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HIV: Nigeria To Focus On Mother-To-Child Transmission

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Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Prof. John Idoko,  says the country will focus on Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV.

Idoko said this in Abuja on Monday during a media briefing to commemorate the 2011 World AIDS Day (WAD), with the theme “Getting to Zero”.

“The country’s focus of the WAD 2011 is on elimination of MTCT of HIV in line with the national target of achieving 90 per cent coverage for PMTCT, for pregnant women detailed in the National Strategic Plan 2010-2015.

“The significance of this focus is hinged on the availability of technology for HIV positive parents to have HIV free children and the possibility of using pregnant women to generate an interest in HIV testing in their households. ’’

Idoko said the effort would enable the country to have comprehensive post-delivery care for HIV positive mothers and their babies.

He said there would be an integration of the PMTCT with other related services such as malaria, tuberculosis, maternal and child health, family planning and availability of comprehensive HIV services in communities through primary health care centres.

Idoko said the country’s prevalence rate of HIV had reduced from 4.6 per cent to 4.1 per cent, according to the 2010 sentinel survey.

He said that although there was a reduction in HIV prevalence in the country, he was alarmed at the high rate in some of the states, which was still of concern to national HIV response.

The director general said there has been a significant scale up of prevention, treatment, care and support.

“Currently in Nigeria, there are 446 anti-retroviral treatment sites, 675 PMTCT sites, 1046 HIV Counselling and Testing sites, while the assessment of new treatment and counselling sites was on-going, with plans to provide access to 20,000 patients in the next two years.

Idoko said the renovation of 900 Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs) as a component of the Global Fund Round Eight grant implementation had commenced.

He said the ministry of health and the agency were exploring ways to support local manufacturers of HIV test kits.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NACA has begun consultations with the National Health Research Ethics Committee (NHREC) of the Federal Ministry of Health to enable it secure lincense for the establishment of an HIV and AIDS Research Ethics committee.

Idoko said the major challenge in the fight against HIV and AIDS still remained over dependence on donor support faced by the agency.

For vaccine production, he said, the country was still behind, noting that Nigeria was the first to develop a vaccine plan.

Idoko lamented that the country needed capacity building and funding to forge ahead in vaccine production.

He said, however, that the country had updated and reviewed its plan.

In his speech, Mr Edward Ogenyi, National Coordinator, Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), said that care for people living with the virus was a great challenge to the network.

He tasked the Federal Government to ensure that the bill to fight discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS was passed.

Ogenyi said: “ it is only when a cure is found that the country will say HIV and AIDS is finished”. (NAN)

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Renew Fight Against HIV/AIDS, EDOSACA Boss Charges Stakeholders

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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)

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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

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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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