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IPAS Urges Review Of Abortion Law, Access To Contraceptives

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IPAS Nigeria, a Non-Govern
mental Organisation (NGO) which works for the advancement of reproductive health has urged government and policy makers to review the country’s abortion law and grant women access to contraceptives.
The acting Country Representative, IPAS, Mrs Hauwa Shekarau, made the call Wednesday, during the launch and dissemination of the study on the “Incidence of Abortion in Nigeria”.
Shekarau said that the country’s abortion law was cruel to situations where women got impregnated through rape and incest.
“When a woman is raped, she was raped because there was no security measure to make sure she doesn’t get raped.
“But now she is raped and as a result of that, she becomes pregnant, no services to even help her regulate her fertility.
“Just about 11 per cent women of reproductive age use contraception and if you don’t use contraception, how do you prevent unwanted pregnancy, that is why unintended pregnancies will continue to happen,” she said.
According to Shekarau, most women with unintended pregnancies will not keep the pregnancy while many of them will want to terminate it.
She stated that there was high prevalence of abortions in the country that engendered pain, infections and in some cases death.
“People don’t need to come out with their placards to say we want to have abortion and when complications occur, they stay with it because they don’t want to be condemned by the law.
“The law should be reviewed to allow people who have genuine cases like rape, incest and health conditions that can affect the life of the woman”, she said.
She also said that some qualified health care providers who engage in abortion practices do it at the expense of their professional ethics.
Shekarau also pointed out that the experts who engaged in this do it at an exaggerated cost, hence low income women could not afford it.
“Women who live below one dollar per day cannot afford the luxury of visiting experts for abortions because they will be charged so high and the medical experts are not protected by the law.
“As a result, these women will result to quacks where they can get abortion done at a cheaper rate,” she said.

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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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