Dr Solomon Chollom, a medical laboratory scientist with the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom near Jos, has advised medical personnel to stop further spread of infectious diseases in the society by washing their hands.
He disclosed that unwashed or contaminated hands of medical personnel are also a means of spreading hospital acquired infections which are caused either via viral, bacterial or fungal pathogens.
The expert listed the causes to include urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, surgical site wound infections, gastrointestinal and skin infections.
He underscored the importance of medical professionals to inculcate the act of using their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which entails the use of hand gloves as it protects the hand.
He said that the act is a means of ensuring bio-safety.
The scientist explained that the act of using hand gloves, washing hands and use of sanitisers help in the protection of medical personnel from getting infected with infectious diseases and it also curtails the spread of same.
Chollom lamented that unwashed hands constitutes a threat to public health as most people have failed to inculcate the act of hand washing in their daily lives.
The scientist further explained that the hand is used actively in public relations.
“Unwashed hands are most times contaminated hands and a threat to public health, as many a times, people get to exchange handshakes immediately after leaving the rest room without washing their hands.
“And in that process various infectious and communicable diseases are transmitted to the other person’s hand and if the person fails to wash or sanitise their hands such invisible pathogens are ingested when such uses the hand to eat,” he explained.
Chollom said that the act of hand washing is important for personal hygiene and community health.
He therefore called on Nigerians to imbibe the act of proper hand washing in their daily lives as it would drastically reduce the spread of infectious diseases. (NAN)
Edited by Zainab Garba/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
Medical expert urges Nigerians to embrace blood donation
Dr Madewa Adebajo, Medical Director, Alimosho General Hospital, Igando, on Monday urged Nigerians to embrace blood donation as a regular practice to help sustain patients in need of blood.
Madewa made the remarks during an event organised by the hospital to mark the 2020 World Blood Donor Day in Igando, Lagos state.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the World Blood Donor Day, commemorated every June 14, globally is to create awareness on the need for regular blood donations to save lives.
The event was also used to appreciate the voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gift of blood.
Adebajo said that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic should not deter people from donating blood, noting that blood samples taken from donors did not enhance cross transmission of the virus to other patients.
The Medical Director said: “Blood donation should be a regular practice among the citizenry, especially for those who actually require it, because it is a life saving gesture that should be embraced.
“COVID-19 is not identified in the blood following various studies, but, rather, the respiratory tract.
“The virus is only predominant in the respiratory tract of infected carrier, so such blood samples are bereft of any form of cross-transmission to users.
“The blood could only have antibodies, probably from previously infected people, but definitely, not one that poses danger to prospective patients using such blood samples.”
Madewa said that the hospital already had a committee that sensitised communities within the locality to the importance of blood donation to meet its demand for blood.
He said that the Lagos State Ministry of Health had always called for constant blood donation to meet the 260,000 units of blood required for victims annually in the state.
“Alimosho is a rather large community, which calls for 24 hours weekly supply of blood. We are already sensitising communities to imbibed voluntary blood donation culture for ample blood supply,” he said.
Mr Abdulsalam Mubarak, the President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jumat blood donating team, told NAN that blood donation was a binding practice for its members.
Mubarak said that the practice was an inculcating habit since childhood for all its members, even as blood building strategies were put in place to sustain such doctrine amongst them.
“This is a worldwide Islamic Society that has a motto, “Love for all, hatred for none.
“It is imperative to imbibe a non-monetary valued gesture and preserving humanity is a priority to us through blood donation,” he said.
Edited By: JaneFrances Oraka/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
COVID-19: Medical women association warns C’ River Govt. against reopening of schools
The Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Cross River branch, has called on the state government to shelve its planned trial resumption of three public schools in the state on Tuesday.
The association made the call in a statement jointly signed by its state President, Dr Bassey Nakanda and the Secretary, Dr Angella Imoke, on Monday in Calabar
“This concern is borne out of the desire to ensure the safety of the lives of our children, with the lack of evidence to support the actual disease burden in the state due to low testing rates.
“We have noticed also the increase in the number of patients presenting flu-like symptoms and loss of smell/taste in various hospitals in the state.
“This may indicate a possibility of community transmission of the disease and we call for caution in order to forestall disease outbreak in the state.
“MWAN in Cross River has observed that with the zero COVID-19 status of the state, adherence to preventive/protective measures has been relaxed by most residents.
“It is exposing us to the risk of recording cases in the state, as there has been ongoing subtle inter-state movement,” the association said.
It noted that the COVCID-19 infection curve was still on the rise and had yet to peak, saying the possibility of transmission was still very high.
MWAN stated that the possibility of testing the students in the selected schools in the event of occurrence of symptoms was not feasible, due to the absence of a testing laboratory in the state.
“We deeply appreciate all efforts of the state government in the fight against the disease but advocate for up-scaling of the testing and reinforcement of the preventive strategies.
“We suggest the option of daily educational programmes on radio and television for the pupils and students across the state until the country is able to contend the pandemic.
“We therefore appeal to the state government to review her decision on reopening of public schools in the state at this critical period, for the interest of our children who are the future leaders of Cross River and the nation at large,” it said.
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
Scientist urges African leaders to partner, liberate continent
A Singapore-based Nigerian biomedical research scientist, Dr Jonathan Obaje, has underscored the need for African leaders to work closely together, to ensure economic liberation of the continent.
Obaje, who is the Vice President, Nigerians in the Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Singapore Chapter, gave the advice in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
Obaje said, “We only need few prominent persons to initiate and pull in prominent African Americans and Africans worldwide.
“All we need is to brand this as “fight to kill the real pandemic – Racism”. It is a moral and politically correct argument for a new world.
“This is not the time to talk about poor leadership in Africa, which itself is a product of racism.
“Those who will lead this battle to success will form the core of new generation African leaders and many mediocre leaders will be swept off in this transformation process.
“African Diaspora worldwide has a unique role to play in the actualisation of this liberation movement and nothing will be achieved if we all lay back as usual.”
He expressed the hope on the leaders to seize the opportunity to lead Africa and all who support the Africa liberation movement, saying this is African’s golden opportunity for real transformation.
He said that although it would take years for people to understand the connection between COVID-19 pandemic and Floyd-20 racism pandemic, more should be done to liberate the continent.
“Africa must recognise its golden opportunity to unite and seize the moment.
“Africans worldwide must now demand reparations for the many years of economic exploitation and psychological torture it has suffered and endured for 400 years.
“African leaders must come together to demand blanket debt cancellation across the board for Africa and Africanise companies, institutions and organisations operating in Africa.
“Establish 20 years ban on exportation of all natural resources from Africa and ensure that African raw materials are refined and processed in Africa before exporting,” he added.
He noted that African doctors, nurses, engineers and scientists proved to be as good, if not better than their foreign counterparts since the wake of COVID-19 in February.
Obaje, also a chartered chemist of the UK Royal Society of Science/Chemistry, advised Nigerians to shun negative thoughts and rather always think positive.
He is currently the chief executive officer of a transdermal drug delivery research company in Singapore.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
Medical practitioners urges Govts to properly equip health sector for optimal service
They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in commemoration of the “2020 Democracy Day” celebration on Friday in Lagos, saying a lot still needed to be done in the nation’s health system.
Speaking, a Medical Imaging Scientist, Dr Livinus Abonyi, urged the Federal Government in particular to seize the opportunity of COVID-19 outbreak to restructure, improve and strengthen the nation’s health system.
Abonyi, also a lecturer in the Department of Medical Radiography, Faculty of Clinical Sciences at the University of Lagos’ College of Medicine, said the health and education sector, very paramount in any economy, had been neglected for too long.
According to him, the COVID-19 experience should serve as a wake-up call for governments to look inward and see how it can improve the health system to meet international standards.
He said the country had enough funding to furnish its health facilities to meet optimum standard such that no Nigerian or political leader would spend money going abroad in search of quality medical services.
“After COVID-19, a lot of things are going to change, both locally and globally, which makes it imperative that the government should equip the health system with optimum service delivery.
“The reason why people don’t want to spend more time to receive healthcare at public hospitals is not because the manpower/workers are not enough.
“It is because the services and facilities are far more fewer than the number of patients that need them.
“As a result, there is room for compromise in the public hospitals.
“Therefore, it is necessary that the government step up to equip the public hospitals with adequate facilities for efficient performance,” he said.
The scientist also emphasised the need for increase in the budgetary allocation to the sector to at least meet the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) minimum requirement for a country.
He expressed optimism that an increase in the budgetary allocation would bring remarkable improvement in the health system.
“Currently, Nigeria is rated by the WHO as the 187th out of 191 countries in the world, in terms of quality of healthcare delivery.
“WHO also rates Nigeria as the third country with the highest infant mortality in the world; such ratings are unhealthy for a developing country like Nigeria.
“Previously, the country was not making up to 40 per cent of WHO’s stipulated allocation for the health sector, and that is why our health system is weak.
“If the billions of Naira that are formally spent abroad for medical treatment of most political leaders could be retained and invested into the health sector, it will go a long way to boost Nigeria’s health system,” Abonyi said.
Contributing, a General Physician, Dr Patrick Omogbohun, urged the governments to prioritise workers’ welfare, particularly health workers whose lives were usually at higher risk in the event of disease outbreaks.
Omogbohun, who is the Medical Director, MercyWay Medical Centre, Ejigbo, Lagos, a private health facility, stressed the need for adequate renumeration and rewards for the medical personnel, who sacrificed to be at the frontline of COVID-19 battle.
“The welfare and safety of the medical workers should be the topmost priority, because without them, the battle against outbreaks will not be won and the world will not achieve the universal health coverage.
“As a matter of importance, governments should strive to rectify every demand and controversy that may lead to health workers embarking on industrial action,” he said.
Also, Mrs Rose Mordi, the President, Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria (DSFN), decried the increase in medical tourism among Nigerian health workers in search of better working conditions.
Mordi advised the governments to strive to improve the working conditions of health workers to guide against the medical tourism syndrome among them.
She said that the Nigeria health sector has capable hands when it came to manpower.
Mordi expressed optimism that Nigeria’s health sector would improve for better after the COVID-19 experience.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)