Saturday, 5 May 2018

Lassa Fever: Bauchi Government To Establish Diagnosis, Isolation Centres


By Chioma Umeha

The Bauchi State government has unveiled its plan to establish isolation and diagnosis centres for the treatment of infectious diseases including lassa fever.
This was disclosed yesterday by the state Commissioner for health, Dr Halima Mukaddas when he received the delegation of the Community Health Research Initiative led by the Zonal Coordinator, Dr Aminu Magashi on a courtesy call.
She said the centres will be established with the support of the federal government in order to manage  the outbreak of the infectious disease.
“With the support of the Federal Government, we have identified that  there is a need for a diagnostic center in the state and the federal government will support us to establish a diagnosis centre.
The state government will also establish an isolation centre for all infections diseases so that we will will be able to take proper care of those that  are already infected with such communicable and infectious diseases  like lassa fever.
Following the outbreak of lassa fever that started in November last year, we have had six confirmed cases and we have put measures in place to curtail it by embarking on increased sensitization and awareness on how people can prevent themselves from contracting the disease.
We also procured medications to give to those that came into contact with confirmed cases so that it will prevent them from contracting the disease”.
Dr Halima thereby gave the asusrance to partner with the media and Non Governmental Organizations in promoting health care services in the state.
Dr Mukaddas expressed her determination to implement the five point health agenda launched by Governor  Abubakar across the state especially in rural areas.
She said “We will establish leagues of friends  in all the health facilities in the state to ensure communities are involve in various interventions that we planned for our people because  community structure is very important to ensure that the five point health agenda is successful.
Earlier, the zonal coordinator  of CHR, Dr Aminu Magashi congratulated the Commissioner for her appointment and assured them of their support for the success of all health projects in the state.
Also speaking, the state  coordinator  of Evidence for Action, a UKAID  project, Ahmed Mohammed said the aim of the visit is to assure her of their support in achieving the  five point health agenda .
“We all must work together to ensure that the five point agenda becomes a success.” he said.


Aregbesola Lauds LG Doctors’ Commitment To Duty


By  Chioma Umeha

Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, on Thursday, February 18, 2016, commended members of the state branch of Association of Local Government Medical Officers of Health in Nigeria for demonstrating understanding of their duties by committing themselves to saving lives.
Governor Aregbesola gave the commendation while receiving the association at Government House, Osogbo.
He, however, chided doctors in the state’s employ who are currently on strike, describing the boycott of work as a betrayal of their Hippocratic Oath.
The governor said, unknown to many Nigerians who have heard only the doctors’ side of the story, they collected six months’ salaries without doing any work.
He challenged them to tell the world whether they did not collect their salaries up to September 2015 when they went on strike.
?On the other hand, Aregbesola lauded the association of local government council doctors for their active service and commitment to the generality of the people of the state.
 He stated that the local government health workers were not only the bedrock of any state’s healthcare sector but also the proverbial stone rejected by the builder, which turned out to be the cornerstone.
?He however lamented the industrial action of doctors at the state level for more than 11 months, saying, but for the active commitment to service of members of the association and other medical personnel, the state’s health care system would have been compromised.
?Governor Aregbesola restated how on assumption of office, he changed many existing traditions such as the date for payment of salaries, leave bonus, increased car loans, increased housing loans and a host of other pro-workers initiatives.
On his part, Fabiyi Samson, chairman of the association, said primary health care remained the bedrock of any state’s health system and the governor should be commended for what his administration has done on the primary health care system.
Samson disclosed that Osun was second to Lagos in the provision of sound health care system in the country.
According to him, primary health care holds a strategic position in the health care ladder, as more than 75 per cent of the populace is attended to at the primary level.


Health Benefits Of Lime




By Chioma Umeha
A study has brought out the numerous benefits that one could get from the use of lime for a healthy living.
According to the medical experts, who conducted the research on how to maximize lime in the cure of diseases, the health benefits of lime include weight loss, skin care, and improved digestion, relief from constipation, eye care, and treatment of scurvy, piles, peptic ulcer, respiratory disorders, gout, gums, and urinary disorders, among others.
The first fruit that comes to mind in terms of medicinal uses is the reliable lime. This sour citrus fruit can do what many advanced medicines cannot. Lime, bearing the scientific name Citrus Aurantifolia, has been used for ages in the treatment of various ailments.
Lime is consumed throughout the world in the form of sorbet, beverages, refreshing cocktails, pickles, jams, jellies, snacks, candies, sugar boiled confections and in cooking.  The oil extracted from its peel or skin is extensively used in soft drink concentrates, body oils, cosmetic products, hair oils, toothpastes, toilet and beauty soaps, disinfectants, mouth washes, deodorants and innumerable other products. There are many varieties of lime found all over the world, particularly in the tropical and the Mediterranean climates.
Benefits and medicinal uses of lime

Scurvy
Lime is very well-known as a cure for scurvy, the disease which is caused from a deficiency of vitamin-C. It is characterized by frequent infections that show as normal cold symptoms, cracked lips and lip corners, ulcers on the tongue and in the mouth. You can also spot scurvy from spongy, swollen and bleeding gums. Since its cause is a deficiency of vitamin-C, its remedy is none other than vitamin-C, and lime is full of this essential vitamin.
In the past, soldiers and sailors were given lime to keep them safe from scurvy, which was a horrible and potentially fatal disease back then. Even now, it is distributed among the workers working in polluted environments like furnaces, painting shops, heat treatments, cement factories, mines, and other dangerous work environments to protect them from scurvy.

Skin Care
Lime juice and its natural oils are very beneficial for skin when consumed orally or applied externally. It rejuvenates the skin, keeps it shining, protects it from infections and reduces body odour due to the presence of a large amount of vitamin-C and Flavonoids. Those are both class-1 anti oxidants, and have antibiotic and disinfectant properties. When applied externally on skin, its acids scrub out the dead cells, cures dandruff, rashes, and bruises. It can also be used to create a refreshing bathing experience if its juice or oil is mixed into your bathing water.


Digestion:
Lime has an irresistible scent which causes your mouth to water and this actually aids primarydigestion (the digestive saliva floods your mouth even before you taste it). The natural acidity in lime does the rest. While they break down the macro molecules of the food, the Flavonoids, the compounds found in the fragrant oils extracted from lime, stimulate the digestive system and increase secretion of digestive juices, bile and acids. This flood of flavonoids also stimulates the peristaltic motion. This is the reason behind lemon pickle with lunch and dinner being a traditional practice in India and various neighbouring countries in that region.

Constipation
Primarily, the ample amount of acids present in lime helps clear the excretory system by washing and cleaning off the tracts, just as some acids are used to clean floors and toilets. The roughage in lime is also helpful in easing constipation, but the most beneficial element is the high acidity. An overdose of lime juice with salt also acts as an excellent purgative without any side effects, thereby providing relief from constipation.

Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, limes and other citrus fruits are considered a diabetes super food for a number of reasons. Mainly, the high levels of soluble fiber found in limes make it an ideal dietary aid to help regulate the body’s absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, reducing the occurrence of blood sugar spikes that are a serious risk to diabetic patients. Also, limes and other citrus fruits have a low glycemic index, which means that they will not cause unexpected spikes in glucose levels, in addition to the benefits of soluble fiber’s effect.
Heart Disease
That same soluble fiber which can help diabetics maintain their blood sugar levels can also lower blood pressure and eliminate the presence of LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol). Furthermore, soluble fiber can cut down on inflammation of the blood vessels, which is a known preventative measure against heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Peptic Ulcer 
In addition to vitamin-C, lime contains special compounds called Flavonoids (Limonoids such as LimoninGlucoside) which have antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, antibiotic and detoxifying properties that stimulate the healing process of peptic and oral ulcers.

Respiratory Disorders
The flavonoid-rich oil that is extracted from limes is extensively used in anti-congestive medicines such as balms, vaporizers, and inhalers due to the presence of Kaempferol. Just scratching the peel of a lime and inhaling it gives immediate relief for congestion and nausea.
Eye Care 
Vitamin-C again! Its anti-oxidant properties protect eyes from aging and macular degeneration. On top of that, flavonoids help protect them from infections.

Arthritis 
One of the many causes of arthritis is an excess of uric acid that builds up in the body. Uric acid is one of the waste products that normal urination will clear out of the body, but unfortunately, when too much builds up, it can make the pain and inflammation from arthritis even worse. The citric acid found in citrus fruits like limes is a solvent in which uric acid can dissolve, increasing the amounts that are eliminated in the urine. Citrus fruits in general have anti-inflammatory properties, and can be used for a number of inflammation issues.
Fever
If someone is suffering from a fever, limes and lime juice can be of great importance. Citrus fruits in general have fever-reducing qualities, and if the fever is very high, the patient’s diet should be restricted to lemon juice and water. However, if the fever is mild to moderate, other fruit juices, particularly citrus juices like lime juice, can be administered in order to bring the fever back to a manageable level. Vitamin-C, found in high concentrations in citrus fruits, naturally lowers the temperature of the body.
Gout
There are two main causes of gout. The first source is the accumulation of free radicals in the body, and the second is accumulation of toxins in the body, primarily uric acid. Limes can help prevent both of these causes.  It is a wonderful source of antioxidants & detoxifiers (vitamin-C & Flavonoids) which reduce the number of free radicals as well as detoxifying the body.

Gums
The root cause of gum problems is a deficiency of vitamin-C (Scurvy, which gives bleeding and spongy gums) and microbial growth. Sometimes, the ulcers come from physical trauma. In all of these situations, limes can help. Its vitamin-C cures scurvy, Flavonoids inhibit microbial growth and potassium and Flavonoids help heal ulcers and wounds.

Piles
Since lime helps heal ulcers and wounds in the digestive system and excretory system while providing relief from constipation, it eradicates all the root causes of piles. Piles are a different term for hemorrhoids, an uncomfortable condition that occurs in the anal region and can result in bleeding and discomfort both during excretion and general activity. It can also lead to certain forms of cancer, and limes can help prevent their formation or recurrence.

Cholera
Although it has disappeared in many parts of the world, cholera is still a dangerous and deadly disease in some places on the planet, and luckily, limes and other citrus fruits can help defend against this often fatal condition. The lime juice, when added to potentially infected water, proved to be a very effective disinfectant, and even when it was consumed regularly after someone had been exposed to cholera-infected water, fatalities were reduced. Numerous studies were done on this application of lime juice, particularly following the horrible outbreak of cholera in Guinea-Bissau in 1994.

Weight Loss
A glass of warm water with a full lime’s worth of juice in it is an excellent weight reducer as well as a brilliant refresher and antioxidant drink. The citric acid present in lime is an excellent fat burner. You can consume two glasses a day and see legitimate and remarkable results within a week.

Urinary Disorders
The high potassium content of limes is very effective in removal of the toxic substances and the precipitates which get deposited in kidneys and the urinary bladder. The disinfectant properties of limes also help cure infections in the urinary system. Furthermore, it stops prostrate growth (very common in males above 40) and clears blockage of urine that can come from calcium deposits in the urinary tract.

Other Benefits
It is a good appetizer and digestive. It can help to cure rheumatism, prostate and colon cancer, cholera, arteriosclerosis, fatigue and even high fevers (contrary to popular belief). The best part of it is that it has no negative side effects!

Where You Live And Type 2 Diabetes
Can where you live cause you to be infected with type 2 diabetes?
A report by Jodi Knapp in Blue Heron Health news noted that it was a well known fact that poor diet and lack of exercise could contribute to type 2 diabetes. But he wondered if the location where we live could even be more important.
He said it was possible according to a new study.
“Definitely yes, according to a new study!
Where you live can be the root cause of your type 2 diabetes. But you don’t have to move. Actually, just make a small change and you’ll have a slam dunk against the disease.
In 2014, Cities Changing Diabetes was formed as a partnership project to identify and address the root cause of so-called urban diabetes. Its aim was to identify how dense population in major cities may contribute to type 2 diabetes.
The project comprises of five cities working together to create a global call to action against urban diabetes and aims to explore the hypothesis that where a person lives impacts their lifestyle. This, according to the theory, ultimately determines their risk for type 2 diabetes.
Researchers plan to use this data to create an agenda for change by identifying key factors that create vulnerability to type 2 diabetes by looking at what’s working, what’s not working, and where the challenges and priorities for the future lie.
It is believed that connecting the dots between cities will help to create solutions that can be shared throughout the world.
The five cities involved in the project are: Tianjin; Shanghai; Mexico City; Houston, and Copenhagen.
So far, researchers have found striking similarities showing fast-growing urban areas have higher incidents of type 2 diabetes than more stable, slow-growing areas.
While it was expected that type 2 diabetes would be closely linked to education and income, one of the surprising findings was that many young professionals increased their risk because they were too busy to focus on diet and exercise.
Another hypothesis is the “thrifty gene,” which suggests that populations from areas that commonly experienced famine and food shortages have more efficient fat storage in order to improve survival chances.
While this idea remains under debate, it could explain why certain populations are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes when they migrate from poorer countries to the affluence of Western countries due to the change in lifestyle.
Cultural differences also need to be taken into account since obesity, body image, and excess weight are traits that are often tolerated (even celebrated) in some cultures, and may lessen social pressure to lose weight.
The main thing to take from this study, however, is that once again, lifestyle has been proven to cause type 2 diabetes and therefore it can easily be cured naturally.


Oshiomhole Raises Health Workers’ Pay By 5%


By Chioma Umeha

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has approved a 5% pay rise for health workers in the state, emphasizing that the wage increment is for all health workers including laboratory technicians, nurses and midwives.
The government had earlier in the month also raised doctors’ pay by 5%. This is coming even as many states in the country find it difficult to pay their wages with many owing salary arrears for up to five months.
Governor Oshiomhole announced the 5% pay rise for the state health workers when he received members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) who paid him a courtesy visit in the Government House, Benin City.
He said, “I asked you to come over because I know that two years ago, we had a wage review based on certain criteria which you preferred to call 90% but for me, that was what we were willing to pay and were able to pay at that time. And I did say that when situation improves, we would look at it and make some further upward adjustment.
“At that time, our main source of revenue which is oil was at about $60, $70, $80 and today, it is hovering around $30 per barrel but certainly under $40 and nobody knows what it is going to be. However, I do recognize that for us to maintain our integrity in the eyes of our workers, when promises have been made in good faith, as much as possible, we should try to keep those promises.
“It is no secret that Nigeria’s economy is in crisis. We are burdened not only by low price of crude oil, we are also saddled by massive looting and diversion from public treasury at the federation level. If you have been reading the news as I have done, both print and electronic, it is now established that NNPC did not remit as much as N3.2 trillion to the federation account under Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Minister of Finance and these bare the issues we have been talking about.”
He said, “Now, Edo State’s share of that money, if it had been remitted to the federation account, would have been more than N50 billion. So those numbers that they throw around in Abuja have direct implication on states and local governments. Imagine what we could have done if we have extra N50 billion today.
“I do appreciate the escalating cost of living even at a time of dwindling revenue accruing to the country. Therefore, just to be able to maintain my integrity and for you to trust my word, when I made those statements in good faith, I thought it would be better but certainly, things are not better and they are even worse for workers because everything is going up.
“So, in recognition of that, rather than as a reflection of ability to pay, but our commitment has not diminished; based on this and other considerations, we will up your pay by 5% across all the health sector workers whether they are lab technicians, nurses, midwives and what have you. I have asked the accountant-general to have that reflected in your salary.”
The governor said, “Let me assure you that I do appreciate your contributions to the development of this state. In your own case, I am very proud of the Central Hospital we have constructed. But I am the first to point out that the building itself though it has and it would have psychological impact on any patient, whether rich or poor, but it would be lot better if we also have state-of-the-art equipment which we have already ordered and they are already being installed but even this alone again would help but it would not do the trick.
“What will do the trick is the human factor. When we have dedicated workers, skilled workers, committed healthcare providers that see the patients as friends, as brothers, as relatives and I know that though money alone does not motivate man, but however, we cannot downplay the fact that a hungry stomach cannot possibly be a motivating incentive.
“So, I want you to accept this as a mark of my own commitment in ensuring that even at this time in our national crisis, that the workers are recognized as a critical agent in the process of governance and our sheer commitment to take Edo State to the highest level”, he said.
Speaking earlier, the chairman, Joint Health Workers Union in Edo State, Comrade Osaretin Agbonlahor said, “We want to on behalf of our members convey our sincere appreciation to the Comrade Governor who has not only demonstrated consistent commitment to our welfare but has this instant called us again and not minding the situation of the economy, he is still ready to raise the bar.
“We want to appreciate you for what you have been doing. The Comrade alert, we have tagged it so because we have never seen it in this manner. When we go for meetings with other states, you hear salaries being owed for up to 2, 3 months but here, by the 23rd of the month, our salary has come.  This is a great motivating factor, and we are grateful to you.
“I am elated to know that at this crucial time, you have not diminished and by the special grace of God, you will not diminish.”



Professor Of Microbiology Berates Government Over Inability To Control Lassa Fever


By Chioma Umeha
By Francis Onoiribholo
Bureau Chief Benin

Nigeria’s negligence of the menace of Lassa fever has been described as “annual recurrent budget of death for the poor people in Nigeria.”
A Professor of Microbiology, Dennis Agbonlahor made the declaration in a Distinguished Lecture titled “Combating Lassa Fever: A National Health Challenge” which he delivered at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) at the weekend.
Agbonlahor who quoted from a statement he credited to Prof. Oyewole Tomori, said it was sad that for the past fourty-seven years, Nigeria had hitherto made noise in the name of creating awareness during outbreaks but goes to sleep at the end of each episode and only wakes up when the next outbreak occurs.
“We are not aware of any report on cases of Lassa fever and its endemicity in other continents of the world. This perhaps explains why governments in the developed countries show little or no interest/financial commitment to lassa fever eradication. They look at the disease as a regional problem which is mainly endemic in West Africa.
Despite the thousands of deaths from the fever, Nigeria is still unprepared to contain the disease, waking up every year an outbreak is reported, running like a decapitated chicken in any direction and forgetting about the disease till another year of another outbreak,” he said.
The Professor of Microbiology who advocated accurate epidemiological data on the distribution, rodent typing and rodents’ lassa viral carriage according to geopolitical zones and states in Nigeria, lauded the government of Muhammadu Buhari which, according to him, recently inaugurated a national committee on the control of providing holistic guidance on “One-Health” approach to preventing haemorrhagic fever and other infectious disease outbreaks in Nigeria chaired by Prof. Oyewole Tomori. ?
“This is a step in the right direction as the government now appears serious and willing to listen and provide the necessary logistic support aim at controlling the scourge of lassa fever in Nigeria,” he said.
He noted that governments of developed countries show little or no interest/financial commitment to lassa fever eradication, apparently because no report on cases of the contagious disease and it’s epidemicity has been made in other continents, adding, “they look at it as the disease of a regional problem which is mainly endemic in West Africa.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the UNIBEN, Prof. Faraday Orumwense said the institution has taken the challenge to join the fight against the fever.?
He disclosed that the authorities of the institution has set up a committee to sensitize the university community on ways to prevent the disease and to ?collaborate with the government and NGOs on ways to eradicate it.?
In a goodwill message, the Director, Centre for Disease control, Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Osamwonyi Irowa, called on the people to join hands in the fight against the virus by coming together to create awareness which he said is one step toward curbing the disease.
?He noted that the prevalence of the disease is in the rural areas where people know close to nothing about it.



Osun Has Made More Than Enough Concessions To Doctors – State Government


By Chioma Umeha
The Osun State Government on Tuesday described as mere blackmail the protests by the striking doctors saying that the government has made more than enough concessions for them to shift ground and reason with the government.
The state government called on well-meaning Nigerians to objectively examine the issues involved in the demands of the doctors and see whether they are in tune with the realities of the current worsening global and national economic situation and how it affects Osun.
The statement by the Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor which was endorsed by its Director, Semiu Okanlawon, said the doctors are demanding the impossible just as it said that the state under Governor Rauf Aregbesola had offered the best condition of service to all its workers including the doctors before the current financial challenges facing the entire country.

Lassa Fever Kills 4 Persons In Kaduna


By
 Chioma Umeha
Juliet Oyoyo, Kaduna

There was pandemonium in Kaduna on Monday as news filtered out that four people had died from lassa fever in the state.
Professor Jonathan Nok, the state Commissioner for Health who confirmed the deaths to newsmen said that the four persons died at the Saint Louis Specialist Hospital in Zonkwa, Zango Kataf Local Government Area of the State.
According to the commissioner, a medical doctor, a nurse and a pregnant woman were among the deceased.
He said that the doctor and the nurse had shown symptoms of Lassa fever shortly after they operated on the pregnant woman who was brought in from another hospital in Kafanchan, Jama’a local government.
According to him the victims died few days after they tested positive to the disease.
The Commissioner said the affected hospitals have been put under isolation with the intention of tracing the primary and secondary contacts with the deceased persons.
He however urged residents not to panic that the government is on top of the situation. He further advised residents of the state to maintain personal hygiene around their homes.

WEF Announces Umar-sadiq, PHN CEO, As 2016 Young Global Leader




By  Chioma Umeha
After a rigorous and comprehensive selection process, Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq has been honoured and announced the 2016 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF) – an international organization for public-private cooperation committed to improving the state of the world.
By this selection, Muntaqa joins a community of past Young Global Leader (YGL) honourees that include David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Chelsea Clinton, Board member of the Clinton Foundation; Larry Page, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Google, USA; Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Facebook, among others.
> Klaus Schwab and John Dutton, Executive Chairman and Head respectively of the forum of YGL in a statement explained that the honor bestowed each year by the WEF recognizes and acknowledges the most outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.
.“This honour is bestowed by the World Economic Forum each year to recognize the most distinguished leaders under the age of 40 nominated from around the world,” they explained further.
Umar-sadiq comes to the table with an impeccable pedigree as a young graduate of the University of Cambridge, England and Imperial College School of Medicine in London, and also a holder of Chartered Alternatives Investment Analyst (CAIAI) charter. He is currently the CEO of the Private Sector Health Alliance, and prior to this position, he was the Senior Technical
, he was the Senior Technical Adviser to the former Minister of State for Health in Nigeria, Muhammed Ali Pate and commenced his career as a healthcare M & A investment banker at Morgan Stanley in the UK where he focused on the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector.
Together with business and public sector leaders in Nigeria including Aliko Dangote, President/CEO, Dangote Group; Muhammad Ali Pate; Jim Ovia, Chairman, Zenith Bank; Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, President, Nigerian Stock Exchange; Kelechi Ohiri of HSDF and other corporate leaders, he led a pioneering work that has developed a Private Sector Health Alliance. The pioneering work has also catalyzed a model convergence platform for leveraging private sector innovation, capabilities and impact investments to complement government’s efforts in reaching millions of women and children in Nigeria to advance health outcomes. His selection and recognition by the WEF are anchored on his record of professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world through leadership and according to Schwab and Dutton, as an honouree, he has been invited to become an active community member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders for a period of five years.
“The community forms a unique global network of peers from diverse backgrounds and fields with a highly visible opportunity to significantly impact world affairs and shape the global agenda. Your five year experience is accompanied by a community manager representing the Forum of YGL who will identify unique and personalized opportunities for you to engage,” the forum said.

Family Planning Prevents Prolong Obstructed Labour, Fistula – Umma-Bala

Over half of Nigerian married women aged between 15 and 49 want to avoid pregnancy and plan their families, but, lack access to modern contraception according to the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). This challenge of non-availability of family planning (FP) supplies in the country’s various health facilities is worsened by the myths and misconceptions about FP which women contend with in their various communities. But, a Reproductive Health/Family Planning, FP, Adviser to Fistula Care Plus, based in Sokoto State, Mrs. Amina Umma Bala in this interview with Chioma Umeha dismisses the myths, declares it number one step out of poverty for couples  saying, it gives couples opportunity to delay, space and choose number of children they want. Excerpts:

There are various perceptions and misconception about family planning. For instance, in some communities, it is believed that if a woman uses a method of family planning, she will not be able to get pregnant again, when she wants to.
Well, myth is myth and misconception is misconception. So by myths, you know these are not true. It is rumours that are being spread by people in the community. So no myths or misconception is true. They are just false. For instance, some women say they cannot use family planning as long as they are breastfeeding. They believe that they won’t conceive based on their previous experience. This is very wrong because anything can change at any time. Nobody can rely on that. Just because she didn’t conceive during her previous encounter does not mean that she will not conceive next time. It is a false belief. Women should not rely on this belief. Some women claim they do not want to space their children because of inheritance. Some will tell you that they and their husbands space their children naturally, because they do strenuous work which weakens their sperm. Some will say, ‘I am afraid to resume sexual relationship while breastfeeding, because it may harm my baby. All these are myths. They simply don’t understand what family planning means.

So, what is family Planning?
Family planning is the initiation and use of natural or modern contraceptive methods to delay space or limit future pregnancies. If a woman uses a method of family planning, she will not be able to get pregnant again until when she wants to. There are different types of family planning. These includes ;Lactational Amenorrhea Method, LAM, Pills, Injectables, Condoms, Implants, IUD, Tubal Ligation and Vasectomy.
LAM is a temporary natural, contraceptive method that uses a pattern of breastfeeding to suppress ovulation and prevent pregnancy. It has more than 98 per cent contraceptive effectiveness and it is provided and controlled by the woman. It is also important for breastfeeding mothers to use contraceptive methods that have no effect on breastfeeding for a breastfeeding baby and mother.
How safe is FP?
Family planning is safe only that there is individual difference in using family planning. The way one individual tolerates family planning is different from another individual’s tolerance to FP. There are some people that can use family planning without showing any sign of adverse effect and there are some women that you can notice very easily that they are having challenges with that particular method.
What is the success rate?
All the family planning methods have its own efficacy. Some are 97 per cent effective; some are between 85 and 93 per cent. Every method has its own efficacy, none of them is 100 per cent reliable and what we mean by that is in 100 women using that method seven women can become pregnant after using that method consistently and effectively.
At what age should a girl adopt family planning?
As soon as that girl is matured, what I mean by matured is at least if the girl is 18 years, she has the right to access family planning. As long as a woman is of age, whether married or not married, she has the right to walk into family planning unit because we have to weigh the implication of not allowing them to access family planning. We have to weigh the risk. What about if they become pregnant and they are not married? So we have to weigh the risk. We are talking about 18 because she can decide on her own. If she is less than 18, the provider should always look for somebody, like the mother or a relation that can verify on her behalf. But, once she is 18 she can just walk in and have it.
Can you describe the link between family planning and obstetric fistula?
Family planning is one of the strategy that is used to prevent the occurrence of fistula, in the sense that when you use family planning it allows one to prevent unwanted pregnancy and it is only when you are pregnant that you would have prolong obstructed labour during delivery and you will also have fistula. So if you didn’t even allow the pregnancy to occur, you won’t have fistula.  That is one of the ways you can use family planning to prevent the occurrence of fistula.
What have been the responses of Sokoto women to FP?
Oh, fantastic, we recently conducted an outreach section, and I was highly impressed honestly with the way people were turning out from every corner, coming to access family planning. Some were even fighting to get it. And what surprised me most is they go for the long acting and permanent methods.
What are the benefits?
For the nation; reliable contraception is an extremely good value because it enables people to avoid pregnancy long enough to enter gainful employment and stable family relationships without depending on public assistance. For families, it gives couples the ability to choose the number and spacing of their children. It also ensures healthy spacing of pregnancy, increase chances of healthy outcomes for both mother and baby. Also, healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy improves the health of the mother and reduces infant, newborn and child deaths. It reduces the chance of problems during the next pregnancy and allows mothers to breastfeed for two full years.
What is your advice to husbands?
My advice is let our men think it over again. Let us see FP in a different perspective not the previous knowledge or explanation about FP. Family planning is just saying we should plan our family for better health, family health and better community health. We are just saying or telling mothers to space their family at least not less than two years apart. The problem of family planning lies in the men, because men involvement that is where we always have problems. We want our men to understand and share this burden together with their women. Let them understand the concept of family planning, because it is for their own good, the family good, not just the woman’s good. They should understand that it should be a collective responsibility between couples.



Lassa Fever: Ogun Puts 110 Persons Under Watch, Says Commissioner


By Chioma Umeha
The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, has said the number of the primary contacts with the first index case of Lassa fever in the state, a 28- year- old lady, has increased from 60 to 110, and they have all been placed under watch.
He said this on Saturday at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital Sagamu, when he went to check on the victim of the viral disease kept in an isolation centre in the hospital.
He said the Ministry of Health had tracked 50 more of the former patients who were on admission “before and after the victim was brought into the two private hospitals” for treatment.
Ipaye while addressing journalists on Thursday on the first reported index case of Lassa Fever in the state, said the 28-year-old lady travelled to Ebonyi for a burial programme and returned to Ogun State on January 15, when she started manifesting the symptoms of the disease.
He said she had been taken to two private hospitals in Ota, Ruby Medical Centre and Central Specialist Hospital, both in Ado Odo/Otal Local Government Area of the state.
Ipaye added that it was the management of the Central Specialist Hospital that called the state Ministry of Health on Wednesday night, and reported that the victim was manifesting symptoms of Lassa fever.
He said the ministry swung into action immediately,  carried out confirmatory tests on her and she was later moved to the isolation centre at the OOUTH, Sagamu
However, Ipaye said the victim was responding to treatment at the centre.
He said, “The increase in number of those under surveillance was due to the fact that those that have been on admission before and after the lady in question was brought into the two private hospitals have also been tracked down and put under surveillance.
“All the 110 persons have been given a thermometer each to monitor the level of their temperature with one Surveillance Officer attached to each of them.”
The 60 persons earlier put under watch were made up of health workers of the two private hospitals, and family members of the victim.
Ipaye said 35 were from the first hospital, 22 from the second one and three family members of the victim.
While appreciating the two private hospitals involved, the commissioner said the hospitals had been decontaminated by the state health workers and would be reopened  as soon as possible.
He added that the government regretted any indirect inconveniences that the closure might have caused them.
Also confirming the state of health of the victim, the Senior Registrar, Internal Medicine Department, OOUTH, Dr Olaitan Abimbola, directly attached to the lady, said she was brought in with a confirmed case of Lassa Fever with temperature of 39. 8 degree centigrade.
She said when the required drugs were administered on her, the temperature had reduced to 38. 4 degree centigrade.
She said the persistence abdominal pain, restlessness, and breathlessness suffered by the victim, had gone down drastically, adding that she could now eat and drink with no sign of vomiting, diarrhea and no discharge from any parts of her body.
She said, “The victim has since been placed on Revavirin and other drugs and will be monitored until she has completed the 10 doses.
“Now that she is perfectly responding to treatment and no more abdominal pain, dizziness and any other complication, after  she will be handed over to the Surveillance Officer for further necessary action.”
The Director of Public Health in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Yusuf Quudus, said the 110 persons under surveillance would be watched closely between 6-21 days incubation period before they would be released to their family members.


Everything You Need To Know About Zika Virus …… DAILY BEAST


By Chioma Umeha

What it Zika?
Zika is a mosquito-borne illness named for the forest in Uganda where it originates. American and European scientists unintentionally discovered it in 1947 while studying a rhesus monkey for yellow fever. It did not appear in humans until 1952 when it was reported in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Is this the first outbreak of this scale?
Yes. The first major outbreak of Zika occurred in Micronesia in 2007. There were just 49 confirmed cases and no hospitalizations. The next was 2013-2014 in French Polynesia, which resulted in a total of 19,000 suspected cases. Experts estimate that the number of those affected in the current outbreak has already passed 1 million.
What happens to those infected?
In one out of five cases, nothing. Only 20 percent of those infected show symptoms—the most common of which include fever, joint pain, red eyes, and a bumpy rash. The illness is generally mild, rarely fatal, and typically gone in a week.
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Why is it so dangerous?
Zika has been linked to two serious autoimmune and neurological complications. The first is microcephaly, a severe birth defect characterized by an abnormally small head. The underdeveloped brain can lead to a host of other problems, including behavioral delays, trouble walking, and blindness. There is no cure.
Second is Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome (GBS), a rare disorder in which the body’s immune systems attacks its own nerve cells, resulting in weakened muscles or, less commonly, paralysis. Some recover fully from GBS, while others have it for life.
Is there proof that Zika causes these things?
No. Since the first major outbreak of the disease did not occur until 2007 there is limited research on the topic. At the moment, the virus is showing a stronger link to microcephaly than GBS, with Brazil reporting nearly 3,500 suspected cases in newborns since last fall.
It’s important to note that whether or not all of these infants have microcephaly remains unclear. Brazilian authorities have reportedly only tested 720 of the 3,448 suspected cases—of which, just 400 have been confirmed. Scientists are still trying to determine the reason for false positives.
How is Zika spread?
The main route of transmission for the disease is Aedes mosquitoes—“yellow fever mosquitoes,” which are distinguishable through white markings on their legs. They are most active in the morning and evening; at night they hide in dark, cool places. Originating in Africa, they now fly on every continent but Antarctica.
Can Zika be sexually transmitted too?
Yes, but its unclear how often this happens. Previous to the current outbreak, scientists had identified just two cases of sexual transmission. But this week in Texas, authorities confirmed that a man had been infected after having sex with someone who just returned from Venezuela.
Why didn’t scientists study that connection earlier?
They tried. A researcher named Brian Roy wrote a 2011 paper published in the journal ofEmerging Infectious Diseases arguing that there was evidence of sexual transmission and that it warranted further study. His requests for additional funding to continue his work were denied.
Is it safe to travel?
U.S. authorities have issued travel warnings for the 20 countries in which Zika is spreading, suggesting travel to those countries be delayed indefinitely (especially for pregnant women). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that those who travel take every precaution to prevent mosquito bites and practice safe sex.
Once someone has had Zika, how long does it remain in his or her system?
This is one of the biggest questions facing researchers. Most scientists agree that the virus remains in the blood for no more than a week, but they are generally unclear whether it stays active in other bodily fluids.
Of particular concern is semen, which was found to be carrying Zika in one man 10 weeksafter he was diagnosed. On Friday, Brazilians scientists discovered the virus in saliva and urine as well, which is likely to prompt even tighter travel restrictions.
Is there a vaccine to fix this?
Not yet. Several groups of scientists have been hard at work on Zika vaccines for the past few years, but none are close to getting their medicine on the market. An Indian biotech firm which claims to have two Zika vaccines has requested that the World Health Organization fast track the process of getting approval—which takes years.
How will we stop it?
The CDC and WHO are adamant that, despite its ability to be spread by humans, mosquitoes are the “real culprit” of Zika. Experts worldwide have been weighing in on possible solutions, with some suggesting we eliminate the yellow fever species of mosquitoes. Others have a more ambitious vision: “Kill them all.”



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