Nigeria and the rest of the world continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic which has infected over 18 million people and caused at least 689,075 deaths worldwide.
Nigeria has recorded over 43,000 cases and over 850 deaths.
The pandemic has disrupted human activities and plans and overshadowed other health issues across the world, such as the World Hepatitis Day celebrated on July 28.
Here is a round-up of some of the health stories which made headlines in the week.
Coronavirus: Nigeria records lowest number of cases in two weeks
Nigeria recorded its lowest number of confirmed coronavirus infections in at least two weeks with 386 new infections announced on Saturday.
The new figures brought the number of infections in Africa’s most populous country to 43, 537, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The latest update was slightly lower than the 462 cases recorded on Friday and the 481 on Thursday.
Despite the slight decrease in the past three days, Nigeria still had an average of 500 cases per day in the past two weeks.
Over 20 million Nigerians infected with hepatitis – Minister
About 20 million Nigerian are chronically infected with hepatitis B and C, the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, said on Tuesday.
Mr Ehanire, while speaking at the World Health Organization (WHO) virtual high-level commemoration of World Hepatitis Day, said viral hepatitis B and C is endemic in the country.
“In 2018, Nigeria conducted a National AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey which showed a prevalence of 8.1 per cent for Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and 1.1 per cent for Hepatitis C (HCV).
“We can estimate that about 20 million people are chronically infected,” he said.
World Hepatitis Day: Poor awareness threatens Nigeria’s battle to eliminate disease
At least 30 Nigerians interviewed by PREMIUM TIMES on Monday did not know some of the common symptoms of hepatitis, which include abdominal pain and fatigue. Some have been screened for the disease but do not know there is a vaccine that can protect them against the viral infection.
Many victims of the disease have not been lucky to detect it early. Most times, the disease is diagnosed at a late stage or after it has caused other damages to their bodies, especially the liver.
HEALTH: Malaria deaths could surge due to COVID-19 if not checked – Nigerian govt
The National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) has warned that malaria deaths could double in Sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2020 if prevention and treatment interruptions due to COVID-19 continue.
The NMEP National Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Health, Audu Mohammed, who gave the warning, said there had been a reduction in malaria prevalence from 42 per cent to 23 per cent according to an NDHS research in 2018.
But he fears that the COVID-19 outbreak has jeopardised the progress made and caused a fall in the 38 per cent reduction of mortality rates already achieved in 2018.
FG rejects Reps’ move to establish Cancer Registry
The Federal Government has rejected a House of Representatives Bill seeking to establish a Cancer Registry in Nigeria to provide for compilations of statistics record to the incidence of cancer and give a basis for research and treatment.
The Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire, who disclosed this in Abuja while speaking during a public hearing by the House Committee on Health Services chaired by Tanko Sununu on three critical health bills, noted that the functions of the proposed Registry is already been carried out by Territory health institutions and the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research.
One-third of global children population poisoned by lead – Study
About one-third of children in the world are affected by lead poisoning, a new study has shown.
The study carried out by United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) and Pure Earth, an international non-profit organisation focused on pollution issues, shows that “lead poisoning is affecting children on a massive and previously unknown scale.”
According to the study, which is the first of its kind, nearly half of these children live in South Asia
COVID-19 Response: FG receives 2nd batch medical supplies of UN Basket Fund
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, joined other stakeholders to receive 2nd Batch Medical Supplies purchased with UN Basket Fund for COVID-19 Response on behalf of the Federal Government.
Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Information, Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health, said this in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja.
Mre Oyetomi said Mr Ehanire joined the National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, at the Cargo Section of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to receive the medical supplies from EU contributions worth N26 billion.
Feature: Giving hope to pregnant COVID-19 patients: LUTH in giant strides
With an estimated 6.4 million babies to be born in Nigeria during the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many expectant women who should be glad at the figure have rather become apprehensive.
The figure released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) shows that the babies will be born up to 40 weeks from March 11, when COVID-19 was recognised as a pandemic.
Although, the World Health Organisation (WHO) maintains that, at present, there is no evidence that pregnant women are at higher risk of severe illness than the general population, pregnant women in Nigeria are bothered about bringing life during a pandemic, considering the associated risks, strained healthcare and fear of infection.
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, high-quality and timely maternal healthcare services were deficient, inaccessible or not affordable for thousands of women in Nigeria, a factor that contributes to maternal mortality in the country.
Trafficking heightens spread of STI, HIV — UNFPA
Trafficking in persons has been identified as one of the major factors capable of heightening the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV infections globally.
Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), said this in a statement to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja by Kori Habib, Media Associate, UNFPA.
Ms Kanem said that traffickers preyed on the poor and the vulnerable, binding them in unspeakable conditions where every human right was violated.
She decried the cruel manner in which traffickers wielded physical and psychological violence, drugs, and sexual abuse as weapons to control their victims especially women and girls.
Kano govt distributes 2 million face masks to drivers, students
The Kano State Government has distributed over two million face masks to various groups in the state, in an effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The distribution of the face masks was flagged off by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
Mr Ganduje said the National Association of Transport Owners (NARTO), the National Union of Transport Workers (NURTW), student unions and market associations, among others, will benefit from the exercise.
He noted that the state government had made the wearing of face mask compulsory in public places across the state.