Yellow Fever outbreak, breastfeeding week others dominate health stories last week

Breastfeeding Photo: The Guardian
A mother breastfeeding her baby used to illustrate the story
Photo: The Guardian

The health sector last week witnessed lots of events.

One which stood out was the continuation of the World Breastfeeding Week. The week which started August 1, continued till August 7.

During the week, the health sector was shocked with the reported cases 16 death due to an ongoing outbreak of yellow fever in Ebonyi state.

Here are some highlights from the health sector last week:

Doctor fumes as HIV patient dies after rejecting medication

A medical doctor took to her Twitter handle to express displeasure over the attitude of some patients who resort to faith instead of taking their medications.

The doctor, Tolu Adeleke, was making reference to one of her HIV patients who lost his life after ignoring his drugs and claiming to have embraced faith.

Dr Adeleke described the patient’s action as “foolishness”, urging the people not to rely on a miracle from God when there are options provided for humans to live.

16 killed in yellow fever outbreak in Ebonyi

At least 16 persons died in an outbreak of yellow fever in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, the state’s health ministry has said.

Several other patients are receiving treatment at the Virology Centre and Iboko General Hospital in the state.

The Nigerian Centre in charge of disease control has also confirmed suspected cases of the outbreak of the mosquitoes borne disease in the State.

NCDC DG, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the centre in partnership with World Health Organization (WHO) has deployed a Rapid Response Team to support Ebonyi State’s response since July 30.


New Zealand to decriminalise abortion laws

New Zealand plans to decriminalise abortion and treat it is as a health issue, the government said on Monday.

This is the first major reform to abortion laws in more than four decades that some activists said fell short of expectations.

The legislation aims to modernise abortion laws in place since 1977 and proposes that a woman should have access to abortion until 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Breastfeeding mothers can also enjoy sex – Experts

Two medical experts, Subedetu Nafiu, a Family Planning manager, and Olusola Malomo, a nutritionist, on Friday said breastfeeding mothers can also enjoy sex while breastfeeding.

The experts debunked the notion that sperm could contaminate breast milk during sex with breastfeeding mothers.

Mrs Nafiu, who is also a child welfare manager, said that there was no relationship between sperm and breast milk and that people should stop spreading false information on whether the child would suck sperm from breast milk.

“This myth makes many women stay away from performing their marital rights because they are breastfeeding and might cause more harm to marriages.

Expert advises FG to budget, spend effectively on Health

The President/CEO, Resolve to Save Lives, an International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Tom Frieden, advised the Nigerian Government to budget well and spend effectively on public health, especially on epidemics preparedness.

Mr Frieden, a former director of the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said budgeting was crucial if Nigeria was to become better prepared to handle epidemics.

He pointed out that the NCDC had made good strides in the area of laboratory diagnostics and response, but that more needed to be done.

“We need steady investment and support to States and Local Governments as well as effective expenditure of national and international resources available,” he said, adding,“Show me your budget and I will tell you what your priorities are.”

Rise in non-communicable diseases worries health authorities

The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, called on the government to concentrate on tackling non-communicable diseases in the country, warning that they would soon surpass communicable diseases if people do not follow preventive measures.

Mr Kallon made this call in Abuja at the launch of the National Multi-Sectorial Action Plan for Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Mr Kallon lamented that the mortality and morbidity of NCDs in low- and middle-income countries are fast outpacing those of communicable diseases.

Access bank, GE healthcare ease financial burden on healthcare providers

GE Healthcare and Access Bank Nigeria, entered into a partnership to provide innovative equipment financing models for private health care providers in the country.

The partnership is aim at solving the financial challenges faced by private health care providers in procuring healthcare equipment.

The collaboration was also aimed at helping the eligible private healthcare providers such as hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centres and other private practices offering a broad array of services deliver affordable healthcare services to Nigerians.

Protein discovery could lead to new hearing loss treatments

A new genetic study in mice identified two proteins that help organize the development of the hair cells that pick up sound waves in the inner ear.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, believe that their findings could hold the key to reversing hearing loss that arises from damaged hair cells.

A recent paper in the journal eLife gives a full account of the investigation.

Is olive oil safe to use as a sexual lubricant?

A sexual lubricant, or lube, can reduce friction and enhance sexual pleasure. Although olive oil has other benefits for health, people should avoid using it as a sexual lubricant. Water and silicone-based lubricants tend to be preferable.

Health experts said before getting the right lubricant, a person may want to consider whether they will be using a condom. Olive oil has the potential to dissolve latex condoms, which can increase the risk of infection and unintended pregnancy.

This damage can cause these items to tear or break, increasing the likelihood of a person getting pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

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