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Progress As Ministry, UNICEF Celebrate Child Health Week In Rivers



The Rivers State Ministry of Health in collaboration with United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (A field Zone) flagged off the Child Health Week on Saturday May 22, 2010 at Bunu Nonwa in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The sensitisation exercise took off with a rally from Nonwa Market square involving other villages in the local government Kpite, Kira, Tua Tua, Koroma and others.

An intensive campaign was carried out on maternal, new born and child health eradication of polio in Nigeria, immunisation of women of child bearing age (15-49) years.

Basic message advised adn encouraged women to space for at least two years before getting another baby, and that every child needs immunisation to protect them against diseases that growth disability or death. For example, every child bearing woman needs to be protected against Tetanus.

The message further revealed that a child with diarrhea needs to drink plenty of breast milk, fruit juice or oral dehydration salt (ORS).

Delivering a speech on behalf of the Health Commissioner, the Director of Primary Healthcare, Dr. Akuro Okujagu intimated the crowd that safe motherhood day reflected the degree of respect and regard for women and children right in the society which he declared as an annual event celebrated world-wide every May 22.

He also said that more than 75 per cent population of the state live in the rural communities and one of the ways of reaching out to them is through sensitisation programme organised on safe motherhood celebration like this.

Emphatically, Dr. Okujagu contended that safe motherhood will be understood and embraced by the people. Packages of life saving health services like focused ANC clean and safe deliveries, new born care, post natal care, family planning, immunisation, vitamin A administration, de-worming exercise, breast feeding and complementary breast feeding, personal and environmental hygiene etc. all these are with the ultimate objective to achieve the vision of safe motherhood.

Finally, Dr. Akuro Okujagu said that no woman going through pregnancy and child birth should suffer any injury or loose her life or that of the baby. “That is why this year’s Motherhood Day Celebration started with a rally, it is indeed special.” More lives are touched in many ways leading to a happy and healthy living subsequently reducing marternal and under five mortality by 75% and 66% respectively by 2015. This is in line with the 4th/5th MGDs and everyone is encouraged to embrace the various activities.

In his contribution UNICEF polio representative, Mr. Stan Osum lamented the increasing rate of infant and maternal mortalities in recent years in Nigeria. He regretted that most children are now vulnerable to disease while one in every pregnant woman dies before child birth.

Osum stressed the need for constant vaccination of children against polio among  other related diseases such as measles, tuberculosis, yellow fever and others. Mothers should be vaccinated against tetanus infection and other diseases.

Ministry representative, Mr. Stan Osum also urged communities to join hands with health workers and voluntary organisations such as UNICEF to ensure the success of immunisation in their areas.

In his speech, the chairman of Tai Local Government, Mr. Barry Mpigi thanked the state Government for choosing Tai Local Government for the flag off ceremony. Mpigi was represented by his Vice chairman Sylva Ngbu, who warned against premature sex.

The event attracted peoples from all walks of  life. Tai Local Government featured traditional dances from the youths and other cultural display.

Monitoring the celebration of child health week safe motherhooh, maternal, new born, eradication of polio etc. UNICEF (A Field Zone), the Rivers State Co-ordinator with a team of journalists moved to seven local governments of Rivers State to see how they are fairing concerning the sensitisation programme of safe motherhood, child health week.

Local governments visited are Khana Local Government, Comprehensive Health Centre, Bori, where two hundred mothers were attended to and given mosquito nets as well as with Vitamin A. Awareness was much their challenge.

In Gokana Local Government, journalists went into their health centres women were also in attendance with their children. Attendance okay. They were also given deworming drugs, Vitamins A and mosquito nets before them moved to Okrika Local Government visited Ibaka Health Centre, where over one thousand children attended.

 Administration of Vitamin A, DPT, OPB, BCG measles, yellow fever tablets also took place.

According to Mrs. Ibifuro Elfrida a technician, the team moved to neigbouring communities to create awareness. Generally, the people around these community are poor, but the response was fair.

The team moved to Oyigbo Local Government and visited Comprehensive Health Centre, Oyigbo, met Chief Nursing Officer, Mrs. Ake Alice Amachree, who disclosed that one hundred and one children came and drugs were administered to them. One hundred mothers also came and were attended to. Response was good.

Challenges facing the health centre include the fact that the Health Centre was yet to be equipped. No funding. Only UNICEF and other agencies are helping out. At Asalga Local Government, Buguma, Sister Daba Peter Kio, Deputy Director Community Health Officer in charge of Buguma Health Centre intimated the team no proper arrangement was made as a result the Child Health Day took off late and no drugs for the programme because of some problems in the local government. Mothers and children were however seen without administration of drugs some mothers left as a result of the fact that there were no drugs.

Finally, the team arrived at Abua Odual Local Government and went to Ayama Health Centre.

Sister Elizatbeth Adoki who received the team and remarked that the turnout was great and mothers with their children were given necessary drugs de-worming tablets, mosquito nets Vitamin A etc.

She revealed that this year’s health week the women responded very well. Mrs. Adoki disclosed that she left to Omakwa, Amake and Otari villages in the local government to intimate the women on the need of safe motherhood and to space children in other to avoid loosing their life and that of babies.

The exercise was a success.

Julie Jumbo

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Renew Fight Against HIV/AIDS, EDOSACA Boss Charges Stakeholders



Amidst seeming less attention given to the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS following the emergence of Covid-19, the Executive Director of the Edo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (EDOSACA), Mrs. Flora Edemode Oyakhilome, has called on stakeholders to show more commitment, if the 2030 target of eliminating the epidemic can be achieved.
The EDOSACA boss, who made the call while fielding questions from journalists immediately after the just concluded two-day South-South HIV media roundtable held in Port Harcourt, said the 38th International AIDS Candlelights Memorial was implemented in Edo State.
According to her, the commemoration should serve as a reminder for both those infected and affected, as well as the vulnerable in our society of those who have died as a result of the pandemic.
She stated that the theme for this year’s commemoration, “One Big Fight for Health and Rights of People Living with HIV”, is apt. 
“With just  nine years to go in the UNAIDS ambitious targets of eliminating HIV/AIDS by the year 2030 through the 95:95:95 strategy aimed at achieving zero new infection by 2030, the well chosen theme for this year’s memorial, which is  ‘One Big Fight for Health and Rights of People Living with HIV’, is nothing but a renewed call for girding our loins and redoubling our efforts towards the achievement of this target, especially with globally increasing rates of societal and workplace stigma and discrimination, and domestic gender-based violence, as well other acts of rights denial against People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHIV). 
“The right time is  now or never for all soldiers and gatekeepers in the global war against this most lingered pandemic to join efforts, time and resources towards greater outcomes and dividends from this year’s theme, which encapsulates in one dose the non-pharmaceutical panecea against HIV/AIDS”, she said.  
Towards this renewed fight, the EDOSACA boss urged stakeholders to turn a new leaf.
“As the event is marked today, all should go into sober reflection over the plight of those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as the vulnerable one not yet infected and work towards the  mitigation of their sufferings and plan for greater improvement in their living standards through economic and academic empowerment, capacity  building, skills aqusition and skills improvement, nutritional support, access to quality health services, free prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services, free legal aids, etc., especially for Adolescents and Young People (AYP), widows and orphans,” he said.

By: Sogbeba Dokubo

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Health Benefits Of Eating Apples (2)



The Antioxidants in Apples May Play a Role in Cancer Prevention. While there’s no one surefire way to prevent cancer, apples could help play a role. “Apples may reduce the risk of certain cancers, which researchers speculate is related to the antioxidants found in apples,” says Anzlovar. Research suggests that apples have a very high level of antioxidants, and in laboratory studies, these antioxidants have been shown to limit cancer cell growth.
A review published in October 2016 in Public Health Nutrition found that eating apples regularly is associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers, including colorectal, oral cavity, esophageal, and breast cancers.
The fiber in apples may provide cancer-preventing perks. A study published in March 2016 in the journal Pediatrics found that women who ate more high-fiber foods during adolescence and young adulthood (especially lots of fruits and vegetables) had a lower breast cancer risk later in life.
And another study, published in January 2019 in the journal The Lancet, found that a diet high in dietary fiber could protect against colorectal cancer and breast cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
6. Apples Can Support Healthy Weight Loss
A diet rich in fruit (and vegetables) can help you maintain a healthy weight — or shed pounds — according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Because apples are filled with dietary fiber, they are high on this list. “Fiber slows digestion and the rise of blood sugar, keeping you satiated and less likely to overeat,” says Levinson.
According to that study in The Lancet, people who ate the most fiber had a significantly lower body weight. Research shows that overweight women who ate three apples a day lost 1.22 kg (2.7 pounds) after 12 weeks.
At only 95 calories for a medium-sized apple, this fruit is one you’ll want to keep on hand when sweet cravings strike.

  1. Apples May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
    Time to start eating more apples and other flavonoid-rich foods like berries and tea. Research published in August 2020 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adults aged 50 and older, who included only a small amount of flavonoid-rich foods like berries, apples, and tea in their diet were a whopping 2 to 4 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and related types of dementia over 20 years compared with people who ate more flavonoid-rich foods.
    On top of that, a review published in January 2020 in the journal, Biomolecules, found that quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples, protects neurons from oxidative damage and contains other anti-Alzheimer’s disease properties, too.

By: Kevin Nengia

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We Are Supporting States To Intensify Cholera Outbreak Response – NCDC



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has activated a multi-sectoral National Cholera Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), following an increase in cholera cases across the country.
The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said this in a statement made available to The Tide in Abuja. 
According to a document made available to The Tide states that since the beginning of the 2021, 10,833 suspected cholera cases have been reported with 112 confirmed cases and 289 deaths.
In the last one month, an increasing number of cholera cases has been reported across the states.
The most affected states are Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Zamfara, Bayelsa and Kaduna.
Given the risk of large outbreaks across states,  Ihekweazu said that the agency had activated an EOC.
“The EOC is co-led with the Federal Ministries of Environment and Water Resources, given the link between cholera and water, sanitation and hygiene.
“The National EOC has been supporting states to ensure a coordinated, rapid and effective response to the ongoing outbreak.
“This includes the deployment of National Rapid Response Teams (RRT) to support the response at state level, provision of medical and laboratory supplies, scale up of risk communications amongst other activities,” he explained.

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