More Lassa fever deaths, exit of Nasarawa’s specialist doctors, other major health stories last week

Rats used to illustrate the story.
Rats used to illustrate the story.

Lassa Fever: Nigeria records five new deaths in three states

Five new deaths have been recorded in three states in the ongoing Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria.

The states are Edo, Ondo and Bauchi.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in its weekly situation report on the outbreak also said 15 new cases were reported in six states.

Reporting for week 12, NCDC said the 15 new cases were reported in Edo (4), Ondo (3), Plateau (2), Bauchi (3), Taraba (2) and Ebonyi (1) with five new deaths in Edo (2), Ondo (2) and Bauchi (1) States.

Specialist doctors leaving Nasarawa State – Official

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has decried the exit of about 10 consultant physicians from the services of the Nasarawa State Government over poor staff welfare.

The NMA state chairman, Bulu Umaru, said 10 consultant physicians had left the service of the state government since June 2018.

According to him, some of the consultants were even leaving to take up jobs in neighbouring states with lower salaries in order to guarantee their career progression.

Abortion Subsidy: U.S. to stop paying ‘to kill unborn babies’ – Pompeo

The U.S. will further clamp down on the use of foreign aid for non-governmental organisations that support abortions or work with groups that help women access the medical service, an official said.

The U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said this as he announced new limitations on the use of federal government funds in Washington.

“We can continue to meet our critical global health goals… while refusing to subsidise the killing of unborn babies,” Mr Pompeo said.

He said the new measures would include “strict prohibition on back door schemes” meant to help funnel money to organisations working on women’s health and that support abortion.

Number of Ebola cases in Congo exceeds 1,000

The number of Ebola cases in Congo has exceeded 1,000, as the second-largest outbreak of the virus continues to wreak havoc in the central African country.

A total of 629 people have died of Ebola in the outbreak in eastern Congo, which began shortly after the government declared an end to another outbreak in the west of the country in June 2018.

Some 320 people had recovered, placing the average survival rate within treatment centres at more than 60 per cent, the ministry statement said.
More than 91,000 people have been vaccinated against the virus since August.

Union advocates revitalisation of Nigeria’s healthcare system

The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to revitalise the nation’s healthcare system by returning the management of health institutions to hospital administrators.

Josiah Biobelemoye, the president of the union, made the call at the 10th quadrennial delegate conference held under the theme: “Advancing national campaign toward good governance, poverty alleviation and ‘ Health for all’ for development”.

Mr Biobelemoye explained that hospital administrators have not only been trained for such functions but also possess the professional attitude to manage these institutions without fear or favour of any professional body.

He described the past four years as the worst years in the health sector, attributing the challenges to the selfish interest and insensitivity of those at the helm of affairs in the sector to the plights of the masses.

Poor lung function in shorter people linked to increased risk of heart disease

Results from a study led by researchers from Queen Mary University of London has found that an association between shorter stature and a higher risk of heart disease is mainly attributed to our lungs.

In the study, published in the journal Communications Biology, researchers examined over 800 places in the human genome known to be associated with adult height and also evaluated data suggesting that lower height increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.

The authors found no evidence of a causal link between height and type 2 diabetes risk once an individual’s body mass index was taken into account but reported a causal relationship between height and heart disease risk.

Time-restricted eating may prevent tumour growth

Researchers have already identified obesity as a risk factor for cancer, so some doctors recommend reducing caloric intake to help prevent tumours.

However, a new study now finds that prevention may be less about how many calories you consume and more about when you eat your meals.

The study suggests that rather than changing what they eat to prevent tumour growth, a person may benefit from simply timing their meals differently.

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