The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised Nigerians to stop the consumption of non- iodised salt as “it is dangerous to human health.”
The Director of Public Affairs of the agency, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, gave the advice in an interview with The Tide’s source in Abuja yesterday.
The director was responding to information that people in rural communities were still consuming local salt, which was not processed.
He said that the consumption of such local salt could lead to goiter and other dangerous diseases and called on Nigerians to avoid the product.
According to the director, there are four areas in Nigeria where traditional salt is still being traded, particularly in Nasarawa State.
“NAFDAC is making effort to stop the trading of this salt in these states but some of them have refused.
“With the creation of NAFDAC in 1993, that was the first time and there was still major work to be done on salt consumption.
“We have organised sensitisation workshop on universal salt iodisation.
“We have been educating Nigerians that we should not be consuming this local salt because it is not iodised.
“We began a programme in collaboration with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Micro Nutrient Initiative, Global Alliance and other development partners on the issue.
“We flagged off a campaign against that and it was held in Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, in 2004 under late Prof. Dora Akunyili as the Director General of the agency.
Jimoh said based on the work NAFDAC did then, Nigeria was declared universal salt iodisation compliant in Turkey and also won numerous awards in that regard.
“Nasarawa is one of the identified four major endemic areas, they have insisted that it is their traditional source of making livelihood, it is commerce for them.
“They told NAFDAC at that time that if they must leave the trade, what they will be trading on must be provided for them,” the director said.
He, however, called on those still trading and consuming non-iodised salt in Nasarawa State to stop as the act was capable of bringing setback to the country.
World Sight Day: 250 Benefit From Free Eye Screening, Medication
As part of events marking the 2019 World Sight Day (WSD), the International Association of Lions Clubs, District 404-A2, Nigeria, Region 6 Screened 250 persons in Port Harcourt.
The exercise, which witnessed free eye screening, treatment and medication for indigent persons in Rivers State, was part of the clubs’ contribution to society.
Making this know in a post-screening interview, the Region Secretary, Lion Sarah Walter George said all the 250 persons screened had one from of eye problem or the other.
“Some of the problems such as inflammation in the eyes only required administering of eye drops and other medications for a given period, depending on the case. The more serious cases were referred”, she said.
Lion George continued that the focus on embarking on the eye screening was necessitated by the fact that many individuals are not aware that even when they can see, they still need to go for eye test.
“Now, all the 250 persons tested had eye challenges, which they would not have known if this exercise had not taken place”, she said.
George, who represented the Region Chairman, Lion Rodney Ambaiowei, therefore, used the opportunity to call on people to go for regular eye checks to avoid going blind gradually.
Also speaking, one of the doctors involved in the screening exercise, Dr Usiaphre Eloho Evonny, stated that most of the cases screened were refractive.
According to her, “some people cannot read, while some can’t see from far or near, and there were cases of cataract that requires surgery.
She further stated that as at press time, there were over 100 refractive cases diagnosed.
Highlights of the occasion was the distribution of eye glasses and drugs to cases that required it.
A total of seven lions clubs in the region collaborated in the exercise, which took place at the Abali Park, Port Harcourt.
They are PHC Crystal Lions, PHC new Garden City Lion Club, Nigeria Delta, Lions Club, PHC Pearl Lions Club, PHC Omega Lions Club, PHC Metro Lions Club, and Bonny Island Lions Club.
NMA Wants FG To Include Unknown Patients In NHIS
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged the Federal Government to evolve a policy that will include the care of unknown patients in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of NMA, Dr Saliu Oseni, made the call in a statement in commemoration of the 2019 Physicians’ Week yesterday in Lagos.
The Physicians’ Week is an annual event of the association that holds nationwide between October 14 and October 19.
Oseni said that the state chapter would hold a scientific conference on October 16 with the theme: “Care of the Unknown Patient: Policy Overview and Review.”
He decried the absence of an existing policy in the care of unknown patients which had denied such patients easy access to qualitative health care in private and public hospitals.
“We know that a lot of these patients are brought to the hospital by good Samaritans who are not expected to be responsible for the bills incurred after treatment.
“A lot of these cases are victims of road traffic accidents; consequently access to care might be delayed as the provider is worried about who pays the bills.
“This means even where there is a private hospital close by, access to care may not be guaranteed,” he said.
Breast Cancer: MWAN Calls For Regular Screening
Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Rivers State Chapter, has urged females to get vaccinated against Human Papilloma Virus, an organism that causes cervical cancer.
The President of MWAN, Rivers State Chapter, Dr. Ibimonye Porbeni, who stated this during a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in Port Harcourt, stressed that early stage diagnose of cervical, prostrate and breast cancer can be cured.
Dr Porbeni noted that breast cancer is the commonest and major public health problem affecting women worldwide followed by cancer of the cervix.
She stated that young girls from nine years and above need to vaccinate themselves against the Human Papilloma Virus as they can also be affected.
“The Human Papilloma Virus vaccine is gotten in University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, and Medical Women Center, Port Harcourt. Young girls of nine years and above can actually vaccinate themselves against the virus”, she said.
According to her, when vaccinated three times, young girls can actually be protected from the virus, while older women have to do Pap smear once a year, and visit a gynecologist to be examined,
She further advised men to start prostrate cancer screening early from age of thirty-five (35) years as it is commonly seen in older men.
Porbeni however, urged women to go for Mammography examination on the breast in Medical Women Center for early screening.
Also speaking, Dr. Rosemary Ogu, Obstetrician Gynecologist, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, urged women to conduct self breast examination to prevent and ensure no negative changes in breast size or shape, lumps or thickening within the breast.
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