Poliomyelitis virus infection in Nigeria has dropped by 98 per cent since 2009, UNICEF said in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
The statement, signed by Paula Fedesk of UNICEF Communication, Media and External Relations Unit, stated: “It is one of the most dramatic reductions in polio virus circulation seen in any endemic country in the history of polio eradication programme.
“Nigeria had had a total of 367 cases in 2009 but only 8 cases as at Oct. 4, 2010.”
It explained that the achievement was the outcome of the sustained effort of political and traditional leaders as well as the commitment of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency.
According to the statement, Nigeria can stop polio virus transmission by mid-2011 if it intensifies its effort and upgrades its eradication programme.
It stressed that the battle against polio was not yet won as the gaps in the programme needed to be addressed to stop transmission.
Nigeria needs to record zero cases of polio transmission for at least three years for it to be certified polio-free.
UNICEF promised to continue its support for vaccine procurement and ensure that the vaccines reached their destinations.
The statement quoted Dr. Suomi Saki, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, as saying that once polio was interrupted, it had to stay interrupted.
Saki also promised that UNICEF would ensure that Nigerian children were protected against polio, adding: “We have to work together to make sure that all children in the country are protected routinely against polio.’’
The official also said that the effort would ensure the protection of children “against other vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus”.
The statement said the Federal Ministry of Health with UNICEF and other partners is working to put in place mechanisms that would deliver maternal, newborn and child healthcare services.
HIV/AIDS: Expert Tasks Govt On PMTCT
An expert in Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS, Dr. Abiola Davies, has called on government at all levels to give priority attention to PMTCT in order to achieve elimination of Mother-To-Child Transmission (MTCT) in the country.
Davies, who made the call recently in an exclusive interview with The Tide stated that since the commencement of PMTCT in 2002, Nigeria has only recorded 45 per cent coverage, against the 90 percent to 95 per cent coverage recorded by countries globally.
According to her, one of the major challenges is the fact that since the commencement of PMTCT in Nigeria, HIV/AIDS program which also includes PMTCT, has been donor-driven in terms of provision of consumables such as drugs and test kits.
“One of the major challenges we’ve had since the commencement (of PMTCT) is that most of the programming in Nigeria, HIV programming, including PMTCT, it’s mainly donor driven. That means we have a developing agents organisation that is putting funding towards programming.
“Definetely, Government provides healthcare workers to work in the facilities. But when you talk about test kits, drugs and the tests that need to be done, they are mainly done by development organisations”, she said.
In order to attain the required coverage, therefore, Dr. Davies said Government need to prioritize PMTCT specifically by owning the process, especially in terms of investing more money in it. “I will love to see that government puts more money, that it’s more driven by government in funding to walk the talk”, she stated, adding that “obviously, who pays the piper dictates the tune, and if development agencies have their own agenda they pursue sometimes, it may not always allign with the agenda of the Government”.
She also noted that beyond funding by donor agencies, the bulk of money currently put in is from the Federal Government.
“Another challenge we have is that although the government is not putting that much money, most of the money is put in at the federal level. Most of the States are not putting that much funding to HIV/AIDS, not to talk of PMTCT”, she said.
Consequently, she called for a declaration of national emergency on PMTCT.
By: Sogbeba Dokubo
Rivers NCSU Urges Members To Register For Free Eye Test
The Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), Rivers State Council, has called on members of the union and civil servants in the state to report to the union secretariat at No. 14 Ikwerre Road, Mile One, Diobu, Port Harcourt as from today, Wednesday, October 27, 2021 and register for the forthcoming nationwide Free Eye Test programme organised by the National Secretariat of the union.
The deadline for the free registration exercise is Saturday, October 30, 2021.
The union, which gave this indication in a statement signed by the State Chairman, Comrade Chukwuka Osumah and the Secretary, Comrade Chukwuma Ofoegbu, encouraged the entire members of the union to avail themselves of this once in a life time opportunity, as it is rare.
According to the statement, after the free eye test, the union, in partnership with TCIC/VisionSpring Limited, will also provide original optical/reading eye glasses (Plana or Bifocal), to those who need them at the cost of N3,750.
The free eye test programme is organised by the National Secretariat of NCSU in partnership with TCIC/Vision Spring Limited.
Treating Piles Naturally
Piles or haemorrhoids are swollen or irritated veins near the anus or in the lower rectum of the body. Piles generally is a genetic disorder. The common symptoms of piles are pain, itching and rectal bleeding around the anal area. It is also believed that as one ages, the risk of developing piles increases. Pregnant women are more vulnerable to piles as excessive pressure in the abdominal area swells veins in the anal area. It is not considered as a severe problem and can disappear on its own. Before looking at some of the home remedies to treat this disease, let’s look at some of its causes.
Home Common symptoms of piles include pain, itching and rectal bleeding around the anal area
Obesity, constipation are some of the causes of piles
Coconut oil lessens the symptoms of piles
Causes of piles
Sitting for long periods
Symptoms of piles
Bleeding is one of the causes of internal haemorrhoids that occur within the rectum or inside the anus
External hemorrhoids are more common and some of its symptoms are:
Irritation or pain around the anus
Extreme feeling of burning or itching sensation around the anus
Finding it difficult to sit
Painful bowel movements
Blood coming out after wiping from toilet paper
Painful or irritated lump or swollen area around the anus
Home remedies for piles
- Coconut oil
Coconut oil helps in lessening the symptoms of piles. Applying coconut oil in the affected area may reduce swelling, irritation and urge to scratch.
- Aloe vera
Aloe vera has rich anti-inflammatory properties. According to one research, aloe vera helps in healing wounds. Itching, swelling and burning sensation caused by haemorrhoids can be reduced by applying aloe vera in the affected part of anus.
However, some people are allergic to aloe vera, especially those who are allergic to garlic and onions. To check the allergy, apply aloe vera in a small portion on the forearms and wait for 24-48 hours. If no reaction takes place, it’s suggested that aloe vera can be used for this treatment.
- Ice packs
Applying ice packs on the affected part of anus can also reduce inflammation and pain. When haemorrhoids flare up, applying ice packs can temporarily reduce swelling and numb pain.
To follow this treatment, ice should be wrapped inside a towel in order to prevent damage to the skin. After doing this, leave the towel on the affected part of the anus for 15 minutes and repeat this process hourly.
- Drinking water
Certain changes in the lifestyle can also reduce the risks of developing piles or reducing the time period of this condition. One research suggests that most anus problems are caused by lack of fluid in the body.
Drinking a lot of water keeps the stool soft and manageable as it passes through intestines. Doing this will reduce the pressure while excretion causing less irritation to the haemorrhoids.
- Intake of fibre-rich food
Fibre is very good for digestion, especially when it is related to bowel movements. Fibre absorbs water which softens the stool and makes it easier to pass.
Some precautions to avoid or control piles are:
- Don’s force the bowel movement. Straining and pushing can make piles worse. If a bowel movement has not occurred after two minutes, it is best to try again later in the day.
- Baby wipes which are alcohol-free also help when one is suffering from piles. Commercial baby wipes or perfumed toilet papers should be avoided when treating piles at home.
By: Kevin Nengia
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