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UNFPA Wants FG To Check High Fertility, Maternal Mortality

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The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) last Monday advised Nigeria to fight high fertility, maternal mortality rate and migration problem to end poverty and boost prosperity in the country.
The UNFPA Country Representative, Ms Diene Keita, gave the advice at the 5th Annual Population Lecture Series (APLS) with the theme: “Achieving Demographic Dividend: Strategic Tool for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development” in Abuja.
Represented by the Assistant Country Representative of UNFPA in Nigeria, Mr Osaretin Adonri, Keita said that if Nigeria wants to tackle poverty, enhance prosperity and promote sustainable growth as envisaged in Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, it was of prime necessity to address diverse population issues.
She said that problems including high fertility, high maternal mortality rate, migration and the special issue of youth development must be addressed.
“The theme of this year’s lecture is in line with the African Union Road Map on harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in Youth and the country’s road map on harnessing Demographic Dividend through Investment in Youth launched in July, 2017.
“It is relevant to the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020), which in recognition of the risk factor of the high population growth rate in Nigeria prescribed the integration of population dynamics in development programmes.
“With a large population of young people accounting for 31.7 per cent of the population, the country should urgently generate a large number of productive jobs for the growing working-age population.
“Also there is the need to adopt a strong social welfare system for the aged which will in the near future contribute substantially to the dependent population.
“The country must implement appropriate policies on small families, and capital inflow to grow the manufacturing bases and consumer markets, especially to support investment and employment growth in order to take advantage of its demographic situations for sustainable development,” she said.
However, the UN official lauded the federal government through the National Population Commission and other partners for their hard work, consistency and collaboration in ensuring the success of this year’s lecture.
She appealed to policy makers and programme managers to make the best use of knowledge about population issues at the APLS and similar opportunities for development planning; ensuring that policies and programmes were guided by data on population issues.
In her remarks, the Executive Director of Advocacy Nigeria, Hajiya Saudatu Sani, said that the time of planning on the management of Nigerian population was over and it was now time for implementation.
Sani also urged government to invest in the youth, women and girl child education to achieving demographic dividend.
The gender advocate advised the government to adopt the model used in China where there was huge investment on the youth for sustainable development.
“Nigeria must do that now, the time of planning is over, it is time to implement and government must do that now to fight poverty,” 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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