Major health stories last week

Mosquito net used to tell the story. [PHOTO CREDIT:The Guardian Nigeria]
Mosquito net used to tell the story. [PHOTO CREDIT:The Guardian Nigeria]

A major event on the health scene this week was the commemoration of the World AIDS Day (WAD). Although the day is celebrated on December 1 every year, the events started over a week before.

The WAD is to honour the people who have fallen to the disease as well as people living with HIV. It is also celebrated to raise awareness of the disease and the need for people to know their status.

Here is a roundup of major health stories in the news last week.

Premium Times, others honoured for HIV reporting

PREMIUM TIMES was on Friday honoured with an award as one of the most supportive media organisations in the reporting of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

The award was given at a ceremony organised by the National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) to commemorate the World AIDS Day.

The World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 every year to honour the people who have fallen to the disease as well as people living with HIV. It is also celebrated to raise awareness on the disease and the need for people to know their status.

Four categories of awards were given on Friday. They include the National Pioneer Response Category, National Response Support Category, Ending AIDS in Nigeria Category and NEPWHAN.

6.7m people get free mosquito nets in Niger

No fewer than 6.7 million residents across the 25 local government areas of Niger State benefited from the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal (LLIN) nets replacement campaign in the state.

The Programme Manager, Society for Family Health (SFH), Christopher Dangana, said the nets were distributed in collaboration with the state government and other global partners at the cost of over N3 billion.

Mr Dangana said 3,590,605 nets cards were distributed to beneficiaries as against the 3,478,812 planned during the micro planning, the distribution representing 103.2 per cent mobilisation rate.

Antiretroviral Therapy: Viral load suppression protects patients

HIV-positive people who have suppressed their viral load through antiretroviral therapy (ART) can now enjoy unprotected sex without the fear of infecting their partners, health officials have confirmed.

They said daily usage of ART does not only help an HIV positive patient achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load, it avails them the opportunity to have unprotected sex with their HIV-negative partners with no risk of transmitting the virus whether through vaginal or oral sex.

This was confirmed on Monday in Abuja at the official launch of the Undetectable Equals Untransmittable (U=U) campaign.

Ignoring mental health issues, threat to society – Resident Doctors

The Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter has raised concerns over the rising spate of mental health issues in Nigeria, describing it as a threat to society.

The president of the association, Roland Aigbovo, said ahead of the commemoration of the 2019 Annual Health Week and General Meeting/Scientific Conference in Abuja that there is a need to address mental health issues in the country.

The theme of 2019 annual Health Week is: “Neglect of Mental Health: A Threat to the Society”.

Mr Aigbovo said the situation is worsened by the non-availability of medicines and the absence of mental health services. He said that mental health problem in Nigeria is also made worse by lack of counseling, housing and support groups

Stronger donor, govt partnership will help Nigeria achieve UHC by 2030 – Minister

Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria by 2030 will require strong partnerships between the government and donor agencies, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has said.

The minister spoke on Wednesday in Abuja during the strategic engagement between government agencies and development partners.

Organised by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the event was aimed at bridging funding gaps in achieving UHC in Nigeria.

Mr Ehanire, who was represented at the event by Joseph Amedu, the Director health services at the health ministry, commended the funding support by donors for initiatives designed to achieve UHC.

Ebola: 4 health workers killed, 5 injured in DRC

Two attacks in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have killed 4 workers responding to the Ebola outbreak and injured 5 others.

The attacks occurred overnight on a shared living camp in Biakato Mines and an Ebola response coordination office in Mangina.

The dead include a member of a vaccination team, two drivers and a police officer. No WHO staff are among those killed, but one staff member was injured.

Cholera kills 5 people in Ogun – Commissioner

No fewer than five persons were confirmed dead and 12 cases reported on Friday due to cholera at Lafenwa, Abeokuta North local council of Ogun.

The Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Health, Adesanya Ayinde, said at a news conference in Abeokuta that one person died in the hospital and four in the affected communities.

He listed the communities to include Kuto, Kobiti, Abule-Otun, Lafenwa, all in Abeokuta.

Mr Ayinde revealed that eight cases were reported from health facilities and four picked in the communities from retrospective case search and confirmed through laboratory tests.

Extra virgin olive oil may protect against various dementia

New research in mice suggests that adopting a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil can prevent the toxic accumulation of the protein tau, which is a hallmark of multiple types of dementia.

Due to its monounsaturated fatty acids, or “good” fats, extra virgin olive oil is known for its ability to lower the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.

Recently, however, several studies have suggested that extra virgin olive oil also has neuroprotective and cognitive benefits

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