Major health stories last week

Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Makurdi. [PHOTO CREDIT: Official Facebook account of BSUTH]
Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Makurdi. [PHOTO CREDIT: Official Facebook account of BSUTH]

Stress disorder tied to increased heart disease risk

People who suffer from conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, a Swedish study has suggested.

According to the study, the risk may be greatest in the months right after stress disorder is diagnosed.

The lead author, Huan Song of the University of Iceland in Reykjavik and the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, said medical providers should be aware that these vulnerable populations may suffer heightened risks of various cardiovascular diseases, which calls for enhanced clinical awareness/monitoring.

Benue teaching hospital cuts prices for key medical services

The Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Makurdi charges just N60,000 for hip replacement surgeries as part of its social service to Benue people, according to Terrumun Swende, its Chief Medical Director.

Mr Swende said the hospital’s primal objective was not to generate revenue but to offer tertiary healthcare services, train doctors and consultants, and offer other social services.

The CMD said that the hospital was underfunded, but declared that its limited resources were being prudently managed to break new grounds.

FG appoints new medical director for Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu

The Nigerian government has approved the appointment of Monday Igwe as the new Medical Director (MD), Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Enugu State.

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The appointment is for an initial term of four years and took effect from April 1.

Congratulating Mr Igwe on his appointment, the Minister of State, Health, Osagie Ehanire, reminded him of the enormous responsibilities of his office and the yearnings of Nigerians for an effective and responsive healthcare delivery system.

‘Addictive’ use of smartphones, Internet worries Nigerian health officials

Experts have raised alarm over the adverse health impacts of the growing addictive use of smartphones and the internet among Nigerian youth.

They linked what they called obsessive use of the technology to depression disorders and several other mental health issues.

The experts, who spoke at the maiden edition of the National Conference on Adolescent Health and Development in Nigeria, called on parents, schools, and government to monitor early use of internet among teens.

WHO releases first guideline on digital health interventions

The World Health Organisation has recommended ten ways that countries can use digital health technology, to improve people’s health and essential services.

The international health agency said harnessing the power of digital technologies is essential for achieving universal health coverage.

One way the digital intervention already having positive effects in some areas is sending reminders to pregnant women to attend antenatal care appointments and having children return for vaccinations.

WHO mourns colleague killed in hospital attack in the DRC

An epidemiologist, Richard Mouzoko, deployed by the World Health Organisation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the response to the Ebola outbreak, has been killed.

Mr Mouzoko, a citizen of Cameroon, was killed in an attack on the Butembo University Hospital on April 19, while he was participating in a coordination meeting. Three other people were also injured.

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, while sending condolences to the family, the government and people of Cameroon, condemned the attack on the health facility

She said the tragic and unacceptable incident can only impede the response to the outbreak and put more lives at risk. It is vital that the safety of our staff is not compromised as they work tirelessly under extremely difficult circumstances to respond to the Ebola outbreak.

10m Euros for new malaria drug

The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) have given a grant of €10 million over five years to “WANECAM 2” to conclude the production of new malaria drug.

WANECAM 2 is a unique collaboration between antimalarial drug researchers in Africa and Europe from ten academic institutions, a pharmaceutical company, Novartis, and a not-for-profit product development partnership (PDP), Medicines for Malaria Venture.

The grant will support African trials of a novel antimalarial combination comprising KAF156 (ganaplacide) and lumefantrine in a new once-daily formulation.

KAF156 has demonstrated the potential to treat resistant malaria and to be administered as a single dose.

2,500 underage Nigerians use tobacco products daily

Civil society organisations advocating against the sale of tobacco to underage in Nigeria has called on the federal government to enforce the law banning the sale of tobacco products to people under 18.

According to the Nigerian activists under the aegis of Tobacco Free Nigeria Campaign, no fewer than 25,000 underage Nigerians use tobacco product daily.

The group said children between the ages of 10 and 14 use tobacco products because they have easy access to cigarettes and other tobacco-related products which are sold to them by vendors. This means that in Nigeria about 17 children smoke every minute.

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