Major health stories in the news last week

Babies used to illustrate the story. [PHOTO CREDIT: Daily Post Nigeria]
Babies used to illustrate the story. [PHOTO CREDIT: Daily Post Nigeria]

HIV Couples Gave Birth to 72 Negative Babies

The Chairman of Bauchi State Agency for the of Control HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Leprosy And Malaria (BACATMA), Muhammad Alkali, said some HIV positive couples have been delivered of 72 healthy babies who are HIV negative.

He said since the establishment of the agency in 2008, about 156 HIV couples in the state have been on medical intervention, which has reduced their viral load and resulted in the delivery of 72 babies who tested negative.

According to him, the babies are healthy. He added that the state government has also been supporting the HIV/AIDS community by organising marriages and free medical treatment.

UNICEF Advocates Improved Investment In Nutrition

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of Federal Ministry of Information and Culture have identified improved investment in nutrition as a tool to fast track national and human development.

Olumide Osanyipeju, Head CRIB of the ministry, said this at a media dialogue on child malnutrition in the North-east, held in Yola under the theme: “Investing in Malnutrition for the Future”.

Mr Osanyipeju noted that improved nutrition could be achieved by educating the populace and creating a positive approach towards nutrition.

According to him, malnutrition is a large burden to a country and tackling malnutrition entails empowering and educating people.

Nigeria To Partner India, China To Halt Shipment Of Tramadol – NAFDAC

The Federal Government of Nigeria says it is planning to partner with the governments of China and India to halt the shipment of banned drugs from their countries to Nigeria.

The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mojisola Adeyeye, said this during the flag off of the Youth Against Drug Abuse (YADA) Awareness Campaign organised by NAFDAC and Young Pharmacists Group.

According to her, “NAFDAC is assiduously working with governments of South East Asia to stop drugs that can destroy our youths to leave their shores”

She expressed worry over the fact that Tramadol, with higher prescription strengths of 120, 225 and 500 mg and marked “For Exports Only”, are being shipped to Nigeria from China and India.

“These strengths are not allowed in these countries, but they don’t see any problem in exporting them to our country”

Africa’s Obese Population Fastest Growing In World – FOA

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has raised the alarm over “fastest rising incidences of obesity in African”, noting that an estimated 672 million people are affected globally.

The Director-General of FAO, Graziano da Silva, said this at the 160th session of the FAO Council in Rome, citing the “2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” report.

He said, “obesity affects around 672 million people, with Africa increasing faster than any other region and several billion suffer from diseases caused by vitamin- or mineral-deficient diets, known as micronutrient deficiencies.”

The UN agriculture chief, therefore, called for “transformative changes to our food systems.”

Family Planning

Nigeria needs to improve the access of its youth to family planning services so as to avert a population explosion by 2050.

This was the consensus at the 2018 National Family Planning Conference held in Nigeria.

The conference, the fifth of its kind in the country, is usually a biannual programme where government officials working in the family planning (FP) sector and developmental partners get together to discuss progress in the advancement of FP in Nigeria.

Speaking on the communiqué from the pre-youth conference, the secretary, Youth Subcommittee, Lilian Anyanwu, said though the conference was attended by young people from across the country, more of them are needed in the campaign for it to achieve the desired result.

Ms Anyawu said some messages are focused on educating young people on access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. Some messages were targeted at decision-makers, to increase social consciousness on policy needs for an enabling environment for youth access.

Increase Family Planning Funding, Gates Foundation Advises Nigerian Govt

To safeguard the health of Nigerians, especially mothers, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nigeria, urged the federal government to increase domestic funding for health services and care, especially in Family Planning.

According to the foundation, this has become necessary as donor funding is dwindling and healthy people still remain the greatest asset of any nation.

Paulin Basinga, the Nigeria Country Director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, gave the advice at the fifth Nigeria Family Planning Conference (NFPC2018) in Abuja.

The conference was held under the them: “Investment, Innovation, Inclusiveness”.

“For Nigeria to reach its full potential, it needs to prioritse its greatest assets, its people, by investing in their health, education and equal opportunity, which ensures prosperity that is sustained from generation to generation. Nigeria has the resources and knows how to get this right,” Mr Basinga said..

About 4,000 PHCs renovated across Nigeria – Official

About 4,000 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) have been renovated and are in the process of revitalisation across the country, an official has said.

The centres are spread across the country and are renovated and being revitalised by the federal government, state government and development partners.

Faisal Shuaib, the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) stated this during the agency’s end of the year productivity award and send-forth ceremony.

Mr Shuaib stated this when asked by journalists about the PHCs the government promised to revitalise almost two years ago. In January 2017, President, Muhammadu Buhari flagged-off a scheme to revitalise about 10,000 PHCs across Nigeria.

Excess Belly Fat

Nearly two-thirds of people at high risk of heart disease and stroke have excess belly fat, according to the results of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) EUROASPIRE V survey.

The report was presented at the World Congress of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Health in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Excess fat around the middle of the body (central obesity) is a marker of abnormal fat distribution. This belly fat is bad for the heart, even in people who are not otherwise overweight or obese.

Kornelia Kotseva, chair of the EUROASPIRE Steering Committee from Imperial College London, UK, said: “The survey shows that large proportions of individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease have unhealthy lifestyle habits and uncontrolled blood pressure, lipids and diabetes.”

Vitamin D deficiency increases schizophrenia risk

New research evidence indicates that there is a link between low vitamin D levels and a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, schizophrenia is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. The disease is characterized by symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and cognitive problems.

A recent study led by teams from Aarhus University in Denmark and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, has found that newborn babies with low vitamin D levels are more at risk of developing schizophrenia later on.

The authors of the study published in the journal Scientific Reports; said that vitamin D deficiency in newborn babies may be responsible for approximately eight per cent of all schizophrenia cases in Denmark.

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