Health stories in the news last week

Drinking Water

WHO lists antibiotic resistance bacteria

The World Health Organisation, WHO, published it’s first-ever list of antibiotic resistant “priority pathogens”, a catalogue of 12 families of bacteria that pose threat to human health.

The list is divided into three categories according to the urgency of need for new antibiotics: critical, high and medium priority. The most critical group of all includes multidrug resistant bacteria that pose a particular threat in hospitals, nursing homes and among patients whose care requires devices such as ventilators and blood catheters.

Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation, said the list is part of the organisation’s effort to address growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines and was to guide and promote research and development of new antibiotics and address growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines.

These bacteria have built-in abilities to find new ways to resist treatment and can pass along genetic material that allows other bacteria to become drug-resistant as well.

NACA warns against stigmatisation of people living with HIV/AIDS

Sani Aliyu, the Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, has warned against the danger that stigmatisation and discrimination against people living with HIV poses to Nigeria meeting the global goal of ending the HIV scourge by 2030.

He gave the warning in a statement released to mark the Zero Discrimination Day being celebrated across the globe.

Mr. Aliyu said stigmatisation and discrimination would discourage people from going for HIV test and result in more people acquiring the virus. If people do not know their HIV status, the chances of those who are HIV positive transmitting the infection to their partners’ increases.

People living with HIV continue to face various forms of stigmatisation, discrimination and violations of their rights and dignity, which are barriers to the efforts to scale up access to comprehensive care, treatment, and support and this is major stumbling blocks to HIV and AIDS mitigation programmes as they discourage people from using HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) services and pose a barrier to accessing treatment.

Excessive cold water dangerous to health

Drinking of cold water too much has been said to have adverse effect on the heart and digestive systems of humans.

Osuagwu Magnus, a consultant at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) in Lafia, Nasarawa State, said drinking cold water is good during heat period, but drinking it regularly can have negative impact on the heart and the digestive system, hence the need to reduce consumption.

“Drinking cold water has a way of bringing down the body temperature. It has a way of slowing down the heart. It causes the blood to clot. That means the blood becomes thick and not able to flow freely through the organs. The normal human body was accustomed to 34 degrees Celsius and 37 degrees Celsius. Those who regularly consume cold water “may experience shock which can lead to some diseases due to the sudden change in temperature levels, ’he said.

Borno state confirms case of Lassa fever

The Borno State commissioner of Health, Haruna Meshelia, confirmed the diagnosis of Lassa fever in a 32-year old woman in Zabarmari, a village on the outskirts of Maiduguri.

This is the first incident of the fever recorded in the state. The patient who is still alive fell ill last week and was admitted at a government hospital in Maiduguri. Blood sample taken from her for testing in Lagos returned positive of the disease.

Reports indicate that from December 2016, Nigeria has recorded 19 cases of Lassa fever.

Self –medication linked to renal failure

Self-medication, poor lifestyle, irregular medical checkups and economic recession have been pointed out as causes for renal failure.

Medical experts made this conclusion at the Health is Wealth free medical checkup programme organised by a non-governmental organisation, ‘A Life Alive Kidney Foundation, and five other NGOs, in Osun State.

Recent statistics have shown that each year, 17,000 new cases of kidney failures were being diagnosed, with only 2,000 of them having access to life saving dialysis.

The medical team disclosed that over 90 per cent of the people tested were susceptible to renal failure.

700,000 Nigerians living with cerebral palsy

Afolabi Lesi, the Provost of College of Medicine, University of Lagos, said about 700,000 Nigerians are living with cerebral palsy while more than 3.5 million others are directly affected by it.

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affects the brain of an infant, arising from complication that occurs during pregnancy and child birth

Mr. Lesi said preventing the cause of the ailment was the best way of managing the condition and its harsh effect on families and finances. Preventing jaundice, diffculty in breathing in babies after birth, low blood sugar, management of high risk pregnancy in good hospitals and other infections in infants can reduce the incidence of cerebral palsy.

Kano state signs health basket MoU with Gates, Dangote Foundations

The Kano State Government, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dangote Foundation, signed the Kano Health Basket Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to boost health care interventions in the state.

The Health Basket is a funding mechanism initiated as part of the state government’s decision to revitalise its health sector. It is funded by the two foundations and the state government and pools resources to support the implementation of programmes aimed at strengthening child health and other health interventions from 2017 – 2021.

The two foundations were encouraged to work with the government due to the previous success recorded in the tripartite agreement between them in 2012 and 2016.

Adult with gum disease likely to suffer stroke

A research has indicated that adults with gum disease are twice likely to suffer stroke than people with healthy gum.

This is not the first study liking gum disease to brain attack caused by blood clot.

The chair of neurology at the University Of South Carolina School Of Medicine in Columbia, Souvik Sen, said the higher the gum disease, the worse the risk. Stroke risk level increases with the level of gum disease.

However, researchers still don’t know why people with gum disease have higher stroke risk. It is noted that the inflammatory level found in the gum hardening the arties might play a role, as the hardening of the blood vessel happen in the brain or the neck which can lead to stroke.

Director outlines agenda to reposition Nigeria’s primary healthcare system

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, has pledged to ensure the success of the current scheme to revitalise primary health care in Nigeria under a four-point agenda he has formulated to reposition the Agency.

According to a statement by the agency, Mr. Shuaib said this while receiving the World Health Organization, WHO, Country Representative in Nigeria, Alemu Wondi, in his office.

Mr. Shuaib outlined the aspects of the agenda as “repositioning the Agency with a culture of zero tolerance to corruption and efficient service delivery, concluding polio eradication, and strengthening routine immunization”.

The President Muhammadu Buhari Administration has made plans to make 10,000 functional primary health care centres available to deliver a number of services in every ward across the country, beginning with one in each of the 109 senatorial districts of the country.


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