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70% Pregnant Women Not Accessing ANC In Rivers …As 136,579 HIV Positive Persons Not On Treatment

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An estimated 70 per cent of pregnant women in Rivers State have not been accessing Antenatal Care Services in health facilities across the state.
Making this known recently during a three -day revalidations meeting for health care providers in Port Harcourt, the Head of Department (HOD), Strategic Knowledge Management Department of the Rivers State Agency for the Control of AIDS (RIVSACA), Dr Isaiah Mac Moses, said out of a total of 390,450 pregnant women, only 27,665 of them have been accessing ANC in health facilities across the state.
The implication of this, Mac Moses, said, “is that about 362,785 pregnant women, constituting 70 per cent, are currently not accessing ANC.
In the same vein, he also stated that an estimated 183,029 people have also been diagnosed of HIV, and expected to be put on treatment.
However, out of this number, only 46,450 have been put on treatment, leaving 136, 579 without treatment.
Dr Mac Moses, who is also the State Implementation Team, Monitoring and Evaluation Lead, stated that the inability of HIV positive persons to access treatment was due to various reasons.
Such reasons, he stated, include lack of awareness on how to access treatment, and a quest to avoid stigmatisation.
There is also the issue of distance from health care facilities and inadequate number of healthcare providers.
In order to check these challenges, Dr Mac Moses emphasised on the need for government to create adequate awareness, and for health workers to be re-orientated against attitudes capable of stigmatising HIV positive persons.
He further stated the need for the government to address insecurity in the rural areas which prevents healthcare providers from working beyond normal working hours and for the government to employ more health workers to check the near dearth of healthcare workers in the rural areas.

 

By: 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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