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.
“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)
COVID-19: FG to develop innovative interventions to improve survival chances
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says efforts are ongoing to develop innovative interventions to reduce COVID-19 case fatalities to below one per cent.
According to him, fatalities at present is at two per cent, especially for the elderly and those with co-morbidities.
Ehanire said that PTF members were aligned in non-pharmaceutical key role interventions in controlling new infections, as the measures of wearing of masks and avoiding crowds were easy, cheap and proven to be effective.
He added that “we would work with state governments to prepare necessary space and human resources at general hospitals or Primary Healthcare Centres to train and set up at least one sample collection site in every local government area in due course, with efficient sample retrieval logistics to convey samples to laboratories.
“This means that we should consider adjusting to what has been described as the ‘new normal,’ a way of life that is intended to reduce risk of infection, while allowing meaningful economic life to resume and citizens to restore their livelihoods,” he said.
The minister said there was need to sustain the efforts as the increase in testing capacity recorded 40,000 in one month, while the number of positive cases dropped by over 2,000.
“The total number of positive COVID-19 cases recorded in July was 17,457, out of a total of 154,454 samples tested, with a positivity rate of 11.3 per cent, as against that of June of 19,149 positive cases from a total of 111,052 samples tested with a positivity rate of 17.2 per cent.
“By Aug. 3, we recorded 43,841 confirmed cases out of of 286,091 samples tested, while 20,308 persons were treated and discharged with 888 persons dead,” he said.
Ehanire also announced that plans were ongoing to designate holding rooms at general hospitals, with facilities for oxygen administration, such as oxygen concentrators or oxygen cylinders.
“Some investment in this strategy, known in Lagos State as oxygen kiosks, will be required, but the benefit in lives saved will be significant,” he said.
Ehanire said that the task force responded to the request of São Tomé for commodities for COVID-19 response, as directed directive by the President.
He assured that there was continued increase and optimisation laboratory diagnostic capacity most recently in Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Taraba, Gombe and Bayelsa states.
The minister said there should be no anxiety among health workers about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as the equipment had been reasonably well-stocked with materials and commodities and supplied to all sections of the country.
He said government was grateful to the United Nations and European Union for the donation of another consignment of valuable supplies, which he received on July 31.
“This additional delivery will boost our stockpile of wherewithal to fight the pandemic and it includes face masks and shields goggles, airways tubes, bio-hazard bags and safety boxes, test kites,” he said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
COVID-19 vaccines now in phase 3 clinical trials– WHO
The director-general said: “ We all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection.
“However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be; for now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control.
“Testing, isolating and treating patients, tracing and quarantining their contacts. Do it all.
“Inform, empower and listen to communities. Do it all.
“For individuals, it’s about keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly and coughing safely away from others. Do it all.’’
Ghebreyesus said the message to people and governments was clear: “Do it all, and when it’s under control, keep going! Keep strengthening the health system.
“Keep safeguards and monitoring in place, because lifting restrictions too quickly can lead to resurgence.
“Keep investing in the workforce and communicating and engaging communities.
“We have seen around the world, that it’s never too late to turn this pandemic around,’’ he said.
According to him, if we act together today, we can save lives, we can save livelihoods, if we do it all together.
He told journalists that the Emergency Committee on COVID-19 met on Friday and reviewed the current pandemic.
“It was a sobering moment coming six months on from when the committee advised.
“And, I agreed that the outbreak constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
“At the time, Jan. 30, there were fewer than 100 cases and no deaths outside of China.
“Since then, the number of cases has increased more than five-fold to 17.5 million, and the number of deaths has more than tripled to 680,000,’’ the director-general said.
In addition to the direct toll COVID-19 is having, Ghebreyesus said the committee noted the health impact that disrupted services were having on a range of other diseases.
“That compounds what we already know about reduced immunisation coverage, cancer screening and care, and mental health services.
“A survey of responses from 103 countries between mid-May and early July, found that 67 per cent of countries report disruption in family planning and contraception services.
“More than half of countries reported disruption in antenatal care services and more than a third of countries reported disruption in child birth services.
“On top of the health impact, we have seen the damage COVID-19 has caused socially, economically and politically.
“The committee put forward a number of recommendations for countries to continue to implement to bring the virus under control.
“These range from sharing best practice, to enhancing political commitment and leadership for national strategies and localised response activities driven by science, data and experience.’’
He said from serology studies that most people remained susceptible to this virus, even in areas that have experienced severe outbreaks.
“Over the past week we’ve seen several countries that appeared as though they were past the worst now, contending with fresh spikes in cases.
“However, we’ve also seen how some countries, regions or localities that had a high number of cases are now bringing the outbreak under control.
“It’s not easy, of course. Strict measures may cause their own problems for delivery of essential health services, the economy and societies overall.
“The committee acknowledged that Member States have tough choices to make to turn the epidemic around.
“But, they were also clear that when leaders step up and work intensely with their populations, this disease can be brought under control.’’
He further said we learnt everyday about this virus.
“ I’m pleased that the world has made progress in identifying treatments that can help people with the most serious forms of COVID-19 recover.
“The committee recommended that countries engage in the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, participate in relevant clinical trials, and prepare for safe and effective therapeutics and vaccine introduction,’’ Ghebreyesus said.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
Stakeholders highlight advantages of exclusive breastfeeding
Health experts and other stakeholders on Monday, urged Nigerian mothers to practise a minimum of six months exclusive breastfeeding of infants to enable them to grow into strong and healthy adults.
Alive and Thrive is a global nutrition initiative to save lives, prevent illness and ensure healthy growth and development through improved maternal nutrition, breastfeeding and complementary feeding practice.
He said that there was the need for countries to promote exclusive and optimal breastfeeding as a way of protecting the planet.
“It is a great pleasure for the Gates Foundation, working with the government of Nigeria, to support, protect and promote breastfeeding in Nigeria as part of the commemoration of the WBW.
“Two things are remarkable and noteworthy about this year’s celebration. The first is the theme that is connected to sustainable development.
Ajieroh said that the present rate of exclusive breastfeeding in Nigeria stood at 29 per cent, and expressed optimism that achieving the target of 50 per cent by 2025 was feasible.
He said that the theme of the 2020 commemoration “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet,’’ was relevant in highlighting those global challenges.
“The theme, “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet’’ is remarkable because it is coming at a time when the world faces two major challenges, climate change and the VOVID-19 pandemic.
“It shows the important role breastfeeding can play in solving these global challenges .
“It is cheering to note that Nigeria has made steady progress in exclusive breastfeeding, having moved from 17 per cent to 29 per cent in the last few years.
“The 50 per cent target for 2025 is achievable,’’ he said.
The Director of Family Health at the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Salma Anas-Kolo, said that women that exclusively breastfed their children were contributing to a healthy environment.
She said that exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first six months played a major role in raising a crop of intelligent youths that would provide purposeful leadership in future.
Anas-Kolo called on all women and men to continue to support and promote exclusive breastfeeding through advocacy and sensitisation.
Dr Uche Ralph-Opara of Alive and Thrive said that the organisation had, in the last few years, supported some states in Nigeria through survey to establish the status of exclusive breastfeeding.
She said that findings showed that many mothers believed that due to hot weather, their infants needed to supplement breast milk with some quantity of water.
“The breast milk contains 80 per cent water, so the infants can get all the water they require at any point in time from breast milk,’’ she said.
The webinar drew participants from the academia, NGOs, government and other stakeholders.
WBW is a global campaign to raise awareness and galvanise action on themes related to breastfeeding.
It is celebrated between August 1 and August 7 every year in commemoration of the 1990 Innocent Declaration.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
Breastfeeding :UNICEF, WHO rally support for a healthier planet,officials say
The Nutritional Officer of UNICEF in Ebonyi, Mr Cyprain Ogbonna, gave the encouragement to people on Saturday in Abakaliki during an event to mark the starting of the 2020 celebration of World Breastfeeding week.
The theme of the World Breastfeeding Week 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”.
The event is marked every year between Aug. 1 and Aug. 7 to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and infants.
Ogbonna said that adequate breastfeeding had, over the years , prevented several childhood diseases and brought lifelong positive benefits associated with child spacing.
He said that other benefits include: risk reduction for some breast and ovarian cancers as well as hypertension.
He described breast milk as a nature-given-first food that needed to be preserved for its undebatable benefits to a mother and her baby.
He added that the milk was a critical part of a sustainable food system.
He said that it would be best to start breastfeeding within one hour of birth and exclusively done for the first six months of life, after which mothers should introduce appropriate complementary foods to her baby for two years and beyond.
He stated that misuse of breast milk substitutes should be condemned.
Ogbonna said: “Mothers are recommended to breastfeed their child or children within 30 minutes of birth.
“While mothers doing exclusive breastfeeds go for the first six months of life.
“Also mother or caregiver timely introduces complementary feeding based on local food products at six months while continuing breastfeeding up to two years and beyond,” he said.
Also, the Nutrition Manager of UNICEF in Enugu, Hanifa Namusoke, said that she had championed the cause in Ebonyi to increase the valve and improve the well being of mother and child.
“Breast milk is complete for a healthier planet and that is why WHO and UNICEF recommend optimal infant and young child feeding practices with emphasis on early initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth,” Namusoke said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Dada (NAN)