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Ebonyi NOA, UNICEF move to raise awareness on safe practices for healthy living

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The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Ebonyi, in conjunction with the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), has embarked on programmes to raise people’s consciousness on essential safe practices for healthy living.

The state Director of NOA, Dr Emma Abah, said this on Friday in Ezza-South Local Government Area (LGA) during a one-day Forum of Community Governance Structure for Ebonyi Central Senatorial District.

Abah said that the department of Communication for Development, a unit in UNICEF, identified the lack of knowledge and ignorance as two factors  responsible for health challenges in the state.

He said that the forum aimed at raising consciousness of safe practices among residents.

He further said that high rate of poor hygiene, handwashing, poor environmental sanitation, poor exclusive breast feeding, issue of open defecation, harmful practices done in the secret, among others, were discovered in the state.

He said that bad practices were increasing the health hazards in the state, adding that the department had resolved to enlighten families and communities in the state to be properly informed about good practices.

He said: “UNICEF supported NOA to carryout this programme and the discussions are centered on the health of women, children and most difficult health challenges in the communities.

UNICEF had discovered that money and food were not the major problem of the people but ignorance and lack of knowledge was noticed.

“That is why they decided to go to grassroots to identify the health challenges people suffer.

“The programme is also centered on bringing essential family practices that are very necessary for the existence of any family or society.

“They observed that without communication and enlightement, development will not thrive.”

Abah encouraged communities to own the programme, saying that any community without human development had yet to attain and sustain growth.

“Only those in the community know the problems of their domain,” he said.

The NOA boss said that monitoring and evaluation units of the agency and the independent monitors of UNICEF would ensure the campaign was carried out at the grassroots effectively.

He also said that the governance structure, development unions and the traditional rulers council would be made to include the campaign in their monthly meetings.

Abah urged government to provide more conveniences in public places, including markets and schools, in order to bring the desired change for safe practices for good health and development.

Meanwhile, the Town Union President of Ndiaguahara Community in Ikwo LGA, Mr Patrick Ugbuloke, blamed most things that posed health challenge in the area on ignorance.

“As a community leader, it our duty to ensure that essential family practices was driven to the grassroots level effectively,” Ugbuloke said.

Two traditional rulers at the forum, Eze Martin Nweke (Echara Autonomous Community) and Eze Joseph Igweonwe (Amuda Autonomous Community) thanked the organisers of the event and promised to take the message down to their communities.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the theme of the forum was “Working with Community Governance Forum to increase the number of mothers, caregivers and other community members with knowledge of at least five per cent of UNICEF Essential Family Practices to 85 per cent.

(Edited By: Sam Oditah)
(NAN)

 

 

 

 

 

Health

Group backs WHO report, calls for increased funding to eradicate malaria 

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RBM Partnership to End Malaria, a global coalition on Malaria, has supported WHO report, showing that global investments and actions are making big difference, while half of the world population are still at risk of dying from malaria.

The RBM stated this in a statement it issued in Geneva while reacting to the 2019 World Malaria Report released by WHO on Dec. 4.

According to the report, global malaria cases and deaths are declining but at a slowed rate: from an estimated 231 million to 228 million cases and from 416,000 to 405,000 deaths between 2017 and 2018.

Estimates show that in 2018, global efforts saved almost 600,000 lives per year and prevented almost 100 million malaria cases per year compared to 2000.

ontinued global investment and commitment toward a world free of malaria have been critical to sustaining the progress the malaria community has made to date, without these global efforts, malaria cases and deaths will be significantly higher.

“Now, it is essential we step up global action and financing to close the annual two-billion-dollar funding gap to reach those at risk with sustainable access to life-saving tools. 

“We must also prioritise developing and scaling-up new, transformative tools to stay ahead of the evolving parasite, as highlighted in two landmark reports on malaria eradication published earlier this year. 

“It is crucial that we act now to hold leaders accountable and work together to achieve vital reduction targets, save millions more lives and end malaria for good.”

parts of the world, a child who gets malaria today has a better chance of survival than at any other point in history. 

“Yet, despite the availability of effective life-saving malaria interventions, too many vulnerable pregnant women and children still face the greatest risk of dying from a mosquito bite.”

He stressed that ending malaria was one of the greatest opportunities to improve child and maternal health and mortality and contribute to SDG 3, “to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

“This report highlights the importance of further integrating malaria interventions – including prevention, diagnosis and treatment – into our health systems to reach those in most need, yet also to strengthen global efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage.”

However, the statement noted that the report identified several global malaria success stories, with more than half of all countries now malaria-free and another 49 countries registering less than 10,000 cases.

Nigeria News Agency report that RBM Partnership to End Malaria is the largest global platform for coordinated action against malaria.

Originally established as Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership in 1998, it mobilises for action and resources and forges consensus among partners.

The platform is comprised of more than 500 partners, including malaria endemic countries, their bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, Non-Governmental Organisations, community-based organisations, foundations, and research and academic institutions.

Edited & Vetted By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
(NAN)

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NPC launches 2018 Nigeria Demographic, Health Survey

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The National Population Commission (NPC) on Thursday officially launched the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) Report in Lagos State.

The Acting Chairman of the commission, Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin, said in Lagos that the NDHS was the sixth Demographic Health Survey (DHS) conducted in Nigeria since 1990.

Salu-Hundeyin, represented by the commission’s Director in Lagos State, Mr Murphy Adigun, said the survey provides up-to-date estimates on basic demographic and health indicators.

The acting chairman said that NPC worked in close collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) under the Federal Ministry of Health in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

She said that this was aimed at accomplishing the survey report.

According to her, a total of 41, 821 women, aged 15-49 in 40,427 households and 13,311 men aged 15-59 in one third of the sampled households were interviewed.

“It represents a response rate of 99 per cent of women and 99 per cent of men,” the NPC chief said.

Salu-Hundeyin said she was pleased to say that new innovative approaches were used in the conduct of the 2018 NDHS.

She said: “First, the anthropometry processes was improved to collect high quality height and weight measurement from women and children.

“A new biomarker checklist was introduced to ensure that no important tasks were missed.

“Interviewers also returned to household to re-measure children for flagged cases and random re-measurement for data quality checked.”

The acting chairman said she was pleased to inform all that these new improved processes piloted here in Nigeria, had been approved as standard procedures in DHS surveys by other nations, especially in Africa.

She said that another innovation was the inclusion of the DHS program’s disability module in the 2018 NDHS.

Salu-Hundeyin said, “this allowed the commission to collect information on disability status in Nigeria for the first time.”

She said that result of the survey also shows a number of significant outcomes.

Edited & Vetted By: Olagoke Olatoye
(NAN)

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Malnutrition: EU/UNICEF treat 1,298 cases in Adamawa — official

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No fewer than 1,298 cases of acute malnutrition were treated in Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa under the EF supported Community Based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAN) programme.

Mrs Monday Leasado, the Nutrition Officer of the LG Primary Healthcare Unit disclosed this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Fufore town on Thursday.

She said the cases treated were out of the 2,098 cases recorded from January to November in the six CMAN treatment sites in the local government area.

She lauded the impact of the sites located in Fufore, Gurin, Karlahi, Mayo-Ine, Wurro-Bokki and Pariya for drastically reducing cases of death from malnutrition in the area, pointing out that so far only one death was recorded from January to date.

Leasado called for the creation of additional CMAM sites in the area pointing out that apart from being one of the largest local government in the state, Future is hosting many Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in addition to patients coming from neigbouring Cameroon Republic to access treatment in the centres.

“More women in the local government are now very much aware of the centres and never hesitate in bringing their malnourished children for treatment,” she said.

Some of the women who brought their children in the centre at Fufore expressed satisfaction with the services being provided and urged for sustainance of the programme.

Fadimatu Mohammed, who brought her 10-month-old baby to the centre, said she was overwhelmed by the baby’s positive response to treatment.

“I came all the way from Wuro-Ardo village to Fofure town because I heard about this centre from another woman accessing treatment.

“For the past six weeks I was bringing my daughter Aisha to this centre for treatment and you can see how her condition has improved and she has the stamina to play like other normal children.

“As parents we are short of words to express out gratitude and can only thank God, the government and all those involved in this laudable programme,” Mohammed said.

NAN recalls that in a meeting with Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa in September this year, the Chief of UNICEF Bauchi Field Office overseeing Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states, Mr Bhanu Pathak, said about 8,000 children were severely malnourished in Adamawa and needed urgent attention to save their lives.

According to the Standard Monitoring Assessment of Relief Transition (SMART) report of 2015, over 800,000 children under the age of five in Adamawa are stunted due to malnutrition and that over 34,000 of the children were severely malnourished.

Edited & Vetted By: Tukur Muntari.
(NAN)

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FG takes steps to promote alternative medicine

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Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) says it is taking steps to promote Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in the country.

Mrs Zaniab Shariff, the Director, Traditional Medicine Department, FMOH, disclosed this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja.

She said that the National Council on Health (NCH) had approved the establishment of traditional medicine departments in the 36 state ministries of health and the FCT.

The director added that the measure would promote CAM practice in the country.

She disclosed that 32 practitioners of CAM had been registered and licenced with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria as recognised by law.

She listed fields where such practitioners were registered as Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Acupuncture and Chiropractic.

She explained that the ministry established a Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (FEDCAM) in 2009, which was closed by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in 2010 due to non-adherence to regulations.

She , however, noted that Federal Government was reorganising FEDCAM in collaboration with  University of Benin for the establishment of CAM institute.

Shariff said there was collaboration with India and China to train FMoH staff in the field, to equip them with the requisite knowledge to practice.

According to her, government is also proposing to set up CAM clinics to make available the services to Ministries, Departments and Agencies and the public.

She said “we are collaborating with West Africa Health Organisation to provide technical support for training and scientific sessions between orthodox practitioners and Traditional Medicine Practitioners.

Shariff noted that FMoH recognised the slow pace of development in CAM practice in the country and that the procedure was through the recognition of highly trained CAM practitioners to deliver services in the country.

She stated that there were several corporate and private establishments involved in the  development of CAM in the country.

The director called for harmonisation of activities to develop the the sector and avoid duplication of efforts.

The pharmacist noted that CAM was in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) three health care systems, namely; Allopathic or Orthodox, traditional and Complementary and Alternative medicines.

Shariff said WHO defined complementary and alternative medicine as a group of health care practices that were not part of a country’s traditional or conventional medicine and were not fully integrated into the dominant health care systems.

According to her, the scope of practice which constitute CAM varies from country to country.

She said that “traditional medicine of a country becomes complementary or alternative medicine when taken to another country.

“Many countries like China, India and Thailand have advanced in Complementary and Alternative Medicine.”

Edited & Vetted By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
(NAN)

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IPAS Nigeria seeks more investments in reproductive health

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A Non-governmental organisation on reproductive health, IPAS Nigeria, has appealed to Federal and state governments to make more investments in reproductive health, in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

IPAS Programme Officer, Barrister Doris Ipeze, made the call while delivering a speech at a three-day training for Journalists in Kano on Thursday.

She said increase in the provision of reproductive health services would drastically reduce maternal mortality rate in the country.

“To raise more awareness on the issue of reproductive health that is why IPAS prioritises media trainings to enlighten people and change the narratives around reproductive health and rights issues.

She added that there was also need to agitate for the implementation of Laws on sexual violence in the country.

Ikpeze emphasised that there was absolute need to break the silence on the issue at all levels for successful achievement of the sustainable development goals.

In his presentation, a Development Media Advocate, Mr Chukwuemeka Okereafor of Communicare Consulting Ltd., tasked journalists on development communication in their media reports.

He said that there was absolute need for redefining media and journalism practice in the country, saying that media needed to redefine its role.

Okereafor also tasked journalists on enhanced transformational leadership in relation to media and journalism practice in the country.

According to him, journalists should endeavour to bring about social and economic improvement to people especially in the developing countries.

NAN reports that IPAS Nigeria organised the three-day training for 15 journalists in Kano, to build their capacity in effective reproductive health and rights reporting.

The training programme which began on Tuesday, Dec. 3, would end on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Tukur Muntari.
(NAN)

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Stigmatisation against sickle-cell patients aggravates crisis by over 50%–Expert

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Dr Ibrahim Usman-Kusfa of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, has advised Nigerians to avoid stigmatisation against sickle-cell anemia patients as doing so would aggravate recurrence of crisis by over 50 per cent.

Usman-Kusfa, who is a Consultant Hematologist in ABUTH made the disclosure in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Zaria, Kaduna State on Thursday.

He said the call became imperative in view of the fact that some people consider sickle cell anemia patients as those already with dead warrants.

He advised families with sickle-cell patient(s) to always give them collective support and encouragement to reduce frequent crisis.

He identified the management aspect of the disease as one key area that needed to be looked into, saying that it entails counseling, supporting and nurturing the patients.

“The management entails counseling the patients, showing care and support as well as nurturing them so that they can cope with day-to-day activities in life.

“This management is not restricted to doctors, it also entails the parents, mother and father, other siblings in the house, people in the neighbourhood as well as the community at large,” he said.

According to him, the management of sickle cell anemia requires team work, assuring that once people integrate compassion into the management of the disease, it will pave way for great improvement in the patients’ wellbeing.

The consultant appealed to Nigerians to see wisdom in showing care, support, love and encouragement to sickle cell anemia patients, assuring that such move would go a long way in reducing frequent crisis.

He observed that the sickle cell patients did not just contracted the disease as a result of their negligence but occured as a genetic disease.

“Sickle-cell anemia actually is disease that is genetic, meaning it is inherited from both parents, from the mother and also from the father, so, a child cannot inherit this disease from a single parent.

“A child must inherit it from both parents, one abnormal gene from the mother and one abnormal from the father. The disease is very simple to treat but very complex in management.

“What I mean by simple is that since we know how it happens and how it is acquired and we know that there are some drugs that alleviate or lessen the pains, actually, the pains are the hallmark of the disease.”

He, however, said that apart from pains there are other symptoms accompanying the disease going by what the patients present but the pains remained the major complaint.

“Since we understand that there are drugs that lessen the pains or even make it disappear for a long period of time, we have to go by it.”

The consultant appealed to Nigerians, especially intending couples to go for “genotype test” to reduce if not totally eradicate the disease.

“Somebody may have an abnormal gene in him without knowing and if he marries a woman with same abnormal gene, there is likelihood of giving birth to a child with sickle cell anemia and the chances is 50 per cent.

“So, it is better and it is always advisable that intending couples should go to the hospital get their genotype known so that the doctor or health personnel can counsel them.

“But remember, the doctor or health personnel will not force them either to marry or not to marry but will just tell you the implication.

“For example, if the bride and groom to be are both carriers, we will actually tell them the implication, in case you marry and you eventually give birth to a child with sickle cell anemia, it will not be new to you,” Usman-Kusfa said.

He said there were many cases in the hospital where husbands blame their wives and wives blame their husbands that one was responsible for the disease.

Edited & Vetted By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Tukur Muntari.
(NAN)

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