Major health stories in the news last week

The UN health agency warned that tobacco’s killer toxins also wreak havoc on the environment. [Photo: ITV.com]
The UN health agency warned that tobacco’s killer toxins also wreak havoc on the environment. [Photo: ITV.com]

1.9 million Nigerians living with HIV – NACA boss.

The Nigerian HIV/AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) indicates that about 1.9 million Nigerians are currently living with the disease, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has said.

The Director-General of NACA, Sani Aliyu, said the percentage of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in Nigeria, among the age group of 15-49 years, is 1.4 per cent (1.9 per cent among females and 0.9 per cent among males.)

He also said viral suppression among PLHIV aged 15 to 49 years old with access to treatment stands at 42.3 per cent (45.3 per cent among women and 34.5 per cent among men).

Tunisia’s mysterious baby deaths rise to 15

An infant died under unclear circumstances at a hospital in Tunisia, bringing the number of unexplained baby deaths at a hospital in the country to 15 since last week, a judicial official said on Wednesday.

Recently, the Tunisian health minister, Abderraouf Cherif, resigned over the deaths at the Rabta hospital in Tunis after 11 newborns were initially reported dead.

The acting Health Minister, Sonia Ben Cheikh, said samples taken from the maternity section at the hospital were being analysed at three laboratories to ascertain the cause of death.

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Nigeria improves on HIV ranking, now fourth worst hit country — Minister

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, says Nigeria has moved to the fourth position among countries worst hit by the HIV epidemic.

With an earlier estimate of about 3.2 million people living with HIV, Nigeria was ranked second after South Africa which ranks first with about 7.1 million people living with HIV.

Speaking after the announcement of the Nigeria HIV/AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) result on Thursday, Mr Adewole said Nigeria has now moved to the fourth position after South Africa, India and Mozambique following the findings of the survey.

In 2016, a report by the World Health Organisation stated that Nigeria had the second largest HIV epidemic, with over 196,000 adolescents representing 10 per cent of the global burden epidemic.

About 18 Nigerians die of tuberculosis every hour – Expert

At least 18 Nigerians die from Tuberculosis (TB) every hour, a TB expert, Lovett Lawson, has said.

Mr Lawson, the Board Chairman of Stop TB partnership Nigeria, said Nigeria has the highest burden of the disease in Africa and the third highest burden in the world after India and Indonesia.

He lamented that over 75 per cent of Nigerians with the disease are yet to be diagnosed or receive any form of treatment.

This, he blamed on the lack of awareness about the disease among the communities and the social stigma attached to those diagnosed with the ailment.
Prevention, best way to manage kidney diseases

In view of the increasing incidence of kidney diseases, the Renal Dialysis Centre (RDC), Ikeja, Lagos, says the best way to manage the condition is through prevention.

John Okoh, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RDC, said that from clinical observations and available statistics, more people were coming down with kidney disease.

Mr Okoh said: “One of the prescribed ways of managing the disease now is actually prevention, protection and early detection and to do the things to keep the kidneys healthy.

More women die from caesarean delivery in Africa – Research

More women die from caesarean delivery in Africa than in high-income countries, a study published in the Lancet medical journal revealed on Friday.

Cesarean section (C-section) is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through incisions in the abdomen and uterus.

The study found the maternal mortality rate for C-sections in Africa is substantially higher than expected at 5.43 deaths per 1,000 operations compared to just 0.1 per 1,000 operations in Britain.

“One in six women in Africa also develops complications during surgery, almost three times that of women in the U.S.

WHO urges govts to enforce ban on tobacco adverting

WHO is urging governments to enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship at sporting events, including when hosting or receiving broadcasts of Formula 1 and MotoGP events.

WHO also urged all sporting bodies, including Formula 1 and MotoGP, to adopt strong tobacco-free policies that ensure their events are smoke-free and their activities and participants, including race teams, are not sponsored by tobacco companies.

These calls come in the light of tobacco companies establishing new partnerships with motor-racing teams.

WHO urged governments to implement their domestic laws banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship in the strongest possible ways. This may include issuing penalties applicable under domestic laws and taking preventative action, such as by preventing the screening of events that violate domestic laws.

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