Dr Andrew Ekharogbon, an Umuahia-based physician, has advised the nation’s youths to undergo premarital genotype screening to check the increasing prevalence of sickle cell anaemia.
Ekharogbon, a senior medical officer at Vicar Hope Foundation, a pet project of the Wife of Abia Governor, Mr Nkechi Ikpeazu, gave the advice in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Umuahia on Wednesday.
NAN reports that the foundation was set up by Ikpeazu mainly for the management of sickle cell patients.
He attributed the prevalence of the disease to the wrong matching of couples with conflicting genotypes.
The medical practitioner urged youths to resist the temptation to marry spouses with conflicting genotypes on the basis of love or other sentiments.
According to him, intending couples should ensure that they are in a relationship with compatible partners.
He said: “Before you say ‘I do’ to any man or woman, know the genotype of that person. And if you are not compatible let the person go.
“Our parents made the mistake.In this 21st century if you repeat the mistakes of your parents you are more stupid.”
Ekharogbon said that Nigeria had the highest number of sickle cell victims in the world with at least 150,000 children born annually with the disorder.
He further said that Nigeria carried 50 per cent of the global burden, with over 300,000 sickle cell babies born globally.
He said that the lack of adequate sensitisation on genotype among intending couples and the absence of realistic government policies had led to the spread of the genetic disease in the country.
Dr Andrew Ekharogbon, an Umuahia-based physician , has advised the youths to do premarital genotype screening to avert bearing children affected sickle cell anaemia.
UHC in Nigeria achievable through institution of quality control mechanisms – NHIS
Prof. Nasir Sambo, Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme, (NHIS) says Universal Health Coverage (UHC), is achievable if Nigeria institutes a mechanism to control quality of health services in the country.
Sambo said this while, delivering a keynote address at the Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference, organised by Nigeria Infectious Disease Society (NIDS), on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the theme of the conference is; “The Role of Universal Health Coverage in Control of Infectious Disease in Nigeria”.
The Executive Secretary said that a multi-sectoral action was also required to achieve UHC in the country.
“Actions like ensuring the provision of critical physical and human resources essential to the functioning of health facilities and services from other sectors.
“Ensuring alignment of health governance mechanisms, policies and programmes of other sectors to address key health determinants and immediate threats.
“Monitoring the health system and impacts of interventions that are the core business of other sectors,” he explained.
Speaking on infectious diseases, Sambo said in spite of the growing significance of non-communicable diseases, communicable diseases remained the biggest threat to human existence.
According to him, infectious diseases such influenzas, Ebola, Cholera, Measles, and Meningitis, pose a great global health threat to humanity.
He noted that the growing significance of antimicrobial resistance was making the threat very scary.
Sambo said that most countries in the world were not ready to prevent, detect and effectively respond to epidemics of infectious diseases.
He stated that when these diseases crossed international borders, they had become a global health security.
The Executive Secretary advised infectious disease physicians to also expand their focus to external factors for efficiency in dealing with such outbreaks.
He disclosed that NHIS was currently undergoing transformation based on a three point agenda.
“We are restoring a value system that will transform NHIS into a credible result-driven organisation.
“Engendering transparency and accountability in the centre of operations of the scheme.
“Accelerating the drive towards achieving universal access to quality healthcare for all Nigerians, ” he said.
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said that the center was working with the 36 states of the federation to prevent, detect, and control public health diseases.
Ihekweazu, who was represented by Dr Priscilla Ibekwe, Director, Health Emergency Preparedness and Response, NCDC, said that with its current population density, tropical climate, high level of movement and migration, Nigeria was at a high risk of disease outbreaks.
The NCDC boss said that the centre had evolved a project to support each state with a Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, aimed at improving coordination of outbreak response in the country.
He said NCDC had also deployed Surveillance, Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System for digital surveillance, and training of state epidemiologists.
The director-general also said that the centre would strengthen the capacities of states for outbreak preparedness and response through the Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers.
“We have no choice but to improve our level of preparedness and capacity to respond to disease outbreaks,” he said.
Earlier in his address, Prof Abdularazaq Habib, President NIDS, said that the society had regrouped and formed working committees to facilitate its day to day operations.
Habib said that the clinical guidelines committees had been active in formulating and disseminating best ways of controlling meningitis during the 2014-2017 outbreak.
He said that the research committee had succeeded in putting together a multi-centre proposal on control and prevention of infectious diseases by gathering data from participating investigators and facilities across the country.
Edited by Saidu Adamu/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)
World Antibiotic Awareness: Misuse of antibiotics dangerous to health- WHO warns
Abuja, Nov. 20, 2019 The World Health Organisation (WHO), says misuse of antibiotics is dangerous to health and can put people at risk.
that it killed 700, 000 people worldwide annually.
endangered health security and “our progress towards universal health coverage, by threatening to reverse medical advances of the twentieth century.
“It reduces our ability to treat diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea and cancer. AMR also threatens our ability to conduct surgeries and to care for premature babies.
“This silent pandemic is already leading to about, 700, 000 deaths worldwide each year and if left unchecked, AMR could cause up to 10 million deaths annually by 2050.
“People living in developing countries and those in fragile contexts, affected by conflicts and violence, are particularly vulnerable,” she said.
Moeti, represented by WHO Officer-in-Charge, Dr Clement Peters said, “We are seeing high resistance to common pathogens such as 98 per cent fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli, meaning there are limited treatment options for people that get this infection.
“Key challenges in combating AMR include: weak regulatory systems facilitating proliferation of substandard and falsified medicines; limited implementation of standards for clean water, sanitation and hygiene, and to prevent and control infections; and a lack of reliable data,” the expert explained.
were working with countries to address these challenges by implementing “One Health” national action plans. “
bring together different sectors and disciplines to build stronger regulatory systems, to improve surveillance, and to develop policies to promote appropriate antibiotic use among humans, and in livestock and agriculture.
According to her, in the African Region, nine of 47 countries now have functioning multisectoral working groups on AMR and 19 countries have enrolled in the Global AMR Surveillance System (GLASS).
“Twenty-four countries have legislation on the prescription and sale of antimicrobials for human use and six have national monitoring systems for consumption and rational use of antimicrobials in human health.
“Together, we need to accelerate action to reduce the increasing prevalence of drug-resistant infections,” she said.
Moeti urged Nigerians to do more to handle antibiotics with care, adding that governments could adequately ensure national action plans, promote AMR governance, facilitate multisectoral collaboration, and increase access to clean water and sanitation.
She said that patients should only use antibiotics prescribed by a certified health professional.
The Regional Director urged health workers to always follow infection prevention and control practices, and only prescribe and dispense antibiotics when they were truly needed.
According to her, the private sector can invest in research and development of new antibiotics while the agricultural industry can reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock farming.
“Working together and taking a holistic approach to safeguarding antibiotics, will help to ensure that we can all look forward to a healthier future,” she said.
This Nigeria News Agency reports that the 2019 theme is “handle antibiotics with care.”
Edited by Saidu Adamu/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Ogun govt. to de-worm 900,000 school children
Ogun government says it has concluded plans to de-worm no fewer than 900,000 school children in the ongoing health awareness programme across 10 local government areas in the state.
Abiodun, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Adesanya Ayinde, said that the exercise was an opportunity to help children get rid of worms that might make them susceptible to skin and respiratory infections.
He said that a total of 839,273 children were being targeted during the exercise in 4,900 schools across the designated local government areas.
The governor called on parents and guardians to work harmoniously with the health workers, who were saddled with the responsibility of carrying out the exercise.
NAN reports that the second round of the exercise for children between the ages of 5 and 14, which commenced on Nov. 15, will end on Nov. 24.
Contrary to insinuations in some quarters, the governor said that the exercise was meant to enhance the children’s health and help guard against untoward health condition that might result in absenteeism from school.
In her remarks, the state Coordinator, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Dr Islamiyat Soneye, thanked the parents for their enthusiasm towards the school-based de-worming exercise.
She urged them to encourage their wards to take part in the exercise to avoid infecting others.
Soneye noted that parents should endeavour to de-worm their kids in another three months to keep them healthy.
While monitoring the exercise in Odeda council area, the Medical Officer of Health in charge of the area, Dr Olusan Oluwaseun, described the turn-out as impressive.
He assured that all schools within the area would be touched, without leaving any out of the programme.
Oluwaseun appreciated the teachers for their support which, he said, had made the task easy, pointing out that children, who had yet to be de-wormed, would be attended to in the coming days.
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq
Bullying: Psychiatrist calls for more vigilance in risk settings
A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Tomi Imarah, has urged the public including those in authority to be more vigilant in awareness and prevention efforts in all settings where the risk of bullying exists.
NAN reports that a video of the students, four female, one male beating the victim had on Nov. 16, 2019, surfaced online.
The university authorities had placed the affected students on indefinite suspension pending the conclusion of investigation into the case.
Imarah defined bullying as when “a person intentionally and repeatedly carries out actions that hurts, harms, or humiliates another person’’.
According to her, this is especially when the perpetrator has more social or physical power than the victim, bullying is said to occur.
“Bullying may be physical assaults, verbal attacks like teasing, taunting, threats, name callings; social or relational attacks such as spreading rumours, social isolation, and cyber bullying.
“It is commonly experienced and reported among young children in early school years.
“However, there are all indications that bullying can occur in higher institutions and workplaces,’’ she said.
Imarah said the task starts with ensuring that our society shuns the aspect of our culture that encourages bullying.
“Modelling acts of bullying in front of young minds leaves the impression that it is alright to bully others.
“We need to ensure we are not mirroring aggressive behaviors in our homes or justifying acts of aggression being reported on all media platforms.
“When we respond to violence with statements like, “what did he do that made them gang up on him?”, we are communicating to a child that it is okay to attack others if he can find justification for it,” she said.
The consultant also urged parents and guardians not to ignore signs that suggested a child was growing up to be a bully.
According to her, they should take seriously school reports of aggressive behaviour such as picking fights with peers, spreading gossips about others, destroying properties, and causing emotional hurts to others.
“We should keenly observe a child who is emotionally detached and insensitive to the feelings of others, even family members.
“One should not take lightly frequent incidences in which children get easily frustrated, demonstrate rapid and explosive anger, justify their aggressive outbursts, and show no remorse for their actions, ” she said.
Imarah advised that when those recurrent patterns in children were observed, parents should seek professional help from child psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.
She said that it was imperative that professional help was sought in order to access guidance in cognitive and behavioural modifications that will help to improve the situation.
“There will also be need for collaborative efforts with teachers, school psychologists, social workers, guidance and counselling personnel to ensure the interventions instituted are followed up within school hours.
“Victims of bullying will also benefit from psychological support to prevent or manage effects of bullying.
“They should also be encouraged to report the incidences and not suffer in silence. Friends and family members should make concerted efforts to lend support and be there for them.
“In higher institutions and workplaces, there should be anti-bullying guidelines stipulating stiff sanctions to serve as a deterrent for bullies,” she said.
Edited by Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
Kebbi Govt. receives N11m from Chinese Govt. to rehabilitate hospital’s mental section
The Kebbi Government has received N11 million assistance from the Chinese embassy in Nigeria to rehabilitate the mental health section of Zauro General Hospital.
He said the Cheque for the amount was presented to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Hajiya Halima Dikko by the Chief of Staff Government House, Alhaji Suleiman Argungu on Tuesday.
Dakingari said the money was in fulfilment of the promise by the Chinese Ambassador during his visit to the state to facilitate the treatment of mentally challenged persons at the hospital, located in Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area.
“Argungu expressed appreciation to the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria for the kind gesture towards improving health care services to the people of the state,” Dakingari said.
On his part, Dikko assured that the money would be judiciously utilized on the rehabilitation of the mental health section of the hospital in accordance with the estimate and plan for the project.
“She also expressed appreciation to the Chinese embassy for its benevolence in providing such financial assistance to cater for the wellbeing of the mentally retarded,” he said.
Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Ihedioha’s wife tasks students on drug-free Imo
Ihedioha, who was represented by her Special Assistant on Communications and Programmes, Mr Martin Onyekwado, urged the students to avoid being lured into drug abuse by their peers.
She encouraged them to be bold enough to stand out from the crowd no matter how difficult and build a generation of drug-free Imo citizens.
“The future of every nation is her youth. To build a drug-free Nigeria, we must begin by building a drug-free Imo because charity begins at home.
“One of the biggest challenges young ones face is peer pressure and provided you are bold enough to resist it, then a drug-free generation of Imo citizens is possible,” Ihedioha said.
The ACPN Chairman, Mr Nkem Anaele, pledged the association’s continued commitment to the fight against drug abuse.
Anaele also promised to partner with relevant government agencies to fight the menace.
Also, the Imo Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mr Nse Inam, outlined the negative effects of drug abuse to include cognitive impairment and destruction of social norms.
Inam, who was represented by an officer of the command, Mrs Lucy Nwankpa, assured the students that avoiding drug abuse would keep them free from vices, such as stealing and unimaginable health challenges.
He further advised them not to form friendship with arrogant youths, “who are chronic liars and unnecessarily secretive and angry,” adding that drug abuse often led to crime.
Nigeria News Agency reports that students that participated in programme were drawn from Government Secondary School, Owerri, Emmanuel College, Girls’ Secondary School, Ikenegbu and Young Scientists’ College, Owerri.
(Edited by Sam Oditah (NAN))
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