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Expert Decries Low Level Of Blood Donors In Nigeria

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Nigeria has been said to
have less than 25 per cent of voluntary blood donors as against the 90-100 percent of America and 70 percent of most developing African countries.
Consultant Hematologist and Head of Department, Pathology, Dr. Hannah Omunakwe revealed this at the 2016 World Blood Donor Day celebration organised by the Rivers State Government in conjunction with the Rivers State Sustainable Development Goals office in Port Harcourt.
Delivering her lecture titled ‘Donor Health and the Quality of Donor Care as Critical Factors in Building Donor Commitment’, Omunakwe blamed the poor percentage on the low level of care of donors saying, however, that the percentage could be increased should there be a change in attitude of blood donation services.
Omunakwe who faulted the nation’s poor donor management system  called for an improvement to enhance the increase in availability of blood at the blood banks across the country.
She stated that the world Blood Donor Day was inaugurated at the 67th World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2004  aims at ensuring the sensitization of the people on voluntary blood donation which would translate to the availability of blood at the different health facilities for the blood transfusion needs of  patients.
She said “the quality of care builds the donor system to up to 75 – 100 percent. You just have to intensify care for donor and you will see them coming  for donation and enriching you blood banks.
While noting that the nation lacks a donor management system, Omunakwe said “as a responsibility of the blood donation service, you have the duty to care for your donors. We need to change our attitude and begin to practice what is obtainable in developed societies in order for us to compete favourably”.
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, Dr. Paul Kua averred that millions of people needed blood on a regular basis to meet up with their complex medical challenges and surgeries particularly cardiac surgeries.
Kua stated that the BMSH blood bank functions,  however, regrets the shortage in supply and availability of blood and blamed it on the low turn-out of voluntary donors.
He said “on emergencies, we only rely on patient’s immediate relatives for blood donation. Blood is what you cannot use something for.  It has to be blood and so  for a proper tackling of certain health challenges, blood donation has become needful even by volunteers moreso, it is a safe event”.
Kua revealed that the BMSH has been on sensitisation programmes to churches and other groups to get donations for blood, adding blood was not for sale and remained dynamic for dynamic purposes.
The BMSH CMD who lauded the donors for the bold step and concern for fellow citizens said the facility was looking forward to a situation where all blood used for transfusion was from voluntary donors by the year 2020.

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HIV: FG Restates Commitment To Prevent HIV Among Adolescents

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The Federal Government yesterday restated its commitment to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among adolescents in the country.
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with NACA, UNFPA, UNICEF, launched a document on prevention of HIV in Abuja.
The document is integrated into three titles; “The HIV Investment Case for Adolescents and Young People (2021-2025), The National Condom Operational Plan (2021-2025) and National Condom and Lubricants Quantification (2021-2025).”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Yahaya Oloriegbe, identified condom as key in the prevention of the spread of HIV among young people.
Oloruigbe, who commended the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and partners for the effort, called for local production of condoms.
“We need to look inwards by encouraging local manufacturing of condoms in view of government’s dwindling resources, as well as breaking away from over dependence on international donors,” he said.
The Director General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu,asserted the agency’s success in the containment of HIV through prevention and treatment responses.
Aliyu said that the country was committed to achieving the 2030 target of 95-95-95 through collaboration with stakeholders by investing in adolescents.
He added, “we have made huge success when it comes to treatment and prevention with drastic reduction in transmission.”
The NACA boss however affirmed the belief of the agency in using the document to achieve the 95-95-95 target for 2030.
Mrs Zainab Garba of the Federal Ministry of Health commended NACA for launching the document, saying it would enhance young people’s access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.
Garba reiterated the importance of condom in reducing the spread of HIV and maternal deaths among young people, saying it was key in preventing all manners of sexually transmitted infections.

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Doctor Warns Against Indiscriminate Use Of Contraceptives

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A medical expert, Dr Umar Musa, on Monday warned women against indiscriminate use of contraceptives.
Dr Musa, President, Kaduna State Resident Doctors Association, gave the advice when he spoke with newsmen in Kaduna, noted the indiscriminate consumption of contraceptives to ward off unwanted pregnancies and cautioned that while they could forestall unwanted pregnancies, contraceptives were not antidotes for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
He said there was a particular contraceptive pill in hot demand, but also cautioned that its indiscriminate consumption could delay conception or damage the uterus.
“Too much of this contraceptive will weaken the wall of the womb and damage the uterus which will cause miscarriages in the future.
“There are lots of risks associated with the constant use of this drug. Most ladies consume contraceptives in clinically unsafe ways.
“They use these drugs without knowing the way they interact with the body system and forgetting that people react to drugs in different ways,’’ he said.
Musa also advocated tighter restrictions on the sale of contraceptives and suggested that the use of condoms was an option to stave off unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
“While a condom may look like a major inconvenience and a fun killer for many, it would protect one from sexually transmitted diseases and prevent pregnancy”.

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Covid-19: NCDC Records 213 New Infections, Two Deaths

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Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded 213 additional new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 171, 324, as of July 26, 2021.
The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle yesterday morning.
The health agency also stated that it recorded two Covid-19 related deaths on Monday, while additional nine people recovered from the virus, as of July 26, 2021.
It added that the new infections were recorded in 12 states, namely: Lagos-157, Rivers-20, Plateau-12, Enugu-6, Oyo-6, Gombe-3, Bauchi-2, Imo-2, Kaduna-2, Edo-1, Ekiti-1, and Ogun-1.
It noted that since the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease in the country on February 27, 2020, a total of 2,134 persons lost their lives, while 164,798 recovered from the virus and discharged from health centres across the country.
NCDC added that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 2, had continued to coordinate the national response activities.
It stated  that the country tested more than 2.4 million samples for the virus and had detected 10 Covid-19 Delta variant, recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility.
The variant had been detected in over 100 countries and may spread further.
The variant has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation. There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics.

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