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‘Cancer Burden High In Rivers’

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Medical experts in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital say the cancer burden in the state is on the high side.

Consultant-General and Breast Surgeon, University of  Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Rollings Jamabo, made this disclosure at a talk on screening for cancer, for medical personnel of the hospital last Wednesday.

Dr Jamabo, also the coordinator, Onchology Centre, UPTH, and senior lecturer, University of Port Harcourt, said the burden of cancer in the state is so high that sometimes, it is difficult to cope at the hospital.

He said, “the burden of cancer is so high, the treatment and management is also expensive and the patients generally have no money”, and added that “government need to come in, to declare all endocrine disease like they have done for pregnant women’s deliveries free. Its done abroad and I feel government can afford it”.

On the prevalence of cancers, he said, an average of five breast cancer cases are discovered every week at the hospital, adding that one out of every 12 breast cancer cases die while 35 of 1000 cases of all cancers die annually.

He said early diagnosis is the key to successfully combat cancer and expressed regret that many sufferes of cancer present when it is too late and nothing much except palliatives could be done for them, also saying that, it was unfortunate that those who are in the hospital community do not take advantage of the facilities and present for screening.

In his own paper, on cervical cancers, consultant Gynecologist, UPTH, Kennedy Nyengidiki, said a large number of women present with cervical cancer when the disease has advanced and nothing canbe done about it.

Dr Nyenigidiki stated that cervical cancer is the commonest gynecological cancer  and advised that woman should not want until when they feel very sick before presenting at a medical facility, advising that once any woman experiences offensive vaginal discharge, weight loss, unscheduled vaginal bleeding and contact bleeding she should immediately see a doctor.

He insist that early presentation is the key to cure, noting, “in the developed world 70 percent of women present very early and they don’t have cancer related deaths as much as we have in the developing countries, but here, 80 per cent present very late in which during that particular period, you really can’t do much, with that you go in to palliative cure, making their lives more comfortable instead of looking at definitive treatment for cure for them.

Additionally, he advised that sexually active women and girls from age nine, should be encouraged to take the Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) vaccination for protection against HPV, which scientists say is 80-90 percent responsible for cervical cancer.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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Health

Immunization: Health Board Targets Rural Communities

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Towards ensuring that immunization campaign achieves its target of over 90 percent, the Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board, says it has provided modalities for trained health care providers to reach the interiors of the state.
Making this known in an exclusive interview, the Health Education / Coordinator, Rivers State Social and Behavioural Change Communication Committee, Dr Daris Nria, said provisions have been made to take the free immunisation exercise to the rural areas of the state.
Because immunisation programe will be running concurrently in all the local government areas, and these areas will be empowered with boats or other means of transport, as well as logistics.
She used this opportunity to call on the public especially parents and women of child bearing age to avail themselves the opportunity of being immunized against tetanus and other diseases.
In another development, the Maternal and Neonatal Child Health (MNCH) Focal Person, Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board, Dr Emen-Jaja stated that the MNCH week slated to commence from 20th – 24th September will provide health care services for children under the age of five years, pregnant women as well as their spouses.
Such services, according to her, include administration of vitamin A, deworming exercise, nutritional screening, general health checks, child spacing and birth registration.
“Both women of reproductive age and their spouses who visit the health care centres would also have free services within the week.

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CSO Wants Cancer Treatment Centres In Rivers

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The Rivers State Chapter of the Civil Society organsation (CSO) has called on the state government to establish cancer treatment centres in the state to address the current growing cancer cases in the state.
Making the call recently, chairman of the organisation, Mr Dennis Otobo, said going by the status among the community of states in the country, Rivers State needs such centres in strategic areas of the state.
He stated that “going by the position of Rivers State among other states in the country, we are over due to have enough cancer treatment centres, especially considering the State Government’s focus on the health of her people”.
According to him, “taking some of our cancer patients to other neighbouring states does not tell well of our health services, no matter how we look at it.
“Government should establish cancer treatment centres in the state, at least a one hub treatment centre in each LGA”, he said.
Otobo explained that for now, about 99 per cent of treatments for cancer and related services are provided by donor agencies and patients are taken outside the state for treatment, which requires a lot of fund that is mostly not available.
“If government can provide cancer treatment centres in the state, it will not only lessen the impact of the ailment in the state but will also alleviate the suffering of patients who cannot afford going for treatment outside the state”, he said.

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To Much Salt Consumption, Bad For Kidney – Expert

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A Nephrologist, specialist in Kidney disease, Dr Manda David-West, says excessive salt consumption is one key cause of kidney disease.
Stating this in a recent interview, she said in-take of too much salt is capable of damaging one’s kidney, in addition to raising blood pressure.
“Too much salt can raise up the Blood Pressure (BP), and once the BP is raised, if you are not on medication, It can damage the kidney over time, she said.
In order to prevent this, Dr David West, who is a Consultant Nephrologist at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) called for limitation in salt in-take.
She further stated that to prevent kidney disease, there was the need to cut down on carbohydrate and callory intake, alongside checking food in-take capable of increasing chances of developing diabetes mellitus.
Dr David West continued that enough intake of fruits and vegetables, alongside exercises with a view to keep fit also prevents kidney diseases.
Contrary to wide spread belief that food supplements are good for the body, Dr David West said too much intake of food supplements is not good for the body.
Accroding to her, besides taking fruits and vegetables, “they should engage in daily exercise, try and keep fit and be active as much.
“Even (food) supplement has not been proven to be good to the kidney, especially when it is taken for a long time.

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