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Rivers MWAN Promises To Take Cancer Screening To Rural Areas

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President of the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Rivers State branch, Dr Betty Agala, has stated that part of the focus of the organisation, under her leadership, is to take cancer screening, especially cervical cancer, to the rural areas in the State.
Dr Agala, who made this known in an exclusive interview, hinted that the focus on rural areas is necessitated by previous concentration of such screening exercises in the urban areas of the State.
“Our vision is to ensure that we have a society where women and children are healthy. We know that when women are healthy, children will be healthy by extension, and no woman would want her husband, son or brother to be ill”, she said.
According to her, although MWAN has for long been engaged in cancer prevention awareness campaign, revelations have been made that a lot of women know virtually nothing about cancer.
“We want to take (cancer) screening, especially for cervical cancer, to the rural areas. We want to talk about prevention with vaccine for cervical cancer.
“By the end of my tenure as President, we hope to screen at least 1000 women, both for breast and cervical cancer”, she said.
Agala, who was in her 100 days in office as President of MWAN last Friday, stated further that cancer prevention is only one of a ten point agenda, which is the focus of her tenure.
The agenda, she said, also include women’s vital health information, which, she explained, has to do with Women’s Health Right to Health Information (WORTHI).
Towards achieving this, she said, a facility will be adopted for the purpose, and will be well equipped to serve the purpose.
“Another thing we want to do”, she continued, “is to appreciate support”.
This, she said, is all about showing appreciation to organisations, groups, and individuals, particularly men, who are supportive of the health of women and children.
MWAN will also create school/health clubs in the rural areas through which debates on health will be organized regularly.
“Before now, we had this (the debate clubs in schools) in Port Harcourt and Ohio/Akpor Local Government Areas, but we want to extend it to the rural areas because we believe that those in PHALGA and Obio/Akpor (urban areas) are privy to a lot of this information”, she said.
She continued that MWAN will also do more on violence against women and girls, in addition to what FIDA and Doctors without Borders have done in the past.
According to her, towards this end, and within her hundred days in office, a State Response Team has been set up by the Deputy Governor of the State, Dr Ipalibo Harry-Banigo.
“Prior to this period, FIDA, Doctors without Borders, MWAN, etc. have been doing something in this regard. But at the State level there has been no coordination.

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Health

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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