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CSOs Want FG To Release N55.15bn BHCP Fund

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Civil Society Organisations have called for the timely release of the N55.15 billion Basic Health Care Provision as statutory transfer, to scale-up key health interventions to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
The group made the appeal at the end of the training organised for journalists by United States Agency for International Development – Health Finance Governance (USAID -HFG) project.
The training was in collaboration with Legislative Network for Universal Health Coverage (LNUHC) and International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH) held in Auta-Balefi near Keffi in Nasarawa State.
Senior Health Finance Advisor, USAID-HFG project, Dr Sylvester Akande, said the National Health Act 2014 provides for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) as statutory transfer.
Akande explained that the 2018 approved budget captures BHCPF as capital expenditure not as statutory transfer as provided by the National Health Act.
The Chief of Party of USAID- HFG, Dr Gafar Alawode, said public financing of the health sector was important, if universal health coverage was going to be achieved.
Alawode expressed concern over the low public investment in health in Nigeria, adding that “we need the media to engage government for more investment and efficiency in the health sector’’.
He noted that the media should play an important role in passing the message across and letting the policy makers know the issues, gaps and problems of achieving and realising the aims of universal health coverage.
“The media has an important role in the area of accountability, holding government accountable for the policy statements they have already made in the health sector and financing the health sector.’’
The co-convener of the programme, Mrs Moji Makanjuola, Executive Director, ISMPH, said most of the diseases, which afflict Nigerians particularly in the rural arrears were preventable.
She said a lot of the people in the rural setting do not have information about health and the media had a vital role to play in disseminating correct health information.
She explained that the Basic Health Care Provision Fund was included in the 2018 budget, which the National Health Act provides that 45 per cent would go to National Primary Health Care Development Agency, while remaining 55 per cent would go to Federal Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance Scheme.
“We need to track these and know how they use the fund, we need to know how they intend to build infrastructure that will create demand and supply.
“We need to know the things that are going to be scaled up for Nigerians in the health sector.
“ We also need to see if these facilities will build the needed confidence in the health system that will ensure that Nigerians actually seek treatment from public health facilities,’’ she said.
The Tide gathered that reports that the training is part of deliberate efforts geared towards reforming health care financing, to improve advocacy for health financing reforms in Nigeria.
The training is also targeted at improving the knowledge and awareness of media practitioners on the basics of health financing and components of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

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Renew Fight Against HIV/AIDS, EDOSACA Boss Charges Stakeholders

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Amidst seeming less attention given to the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS following the emergence of Covid-19, the Executive Director of the Edo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (EDOSACA), Mrs. Flora Edemode Oyakhilome, has called on stakeholders to show more commitment, if the 2030 target of eliminating the epidemic can be achieved.
The EDOSACA boss, who made the call while fielding questions from journalists immediately after the just concluded two-day South-South HIV media roundtable held in Port Harcourt, said the 38th International AIDS Candlelights Memorial was implemented in Edo State.
According to her, the commemoration should serve as a reminder for both those infected and affected, as well as the vulnerable in our society of those who have died as a result of the pandemic.
She stated that the theme for this year’s commemoration, “One Big Fight for Health and Rights of People Living with HIV”, is apt. 
“With just  nine years to go in the UNAIDS ambitious targets of eliminating HIV/AIDS by the year 2030 through the 95:95:95 strategy aimed at achieving zero new infection by 2030, the well chosen theme for this year’s memorial, which is  ‘One Big Fight for Health and Rights of People Living with HIV’, is nothing but a renewed call for girding our loins and redoubling our efforts towards the achievement of this target, especially with globally increasing rates of societal and workplace stigma and discrimination, and domestic gender-based violence, as well other acts of rights denial against People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHIV). 
“The right time is  now or never for all soldiers and gatekeepers in the global war against this most lingered pandemic to join efforts, time and resources towards greater outcomes and dividends from this year’s theme, which encapsulates in one dose the non-pharmaceutical panecea against HIV/AIDS”, she said.  
Towards this renewed fight, the EDOSACA boss urged stakeholders to turn a new leaf.
“As the event is marked today, all should go into sober reflection over the plight of those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as the vulnerable one not yet infected and work towards the  mitigation of their sufferings and plan for greater improvement in their living standards through economic and academic empowerment, capacity  building, skills aqusition and skills improvement, nutritional support, access to quality health services, free prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services, free legal aids, etc., especially for Adolescents and Young People (AYP), widows and orphans,” he said.

By: Sogbeba Dokubo

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Health Benefits Of Eating Apples (2)

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The Antioxidants in Apples May Play a Role in Cancer Prevention. While there’s no one surefire way to prevent cancer, apples could help play a role. “Apples may reduce the risk of certain cancers, which researchers speculate is related to the antioxidants found in apples,” says Anzlovar. Research suggests that apples have a very high level of antioxidants, and in laboratory studies, these antioxidants have been shown to limit cancer cell growth.
A review published in October 2016 in Public Health Nutrition found that eating apples regularly is associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers, including colorectal, oral cavity, esophageal, and breast cancers.
The fiber in apples may provide cancer-preventing perks. A study published in March 2016 in the journal Pediatrics found that women who ate more high-fiber foods during adolescence and young adulthood (especially lots of fruits and vegetables) had a lower breast cancer risk later in life.
And another study, published in January 2019 in the journal The Lancet, found that a diet high in dietary fiber could protect against colorectal cancer and breast cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
6. Apples Can Support Healthy Weight Loss
A diet rich in fruit (and vegetables) can help you maintain a healthy weight — or shed pounds — according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Because apples are filled with dietary fiber, they are high on this list. “Fiber slows digestion and the rise of blood sugar, keeping you satiated and less likely to overeat,” says Levinson.
According to that study in The Lancet, people who ate the most fiber had a significantly lower body weight. Research shows that overweight women who ate three apples a day lost 1.22 kg (2.7 pounds) after 12 weeks.
At only 95 calories for a medium-sized apple, this fruit is one you’ll want to keep on hand when sweet cravings strike.

  1. Apples May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
    Time to start eating more apples and other flavonoid-rich foods like berries and tea. Research published in August 2020 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adults aged 50 and older, who included only a small amount of flavonoid-rich foods like berries, apples, and tea in their diet were a whopping 2 to 4 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and related types of dementia over 20 years compared with people who ate more flavonoid-rich foods.
    On top of that, a review published in January 2020 in the journal, Biomolecules, found that quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples, protects neurons from oxidative damage and contains other anti-Alzheimer’s disease properties, too.

By: Kevin Nengia

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We Are Supporting States To Intensify Cholera Outbreak Response – NCDC

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has activated a multi-sectoral National Cholera Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), following an increase in cholera cases across the country.
The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said this in a statement made available to The Tide in Abuja. 
According to a document made available to The Tide states that since the beginning of the 2021, 10,833 suspected cholera cases have been reported with 112 confirmed cases and 289 deaths.
In the last one month, an increasing number of cholera cases has been reported across the states.
The most affected states are Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Zamfara, Bayelsa and Kaduna.
Given the risk of large outbreaks across states,  Ihekweazu said that the agency had activated an EOC.
“The EOC is co-led with the Federal Ministries of Environment and Water Resources, given the link between cholera and water, sanitation and hygiene.
“The National EOC has been supporting states to ensure a coordinated, rapid and effective response to the ongoing outbreak.
“This includes the deployment of National Rapid Response Teams (RRT) to support the response at state level, provision of medical and laboratory supplies, scale up of risk communications amongst other activities,” he explained.

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