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Commissioner Alerts On Lassa Fever Outbreak

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One person has been confirmed dead due to renewed outbreak of Lassa fever in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr TamunoiyoriaiSampson Parker,who made this disclosure in a broadcast to the people of the state in an attempt to alert them on the emergence of the disease, said the victim, a  33-year old man who was ensure that building materials trader was  reportedly killed by the virus last week at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH).

Dr.Parker expressed unhappiness over the loss and appealed to residents to  report early at a health facility each time a person experiences fever and other illnesses.

He assured on the state’s preparedness to a no further fatalities are recorded due to the disease.

He described the disease as highly communicable and kills very fast, stating however that it could be treated if reported early.

The Commissioner said the virus is hosted by rodents especially a multi-mammal rat, and is contracted by humans when in direct contact with their droppings, (faeces, and urine) or inhaled from  dust.

According to him, “Lassa Fever is a viral disease of animals which infects man through rodents specifically the ubiquitous Mastomys  Vatalensis.

“It is spread by direct contact with infected feaces/urine of rats and inhalation of their infected aerosols.  Person to person contact through infected urine, blood, semen and aerosols of the infected individuals is also well documented.

“The common symptoms which manifest after about 6-21 days incubation period include fever, rigor, cough, muscle pain, sore throat, facial swelling, weakness, diarrhea, constipation, seizures, deafness and unexpected bleeding.  When identified early in the symptomatic individuals, chances of recovery with antiviral treatment are very high.

Parker also said a ward has been prepared specially for the treatment of anyone found with the disease, and that drugs and medical personnel are also ready at no cost to the patients.

“I wish to inform you that government has risen to this challenge by intensifying surveillance and consolidating on the established control structures.  An isolation ward has been designed and equipped for this purpose at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Choba and a multi-disciplinary task force has already fashioned an integrated approach to ensure that the disease is contained .

He recalled that the state  lost some lives including that of a nurse and a youth corps member to the virus last year and appealed to the public on proper and improved environmental hygienie .

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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Health

World Sight Day: 250 Benefit From Free Eye Screening, Medication

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As part of events marking the 2019 World Sight Day (WSD), the International Association of Lions Clubs, District 404-A2, Nigeria, Region 6 Screened 250 persons in Port Harcourt.
The exercise, which witnessed free eye screening, treatment and medication for indigent persons in Rivers State, was part of the clubs’ contribution to society.
Making this know in a post-screening interview, the Region Secretary, Lion Sarah Walter George said all the 250 persons screened had one from of eye problem or the other.
“Some of the problems such as inflammation in the eyes only required administering of eye drops and other medications for a given period, depending on the case. The more serious cases were referred”, she said.
Lion George continued that the focus on embarking on the eye screening was necessitated by the fact that many individuals are not aware that even when they can see, they still need to go for eye test.
“Now, all the 250 persons tested had eye challenges, which they would not have known if this exercise had not taken place”, she said.
George, who represented the Region Chairman, Lion Rodney Ambaiowei, therefore, used the opportunity to call on people to go for regular eye checks to avoid going blind gradually.
Also speaking, one of the doctors involved in the screening exercise, Dr Usiaphre Eloho Evonny, stated that most of the cases screened were refractive.
According to her, “some people cannot read, while some can’t see from far or near, and there were cases of cataract that requires surgery.
She further stated that as at press time, there were over 100 refractive cases diagnosed.
Highlights of the occasion was the distribution of eye glasses and drugs to cases that required it.
A total of seven lions clubs in the region collaborated in the exercise, which took place at the Abali Park, Port Harcourt.
They are PHC Crystal Lions, PHC new Garden City Lion Club, Nigeria Delta, Lions Club, PHC Pearl Lions Club, PHC Omega Lions Club, PHC Metro Lions Club, and Bonny Island Lions Club.

 

Sogbeba Dokubo

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NMA Wants FG To Include Unknown Patients In NHIS

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The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged the Federal Government to evolve a policy that will include the care of unknown patients in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of NMA, Dr Saliu Oseni, made the call in a statement in commemoration of the 2019 Physicians’ Week yesterday in Lagos.
The Physicians’ Week is an annual event of the association that holds nationwide between October 14 and October 19.
Oseni said that the state chapter would hold a scientific conference on October 16 with the theme: “Care of the Unknown Patient: Policy Overview and Review.”
He decried the absence of an existing policy in the care of unknown patients which had denied such patients easy access to qualitative health care in private and public hospitals.
“We know that a lot of these patients are brought to the hospital by good Samaritans who are not expected to be responsible for the bills incurred after treatment.
“A lot of these cases are victims of road traffic accidents; consequently access to care might be delayed as the provider is worried about who pays the bills.
“This means even where there is a private hospital close by, access to care may not be guaranteed,” he said.

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Breast Cancer: MWAN Calls For Regular Screening

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Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Rivers State Chapter, has urged females to get vaccinated against Human Papilloma Virus, an organism that causes cervical cancer.
The President of MWAN, Rivers State Chapter, Dr. Ibimonye Porbeni, who stated this during a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in Port Harcourt, stressed that early stage diagnose of cervical, prostrate and breast cancer can be cured.
Dr Porbeni noted that breast cancer is the commonest and major public health problem affecting women worldwide followed by cancer of the cervix.
She stated that young girls from nine years and above need to vaccinate themselves  against the Human Papilloma Virus as they can also be affected.
“The Human Papilloma Virus vaccine is gotten in University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, and Medical Women Center, Port Harcourt. Young girls of nine years and above can actually vaccinate themselves against the virus”, she said.
According to her, when vaccinated three times, young girls can actually be protected from the virus, while older women have to do Pap smear once a year, and visit a gynecologist to be examined,
She further advised men to start prostrate cancer screening early from age of thirty-five (35) years as it is commonly seen in older men.
Porbeni however, urged women to go for Mammography examination on the breast in Medical Women Center for early screening.
Also speaking, Dr. Rosemary Ogu, Obstetrician Gynecologist, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, urged women to conduct self breast examination to prevent and ensure no negative changes in breast size or shape, lumps or thickening within the breast.

 

Iragunima Benice

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