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Diarrhoea Accounts For Death Of 194,000 Children Annually -UNICEF

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo (right) receiving a congratulatory card from interim Chairman, Directors Forum, Community Health Practitioners, Rivers/Bayelsa State Chapter, Prince John Egbe, during a courtesy visit to Government House, Port Harcourt recently.        Photo: NAN

Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo (right) receiving a congratulatory card from interim Chairman, Directors Forum, Community Health Practitioners, Rivers/Bayelsa State Chapter, Prince John Egbe, during a courtesy visit to Government House, Port Harcourt recently. Photo: NAN

The United Nations
Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that 194,000 children under five years of age die of diarrhoea diseases every year in Nigeria.
UNICEF said ‘diarrhoae diseases account for nearly 1.3 million deaths annually among children less than five years, making them the second most common cause of children deaths worldwide. Over half of the deaths occur in just five countries: India,  Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Ethiopia’.
According  to the fund, 88 per cent of deaths arising from diarrhea among these children are associated with unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene.
Worried over this alarming rate of child death due to this salient killer disease, medical experts have observed that diarrhoea  – the frequent and excessive discharging of thin watery stool, results in death in the absence of proper medical intervention adding that good sanitary habits like hand washing campaign could be used to save the lives of many children who die unnecessarily every year in Nigeria.
The team of experts who spoke to The Tide during an immunization exercise at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) last Friday, prescribed hand washing with soap or ash at critical times such as before handling food and after defecation or changing of diaper as ways of effective control of the disease.
They said “parents, caregivers and guardians should be enlightened on hand washing strategy which could save more lives than one single vaccine or medical intervention. Children should also be encouraged to promote hand washing campaign because they are the key agents and would often go back to teach their siblings, parents and friends”.
The doctors who noted that in the event of outbreak of diarrhoea, prescriptions such as Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) and zinc tablets would be effective in treating the disease said “ some years ago, we were using ORS which is just salt/water solution but at the moment, we preach that people should use it alongside zinc tablet. This is because the ORS will deal with the dehydration that the child will suffer during diarrhoea while the zinc will restore the child’s energy”.
The Tide researched that diarrhoea and other hygiene related illnesses can be deadly for young children while good hygiene is important to their prevention and hand washing was the most effective way to control the spread of various types of infections and illnesses in the society.
Stakeholders in the health sector have also noted that safe sanitation practices through promotion and proper hand washing have proven to be the most cost effective public health intervention against diarrhea and insist that the public should encourage regular practice of hand washing among children, families and communities to curtail the rate of child deaths in the country.

 

Lady Godknows Ogbulu

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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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