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NGO sensitises 30 on first responder scheme to reduce deaths from accidents

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The Health Emergency Initiative (HEI) says it has trained no fewer than 30 people in the last one month on first responder scheme to reduce deaths from accidents on the highways.

Its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Paschal Achunine, made this known to the Nigeria News Agency on Saturday shortly after the initiative’s Charity Health Walk in Lagos.

Achunine said that the walk with the theme: “Walk for Life 2.0” was to create awareness and bring to the consciousness of Nigerians to be responsive to accident victims.

According to him, an average Nigerian man, instead of rescuing accident victims, will rather video the scene and share it on social media.

This, he said, had led to many avoidable deaths on the highways.

He said that HEI was working in partnership with the security and health officials to ensure that many road crashes victims were saved.

Achunine said that aim of the scheme was for the trained participants to be able to attend to emergencies in the first critical minutes before the arrival of emergency agencies.

He listed its benefits to include crowd control skills, how to administer first aid and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Achunine said that HEI usually stand in the gap for accident victims before their family members arrived.

He said that the initiative would make the initial deposit of N20, 000 in less than 24 hours to commence treatment.

Also, Mrs Omoshalewa Balogun, a Nurse with Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), said that HEI has been assisting indigent victims of road traffic crashes.

Balogun said that the main focus of HEI was that no one should die.

She said that HEI works in collaboration with LASAMBUS and more than 50 people had been saved since 2017.

Balogun said that the charity health walk was to create awareness on the number to call whenever crashes occurred.

In her remarks, Mrs Kehinde Aikomo, the Assistant Director, Social Worker at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, said that the first responder scheme was an eye opener.

Aikomo said that the programme had opened her eyes to know what to do when a crash occurs.

She said that HEI had been able to train her on what to do in case of emergencies in the first minutes before help would come.

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

Health

Fitness expert decries attitude of Awka residents to physical exercise

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Mr Joe Onwuakpa, the Managing Director of X-Fit Aerobics and Fitness Centre, Awka, has expressed concern over the “poor attitude” of residents of the capital city to physical exercise.

Onwuakpa made the remark in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Awka on Tuesday, saying that residents of the town preferred eating and drinking as ways of spending their leisure time.

He said that the centre was brought to the town to make fitness and wellness facility more accessible to the people.

He said that independent research showed that only about five per cent of Awka population engaged in regular exercise, adding that sedentary lifestyle was on the increase.

Onwuakpa said: “Fitness is good as long as we are alive because it helps us to stay healthy and strong.

“Most people here in Awka don’t reckon with keeping fit or engaging in exercise.

“They believe so much more in eating and drinking here as a means of leisure.

“X-Fit is trying to change the narrative in Awka by encouraging the attitude toward healthy living through regular exercise and fitness.

“I am worried with the lifestyle. We don’t know what should be done that is why we brought this concept of fitness centre.

“A situation where only about five per cent of the population of the town engage in exercise is not impressive,” he said.

Onwuakpa said he was planning a fitness carnival at the end of November, where experts would lecture and drill guests on simple exercises.

He called on residents of Awka and its environs to be part of what he called the “life changing session” with fitness experts.

(Edited by Sam Oditah)

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Paediatrician stresses need for  healthy dieting, regular medical check-ups for diabetic children

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Although, the cause of diabetes is not known, parents of diabetic children have been advised to adopt healthy diets and ensure regular medical check-ups for them.

Dr Nwaoma Nwaogu, a consultant paediatric endocrinologist, gave the advice in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Abuja Tuesday.

Nwaogu, a member of Ask the Paediatrician Foundation, an NGO, stressed the need to adopt these measures to avoid any complications that might arise for such children.

According to her, careful meal planning is essential for the management of diabetics, hence the need for a total nutritional overhaul for the whole family.

“The management involves careful meal planning.  A family that has a diabetic child will need nutritional overhaul; balanced healthy meals at regular times with adequate fruits and vegetables.

“ So this means that the other children in the home and the entire family should eat from the same pot. Regular and balanced meals are the key word.

“Portion control is also essential as it will also prevent the child from developing depression and truancy ideas like stealing,’’ she said.

The expert also dispelled popular beliefs on the health benefits of wheat by diabetic patients, which could do more harm than good for them.

“The idea of wheat meal being beneficial is a common belief but wrong because research has shown that wheat has been involved in autoimmunity and that it has high glycaemic index, which means after a wheat meal, your blood glucose hits the roof rapidly.’’

She, further, encouraged regular eye, urine and blood pressure checks for children suffering from diabetes to prevent complications such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, kidney failure, damage to the eyes and foot ulcers.

“The child should have regular monitoring of HbA1C, which is a blood test that estimates blood glucose levels over a period of three months and helps identify the risk of complications in the child.’’

She explained that diabetes was a lifelong condition that affected the way our bodies handled energy found in food.

“ Normally, our bodies break down carbohydrates into small blocks called glucose which acts as fuel for the cells in our bodies. Cells in our bodies can only utilise this fuel (glucose blocks) with the help of a hormone called insulin.

“ Insulin acts as a key that opens the door of the cells so that glucose goes in for its use. Insulin is produced by an organ in our bodies called the pancreas.

“ With diabetes mellitus, it’s either you do not produce insulin or the insulin is produced in insufficient quantities or the insulin produced cannot be used or a combination of all,’’ she said.

The paediatrician listed types of diabetes to include type-one, commonly found in children, which shows absolute insulin lack requiring them to use insulin for life.

She added that type-2 diabetes, mostly found in adults and adolescents but increasingly being found in children, shows only relative lack of insulin, which requires a combination of oral medications and insulin.

She further disclosed that some people might develop diabetes following an infection or inflammation of the pancreas, partial or total removal of the pancreas.

“No one really knows what causes diabetes. We do know that some people are more at risk because of the genes that they are born with.

“Something triggers the immune system to start destroying the insulin producing cells in the pancreas.’’

She, therefore, advised parents with diabetic children to ensure they used insulin, engaged in frequent glucose testing and avoided herbs or native concoctions.

She also advised that such children engaged in daily exercise and ate balanced meals.

Edited by Chukwudi Ekezie

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Fertility decline imperative for achieving demographic dividend – Don

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Fertility decline has been described as “very imperative’’ if Nigeria must achieve a balanced productive ratio, otherwise called demographic dividend.

Prof. Olanrewaju Olaniyan, of the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, said this at the 7th Annual Population Lecture Series (APLS), held on Tuesday, in Abuja.

The lecture had as theme: “Nigeria’s Population Issues: Harnessing 21st Century Innovations to achieve Demographic Dividend”.

Olaniyan said that only innovations in reproductive health would ensure that men and women were able to take responsibility for the quantity and quality of children they brought into the world.

He explained that building human capital was also paramount in ensuring that children, and the rest of the population, had access to universal health care, as well as equality and relevant education for all.

The don, who said that only 26 per cent of Nigerians were working, called for good governance and elimination of corruption to achieve demographic dividend.

He identified urbanisation as one of the problems militating against the achievement of demographic dividend, saying that it often ended up creating two cities in one city.

“Mass emigration from rural areas to urban areas, has created a city of prosperity and poverty in one city,” he said.

Olaniyan who pointed out that about 14.6 million Nigerians were out of school, called for drastic and innovative policies on the part of government, to address the issue by transforming children into an asset population.

Also speaking, Dr Haliru Yahaya, Emir of Shonga, called for responsible parenthood as a way to go in achieving demographic dividend.

Yahaya explained that it was wrong for a man to procreate up to 14 children that he could not cater for.

Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore

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NAPTIP calls for collaborative efforts against human trafficking in Africa

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The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has called for more collaborative efforts towards tackling human trafficking in Africa.

NAPTIP Director General, Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, made the call on Tuesday in Abuja while receiving officials from Liberia on a four-day study tour of the agency in Abuja.

She said that such collaboration would enable African countries to put in place robust fight against human trafficking.

The DG also called for political will among African leaders towards formulation of policies aimed at crippling activities of human traffickers.

“There should be convocation of an African conference on human trafficking, principally to discuss issues concerning human trafficking and the plight of teeming youths in the continent.

“There should be more synergy and mutual cooperation among law enforcement agencies within the continent so as to ensure accelerated investigation and prosecution of human traffickers,’’ she stressed.

Okah-Donli said that, part of the achievements of the agency since inception was the conviction of 408 persons involved in human trafficking, adding that, many cases were still pending in court, while investigation was ongoing in others.

According to her, 16, 000 victims have passed through NAPTIP shelters since the inception of the organisation, after been given psychological support such as skills training, education, medical, empowerment and reintegration to the society and families.

The DG disclosed that the agency planned to build a regional academy on human trafficking that would assist in the fight against the menace in the continent.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Liberia delegation, Mr Alvin Anderson, said that Nigeria was chosen for the study tour because it has a bigger platform for checking human trafficking.

Anderson said that the delegation was in Nigeria to learn the methodologies being used to tackle human trafficking with a view setting up similar structures in Liberia.

“Nigeria is a very great country, very great in TIP issues and that is why we choose the country for our learning experience, we decided to bring together our stakeholders to have this learning experience,’’ he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the delegation was made up of officials from different law enforcement agencies in Liberia.

Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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Science &Tech. ministry working to take Nigerians out of poverty – Onu

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The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, says the ministry is working for the realisation of the Federal Government’s vision of taking about 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

The minister said this at the Annual Population Lecture Series (APLS), organised by the National Population Commission (NPC) on Tuesday in Abuja.

Onu, who was represented by Mr Anthony Fagbore, an official from the ministry, said that the ministry had designed a roadmap aimed at making the vision feasible.

He said that with the National Science and Technology Roadmap 2030, jobs would be created in the country, thereby enhancing self sufficiency.

Onu also said that the ministry would tap into the Executive Order 5 by President Muhammadu Buhari to promote local content.

According to him, textile industries would be revived to engender economic empowerment, thereby moving Nigeria from being a developing nation to developed one.

Also speaking, Dr Ejike Orji, Chairman, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP), called for efforts to transform a higher percentage of the Nigerian population to asset.

Orji noted that the high rate of emigration in the country was a demonstration of demographic crisis which required urgent attention.

He commended Buhari for giving population utmost attention and also urged the National Population Commission to quickly conduct a census.

Edited by Ejike Obeta/Dada Ahmed

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FG validates efficacy of HIV self-test kits

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Kits

Abuja, Nov.19, 2019 The National AIDS and STDs Control Programme (NASCP), has acknowledged the efficacy of the HIV self-test kits for use in Nigeria with 98.4 per cent specificity and sensitivity to detect HIV antibodies.

Dr Godwin Emmanuel Coordinator, Organising Committee, who made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, said NASCP was established to spearhead the Ministry of Health’s interventions on the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Emmanuel said the HIV self-test kit evaluation report scheduled to be disseminated by NASCP on Nov.22, outlines modalities for conducting HIV self-testing in the country.

He said the report dissemination was sequel to the national operational guidelines for the delivery of HIV self-testing in Nigeria which was recently approved by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Emmanuel further mentioned that the HIV self-test kit also known as Oraquick HIV self-test kits were currently used in more than 50 countries of the world.

He noted that the test kit had also being certified by World Health organisation (WHO), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and NAFDAC.

“As part of measures to promote HIV Self-Testing by ministry, Oraquick HIV self-test kits was recently evaluated by the federal ministry of health across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

“This is in line with national guidelines to assess the efficacy of the test kits for use in Nigeria, hence, the evaluation showed 98.4 per cent specificity and sensitivity to detect HIV antibodies I and II among Nigerians.

“This therefore affirms greater confidentiality and privacy from individuals who will purchase the easy-to-use, pocket friendly diagnostic kit from a designated outlet.

“The self-run test can be done in the privacy of one’s home or other desired locations, without the knowledge of anyone,’’ he said.

He said many people living with HIV in Nigeria are unaware of their status and the country was yet to meet the recommended number of HIV testing and counselling sites needed for a desired scale up.

Emmanuel, however, stressed that the HIV self-testing had been identified as a strategy that would contribute to the attainment of UNAIDS global 95-95-95 goals.

He said the 95-95-95 goals means: “95 per cent of people living with HIV should know their HIV status; 95 per cent of people who know their status should be on treatment; and 95 per cent of people on treatment should achieve suppressed viral loads’’.

Emmanuel said the HIV self-test (HIVST) in Nigeria was viewed as a mechanism to help increase HIV testing uptake, thereby helping to capture un-diagnosed HIV cases.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi/Sadiya Hamza

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