SON alerts on cancer-causing school uniforms, other health stories last week

Prof. Isaac Adewole. Minister of Health
Prof. Isaac Adewole. Minister of Health

WHO says Africa’s life expectancy improving

A new report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa has shown a high improvement in health in the region.

The report said life expectancy across Africa had improved significantly, but national health systems must be improved to ensure that services get to the people who need them most.

The life expectancy jumped from 50.9 years in 2012, to 53.8 years in 2015, according to the report.

Deaths resulting from the 10 biggest health risks in Africa – such as lower respiratory infections, HIV and diarrhoeal diseases – dropped by half between 2000 and 2015, partly as a result of specialised health programmes.

Outbreak of diarrhoea hits Borno
Borno State government has raised the alarm over the outbreak of diarrhoea, reporting 1,068 cases.

The Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) hit 10 local government areas of the state, but no death has been recorded so far.

Haruna Mshelia, the Commissioner for Health, said 25 patients were hospitalised at the Benisheikh Hospital, Dala and El-Miskin treatment centres.

Soyinka tasks FG on funding HIV/AIDS

Wole Soyinka has charged the Federal Government to take seriously its obligation to eliminate HIV and AIDS in Nigeria by taking full ownership of funding and treatment rather than relying on foreign donor support.

Mr Soyinka gave the charge in a “Keep the Promise to AIDS” Video Campaign unveiled by the AIDS Health Care Foundation (AHF) in Abuja.

The Noble Laureate said the government was not unaware of the level of affliction the spread of the virus has caused as well as the human devastation in the country.

“These campaigns need official backing and resources let this be a commitment and moral duty to implement plans that would wipe out AIDS within this generation,” he added.

Fish oil supplements don’t prevent heart attack- Scientists

Fish oil supplements do not help prevent heart attacks or strokes in people with diabetes, said a study that adds to a growing body of research on the ineffectiveness of pills containing omega-3 fatty acids.

More than 15,000 people with diabetes but no signs of heart disease enrolled in the study in Britain, the results of which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Half the participants were given a daily capsule of omega-3, while the other half received a placebo pill containing olive oil. Among those taking fish oil pills, 8.9 percent suffered a heart attack or stroke, compared to 9.2 per cent in the placebo group, which was not a significant difference.

“Our large, long-term randomised trial shows that fish oil supplements do not reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes,” said principal investigator Louise Bowman of the University of Oxford.

SON alerts on cancer-causing school uniform

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has alerted the nation about some cancer-causing substances found in some school uniform materials made by two China-based companies.

The Special Assistant and Head of Public Relations to the Director General of SON, Bola Fashina, alleged that the cancer-causing uniforms are made by two China based companies, Sing Shun Fat School-Clothier Company and Zenith Uniform Company.

Mrs Fashina said the azo dyes in the uniforms contained 4-amino azo dye above the maximum allowed in the standard.

The dyes have been banned in Europe, Japan and other parts of the World because the dye when mix with sweat release carcinogenic substances known as aromatic amines.

USAID gives $26.5m to support Nigeria

Nigeria has won a new funding of $26.5 million to support health care and good governance, courtesy of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The agency said at the weekend that the additional support to Nigeria was made because of the country’s achievement in the development goals outlined in the bilateral Development Objectives Assistance Agreement signed in 2015,

The Acting Mission Director, Erin Holleran, confirmed the new financial support and said that USAID would partner with federal and state health ministries to build stronger health systems.

The is aimed at guaranteeing equitable access to quality healthcare services nationwide.

PHC: Osun qualifies for $500,000 ‘saving one million lives’ fund

Osun State has attained the nine pillars of primary healthcare under one roof and qualified for the $500,000 of the Federal Ministry of Health under the Saving One Million Lives Fund.

Kayode Ogunniyi, Executive Secretary of the Osun State Primary Health Care Development Board (OSPHCDB) said at the validation of the Minimum Service Package and the Operation Guidelines Documents for the OSPHCDB in the state.

The validation was supported by the United States Agency for International Development through its Health Finance and Governance (HFG) project.

He said the state was already qualified for basic healthcare provision fund which is about $2.4 million US dollars for delivery of basic healthcare for the people at the grassroots in the state, particularly children under age five, pregnant women, the elderly people and others that are vulnerable.

Journalists urged to improve reporting of HIV in Nigeria

Media practitioners have been tasked to make government accountable on expenditure of funds in the fight against HIV in Nigeria.

Premium Times Publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, gave this advice at a media parley organised by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Abuja, against the backdrop of limited contribution by government to funding the fight in Nigeria.

Foreign donors, especially the United States Government, provide about 95 per cent of the funds for the treatment of people living with HIV in Nigeria.

Uncomfortable with the situation, Mr Olorunyomi called on journalists, as society watchdogs, to make the government accountable to citizens on health, especially those living with HIV/AIDS.

Psychosis: Cannabis normalises brain function

A new study published in a journal, JAMA psychiatry shows that a dose of cannabis extract cannabidiol improve brain function in people living with psychosis.

The new study was conducted by scientists at the King’s College London at the United Kingdom.

The lead researcher, Sagnik Bhattacharya from the KCL’s institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience said what motivated the study was because the mainstay for current treatment of people with psychosis are drugs that was first discovered in1950s and unfortunately does not work for everyone.


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