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School Deworming: Body Tasks RSG On Funding

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The Programme Manager of Evidence Action (EA), South-South, a non-governmental organisation working on children’s health and development, Joseph Kumbur, has called on the Rivers State Government to increase funding on mass deworming exercise in the state.
Kumbur, who stated this recently while fielding questions from journalists in Port Harcourt, said if the State Ministry of Health can leverage resources from the government, it will go a long way to increase school-based deworming exercise in the state.
He recalled that Evidence Action in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO) recently dewormed about 1.4 million children of school age in Rivers State.
According to him, “deworming is a control programme, and the overall intention is to sustain it. There is therefore need for the government to increase funding to the state ministry of Health so that the deworming programme can run even without the involvement of partners.
“The target of about 1.4 million children took place in 17 LGAs, namely: Abua/Odual, Ahoada West, Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru, Degema, Etche, Ogu/Bolo, Obio/Akpor, Okirika.
Others are Omuma, Emohua, Tai, Khana, Gokana, Opobo/Nkoro, Ogba/Egbema and Eleme.
On her part, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Mrs Caroline Wali, stated that the exercise actually started in 2014 in collaboration with the federal ministry of health, WHO, and Children Investment fund Foundation (CIFF).
“The journey to this day began in 2014, when the FMOH in collaboration with WHO and support from CIFF concluded the survey in the state to ascertain the endemicity status of Soil Transmitted Helminthes (STH).
“The result from the survey indicated that 12 out of 23 LGAs of the state had prevalence of 20% and above, which is the minimum threshold, thus meeting the ministry of health criteria for mass deworming of school age children.
“As follow-up to the actualization of the state qualifying for mass dewormning of school age children, E.A, a non-governmental development organization, wrote to the state government in 2017, through the SMOH, indicating their intention to partner with the state to actualize this”, she said.
The Permanent Secretary used the opportunity, to assure that the state government will continue to do “the needful to ensure that this exercise is carried out in the state”.
This is because, she continued, “deworming of school children leads to the control of anaemia, amongst other illness improves concentration and capacity to learn, improves nutritional intake of children, as well as their immunity”.

 

Sogbeba Dokubo

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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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