Major health stories last week

Picture of the environment at the National Hospital
Picture of the environment at the National Hospital

Another strike looms in Nigeria’s health sector

Hours after health workers under the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) suspended their nationwide strike after 44 days, the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Thursday served a notice of its own looming strike.

JOHESU on Thursday, announced the suspension of a strike that crippled services in public hospitals across the country.

On the same day, however, NARD said it could no longer ‘guarantee industrial harmony’ and scheduled a meeting for Saturday to take a decision.

NARD has given the Federal Government 21 days grace to resolve all lingering issues as well as the recall its members sacked by the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH).

The ultimatum elapsed May 31, and a meeting for June 2 will determine if they would embark on strike.

Health Minister has no right to stop salaries of JOHESU members – NLC

Ayuba Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has no right to deny JOHESU members their salaries.

Mr Wabba said shortly after the union suspended its six weeks nationwide strike on Thursday in Abuja that the minister has no final say on whether the workers will not be paid for the number of days the strike was on. He said it was President Muhammadu Buhari has the final authority on that regard.

The minister had earlier threatened not to pay the salaries of JOHESU members for the number of days they went on strike, while some were not paid their April salary.

The NLC President, also accused the minister of acting as “the minister of doctors” rather than acting as minister of the health sector generally.

WHO begins campaign to eliminate Yellow Fever

The World Health Organisation (WHO), says it has commenced campaign to eliminate Yellow fever in the country in February and has vaccinated two million people in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Borno and surrounding communities since then.

The organisation’s communications officer, Charity Warigon, in Abuja said the campaign, which would run through 2018, was aimed at vaccinating 25 million Nigerians in different parts of the country, while immunisation would continue in the coming years.

She noted that the campaign was in response to yellow cases reported in the country since 2017 when the first case was confirmed in Kwara. Since then, 41 cases were confirmed in seven states and more than 1,700 suspected cases reported from all states in the country.

LG workers divert truck with USAID mosquito nets in Kebbi

The Police Command in Kebbi has arrested five persons for alleged diversion of a truck loaded with 132 veils of USAID mosquito nets meant for distribution in Bagudo Local Government Area.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Mustapha Suleiman, in Birnin Kebbi said the suspects were intercepted in Jega Local Government Area while trying to divert the truck.

According to him, the investigation is still on as the chief suspect is still at large but four of the suspects were arraigned in court for prosecution.

He said the suspects were staff of the local government council who connived with health personnel to perpetrate the crime

Multivitamin supplements might be harmful- Researchers

Researchers from the University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital said some supplements could pose harm to health.

The study disclosed that niacin and antioxidants were associated with a higher risk of death by any cause, albeit a very small increase.

“We were surprised to find so few positive effects of the most common supplements that people consume. These findings suggest that people should be conscious of the supplements they’re taking and ensure they’re applicable to the specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies they have been advised of by their health-care provider,” said lead author, David Jenkins in a statement.

How toothpastes cause health problem

American and Chinese scientists have found that an antimicrobial ingredient commonly used in hand soaps and toothpastes could have adverse effects on colonic inflammation and colon cancer by altering gut microbiota, the microbes found in people’s intestines.

A study published in the journal, Science Translational Medicine revealed that short-time treatment with low-dose triclosan led to low-grade colonic inflammation, and exaggerated disease development of colitis and colitis-associated colon cancer in mice.

“These results, for the first time, suggest that triclosan could have adverse effects on gut health. As toothpaste can enter into the intestinal tract, then impacting the gut microbiota.” said Zhang Guodong, assistant professor of food science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who is the paper’s author.

Don cautions parents on dangers of smoking close to children

Parents have been cautioned against smoking cigarettes close to their children to safeguard their (children) health and future development.

This advice was given by Ahmed Gabdo, an Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), as the world celebrates “No Tobacco Day” May, 31.

Mr Gabdo said children whose parents smoke are being exposed to many health challenges such as coughing, wheezing and asthma attacks than children whose parents do not smoke.

“They also tend to have higher rates of pneumonia and bronchitis; smoking, not only impacts your cardiovascular health, but also the health of those around you, who do not smoke.”

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