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

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

WHO Identifies ‘more Effective’ Ebola Treatment Drugs

WHO Identifies ‘more Effective’ Ebola Treatment Drugs

WHO Identifies ‘more Effective’ Ebola Treatment Drugs
Two of four 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.

FreshReporters News understood that 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.

According to the CDC, 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.

There have been 1,866 reported deaths as a result of the virus – NAN reports

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Harmful Effects Of Palm Wine On Breastfeeding

Harmful Effects Of Palm Wine On Breastfeeding

Harmful Effects Of Palm Wine On Breastfeeding

This week is the world breastfeeding week. It is celebrated every year around the world from 1st to 7th August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies. It promotes exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. This piece is put up to demystify the myths about the effects of palmwine on breastfeeding. I had gone to congratulate a woman and to see that the new born baby was doing fine. I met the new mum she was happy, on a lighter mood, baby was also happy as evidenced by the numerous spontaneous smiles from the baby. I asked for the husband, she was said to have gone out. I later met him at the reception and noticed he was worried.

The following ensues between the two of us:

Doctor: Congrats Sir, where have you been?

Man: Doctor, I’ve been out all day in search of palm wine for the new mum.

Doctor:  Palm wine! Palm what!

Man: The nurse requested I get the palm wine for the mum so that she can lactate.

Doctor: No Sir, you need to hold on, you don’t need to get it, and the mum doesn’t need palm wine either.

Man: But the nurse asked us to go and get it, anyway thank God, thank you
Harmful Effects Of Palm Wine On Breastfeeding
I later approached the nurse, who requested for the palm wine to be brought and given to the new mum. I asked her if she knew that palm wine contains alcohol on the average up to six per cent. I also asked her whether she knew that alcohol passes through breast milk and can affect the baby. She replied that it is a cultural practice, but agreed that it was not a medical proven treatment and that it was not ordered by the doctor.

Medical Explanation

Naturally, palm wine is a low alcoholic drink. Its alcoholic content is as little three per cent, but fermented palm wine has the potential to breed as high 12 per cent alcoholic content. When palm wine is taken by breastfeeding mum, it passes into the breast milk. It is on record that there is no known safe level of alcohol consumption while breastfeeding. Mums should avoid palm wine/alcohol intake in the first month after a baby is born until breastfeeding is well established because it impedes the milk flow as opposed to the cultural belief. It takes about two hours for the average woman to clear one standard glass of alcohol drink from her system, therefore four hours for two glasses, six hours for three glasses and so on.

Effect of palm wine/alcohol on breastfeeding mum

Using alcohol may make the mum fall into a deep sleep which can be dangerous to the baby. Mums who are going to drink alcohol are strongly advised not to have their baby sleep with them on the bed.  They are to always put babies in their cots. They may not wake for the baby’s next feed, or if the baby becomes distressed. They are to make ‘safety plans’ – have an adult take care of the baby. Palm wine is used by some mums as post natal beverage. This is dangerous to health; the levels of alcohol in breast milk remain close to those in the mother’s bloodstream. Levels will be at their highest between 30 and 60 minutes after drinking, or 90 minutes if drinking with a meal. It takes two hours for a unit of alcohol (a small glass of wine, or half a pint of beer) to leave a mother’s blood.

Effect of palm wine/ alcohol on breastfed babies

While large amounts of alcohol in breast milk can have a sedative effect on the babies, it is more likely to make the babies agitated and disrupt their sleep patterns. When a nursing mother takes it, it gets into the breast milk and the baby sleeps and unable to suck. Alcohol inhibits a mother’s let-down (the release of milk to the nipple). Studies have shown that babies take around 20 per cent less milk if there is alcohol present, so they’ll need to feed more often. Some infants have been known to go on ‘nursing strike’, probably because of the altered taste of alcohol in the milk.

In conclusion, drinking palm wine by breastfeeding mums is counterproductive because it is proven scientifically that palm wine does not make the breast flow. It reduces the flow contrary to perceived increase by traditions. The act of palm wine drinking by new mum is a myth, with no scientific basis or benefit. Most importantly, it is a harmful practice. Breast flow is, however, increased by staying hydrated, eating a well-balanced diet, putting baby to breast on demand, resting and having enough sleep.

Rotimi Adesanya; Child and Public Health Physician, roayad@yahoo.com, 08037202050

(Punch)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Medical Outreach: NGO, African Doctors Offer Free Treatment To 700 Patients

Medical Outreach: NGO, African Doctors Offer Free Treatment To 700 Patients

No fewer than 700 patients with various illnesses in Dobi, a community in Gwagwalada Area Council of FCT, have benefited from a free medical treatment offered by Oral Health Advocacy Initiative (OHAI), an NGO, in collaboration with African Doctors for Africa.
Medical Outreach: NGO, African doctors offer free treatment to 700 patients

The Executive Director of OHAI, Dr Ver-or Ngutor, said on Thursday in Abuja that the medical outreach which took place on Wednesday was for women and children with focus on malaria control, oral health, Hepatitis B and C, nutrition, eyes screening and provision of lenses, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids.

Ngutor in a statement expressed excitement over the huge turnout of the people and commended the traditional institution in the area for mobilising its people to take advantage of the programme.

He pledged the commitment of OHAI and African Doctors for Africa to continue to work closely to ensure that that healthcare was available for as many as possible.

Aside the testing and treatment, the organisers donated 80 wrappers to women during the outreach.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Ifeoma Anagbogu represented by Mr Joseph Dzungwe at the event, explained that the outreach had given credence to Nigeria’s signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

She also said it was a sign of elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) as well as other statutes, conventions and treaties which enjoin states, parties to ensure the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health facilities for the prevention and treatment of illnesses.

Anagbogu noted that the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs placed premium on well-being and rights to quality health of women and girls and other vulnerable groups in the society, hence, the collaboration with non-governmental organisation and Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and other initiatives to this end.

“Government alone cannot meet the health needs of our teaming population, hence, the need for the contribution of NGOs, CBOs, other stakeholders and partners who provide a variety of services and programmes for the health benefits of the populace,” the statement quoted Anagbogu as saying.

It also quoted Mrs Nma Ogbonna, Assistant Director/Head NGOs, who represented the Director of Health Planning and Statistics, Federal Ministry of Health, as saying that the activities championed by OHAI and African Doctors for Africa would in no small measure contribute to government’s efforts to improve health of the people.

Earlier, the traditional ruler of the community, Alhaji Ismaila Nda-Etsu Dobi, lauded the organisers for their commitment in providing medical care to his subjects.

He urged governments at all level to support NGOs such as OHAI that had shown capacity over the time in providing healthcare services particularly for the local communities.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

JUTH Performs First Brain Surgery Using Drilling Machine

JUTH Performs First Brain Surgery Using Drilling Machine

The Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), at the weekend undertook its first surgery to remove brain tumor using a machine that drills the skull bone to gain access to the tumor.
JUTH Performs First Brain Surgery Using Drilling Machine
“It is the first Trans-labyrinthine approach to a posterior fossa tumor. We used the C-Arm machine to drill the skull bone so as to see what is behind even while facing the front of the head.
“In the past, we had to open the brain which was always risky and led to deaths because the brain is delicate,’’ Dr Origoya Peter Binitie, the lead neurosurgeon in the operation in Jos  told The News Agency of Nigeria

He said that the tumor had been in the woman for three years before the surgery.

“Half of her face was affected and she could not hear with the ear affected,’’ he explained, adding that the operation was a combined effort by neurosurgeons, Ear-Nose-Throats (ENT), surgeons and the Anaesthetists.

Binitie, who described tumor as an abnormal growth of tissue largely outside the brain stem, said that the new approach helps the surgeons to navigate around the head to see all sides at the same time.

In the past, we used X-rays to ascertain the position of every part of the head; that involved moving the X-ray machine up and down to, and from, the theatre.

“That process usually takes a longer time and will not give us the position of a bone or the tissue in real time. But with the new machine, it is very quick and saves more than two hours.

“With the new device, we can easily get the picture in motion. While the X-ray is static and one must wait for results, the new device is a kind of video where one can see the picture in motion, instead of static motion.

“The new device is also more accurate, can tell you exactly where you are and saves cost because you spend less time on anaesthesia which minimise the money you pay for that particular service.

“We can also ease our job by taking the picture up, down, front, back or sideways,’’ he explained.

Binitie, first neurosurgeon in northern Nigeria, who had been in service since 1974, said that the cost of such operation was “around N300,000 in JUTH’’.

But it costs several millions of naira in other hospitals and even more when done outside Nigeria,’’ he said.

The expert said that there were a total of 90 neurosurgeons in the country, adding that more were being trained to meet rising demands.

JUTH is one of the few centres training neurosurgeons in Nigeria. Six are currently being trained and are at various stages of the programme,’’ he said.

Binitie commended the management of JUTH for its efforts to improve services through acquiring modern equipment like C-Arm that would ease surgery and enable the hospital break new grounds.

Speaking on the C-Arm device, Prof. Edmund Banwat, Chief Medical Director of JUTH, said that it cost N32 million, adding that more equipment were being acquired to improve service delivery and break new grounds.

Banwat said that a German NGO, Christofell.Blindmission (CBM), recently donated an operating microscope to be used by the ophthalmology (eye) department.

He said that the hospital was undertaking a free eye surgery for children which would end in September, adding that children requiring glasses would equally receive them.

Parents should take advantage of this opportunity to correct any defect in the eyes of their children,’’ he told NAN.

Banwat, however, decried the poor funding of teaching hospitals, saying that much funds were required to purchase equipment, meet infrastructure needs, as well as for training and research.

We have several needs and want to improve services and break new grounds, but we cannot meet these needs with the budget we currently run.

“What we have is mostly an envelope system; what comes out of the appropriation is not encouraging at all.

“With more funds, we can operate optimally and provide quality service. The medical sector keeps moving and changing, with new grounds broken every day. We cannot afford to be left behind,’’ he said.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Nigerian Doctor Wins “Brain Tumor Research” Award In U.S.

Nigerian Doctor Wins “Brain Tumor Research” Award In U.S.

Nigerian Doctor Wins “Brain Tumor Research” Award In U.S.
A US-based Nigerian Doctor, Dr Chibawanye Ene has won the 2019 Ronald L. Bittner Award on Brain Tumor Research.

A statement from the Clinical Department, Applied Radiation Oncology U.S., said Ene received the award at the 2019 American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Annual Scientific Meeting held from April 13 to April 17 in San Diego.

Ene who is from Akpugo in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, won the award with his research work on ‘Anti-PD-L1 Immunotherapy Enhances Radiation-induced Abscopal Response in Glioblastoma’.

It was reported that Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps immune system fight cancer.

The immune system, made up of white blood cells, organs and tissues of the lymph system, helps the body fight infections and other diseases.

The Clinical Department stated Immunotherapy is a type of biological therapy.

Also, Glioblastoma, known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is the most aggressive cancer that begins within the brain. Initially, signs and symptoms of glioblastoma are non-specific.

They may include headaches, personality changes, nausea, and symptoms similar to those of a stroke.

Immunotherapy for glioblastoma has been largely unsuccessful in part, because molecular heterogeneity drives selective elimination of only a subset of tumor cells.

According to the statement, it appears that therapeutic success in patients would require achieving an abscopal effect, where following focused radiation therapy, non-targeted tumor cells are attacked by the immune system.

The statement further revealed to Freshreporters News that it remains unclear how glioblastoma respond to focused radiation in terms of failure location and whether immunotherapy could amplify the immune response to tumor outside the radiation field.

The result of the study’s experiment show that radiation combined with anti PD L1 therapy induces an immunological response to unirradiated glioblastoma.

The researchers are currently optimizing other treatment combinations that could also be readily assessed in phase I human clinical trials.

(NAN)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Expert Gives Explanation On Why Nigerians Are Experiencing Hot Weather

Expert Gives Explanation On Why Nigerians Are Experiencing Hot Weather

Reasons For An Excessive Heat In Nigeria Discussed By An Expert.

Expert Gives Explanation On Why Nigerians Are Experiencing Hot Weather
Describing hot weather

According to a knowledgeable personnel, Dr. Mohammed Bukar Ngamdu, made striking declarations in his statement on the prevailing weather condition.

Today being Monday, Dr. Ngamdu who is from the Department of Geography, Yobe State University Damaturu during his interaction with Daily Post made the following explanations on the reasons for hot weather felt in Nigeria.

See here :
“The excessive heat in this part of the country is as result of global climatic change which can be attributed to human activities.

“Activities such as deforestation among others without replacing them are responsible. For instance, in an environment, normally trees serve as carbon storage facilities, that is the excess carbon that exists in the atmosphere is being stored in the trees.

“So in the process of cutting down these trees, the carbon being stored in the tree will go back to the atmosphere, thereby increasing the rate of heat in the atmosphere,” he noted.

According to him, as a result of continues climatic change, the Southern part of the country keeps on experiencing the problem of flooding, whereas the northern part keeps on experiencing the problem of increased heat waves, desertification and drought among other environmental challenges.

“Climatically, as of now if you move northward in the state, the rate of desertification, drought and excessive heat keeps on increasing in that area. For instance, when you compare places like Machina, Yunusari and Yusufari in northern Yobe, they ore hotter than places like Fika, Gujba and Gulani located in the Southern part of the state.

“That means that the more you go northward part of the state, the higher the heat becomes”, the climatologist expatiated.

He further attributed the high rate of health issues such as dehydration and kidney diseases among people in the state to the increase in the heat waves, while calling on policymakers in the state to stretch out laws that would discourage people from cutting down trees.