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Expert Seeks Panacea For Maternal Mortality

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A reproductive health expert, Dr Ejike Oji, has called on Nigerians to provide economic empowerment for women as part of measures to reduce high maternal mortality in the country.

Oji made the call in an interview with newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

Oji, who is also the Country Director of Ipas Nigeria, an NGO, said that enhancing the economic status of women would make them to take the right decision on maternal health and reproductive health.

He said that another way of reducing maternal mortality rate in the country was to provide maternal health care services for free.

He said some of the problems militating against the health sector were man-made and called for a change of attitude by all stakeholders.

“We see women who prefer to go to traditional birth attendants instead of going to see the nurses, midwives and doctors at approved hospitals.

“It is not because they cannot afford it. It is because of the way they are treated in the hospitals. The traditional birth attendants treat them much more humanely than the average health care worker that is trained in orthodox medicine. “

He said though the maternal mortality rate in Nigeria had reduced significantly compared with what obtained more than two years ago, a lot still needed to be done to meet the MDGs.

Oji also said that the Midwifery Services Scheme (MSS) could be used to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target on reproductive health.

In his words, “We have a very wonderful mechanism that is in place right now – the midwifery service scheme.

“Even the United Nations has said that it is the best strategy to reduce maternal mortality in the sub-Saharan African region and Nigeria being one of the biggest nations in the region, can make a lot of improvements in their healthcare delivery.

“The gradual fall we are seeing can be attributed to the scheme. But if you look at countries where those schemes are being run, it is just in a cluster of four local governments in every state.

“If it is done in the 774 local governments we have in this country, if that midwifery service scheme is run the way it is designed, I don’t have any doubt that we will meet our millennium development goal targets.”

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250,000 Women Suffering From VVF

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No fewer 250,000 women are battling Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) in the country.
However, only 3,000 of that number are fortunate enough to be attended to annually.
This was revealed by Board Chairman, North-East Development Commission (NEDC), Maj-Gen Paul Tarfa, during the flag-off of Free Fistula Repair Campaign Project (FFRCP) by the commission in collaboration with the Borno State Government, yesterday.
VVF is an abnormal fistulous tract extending between the bladder and the vagina that allows the continuous involuntary discharge of urine into the vaginal vault.
VVF patients are usually underage/child-brides, who develop the condition mostly after childbirth.
However, experts list the causes of VVF to include abdominal surgery (hysterectomy or caesarean section); pelvic, cervical, or colon cancer; radiation treatment; bowel disease like Crohn’s or diverticulitis; infection (including after an episiotomy or a tear you had when you gave birth) and traumatic injury, such as from a car accident.
Meanwhile, in his goodwill message at the ceremony, the NEDC Board Chairman, Maj-Gen Paul Tarfa, represented by the Board member North-West zone, Hajiya Asmau Mai-Eka Muhammadu, said only 3,000 of the 250,000 VVF victims get attended to.
According to Tarfa, “Statistics indicate that there are about 250,000 women awaiting repair in Nigeria, out of which only 3,000 are fortunate to be attended to annually.
“12,000 new cases develop every year with large numbers coming from the North-East due to the insecurity and increased poverty, which further hindered access to health care.
“It is, therefore, important that all efforts are made to bring succour to this vulnerable group of women to enable them pick the pieces of their lives, by offering them a new lease for meaningful existence within their respective communities.”
The wife of the governor, Dr. Falmata Zulum, flagged off the fistula repair project (FFRCP) at the Conference Hall, State Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri.
It was also revealed that 100 women victims have undergone successful corrective surgery at the hospital.

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Assemblies Of God Women Move To Check Hypertension Prevalence

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As the women of Assemblies of God, Ikwerre -South District, aka Canaan City, converged for a three-day religious summit in Alakahia, Port Harcourt, the need for a careful living to check the prevalence of high blood pressure, otherwise called hypertension, has been reechoed. This is part of the obligations of the management of the women department at the district level, at improving the wellbeing of its members.
Hypertension is a health condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high. Usually, it is defined as blood pressure above 140/90, and considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120.
Addressing participants at the conference, recently, Dr Okpako Ebruphiyo highlighted age, black race, family history, overweight and sedentary living as risk factors for hypertension and cautioned them against the intake of alcohol and table salt as such ingredients are not only capable of provoking high blood pressure, but could exacerbate its existence in the body.
The medical expert who emphasised the imperative for body relaxation as a measure against stress, called for regular exercise, regular medical checkup as well as intake of less carbohydrate with more vegetables. Referring to hypertension as a silent killer, she warned that a careless attitude towards it would lead to stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, weakened and narrowed blood vessels in kidneys, thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes. Others include metabolic syndrome, trouble with memory or understanding and dementia.
Hypertension is the most common modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in both men and women. The prevalence and severity of hypertension rise markedly with age, and blood pressure control becomes more difficult with aging in both genders, particularly in women. According to research, hypertension is less common in women, compared with men, in those younger than 65 years of age, but is more common in elderly (65 years and older) women than men. 
As a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease, keeping blood pressure under control is vital for preserving health and reducing the risk of these dangerous conditions.

By: Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi

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Want Your Marriage To Work?

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*Secret 1
Everyone you marry has a weakness. Only God does not have a weakness. So if you focus on your spouse’s weakness you can’t get the best out of his/her strength.
*Secret 2*
Everyone has a dark history. No one is an angel. When you get married or you want to get married, stop digging into someone’s past. What matters most is the present life of your partner. Old things have passed away. Forgive and forget. Focus on the present and the future.
Secret 3
Every marriage has its own challenges. Marriage is not a bed of roses. Every good marriage has gone through its own test of blazing fire. True love proves in times of challenges. Fight for your marriage. Make up your mind to stay with your spouse in times of need. Remember the vow: For better for worse. In sickness and in health be there.
Secret 4
Every marriage has different levels of success. Don’t compare your marriage with that of any one else. We can never be equal. Some will be far, some behind. To avoid marriage stresses, be patient, work hard and with time your marriage dreams shall come true.
Secret 5
To get married is declaring war. When you get married you must declare war against enemies of marriage. Some enemies of marriage are:
Ignorance, Prayerlessness, Unforgiveness, Third party influence, Stinginess, Stubbornness Lack of love, Rudeness, Laziness, Disrespect, Cheating etc. Be ready to fight to maintain your marriage zone.
Secret 6
There is no perfect marriage. There is no ready – made marriage. Marriage is hard work. Volunteer yourself to work daily on it. Marriage is like a car that needs proper maintenance and proper service. If this is not done it will break down somewhere exposing the owner to danger, or some unhealthy circumstances. Let us not be careless about our marriages.
Secret 7
God cannot give you a complete person you desire. He gives you the person in the form of raw materials in order for you to mold the person into what you desire. This can only be achieved through prayer, love and Patience
Secret 8
Getting married is taking a huge risk. You can not predict what will happen in the future. Situations may change so leave room for adjustments. Husband can lose his good job or you may fail to have babies. All these require you to be prayerful otherwise you might divorce.
Secret 9
Marriage is not a contract. It is permanent. It needs total commitment. Love is the glue that sticks the couple together. Divorce starts in the mind and the devil feeds the mind. Never ever entertain thoughts of getting a divorce. Never threaten your spouse with divorce. Choose to remain married. God hates divorce.
Secret 10
Every marriage has a price to pay. Marriage is like a bank account. It is the money that you deposit that you withdraw. If you don’t deposit love, peace and care into your marriage, you are not a candidate for a blissful home.
So today let us pray for our marriages.

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