the warning on Thursday in Asaba at a meeting with relevant stakeholders on primary healthcare service delivery in the state.

He said that routine immunization could not be toyed with as it was designed to save lives of children.

He stated that the government had observed that the commitment of some health workers to routine immunization was poor, and warned that if they were not ready to show commitment, “you are at liberty to leave before actions are taken against you”.

The governor said that aside sanitation and health, other issues appeared to be secondary in the administration of local government areas, but advised that special attention must be paid to immunization.

According to him, immunisation has to do with the lives of our children; most of our children will not die if they are immunized.

Okowa charged chairmen of local government councils to regularly pay unscheduled visits to health centres to ensure that the right things were done.

He commended stakeholders, who spoke at the meeting, for their sincerity about the way forward for the health sector in the state.

“There are obvious challenges, but we should all show commitment to routine immunization; there is no reason why we should not support anything concerning immunization.

“The State Primary Healthcare Development Agency should relate directly with the chairmen of councils and there must be fomal communication.

“We must do all that we can to strengthen routine immunization, especially in the rural areas,” he said.

Chairman of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Delta State Chapter, Sir Constantine Ikpokpo, had earlier in a brief speech thanked the governor for his administration’s commitment to developing the health sector.

He cautioned local government chairmen to “stop fighting over territories and avoid protecting those who are not coming to work”.

Different groups and individuals made observations and suggestions on the way forward for the health sector in the state.

Friday, November 15, 2019

1000 Bauchi College Of Health Students Risk Withdrawal As Govt Stops Scholarship

1000 Bauchi College Of Health Students Risk Withdrawal As Govt Stops Scholarship

1000 Bauchi College Of Health Students Risk Withdrawal As Govt Stops Scholarship

There is disagreement between the Bauchi State Ministry for Local Government and the governing board of Malikiyya College of Health and social sciences, Bauchi over the non-payment of tuition fees of 1000 students sponsored by the ministry from the 20 local government areas of the state, DAILYPOST reports.

State Commissioner of Local Government, Abdulrazak Nuhu Zaki alleged that they didn’t pay because the school is not fully accredited and they take their examinations outside the school, allegations the board has denied.

Zaki said, “As a responsible government, we pledge to use the public resources judiciously. I have my two children in the college. We know the college is not accredited. How can we pay money to the body that is not accredited by the regulatory agencies?”

He reiterated the commitment of the government to support genuine and fully registered institution for the development of the state.

But the proprietor of Malikiyya College, Alhaji Aminu Mohammed, said the institution has been fully accredited by all the Federal government regulatory bodies.

He said the bodies have accredited all the 13 courses that included Health Records Officers Registration Board of Nigeria, Associations of Medical and X-ray technicians of Nigeria, Community Health Practitioners Registration Board, Dental Therapies Registration Board of Nigeria and West African Health Examination Board and Medical Science Council of Nigeria.

Alhaji Aminu who is the chairman, Bauchi State Committee on Public-Private Partnership on the establishment of health institutions in the state said the school was opened three years ago on the request of the state government in its effort to reduce the shortage of manpower in hospitals and health institutions in the state.

He said presently the ministry has refused to pay the school fees of 1000 students sponsored by the government amounting to over 200 million Naira, because of political differences.

We have sent these students back home but they went and sought the intervention of a respected Islamic Scholar who asked the board to allow the them to continue with their studies before he will see how he will intervene between the institution and the government. We listened to his plea and allowed the students.
Hospital Sacks Ten Staffs For Stealing Blood - Nasarawa State

Hospital Sacks Ten Staffs For Stealing Blood - Nasarawa State

 10 Hospital Staff Dismissed For Stealing Blood In Nasarawa State

Pulse reports that the Management of Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, Nasarawa State has dismissed 10 of its staff over financial misconduct, sabotage and selling blood meant for patients.

Dr Hassan Ikrama, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital disclosed this in an interview on Thursday in Lafia.

“Some of them were engaging in stealing of blood from blood bank and selling same to private hospitals and diverting money meant for the hospital.
“Some are using the facilities of the hospital to carry out investigation in the laboratory and put the money for the charges in their private pockets,” he added.

He noted that all the dismissed staff were investigated and found culpable by a committee that looked into the matter.

Ikrama said that when he was appointed as the CMD, he discovered many leakages in the finances of the facility which needed to be blocked.

“Instead of the internally generated revenue of the hospital to improve, individuals were busy diverting it for personal use, as a result, services were going down on daily basis.

“The hospital prior to my coming was lacking so many machines, had only one theatre, only 200 beds for admission, one clinic, insufficient offices for doctors.

“That was why most patients were being referred to either Jos, Federal Medical Centre Keffi or National Hospital Abuja due to lack of machines and space at the hospital,” the CMD said.

Ikrama however said that the hospital management had taken on the challenges and were able to increase the numbers of theatres to three, clinics to eight, scanning machine from one to eight.

“Others initiatives to reposition the hospital include provision of 200 additional beds, renovation of wards, toilets among others.”

FreshReporters News gathered that more technical and other specialists have been employed to strengthen services to patients patronising the facility daily.

“We have 40 permanent and other visiting consultants in different fields, over 100 Doctors apart from Nurses, Pharmacists and Laboratory Technicians, among others.

“We also acquired brand new 0pp pity scan and digital Xray machines that patients were hitherto sent to Keffi or Jos because we do not have them,” he added.

Ikrama therefore assured members of the public that the management of the hospital would do everything possible to ensure better service delivery.

Monday, November 11, 2019

"The Making Of Poisonous Fufu" - TheNation

"The Making Of Poisonous Fufu" - TheNation

The Making Of Poisonous Fufu

Laboratory tests sponsored by The Nation on some samples of fufu paste bought at selected markets in Ogun State reveals the presence of toxic chlorine and detergents, KUNLE AKINRINADE reports.

Fufu, a popular Nigerian delicacy, is white in colour. But as immaculate as they appear, laboratory analysis carried out on samples of the delicacy obtained from processing and sales centres in Ifo and Arigbajo local government areas of Ogun State reveal harmful chlorine residual and detergents that are toxic to the belly of consumers.

Incidentally, retailers from cities like Lagos rely on the contaminated, wet, starchy staple from these local production centres, which they turn into edible balls and sell to consumers.

People like 43-year-old Lagos-based marketing communication practitioner, Femi Adenaike, relish the delicacy together with Okro soup, oblivious of its consequences for human health.

“It does not matter whether the fufu paste is white or it is produced in the most hygienic environment. As long as they are processed with harmful substances, especially bleach, which has higher degree of free chlorine and detergents, they become contaminated, poisonous and dangerous to human health,” warns Majemite Lawrence, a medical doctor that runs Hope Alive Hospital in Abule Egba area of Lagos State.

The laboratory tests were a follow-up to The Nation’s investigative report on the unwholesome practice by operators at processing centres at Ifo and Arigbajo, who use bleach with free chlorine as active agents, detergents and potash to process cassava into fufu paste as was published on June 22, 2019.

The wet fufu pastes are usually stored in 25 kg or 50 kg sacks and sold at different markets in the two communities to unsuspecting retailers who turn them into fufu balls and sell to unsuspecting consumers.


Worrisome results of laboratory analysis

Fufu consumers like Adenaike may need to exercise caution as The Nation investigation revealed worrisome truths about three samples of the staple obtained from three popular markets in Ogun State, which has become the hub of sellers of fufu paste in recent times. Laboratory tests sponsored by The Nation were conducted at a research facility approved by the Institute of Public Analysts (ITPAN), the Scientific Laboratory Services, Surulere, Lagos.

The physicochemical and microbiological tests conducted on samples of fufu paste between September and October revealed the presence of chlorine and detergents in the selected fufu samples. The foregoing are in addition to the presence of cyanide, arsenic, cadmium, zinc, lead, nickel and iron whose quantities the tests mercifully revealed were still within tolerable industrial limit.

Most worrisome was the fact that one of the three samples of fufu paste presented for tests had residual chlorine value of 6 milligrams, while the two other samples had 1 milligram of chlorine level each. The result also revealed the presence of one percent of detergent in all the three samples.

The three samples presented for tests, certified by a public analyst and resident chemist of the laboratory, Mr Akinwunmi Onafalujo, were labelled Specimen 1, 2 and 3. They were bought at Arigbajo Market. Of the three, the one from Arigbajo Market, Ewekoro Local Government Area, contained 6 milligrams of free chlorine, while the two other samples from Ifo Market and the Fufu Market in Ifo Local Government Area revealed the presence of one milligram of chlorine each.

The maximum chlorine levels of 4 milligrams per liter (mg/L or 4 parts per million (ppm) are considered safe in drinking water, according to the standard set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Anything beyond this maximum limit, according to WHO and health experts, is dangerous to human health.

Although chlorine is effective in treatment of drinking water as it helps to remove dangerous microorganisms in water or liquid substance, it is equally risky to human health when its residual levels exceed the approved standard by WHO and environmental health experts.

A study published by Harvard researchers in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute revealed that those who ingest highly chlorinated water over a long period of time stand the risk of developing bladder cancer and cancer of the rectum.

Experts speak on use of bleaches, detergents in Fufu processing

Against this background, experts, including microbiologists, food scientists, chemists and medical doctors, said the presence of free chlorine value of 6 milligrams and detergents in fufu paste (wet fufu) is poisonous to human body.

They explained that while chlorine presence in two of the samples falls within the maximum industrial limit, the one with 6 milligrams residual chlorine level is unfit for human consumption, while detergents, which also have chloride as one their active agents, should not be found in the samples at all.

A food technologist and nutrition researcher, Amidu Ilori, explained that chlorine is the active agent in household bleaches and a powerful oxidizer.

He said: “Pure chlorine is a toxic gas. Most household bleaches contain hypochlorite which releases chlorine when needed to remove stains, dirt and disinfect in laundry and kill parasites in similar chores.
“However, chlorine presence should not be more than 4 milligrams when it is used to treat drinking. In the case of having about 6 milligrams in fufu paste, this is highly toxic and dangerous for human consumption, because the high concentration of chlorine in this wet fufu will be transferred to consumers when it is eventually cooked and sold to people.”

Also, Ilori said that detergent should not have featured in the Fufu paste, arguing that its cumulative effect was dangerous.

He added: “Some laundry detergents contain bleach alternative, which is chlorine-based and effective at stain removal. However, chlorine bleach produces harmful fumes, and however little or insignificant the percentage is in fufu paste, it is extraneous to the popular staple.
“Even in small doses, detergents can slowly poison human body over time without the person knowing it. The chloride from many of these detergents can accumulate in the body, causing blood poisoning and inhibiting liver function as a result of constant ingestion of detergents from fufu over a period of time.
“Also, those who eat cooked fufu made from the dangerously processed wet fufu containing detergents could develop yellow skin and eyes as well as freckles on their skin.

Corroborating Ilori, a microbiologist, Vincent Edutimi, said high degrees of chlorine in wet fufu is not only unhealthy but fatal to human body, noting that using bleaches which contain the chemical substance to ferment cassava into fufu paste should be discouraged by health authorities.

He said: “Ordinarily, the presence of chlorine in most bleach brands in the country, mandatorily, is between two to three kilograms or milligrams and not more than 4 milligrams. Hence, six milligrams of same chemical substance in wet fufu is poisonous to human body and should not be encouraged by the concerned authorities.”

An industrial chemist and Quality Assurance Controller at MacMorris Laboratories Limited, Ilupeju, Lagos, Kingsley Okafor, said: “Free chlorine or sodium hypochlorite is an oxidising agent that disinfects and removes stains. But using 6 per cent of it to soak cassava in fufu paste production is beyond the acceptable standard in its use for treatment of water, which is between 2 to 4 milligrams.

“Consumers of such fufu paste when cooked could develop all kinds of health problems, including coughing, burning throat and, in worse cases, bladder cancer if they consume the adulterated staple over a period of time.”

A medical doctor, Austin Adeojo, said: “Toxic chlorine and detergents would ravage body organs and ultimately lead to deaths when they are ingested from fufu or any food item with such a huge amount of chlorine (6 milligrams). In the case of detergents, it should not have found its way into any food item, let alone a staple like fufu.”

Scary mortality rate from food poisoning

A Professor of Food Science and Technology at the Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna, Niger State, Alfred Ihenkuronye, said that over 200,000 persons die of food poisoning in Nigeria annually.

Ihenkuronye, made the disclosure recently in Abuja, at a sensitisation programme for food vendors operating in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). He said that the deaths were caused by contaminated foods through improper processing, preservation and service.

“There are many avenues through which foods can be contaminated. And when people eat these foods, they will have problems which may result in deaths,” he said.

According to a report on food safety published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in June this year, about 600 million people suffer ill-health as a result of food poisoning every year, and 420,000 of the number die every year.

The report reads in part: “Almost 1 in 10 people in the world fall ill after eating contaminated food, and 420,000 die every year. Children under five years of age carry 40 per cent of the food borne disease burden with 125 000 deaths every year.

“Access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health. Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances causes more than 200 diseases ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.”

“Diarrhoea diseases are the most common illnesses resulting from the consumption of contaminated food, causing 550 million people to fall ill and 230,000 deaths every year.’’


Way out

Ihenkuronye suggested continuous sensitisation and training of food handlers on how to operate in hygienic environment as a way of curbing the problem.

“The way out is sensitisation and training. We should sensitise people about the enormity of the problem, and we train them on how to do things properly,” he said.
WHO called for collaboration among stakeholders to stem the ugly trend, which, according to its report, has negative socio-economic consequences on nations.

“Food safety, nutrition and food security are inextricably linked. Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly and the sick.
“Food borne diseases impede socio-economic development by straining health care systems and harming national economies, tourism and trade.
“Food supply chains now cross multiple national borders. Good collaboration between governments, producers and consumers helps ensure food safety,” it added.

NAFDAC vows to go after culprits

The Director of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mr Sherif Olagunju, said the laboratory result which reveals the presence of 6 milligrams of chlorine in the sample of fufu paste was dangerous.

Olagunju said: “Six milligrams of chlorine in fufu paste is poisonous. Yes. you can get free chlorine in wet fufu or fufu paste, but six milligrams is too high and poisonous, because what is allowed as maximum limit of chlorine in water, like I told you, is 2 to 4 parts per million or milligrams. Therefore, six per cent or milligrams in a watery fufu or fufu paste is too high and dangerous.
“In water, we usually check for free chlorine, and the maximum is 2-4 parts per million residual chlorine. In tap water that we drink, the residual chlorine should not exceed 4 parts per million or milligrams, according to WHO standard.
“In food processing, you have to remove certain chemicals after using them as cleaning agents. Like in vegetable oil production, certain chemicals are used for extraction purposes but they are usually removed from the product immediately the extraction process ends.
“So if anyone is using chlorine in food item, such person should be able to ensure that what is left is not injurious to the health of consumers.
“I have noted the three markets where you claimed the samples presented for laboratory tests were purchased. We are going to carry out our investigations in line with our mandate to ensure food safety.
“We shall get back to you once we are through with our findings.”

Olagunju added that the agency had embarked on enlightenment programme to educate sellers and producers of staples lately.

“It is not only cassava that we are addressing but also any practice that can endanger food supply system. For instance, ripening of food items such as using carbide to ripen fruits, using sniper to preserve beans, putting dye stuff in palm oil to make it look very red.
“So, there are so many things we are engaging them on, and we would appreciate our friends in the media to partner with us to further carry the message forward so that everybody can be aware since NAFDAC cannot do it alone.
“There are punitive measures that are in place for defaulters within the laws setting up our agency, but it is usually difficult to find perpetrators.
“But in the event that somebody is caught or we buy some items and test it and confirm that it was contaminated or below approved standard, we have post marketing surveillance department that will search for such producers and appropriate sanctions would be applied.
“But for products that we did not register, like garri, yam flour, we usually note the store where we bought the product and we would go back to enlighten the producer and withdraw the item from the store or market.
“But if we find out that the product was deliberately contaminated or produced below approved standard, we would take appropriate sanctions against such producer(s).

 THENATION reports

Friday, November 8, 2019

Yellow Fever: 29 Killed As Yellow Fever Intrudes Bauchi State

Yellow Fever: 29 Killed As Yellow Fever Intrudes Bauchi State


Yellow Fever: 29 Killed As Yellow Fever Intrudes Bauchi State
Symptoms of yellow fever (Photo: Ems-solutioninc)


Twenty-nine people have died so far in Bauchi state following the outbreak of yellow fever, an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes.

Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, Chairman, Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (BSPHDA), gave the death toll on Thursday.

“We discovered 224 suspected cases, and 29 were confirmed dead, with 24 in Alkaleri local government, two in Bauchi local government, 1 in Darazo council area and two in Ningi local government,” he said.

Mohammed explained that the virus was first detected in Alkaleri council area in September, adding that efforts had since been stepped up to avoid further spread.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Lady Almost Swallowed A Wall Geeko While Drinking Zobo (See Photos)

Lady Almost Swallowed A Wall Geeko While Drinking Zobo (See Photos)


Lady Almost Swallowed A Wall Geeko While Drinking Zobo (See Photos)

A Nigerian lady identified as @Ibidunnonso has taken to Twitter to narrate how she almost swallowed a wall gecko which was sitting at the bottom of her bottled ‘zobo’.

According to @Ibidunnonso, she bought a locally made drink popularly referred to as ‘Zobo’ and was seriously enjoying her drink until she took the last drop of it and saw a wall gecko at the bottom of the bottle.

She took to her Twitter page some moments ago to lament and at the same time to advise Nigerians to empty the contents of any drink into a cup before drinking.


See her tweet below:

Lady Almost Swallowed A Wall Geeko While Drinking Zobo (See Photos)

Saturday, November 2, 2019

FG Reassures 10,000 Primary Health Centres To Be Revived

FG Reassures 10,000 Primary Health Centres To Be Revived


FG Reassures 10,000 Primary Health Centres To Be Revived
FG Reassures 10,000 Primary Health Centres To Be Revived


The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has reinstated the Federal Government’s commitment to revive no fewer than 10,000 primary healthcare centres in the country to cater for health of Nigerians.

Ehanire said this when some members of Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ), led by its President, Mr Hassan Zaggi visited the minister in his office on Friday in Abuja.


He said the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari was trying to create a balance to provide health facilities for all Nigerians, even those in the rural areas, villages, and difficult to access areas.

“That is the reason that we should not forget those people by creating at least one health centre in every political ward of the country; almost 10,000 primary health care to be revitalised.

“Many of them are already there because they are neglected, they are being revived and modernised and the standard expectation of a primary health care now is that it should have modern facilities and infrastructure.

“We also expect digital service so we can be able to take care of many of the diseases that occur. We do it in partnership with States and the Local Governments.

“The Federal Government has been teaming with the local government to create the network; our expectation is that 60 per cent of diseases in the country can be taken care by the Primary Health Cares,’’ he said.

The minister told the journalists that their work was very important, saying“ you are the medium between the ministry and the public.

“It is important that information is passed on accurately and correctly. You must get your facts correctly. I assure you that we are always available to give you right information.’’

Similarly, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, the Minister of State for Health, urged the journalists to always get their facts correctly before publishing any report.

“We will definitely feel bad if you report us wrongly; I can assure you that the leadership of the ministry is willing to answer your query at any time.

“I can also assure you that we are media friendly and I am happy with this media partnership that we solidifying today.

“We will be ready to make clarifications when the need arises; I want to assure you that we will be having regular interactions with you now,’’ he said.

Also, Dr Jospeh Amedu, Director of Hospital Services in the ministry, assured the journalists of the ministry’s collaboration in covering its programmes and activities.

“If you look at the Federal Teaching Hospitals, they are making a lot of breakthrough in terms of providing health care to Nigerians.

“ We expect you to also publicise the good things that are happening in the sector,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Sani Gwarzo, a director in the minister’s office, advised the journalists to include lectures on communicating health in their forthcoming conference.


“The test of our relationship usually come when there is high risk communication period like Ebola period, when we have outbreak or sensational event arising.

“The partnership with the ministry this movement, when things are calm is coming at the right movement.

“On our part, we are also bracing up to ensure that health information comes across to you,’’ he said.

Earlier, Zaggi told Ehanire that expectations from Nigerians and stakeholders were high and that citizens were looking forward to see a new health sector.

“You should do your best to ensure that Nigerians get the best health care.

“As journalists covering this beat, we want to assure you that we will support you to be sure that your objectives and programmes are known to Nigerians.

“For us to be able to work with you and support you there should be an environment where both of us will understand each other.

“Our work is always time conscious; sometimes, a journalist will be under pressure to seek for clarification on issues and seek for information.

“ But if the information is not handy, he will be forced to use any available information, so we want to appeal to you to make your door open for us,’’ he said.
Also Read: RCCG Pastor Welcome First Child After 24 Years Of Marriage

The official also appealed to the minister to give the members information when the need arises and in good time.

“ The pressure on us it so much; Nigerians are anxious to hear from us and our editors are anxious to get stories from us; we also request you to have regular engagement with us,’’ he said.

Zaggi, however, invited the minister to the association’s Annual Conference coming up on Nov, 28th to declare it open.

NAN
Association Calls For Support To Control Malaria

Association Calls For Support To Control Malaria


Association Calls For Support To Control Malaria

Pest Control Association of Nigeria And The Ministry Of Health Strategies On How To Put Away Malaria In Nigeria

Pest Control Association of Nigeria (PECAN) has called for an enhanced collaboration with state ministries of health to achieve safer ways of eradicating pest and reducing malaria in Nigeria.

The President of the association, Mr Kunle Williams made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.


According to him, PECAN will use its 30th anniversary an avenue to sensitise the public and government on ways to control malaria through effective vector management.

Williams said that the 30th anniversary celebration, slated for Nov. 27 in Lagos, would witness the launch of a N50 million Mosquito Control Programme in Rural Areas.

“The anniversary will also include the conferment of awards to deserving citizens, investiture of the National President and induction of Malaria Vector Partners.

“We in PECAN are poised to support and complement other initiatives, both government, NGOs and corporate organisations, by initiating a mosquito (Vector) management program in selected malaria endemic communities.

“This comprises of “Indoor Residual Spray” (IRS) and Laviciding,” he said.

On the strategies employed to combat malaria, Williams recalled that during the World Malaria Day, PECAN in conjunction with Rotary International embarked on malaria control by spraying canals, including the Kirikiri Prisons.

“What we intend to do, which explains why we are raising the fund, is to complement government’s efforts on Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) so we can go to the rural areas and perform the act for those who cannot afford it.
“This entails the treatment of inner walls of hostels or any habitations so that any mosquito that perches on it dies before it can reach its host. That’s the primary function of the IRS,” he said.

Also Read:  FG Reassures 10,000 Primary Health Centres To Be Revived
Williams pointed out that the Lagos State Government and a number of state governments had been doing this already, and that PECAN was coming in to complement the effort.

He said that in this regard, the private sector was being galvanised in order to come out and assist, especially those in the rural areas, who may not be able to afford simple insecticide or the services of pest control operators.

“We are trying to get the fund together, so that in a year, we can adopt communities and work with the local authorities so that we don’t have to disturb the government,” he said.

We have come to understood that the Pest Control Association of Nigeria (PECAN) is made up of professionals, individuals and businesses engaged in the practice of Pest and Vector Control in Nigeria.

The vectors include Mosquito (malaria), Rodent (Lassa), Cockroaches (Salmonella and Flies (Cholera).

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Lassa Fever: Five Dies After Outbreak In Benue

Lassa Fever: Five Dies After Outbreak In Benue



Lassa Fever: Five Dies After Outbreak In Benue

The National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in Benue State revealed that not fewer than 5 persons has been said to have died from the outbreak of lassa fever on Friday October 25

FreshReporters News gathered that 21 suspected cases of Lassa fever was received from the state out of which eight cases were confirmed while five infected persons died.


“Since the beginning of the year, there have been 21 suspected cases of Lassa fever in Benue State. Eight cases were confirmed after laboratory tests and five deaths have so far been recorded," Programs Officer, Risk Communications Desk of NCDC, Hanatu Bello said at a news conference in Makurdi.

Also Read: PEACAN Call For Support To Control Malaria

Hanatu who said the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) has already been activated in the state, further disclosed that the State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH) is the only medical facility attending to Lassa fever patients at the moment.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Health Talk: Untreated Herpetic Whitlow Can Cause Severe Brain Infection

Health Talk: Untreated Herpetic Whitlow Can Cause Severe Brain Infection

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Health Talk: Untreated Herpetic Whitlow Can Cause Severe Brain Infection
Herpetic Witlow. ( photo: Epmonthly 

What is a herpetic whitlow?
Herpetic whitlow is a painful infection of one or more fingers, caused by a virus called herpes simplex virus and mostly affecting the end part of the fingers.

What are the common causes?
It is commonly caused by exposure to body fluid containing the virus (HSV), such as the fluid from the blisters of cold sores in the mouth or affected genital areas. Autoinoculation – easy transfer of the virus from one body part affected by herpetic lesions, e.g. genital or mouth herpes, to the unaffected parts (that is the fingers in this case) can cause herpetic whitlow. Also, individuals with low immunity are at a higher risk of this infection – reactivation of old infection and involvement of internal body organs (systemic complications) – all because of the inability of the body to mount an appropriate level of resistance against the virus.


Are there different types?

Yes, there are different types, depending on the variant of the virus responsible. There are many variants of the HSV. The variants responsible for herpetic whitlow are HSV-1 and HSV-2 in about two-third and one-third of cases, respectively.

Is it common among a particular age bracket?

It can affect both adults and children, albeit in different ways. In children, HSV-1 is more commonly responsible, involving the fingers. It is due to a transfer from the initial mouth or gum lesions (herpetic gingivostomatitis) as a result of finger-sucking or thumb-sucking behaviour, and in children with genital lesions (herpes labialis).

In the adult population, it is due to the transfer from the genitals of adults with herpes infection (autoinoculation); hence, the commoner virus in such cases is HSV-2, which is the common cause of genital herpes.

However, HSV-1 is also common in healthcare professionals due to unprotected exposure to infected fluid emanating from the mouth of the affected patients. This easily can be prevented by use of gloves and observing universal fluid precautions religiously.

How does it manifest in children and adults?

It presents as extremely painful, crop of fluid-filled and grouped swelling of the involved finger. However, in contrast to a condition called felon (which could sometimes look similar in appearance as herpetic whitlow), the pulp space usually is not tensely swollen. We may also find pre-existing herpetic lesions in the mouth or genitalia.

What are the general (early and late) symptoms?

The (infected) individual may experience being generally unwell with some fever days before the skin manifestation. The individual would experience pain and fluid-filled swelling of a finger, especially the thumb and index fingers. The late symptoms may be severe and include spread to internal organs leading to infection of the internal organs (sepsis) and brain involvement (encephalitis) especially in people with low immunity.


How is it diagnosed?

Medical doctors do not usually require any investigation to make the diagnosis of herpetic whitlow. The diagnosis is usually clinical; it is based on a patient’s complaint and what the clinician observes. In children, observation of concurrent cold sore in the mouth is almost indicative.

In adults, occupational risk factors or observation of concurrent oral or genital herpes lesions should strongly suggest the diagnosis. Occasionally, we do undertake definitive diagnostic testing such as Tzanck test, viral cultures, serum antibody titres, fluorescent antibody testing, or DNA hybridisation, Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR) and Immunofluorescent microscopy.

How can it be treated?

The treatment is usually aimed at relieving the symptoms and preventing the spread. Oral (tablets) and topical (cream) anti-viral medications can be beneficial. Sometimes, we use antibiotics in individuals with combined bacterial infections. The tense vesicles may be popped by clinicians to help ameliorate symptoms, and surgical operation of the fingernail may be deployed for the same purpose in cases involving the space underneath the nails (subungual space).

What are its psychological or physical effects on sufferers?

The physical effects are mainly related to combined or super-imposed bacterial infection or infection resulting from mistaken surgical drainage due to incorrect diagnosis of this viral infection as a paronychia, which is a bacterial infection.

Other physical impacts may include severe pain, delayed healing, bacterial infection combined with the herpetic whitlow, and, rarely, systemic spread to the brain causing herpes encephalitis. Herpetic whitlow, if untreated, can cause severe brain infection. The psychological impacts vary from individuals and include inability to use the finger or entire hand, work-related illness, loss or reduction of income, societal stigma, especially if there is genital involvement in adults and attendant consequences.


 There is a myth that when a person with a whitlow-infested finger inserts the affected finger in the private part of a woman, it would be cured. Is that true?

No, it is not true. This kind of behaviour could lead to spread of the disease to the lady and increased severity of the disease (or pain) due to the involvement of the lining of the private area.

How best can herpetic whitlow be prevented?

HSV-1 in healthcare professionals can be prevented using gloves and observing universal fluid precautions religiously. If already infected, they should keep their finger clean using antiseptic and covered with a dressing. Individuals should keep their affected fingers away from the genitals during intercourse and take pain-relief medicine to ameliorate the pain. It is important not to touch the affected finger too often because the infection can spread easily.

Infected persons should not touch other parts of their body or other people with the finger. They should not try to drain the fluid by themselves because this can cause the infection to spread. It is also advised to use contact lenses to prevent the spread of the infection to the eyes.

Source: Punch

Thursday, October 17, 2019

(Health Talk) Parsley Leaf: A Resource For Arthritis Treatment & Other Ailments - Nutritionist

(Health Talk) Parsley Leaf: A Resource For Arthritis Treatment & Other Ailments - Nutritionist


(Health Talk) Parsley Leaf: A Resource For Arthritis Treatment & Other Ailments - Nutritionist
Parsley leaf

Mr Paul Okoh, a Nutritionist says Nigerians can reap immense benefits from parsley leaf in the treatment of arthritis, cancer prevention and other ailments.

This was revealed in an interview which was captured by NAN in Abuja on yesterday (Wednesday), on the sidelines of the ongoing annual National Health Dialogue,.

The programme was organised by Premium Times, an online paper, Project for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFH), Project Pink Blue and the Nigerian Governor’s Forum (NGF).

FreshReporters News reports that the two-day event had “Universal Health Coverage: The Role of State and Non-State Actors in Healthcare funding” as its theme.

Parsley or garden parsley is a specie of flowering plant in the family of Apiaceae that is native to the central Mediterranean region, but has naturalised elsewhere in Europe.

It is widely cultivated as a herb, a spice and a vegetable.

The nutritionist said that the plant has a variety of applications for medicinal benefits and is packed with vitamins and minerals that makes it valuable for health.
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He said that a person suffering from chronic aches or pains, particularly those related to arthritis could get immense relief from parsley.

He added that the herb contains a significant level of antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and many others that could help combat pain,  inflammation and other symptoms associated with arthritis.

He further explained that the diuretic properties of parsley could also speed the evacuation of uric acid, which could cause pain if allowed to deposit within the joints.

(Health Talk) Parsley Leaf: A Resource For Arthritis Treatment & Other Ailments - Nutritionist
He said “it only takes one teaspoon of parsley mixed with one cup of boiling water to create an effective treatment for pain.”

It was noted that  because of its antioxidant compounds, parsley could also be effective in the fight against cancer.

“The antioxidants help to protect the body’s cells from damage, whether it is caused by the environment or harmful substances.

“This allows the cells to survive and divide correctly, as opposed to flaw replication that might occur with damaged cells, ultimately leading to cancer.”

The antioxidants could also prevent the growth of cancer cells by limiting their ability to replicate and  preventing them from migrating throughout the body

Okoh said that folate, a “B” vitamin, is also found in parsley.

According to him, it has proven to be a great contributor to heart health because it protects blood vessels.

Furthermore, he stated, the leaf reduces the risk of heart attack because it convert homocysteine, a potentially dangerous compound, into other forms that are harmless.

It was stressed that the herb provides an abundance of potassium, another heart helping mineral.

“Potassium strengthens the blood vessels by making sure that they stay flexible and stretchable, so that blood may pass more easily through them.


“This reduces the chances of blood clot, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.”

Further stated that the herb is rich in vitamins A, C and K, which all contribute to immune health.

“vitamin A directly empowers white blood cells, while other anti-bacterial factors of the plant prevent the development of infection.”

The nutritionist said that a number of components of the immune system rely on the vitamin C found in parsley and other sources to function efficiently.

He said that “the herb also looks promising for people with diabetes and for the control of diabetic complications.”

It was indicated that myricetin, a nutrient that occurs naturally, could decrease the odds of developing type two diabetes.

Parsley could provide this nutrient.

“Additionally, another natural compound called flavonol has been inversely related to diabetes, those who regularly consume flavonol, also commonly found in parsley, are less likely to have diabetes.”

The nutritionist said that the fiber content of the plant helps the body’s digestive system to work more effectively, thereby helping to shape waste for a more streamlined evacuation.

“Essentially, it is a herb that can help to flush waste and various toxins from your body, contributing to lower blood pressure,” he explained.
JUST IN!!! Monkeypox Disease Discovered In Rivers, Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Other States

JUST IN!!! Monkeypox Disease Discovered In Rivers, Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Other States

Monkeypox Disease Hits Lagos, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Other States
Monkeypox

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed five new cases of monkeypox in Lagos, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.

The resurgence came two years after the index case was reported in the country.

While Lagos, in the current reappearance, recorded three cases, Rivers and Akwa Ibom have one each.

The latest situation report on monkeypox and Lassa fever published by the NCDC yesterday said, “In the reporting month (September 2019), 15 new suspected monkeypox cases were reported from five states – Lagos (five), Rivers (two), Akwa Ibom (three), Zamfara (one), Delta (one), Imo (two) and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT (one) reported via TheGuardian

“Five of the 15 suspected cases were confirmed positive for monkeypox in three states. Five of the suspected cases tested positive for chickenpox, while others are for further evaluation. No death was recorded in the reporting month.”

The NCDC said a total of 81 suspected cases had been reported so far in 2019, of which 39 confirmed cases were recorded in nine states (Bayelsa, Lagos, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Anambra, Cross River, and Oyo), with one death.

The centre noted that of the confirmed cases, 59 percent was from two states, Delta (28 percent) and Lagos (26 percent); the most affected age group was 21-40 years; and 84.6 percent of confirmed cases had a male-to-female ratio of 2.6:1.

According to the NCDC, since the beginning of the outbreak in September 2017, 176 confirmed cases and nine deaths have been recorded in 18 states (Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Delta, Bauchi, FCT, Abia, Oyo, Enugu, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Benue, Plateau, Edo, and Anambra).

To address the problem, the chief executive officer of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the centre, through the Monkeypox Technical Working Group, is coordinating the national response and control in collaboration with states and partners. He said outbreak response support is provided to states amid ongoing surveillance for Monkeypox in all states, especially high-risk ones.

Ihekweazu said the World Health Organisation African Region (WHO-Afro) regional office listed Monkeypox for immediate reporting in the 2018 Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response guidelines.

The epidemiologist said Nigeria also listed Monkeypox as a priority disease for routine reporting. This will be covered in the 2019 edition of the Nigeria Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) guidelines. He said surveillance and case management regional training in the southeast and southwest regions has been rescheduled to November 2019, and a response team has been deployed to support enhanced surveillance in Akwa Ibom.

Ihekweazu said animal surveillance is currently being conducted in Lagos, while the result of similar surveillance in four states (Cross River, Rivers, Bayelsa and Edo) is being awaited.

According to the NCDC, from January 1 to October 6, 2019, a total of 4019 suspected cases have been reported from 23 states. Of these, 721 were confirmed positive, 18 probable, and 3256 negatives. Also, since the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 154 deaths in confirmed cases with a fatality ratio of 21.4 percent.

The NCDC said 23 states (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu, Imo, Delta, Oyo, Kebbi, Cross River, Zamfara, Lagos and Abia) have recorded at least one confirmed case across 86 local government areas.

The centre said 93 percent of all confirmed cases are from Edo (38 percent), Ondo (30 percent), Ebonyi (7 percent), Bauchi (7 percent), Taraba (6 percent), and Plateau (5 percent).

According to the NCDC, in reporting week 40, no new healthcare worker was affected and a total of 19 healthcare personnel have been infected since the onset of the outbreak in 10 states – Edo (six), Ondo (four), Ebonyi (two), Enugu (one), Rivers (one), Bauchi (one), Benue (one), Delta (one), Plateau (one) and Kebbi (one), with two deaths in Enugu and Edo.

The NCDC said 12 patients were currently being managed at various treatment centres across the country: 11 at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) treatment Centre, Edo State; and one patient at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

 Nigeria To Set Up Cancer Treatment Fund

Nigeria To Set Up Cancer Treatment Fund


 To reduce the burden of treating cancer, a terminal disease claiming over 40, 000 Nigerians yearly, the federal government is planning to roll out a cancer treatment fund, health minister, Osagie Ehanire, has said.
 Nigeria To Set Up Cancer Treatment Fund


To reduce the burden of treating cancer, a terminal disease claiming over 40, 000 Nigerians yearly, the federal government is planning to roll out a cancer treatment fund, health minister, Osagie Ehanire, has said.

“There will be a creation of a fund, either a cancer treatment fund or whatever we decide to call it. It is important and can be driven by investment or donation,” the minister said.

“It can be driven by any method that takes you beyond the point where health insurance cannot cover anymore in your treatment.”

The minister said this in response to a touching story on the painful battle against cancer shared by Serah Shimenenge Yugh, a breast cancer survivor, on Tuesday at the National Health Dialogue holding in Abuja.

Mr Ehanire and Ms Yugh were both panelists who discussed the topic, “Cancer control in Nigeria”.
Speaking first in the panel, the cancer survivor shared how she battled with the debilitating ailment without getting at least a free or subsidised cancer screening.

She said many cancer sufferers die needlessly because their conditions are mostly not diagnosed on time.
Ms Yugh appealed to the government to at least make cancer screening free.


Intervention
Speaking, the minister alluded to the need for early diagnosis.
“One thing about cancer is that early diagnosis is important and once you detect it, you have to start treatment immediately to avoid spread,” he noted.

The minister said apart from health insurance, the new funding plan on cancer will help reduce the cost of treatment and diagnosis.


He said the funding plan will also draw support from the private sector who will set up “treatment centres just as we have private sectors setting up dialysis centres in this same way.”
“Nobody needs to suffer financial burden in regaining their health when the society can provide treatments for those who need it. Those are the steps that the ministry will take.”

The official said the prevention of cancer is one of the best ways to avoid it.

The minister noted that one way to do that is by avoiding unhealthy habits that causes cancer.
Mr Ehanire stressed the need for proper awareness. He applauded Serah for being able to identify that she was having a cancerous growth timely.

The official appealed to health workers to have the index of suspicion in detecting cancer.
The minister said the Nigerian government placed taxes on alcohol and cigarette to reduce the chances of people getting cancer from such products and also derives funds for health interventions.
He said the Basic Health Care Provision Fund will begin to cover cancer.


Cancer In Nigeria
Earlier in February, the World Health Organisation said an estimated 116,000 new cases of cancer and 41,000 cancer-related deaths were recorded in Nigeria in 2018.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide as new cases and deaths from the disease keep rising.

In Nigeria, the painful killer has continued to claim many due to high cost and inadequate radiotherapy treatment which has been the bane of cancer patients.

Radiotherapy is one of the key routines in the painful fight against cancer. A cancer patient often needs treatment at one point or the other. Experts say it is often better not to start it than to have a break in the sessions.

Today, Nigeria boasts of eight government-owned radiotherapy machines located in different areas in the country.

Source: PremiumTimes

Friday, October 11, 2019

Psychiatrists Call For Mental Health Education To Curb Suicide

Psychiatrists Call For Mental Health Education To Curb Suicide

A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Abdur-Rasheed Awesu, has called for mental health education as a tool to curb the rising tides of suicide in Nigeria.


Psychiatrists Call For Mental Health Education To Curb Suicide


Awesu, who works at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba, made the call on Friday in Lagos, while commenting on the commemoration of the 2019 World Mental Health.

FreshReporters News want you to know that mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, and act.

It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

According to Awesu, there is need to change the mindset of everyone on how to maintain a good health.

He said that family and neighbours need to be up and doing, and as well be up to the task of curbing the tide.
Also, Dr Veronic Nyamali, a psychiatrist,said that life should be seen from a mixed angles of good, sweet and bad.

Nyamali said that suicide should not be an option to end one’s life, noting that the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s statistics show that one million people died of suicide.

She also said that every 40 seconds, someone died and at every two seconds, someone issomewhere attempting to commit suicide.

Nyamali said that factors associated with suicide include: Biological, Medical, Social, Genetic and psychological.

She said that when these factors occurred, attention should be given to the families of the bereaved, not to be hammering on what the victim used in taken his or her life, such that we all know sniper now.

The psychiatrist enjoined the governments to put up a unit in the hospital environment to be dealing with cases of suicide as it was being done in accident emergency in normal hospitals.

Nyamali said that the media also have great role to play in the surge and should always help in the areas of information and keeping hope alive for whoever was passing through one challenge or the other.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Body Odor: Causes, Control And Cure (MUST READ)

Body Odor: Causes, Control And Cure (MUST READ)

Body Odor, How It Starts, What Causes It, And How It Can Be Controlled (MUST READ)

Every individual has a unique odor, which is influenced by different variables like age, diet, health, and gender.

Body odor is the last thing you want to be the cause of your embarrassment.
Sweating, in general, is actually the body’s natural way to regulate its temperature. However, the body odor that comes with it can be a major turn off.

Deodorants are one of the best known and also the generally accepted ways to combat body odor. But of late, there has been a lot of debate surrounding the chemicals used in deodorants and their cumulative effect on the human body.
Therefore, many people are looking for safer and natural alternatives to deal with the issue

What Causes Body Odor?

Body odor is produced when the bacteria that live on our skin break down the proteins in our sweat into different acids.
Some people tend to think that it is the growth of bacteria on the skin that produces body odor, but in reality, it is this process that produces the unpleasant odor.

Mostly, we have people who do not think bathing regularly is a good way to help refresh your system and also reduce body odor.
Scientifically, and medically, it is advising to bath at least twice a day (morning and night) tho.
Another cause of body odor is the type of activity we engage ourselves in.
Sometimes, it might be or day to day job, Sport, environment, the temperature of the room or area we stay, and so much more.

How We Can Reduce Or Eradicate Body Odor Completely From Our Body

   1. Bath regularly with Antibacterial Soap

Bathing with antibacterial soaps can help reduce body odor because they are built naturally to help fight any skin defect. They help reduce the level at which the odor causing bacteria operates and it kills them gradually.
Washing thoroughly with an antibacterial soap bar will help get rid of some bacteria, which can help with the odor.

   2. Apply Lime On Your Body Before Bathing

Lime has some type of chemicals which are mainly aimed at helping to reduce skin defects and so much more. It is multi functional. You can squeeze the lime or lemon till it is soft then apply in areas like your armpit, face, neck, and other part of yur body which generates sweats faster.
Do this at least 3 times in a week before bathing, it is most effective in the morning period.

   3. Keep Your Armpits Dry Always

Bacteria have a hard time breeding in dry areas of the body. You can always apply dusting powder, or sometimes deodorant sprays to help keep your armpit smell neutral till you take your next shower.

   4. Wash Your Cloths Properly And With Disinfectants

If sweat from working out is your No. 1 cause of body odor, wash your workout clothes often. Sweaty gym clothes are a bacteria-breeding ground.

   5. Change your diet

Sometimes, fatty foods, oils, or strong-smelling foods such as garlic, curry, and onions, can seep through your pores and cause body odor (always see a doctor or dietitian before making drastic dietary changes).

   6. Shave All Hidden Hairy Parts

Shaving your underarm regularly will help prevent the accumulation of bacteria and can reduce sweat and odor.

   7. Dry Yourself Well After Bathing

Once you’ve showered, dry yourself completely, paying close attention to any areas where you sweat a lot.
 
   8. Avoid Wearing One Cloth For Too Long

Change clothes often when you’re sweating heavily. Fresh clothes help keep body odor down.
Be sure to change your socks as well, especially if you tend to have foot odor. Use deodorant powders in your shoes, replace insoles often, and go barefoot when possible.

   9. Try Apply Coconut Oils After Bathing

Some oils are known to have various properties that help combat body odor (7). A combination of these oils is also often used to address this issue.

   10.Drink Plenty Water Always

Water is also a very viatl way of killing body odor. Drinking a lot of water will help neutralize everything in your system and will surely help whatever you take to work as expected.

   11.Avoid Using Bleaching Creams

One of the worst thing about bleaching is you will be open to diseases apart from the body odor it generates easily after a little stress.
That’s how they would bleach away their senses and look brighter than their future 😆😅. I don’t consider fair girls any prettier than dark skinned ladies.

One of the funniest part is we are always responsible for the type of odor that comes out of our body. Some people don’t seem to know how bad their odor is.
The fact is that they actually believe they smell the same way everyone smells and they don’t believe their's is bad.
Body are just like automatic turn offs to a lot of people. In fact, some religions have strict guidelines about bathing practices and personal hygiene.

So Guys, the questions here are

Which Of The Remedies Listed Do You Know About?

What Other Body Odor Solution Do You Know?

READ MORE>>>

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Why Humans Age, Despite Promise Of Eternal Youthfulness By Cosmetics Industry

Why Humans Age, Despite Promise Of Eternal Youthfulness By Cosmetics Industry


Why Humans Age, Despite Promise Of Eternal Youthfulness By Cosmetics Industry

Aging, the natural process of becoming older, is something that all living organisms go through. The prerequisite for aging is simply to be born and to continue to live. Considered from a medical point of view, aging may be summed up as progressive physiological changes or a steady and progressive decline of biological functions, as well as the human ability to adapt to metabolic stress.

The aging process is genetically determined and environmentally modulated. It takes place in every cell, organ and the total organism with the passage of time. It is a process that goes on over the entire life span of any living thing.

It is said that aging begins somewhere between 28 and 36 years of existence. At this turning point in life, most people are no longer growing-they are ageing. In medicine, people who have clocked 65 years, even older, are considered to belong in the elderly category.

Renowned American physiologist, Walter Cannon, opened his classic book on human physiology with the sentence: ‘Our bodies are made of extraordinarily unstable material’. It is therefore to be expected on the one hand that the body is affected by its hostile environment and slowly degrades, much like man-made objects.

On the other hand, it is the efficacy of maintenance and repair processes that determines how long it takes for this eventual degradation to catch up with the body and start to be demonstrable. It is generally thought that the ultimate cause of ageing is damage to the macromolecules that constitute the human body. If not repaired, this damage will gradually accumulate, eventually leading to increasing oxidation of the DNA.

Epidemiology of aging

In the United States, the aging population, as a percentage of the whole, has steadily increased over the past 100 years. This is due to the fact that the average life expectancy in that country increased from 68 years in 1950 to 78.6 years in 2017 due to the reduction in mortality at older ages from various advancements in Medicine, and a general decline in the poverty rate over the past 50 years. The current growth of the elderly population, driven by the so-called “Baby Boomers” generation (born between 1946 and 1964) is unprecedented in American history.

In Europe, the aging population is also known as the “greying of Europe”. As birth rates drop and life expectancy improves, the shape of the continent’s population pyramid shifts such that there is a transition towards older population structure, also fueled by the “Baby Boomers”.

Finland has one of the oldest populations in Europe. The Finnish population is rapidly aging, while its birth rates have steadily declined. It is a historical era in Finland where four concurrent generations are alive and people are living much longer lives.

Japan is believed to have the highest aging population in the world. The country is experiencing what is called a “super-aging” society both in the rural and urban areas, with about 25 per cent of its population aged 65, at least. This is expected to increase to about 30 per cent by year 2050.

The situation is somewhat different in Africa. The African continent accounts for about 17 per cent of the global population (about 1.3 billion people) scattered across more than 50 countries.  Africa is, by far, the world region with the youngest population with more than 50 per cent being below 20 years of age. Positive factors that have led to a rise in the aging population in other parts of the world, such as improved life expectancy and declining poverty rate have not been achieved in most of Africa.

In sub-Saharan Africa, most low income countries are among the worst countries for elderly people to live in, as shown by the Global Age Watch Index 2015. According to Help Age International, the author of this new Index, the worst performing countries lack a comprehensive approach in the political framework to respond to the challenges posed by the aging of their populations. It means that more Africans fall sick and die before they reach old age.

It also means that Africa has a youthful population who can take advantage of the age of knowledge and technology to improve African productivity and their own aging.

The aging process in all humans is affected by many factors.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

HEALTH TALK: Preventing Colon Cancer

HEALTH TALK: Preventing Colon Cancer


Preventing Colon Cancer
Preventing Colon Cancer
Many young Nigerians have either died or they have been hospitalised due to colon cancer. Why? It is because nobody likes to talk about bowel movements or cancer and nobody likes to get a colonoscopy.

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. So that makes it a subject worth discussing.

Although some people consider it embarrassing to talk about colon cancer, it is important to become knowledgeable about it and to undergo a test for it.

Colorectal cancer is also the third most common cancer in both sexes and it is rising at an alarming proportion. This form of cancer does not get as much attention from the media as breast cancer, for example, but it is more common and just as deadly. Even when it does not kill, the consequences of bowel surgery can compromise the quality of life.

Although a family history of colon cancer increases the risk for the disease, it is estimated that 75 per cent of colon cancers occur in people who are 50 years-old or older, who have no family history.

Most colon cancers originate in polyps found in the colon. These polyps are usually benign (not cancerous), but they can become cancerous. Having a lot of polyps in the colon is a risk factor for colon cancer.

A colonoscopy is a colon cancer screening test that checks for polyps in the colon and rectum. However, doctors tend not to recommend a colonoscopy as often as they should because of the embarrassment factor and because a colonoscopy is invasive and uncomfortable: a flexible tube with a tiny camera on it is inserted into the rectum and pushed up into the colon in order to look for polyps and other signs of cancer. There is also an attachment that can snip off polyps, if the doctor thinks this is necessary.

In spite of the discomfort and embarrassment associated with a colonoscopy, everyone should have one when they turn 50, 60 and 70 years-old.

There is another way to test for colon cancer. It is not as direct a test as a colonoscopy and it is not a substitute for a colonoscopy, but it is one that more people are willing to do more often, particularly since it is inexpensive and easy to do.

One of the most common warning signs of colon cancer is blood in the stool. However, there may not be enough blood visible until colon cancer is advanced. That is where the EZ Detect test comes in. It is a simple, inexpensive test that can detect even very small amounts of blood in the stool, and it is available over the counter for home use. These types of tests are called Fecal Occult Blood Tests.

Colon cancer has a 90 to 95 per cent cure rate when caught early and there lies the catch. Many people have no symptoms until the cancer is advanced and that’s what makes it so deadly. Colon cancer is known as the “silent killer”.  Unfortunately, colon cancer rates are steadily rising. Early diagnosis (prior to symptoms) could save 90 per cent of people who are afflicted with the disease. Therefore, everybody should undertake early diagnostic screening tests.

If one waits until suggestive symptoms occur (blood in the stool, irregular bowel movements, pain, weight loss), the colon tumour is likely to be advanced and cure much less likely. Obviously, what is needed is a better, less intrusive and less expensive screening test for colon cancer. The Fecal Occult Blood Test can detect hidden blood in the stool, which is one of the first symptoms of the disease, and they can be done at home once a year. But by far, our best option is prevention. Fortunately, we know a lot about prevention. Diet is probably most important. Let’s take a closer look.

Eating to prevent colon cancer

In a nutshell, to prevent colon cancer, we need to increase our fibre intake. Eat a variety of fresh vegetables, maintain good levels of antioxidants, avoid processed foods, drink plenty of good water and get some exercise. These factors have shown up again and again as preventive measures in the study of colon cancer. Exercise has been shown to prevent colon cancer more than any other cancer.

The colon is also known as the large intestine and it is the last area of the digestive tract that waste matter passes through before elimination. It is where your body re-absorbs water and minerals for recycling and where it absorbs vitamin B12 as well as fat-soluble vitamins A and E. The bacteria in the colon manufacture vitamin K, which plays a role in blood clotting. Fibre is what keeps all of these processes moving along in the bowel.

Fibre refers to the indigestible residue of plants. It consists of complex carbohydrates that we are unable to digest. They encompass a wide variety of molecular structures that differ in their degree of solubility in water. They add to the bulk of bowel contents and stimulate the passage of waste matter through the colon. Shorter transit times (time of ingestion of food until its elimination via defecation) are related to decreased incidence of colon cancer. In other words, constipation increases your risk of colon cancer and fibre prevents constipation. Drinking plenty of water also helps to prevent constipation.

Until the past six or seven generations, humans ate a diet filled with vegetable and grain fibre. With industrialisation, our diets changed radically: the processing of foods for commercial sale resulted in the loss of much of the fibre, especially of grain foods.

Comparing the illnesses occurring in industrialised and non-industrialised populations, it is apparent that many common illnesses rarely occur in less industrialised areas that eat high fibre diets. Such illnesses include diabetes, constipation, diverticulitis, colon cancer, heart disease, obesity, gall bladder disease and gallstones, pancreatitis, hiatus hernia, appendicitis, hemorrhoids, varicose veins and even breast cancer. There is an unmistakable epidemiologic relationship between these diseases and low dietary fibre.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

UK Donates £22m To Tackle Malnutrition In North-East

UK Donates £22m To Tackle Malnutrition In North-East


United Kingdom is to tackle malnutrition in troubled North-East of Nigeria with £22 million till March 2022, the United Nations Children Fund has revealed.
UK Donates £22m To Tackle Malnutrition In North-East

Speaking to journalists in Maiduguri on Wednesday, Sanjay Das, Nutrition Manager, UNICEF said the funding followed the success of initial fund of $10 million which was expended on the treatment of 233,000 malnourished children in the North-East between October 2018 to May 2019.

He said the initial fund of $10 million was released by the United Kingdom through her Department for International Development, the department responsible for administering overseas aid. Das said the fund was spent on nutrition complements and drugs to tackle cases of malnutrition in the region.

Sanjay said that the DFID has released £22 million to comprehensively tackle the problem of malnutrition in the region for three years.

He said under the latest intervention, which spans April 2019 to March 2022, 87,000 persons are targeted.

He said not only malnourished children would be covered under the latest intervention, but their mothers and infrastructure would be put in place to put an end to malnutrition in the region.

He, however, lamented that the earlier intervention was faced with some challenges including insecurity which made project areas inaccessible.

He also noted that the medical team were not able to access some areas in Borno State during the rainy season due to flooding and because some parts of the state have a scattered population, thus making it difficult to bring them together to medical facilities.

A visit by our correspondent on Wednesday to one of the IDPs camp, Bakasi, which houses 39,176 persons showed that 105 new cases were attended to in the last one week.

Ibrahim Shaibu, a Community Management of Acute Malnutrition Provider at the camp said they also attended to patients from the host community.

PUNCH

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Nigerian Who Died In UK Detention Centre Was Denied Medical Attention Says Brother

Nigerian Who Died In UK Detention Centre Was Denied Medical Attention Says Brother

Nigerian Who Died In UK Detention Centre Was Denied Medical Attention Says Brother

A Nigerian man, Oscar Okwurime, 34, who died in his cell at the Harmondsworth removal centre in London had told the authorities at the centre that he was feeling unwell but he was not provided with medical attention, says latest report.

According to The Independent UK, Okwurime told his siblings that he was feeling unwell during his first week in the removal centre.

His older brother, 44, who asked to be identified as Alex told The Independent, “I told him straight away: tell the authorities there and they will get you checked.

“That first week, they didn’t do anything. And the second week he said they were still saying nothing. The last time I saw him, he told me he was on a waiting list of about 400.
He said he was feeling pain in his side. He hadn’t had any health issues before.

“It was a pure case of negligence. If someone is in your custody and telling you they’re not feeling well, it’s your duty of care to get them checked.”

Alex said that before his brother’s death he had been detained around three weeks when he entered the country on a visitor’s visa and told the authorities he wished to seek asylum.

“I’m feeling so livid now. Any time I’m alone, I’m in tears. It’s terrible, It’s very painful. I don’t know what to do,” he said.

The cause of his death is unknown but the Home Office said it was investigating it, punch reports