The Kashim Ibrahim Fellows (KIF), an NGO, on Friday screened and provided Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) counselling to 108 People Living with Disabilities (PLWD) at the Kaduna State Rehabilitation Centre, Makera, Kaduna.
A member of the KIF, Mr Abdulhakeem Miko, a Human Anatomist, said that the services, which was free, was part of the organisation’s five-day community service to sensitise and educate people on the dangers of HBV.
Miko explained that HBV was more infectious than HIV, adding, however, that only a few per cent of people infected with the virus were aware they were infected.
He said that PLWD, often excluded from scheme of things, were among section of the people with high risk of contracting the virus, which could be transmitted through blood and body fluid.
“Because of their challenge, PLWD are vulnerable to all kinds of sexual abuse and rape and could engage in all kinds of dangerous lifestyles like drugs, thereby putting them at risk of contracting the virus.
“So, in our spirit of inclusion and ensuring that no one is left behind, we decided to bring these services to your doorstep instead of allowing you to come to us, which could be difficult.
“We do not only want you to know about HBV, but to also screen you so you will know your status and protect yourself if tested negative and refer you to a hospital if tested positive.
“Our goal is to ensure that people are aware of the virus, know their status and how to prevent contacting and spreading the virus as part of effort to curb the scourge of HBV in the country,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the PLWD, mostly teenagers, were thrilled and thanked KIF for the gesture, describing it as the first of its kind.
One of the beneficiaries, Jonathan Dangana, who is the Head Boy of the centre, said that this was the first time a group of people would consider them worthy of such a life-saving service.
Another student, Yakubu Abubakar, equally thanked the KIF for the gestures, saying “it makes us feel we belong and that someone out there, cares for us.
“We want other organisations to emulate KIF and support Kaduna state government to meet the needs of people living with disabilities.”
NAN reports that the five-day long community service tagged “KIF against Hep-B” began on Monday with sensitisation, counselling and testing outreach to about 500 students of Kaduna Polytechnic.
On Tuesday, the group trained 120 hairdressers and barbers on universal precautionary measures and international best practices to prevent the spread of the virus.
The group, on Wednesday, further took their sensitisation campaign against the virus to Sheik Abubakar Gumi Central Market, Kaduna to reach as many people as they could with the life-saving information on HBV.
On Thursday, the Fellows held a public lecture where issues about HBV were discussed by experts, policy makers, students and members of the public to proffer solutions to the challenges.
Yellow fever: Enugu govt to sensitise public health workers to observe precaution
The Enugu State Government has concluded plans to sensitise its public health workers to the need to observe universal precautions against yellow fever to check the spread.
Dr Okechukwu Ossai, the Administrator, Enugu State Hospital Management Board, stated this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Enugu on Saturday.
Ossai said that Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.
He said it could result in sudden bleeding from the nose, mouth, ear and stomach.
He stated that while most infections could be resolved some could lead to death.
According to him, in mild cases yellow fever causes a fever, headache, nausea and vomiting.
He, however, added that it could become more serious, causing heart, liver and kidney problems along with bleeding.
““Up to 50 per cent of people with the more-severe form of yellow fever die of the disease,” he noted.
As a preventive measure, Ossai said in addition to getting the vaccine, one could help protect oneself against yellow fever by protecting oneself against mosquitoes.
He said to reduce exposure to mosquitoes one must avoid unnecessary outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most active.
“Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you go into mosquito-infested areas and also if your accommodation doesn’t have good window screens or secured ventilation, use bed nets.
“”Not just ordinary nets but mosquito nets that have been pre-treated with insecticide offer additional protection.”
He said the transmission of the disease was usually sustained through blood contacts and health workers were always at risk being usually the first contact by those infected.
“Yellow fever is sustained through blood contacts an those who are at risk of being infected are the health workers.
“This is because on daily basis, they have one thing or the other to do with blood,” he said.
He added that it was imperative that the state government should do its best in protecting its health workers through sensitisation programmes.
Gov. Ikpeazu inaugurates hospital, electricity project in Ibere community
Speaking at the event, Ikpeazu said that the improvement of healthcare access and power supply in rural communities was essential to achieving even development in the state.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Ude Oko-Chukwu, added that the health facility and electricity project would improve the state government’s developmental efforts.
He charged the leaders of the community to evolve strategies that would be utilised in protecting the projects against vandalism.
Ikpeazu directed the state ministry of health and the state Primary Health Development Agency to expedite action in ensuring that medical personnel and supplies were sent to the hospital.
The governor appealed to political office holders to collaborate with relevant agencies to facilitate dividends of democracy to their constituencies.
In his address, Onuigbo said that the projects would, no doubt, improve the welfare of the people of the community.
Although the lawmaker said that the hospital was built in 1984, he, however, added that it had degenerated to a state of gross dilapidation owing to long years of neglect.
Onuigbo said that in the past, people of the community used to travel to neighbouring community to access healthcare services.
He expressed delight with the efforts made in rehabilitating the hospital, adding that it would address the healthcare delivery gap in the community.
Earlier, Chief Sam Eke, National President, Obuohia Development Union, said that he was delighted with the inauguration of the projects which, he said, would improve the wellbeing of the people.
Eke appealed to the state government to expedite action in providing relevant resources for the optimal operation of the hospital.
He assured that the community would do everything possible to protect the projects from vandalism and make maximum use of them.
Edited by Olabisi Akinbode and ‘Wale Sadeeq
Medic urges Nigerians to embrace lifestyle medicine to live long
Dr Ifeoma Monye, a medical practitioner has called on Nigerians to embrace lifestyle medicine as a paradigm shift from tablets, for long and healthy living.
Monye, the founder of Society of Lifestyle Medicine of Nigeria (SOLONG) made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Saturday in Abuja.
She stressed that lifestyle medicine is helpful as preventive and reversal interventions for illnesses and key to long and healthy living.
Lifestyle Medicine, according to the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), is “the evidence-based therapeutic approach to prevent, treat and reverse lifestyle-related chronic diseases.
“It is a branch of medicine dealing with research, prevention and treatment of disorders caused by lifestyle factors such as nutrition, physical inactivity and chronic stress’’.
Giving an example of life style medicine, Monye said “people are encouraged to drink a lot of water because it helps the kidney, liver and sensitive organs in the body to function well.
“Movement and mobile intensity is very necessary in line with World Health Organisation’s recommendations’’.
The medic, who is also the founder of Brookfield Centre for Lifestyle Medicine stressed that life style medicine is preferable to conventional medicine
She asserted the potency of lifestyle medicine to prevent or reverse diseases including diabetes type two, hypertension, mental health issues, cancer and HIV/AIDS.
Monye, therefore urged the people to always apply lifestyle medicine first before conventional medicine in order to always stay healthy.
She also urged medical practitioners and the public to actively participate in lifestyle medicine for an enhanced wellbeing, irrespective of their history.
Monye assured that SOLONG would continue to encourage people to embrace behavioural changes needed for healthy living.
Editing by Vivian Ihechu, Rotimi Ijikanmi
Advocates call for massive awareness campaign on depression
Some mental health advocates have called for massive awareness programmes on depression and suicide to reduce incidents in the country.
According to them, some of the factors contributing to the incidents included social media, poor parenting, environmental factors and relationship problems, among others.
Miss Chinonye Chidolue, said that social media played a huge role in the incidents of suicide, especially among youths.
Chidolue is an actress, writer, child advocate, and the Founder of an NGO, Child Hero Global Care Foundation.
“Social media gives us that picture of a perfect life; so, people will want to be like those they see and want to live perfect lives.
“It is so unfortunate, because social media has no rules or regulations and so you cannot really curtail how people use social media and what direction they follow.
“Many youths, especially the idle ones get carried away and what is being put up as a perfect picture or image out there puts youths under a state of depression; there is that restlessness, “ she said.
The advocate said one way to break free from the distress that people, especially, the youths found themselves in was through awareness programmes.
Chidolue said: “When you know better, you have to do better for yourself and society. We need to keep teaching society that not everything you see out there is real. “
Mr Toluse Francis, who is the Founder, Min and Health Community, an NGO, urged Nigerians to develop positive psychology.
Francis said most times, people who were depressed were not responsible for the onset of the condition but they could control their reaction toward it.
“Create for yourself an edge to stand and say “things may be bad, but it does not mean that it will always remain like that.
“Let us understand that life is a phase and everything that comes to us will always pass away; depression is real and you cannot bring logic into why a person is depressed, “ he said.
Also, a Business and Marketing Consultant, Mr Benedict Osondu, said the country lacked adequate data and information about depression.
Osondu, who works at a research firm, Benth Plus Consulting, said there was need for government to collaborate with private organisations to conduct qualitative and quantitative research on it.
According to him, such research will help to give better information about the incidence and provide better solutions.
“The essence of carrying out research is to give an analogy about what is currently happening.
“Research exposes you to ideologies, problems, and gives better awareness of what is happening in society and the country will be able to make well informed decisions, “ he said.
Ebonyi Govt. mandates residents to vaccinate dogs, cats against rabies
The Ebonyi Government has mandated residents of the state to vaccinate their dogs and cats against the dreaded rabies disease.
The mandate was contained in a release signed by Chief Moses Nome, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, drawing the residents’ attention to the importance of such vaccination.
“All dogs and cats owners who have not vaccinated their pets should do so immediately by visiting the veterinary centres in the state.
“These centres are domiciled at Abakaiki (Ebonyi north senatorial zone), Onueke (Ebonyi central) and Afikpo (Ebonyi south zone)
“This is to prevent the transmission of rabies through these pets to humans and keep the state free from the disease,” it said.
In a related development, the state government has assured residents of effective containing of the yellow fever disease reported in some parts of Izzi Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
The assurance which was contained in a statement signed by Dr Daniel Umezurike, the state Commissioner for Health, urged the residents to be calm and not panic over the situation.
“The state ministry of health, in conjunction with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), among other partners, is working assiduously to contain and also eradicate the disease.
“The citizens are however enjoined to continue adopting preventive measures on the disease which include: sleeping inside insecticide treated nets and keeping their surroundings clean, among others,’ government said.