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COVID-19: ‘No Challenge In Community Sensitisation’

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As the fight to prevent the rampaging Coronavirus from infecting Rivers people continues, part of the measures adopted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in reaching out to communities has so far not experienced any notable challenges.
The Lead Coordinator for the State Rapid Response Team for COVID-19, Mr Modekai Ifemide Olowole, who made this known after a recent routine assessment of performance of the Rapid Response Team on sensitization in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt LGAs stated that the compliance level has been encouraging.
Olowole, who credited the success recoded so far to the existing mechanism in place, explained that the sensitisation team of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) works with Institutions on ground , adding that: ‘We have come together to offer our support.
“What we did was to sensitise the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to know how they can engage the communities in whatever they are doing.
“If while doing that they need some support from us, we have a Rapid Response Team (RRT) that are working on ground. They have mobility, they have everything,” he said.
According to him, each time any of the Civil Society Organisations has palliatives for instance, to give to members of any community, they use the opportunity to make presentations on COVID-19 preventive measures.
The RRT, sponsored by UNICEF in collaboration with the Rivers State Ministry of Health, and the Rivers State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), he said, decided to adopt the method, knowing that many people in the communities are more bothered by how to overcome hunger than COVID-19.
“If you look at it economically, everybody is hungry. If you go to a community and tell them you want to sensitise them on how to wish hands, they will tell you they are hungry,” he said.
This, he explained further, is part of what Risk Communication entails, and is the platform through which UNICEF aims to support the state.
“UNICEF’s aim is to support the state wherever they are working to pilot a model that is of international best practices and present to the state. That is what we’re doing now,” he said.

 

By: Sogbeba Dokubo

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Stakeholders Advocate Improved Funding For Safe Blood Services

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Some stakeholders in the health sector have advocated that a percentage of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHPF) be used for provision of safe blood services across states by the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS).
The stakeholders made the call in a communiqué signed by the Country Director, Safe Blood for Africa Foundation (SBFA) Idris Saliu, and Maj. Iriah Samuel of the Armed Forces Blood Services, after a meeting organised by NBTS in Abuja.
“There is need for a dedicated percentage of the BHPF by the National Health Act 2014 to be earmarked for the provision of safe blood services by NBTS,” they noted, as contained in the comminuque.
The National Health Act of 2014, Section VI, Sub-section 47-57 is the legal instrument that empowers NBTS to regulate and coordinate blood services in Nigeria.
The health sector stakeholders, therefore, called for the establishment of Hospital Transfusion Committees (HTCs) to ensure appropriate clinical use of blood and blood products to minimise adverse reactions and events following blood transfusion.
They stressed the need to communicate quality standards to relevant blood establishments across the three tiers of government, as well as enforce sanctions for breaches of standards in collaboration with law enforcement agencies.
They called for public health education and sensitisation, using various strategies and communication channels to dispel myths and misconceptions about voluntary blood donation.
The stakeholders stressed the need for survey of health facilities on blood product demands to achieve component production goals.
They also noted that the National Blood Service Commission Bill, when passed into law, would strengthen the NBTS mandate to coordinate, regulate and provide safe, quality blood services in Nigeria.
The Tide reports that 128 participants drawn from Ministries, Departments and Agencies and Non-Government Organisations attended the NBTS meeting.

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The eyes are one delicate part of the body essential for our sight and awareness of our environment. A healthy eye is key to the function of a human being and overall health. Poor eye sight can be depressing and frustrating to any human being, and thus eye care is crucial for better health and happiness. In this edition I have selected some herbs that can help one to care for one’s eyes naturally. Milk Thistle is a popular herb used for eye improvement but it’s rare in this clime, but can be replaced with carrots which has lots of carotenes and carotenoids which help the retina have amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties usually used to detoxify the liver. Fat-soluble vitamins and glutathione present in the liver and are responsible for repairing any eye damage, thus the health of the liver plays an important part in the health of your eyes as well. Green tea really does deliver when it comes to health benefits and disease prevention. The secret superpower of green tea is antioxidants, like vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin which are vital in helping prevent eye disease. Special antioxidants called flavonoids in the tea leaves help protect the eyes against diseases such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and some types of glaucoma. One particular flavonoid known as gallocatechin, collects in the retina and actually protects the retina against dangerous UV rays. Bilberry has a long medicinal history in Europe. It has been used to treat anything from kidney stones to Typhoid fever. During World War 2, British pilots noted that Bilberry jam before a flight dramatically improved night vision. Modern research now supports these claims. Bilberry is known to contain anthocyanosides, which not only have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties but are also good for microcirculation, improving night vision and enable the eyes to adapt to lighting changes. Bilberry, known to contain 10X antioxidants of vitamin C and 50X of vitamin E, is also beneficial for eye disorders like macular degeneration, reducing inflammation of retina and retinopathy. Gingko is not a common herb in our clime but it can be replaced with garlic which enhances blood circulation in the body and the eyes as well. It has also been used to treat the central nervous system and much other eye disease for centuries. In a study conducted by Korean researchers in 2012, biloba extracts were shown to have improved the vision of many test subjects suffering from normal tension glaucoma. It has also been proven to be beneficial to those suffering from macular degeneration. Specifically, garlic reduces blood pressure and other high cholesterol challenges that may affect blood circulation to the retina. Eye patients are advised to eat garlic most often in their food, teas and other condiments. Those with ulcer are advised to use garlic cautiously. Bitter Cola is another herb that has been tested and confirmed by natural health researchers, that helps to enhance eye health. Studies have shown that it’s effective for cataracts and glaucoma. The effect is such that it decreases the pressure in the eyes of glaucoma sufferers. One can chew it or extract the liquid as eye drop. Turmeric is known for its medicinal and anti-inflammatory benefits as well as its positive effects on the eyes. Curcumin, an active compound in turmeric, is known to be effective against inflammation of dry eyes. This well-known spice is also said to reduce the oxidation of the eye lens, which is considered to be a major cause of some eye disorders. The caution however is that these herbs should not replace the expertise of an optometrist. Rather they are meant to be the sole backer of your eye health, incorporating them into your regular diet is certainly recommended to keep them healthy. Along with this, don’t forget to consult your optometrist on a regular basis.

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The eyes are one delicate part of the body essential for our sight and awareness of our environment. A healthy eye is key to the function of a human being and overall health.
Poor eye sight can be depressing and frustrating to any human being, and thus eye care is crucial for better health and happiness. In this edition I have selected some herbs that can help one to care for one’s eyes naturally.
Milk Thistle is a popular herb used for eye improvement but it’s rare in this clime, but can be replaced with carrots which has lots of carotenes and carotenoids which help the retina have amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties usually used to detoxify the liver. Fat-soluble vitamins and glutathione present in the liver and are responsible for repairing any eye damage, thus the health of the liver plays an important part in the health of your eyes as well.
Green tea really does deliver when it comes to health benefits and disease prevention. The secret superpower of green tea is antioxidants, like vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin which are vital in helping prevent eye disease. Special antioxidants called flavonoids in the tea leaves help protect the eyes against diseases such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and some types of glaucoma. One particular flavonoid known as gallocatechin, collects in the retina and actually protects the retina against dangerous UV rays.
Bilberry has a long medicinal history in Europe. It has been used to treat anything from kidney stones to Typhoid fever. During World War 2, British pilots noted that Bilberry jam before a flight dramatically improved night vision. Modern research now supports these claims. Bilberry is known to contain anthocyanosides, which not only have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties but are also good for microcirculation, improving night vision and enable the eyes to adapt to lighting changes. Bilberry, known to contain 10X antioxidants of vitamin C and 50X of vitamin E, is also beneficial for eye disorders like macular degeneration, reducing inflammation of retina and retinopathy.
Gingko is not a common herb in our clime but it can be replaced with garlic which enhances blood circulation in the body and the eyes as well. It has also been used to treat the central nervous system and much other eye disease for centuries. In a study conducted by Korean researchers in 2012, biloba extracts were shown to have improved the vision of many test subjects suffering from normal tension glaucoma. It has also been proven to be beneficial to those suffering from macular degeneration.
Specifically, garlic reduces blood pressure and other high cholesterol challenges that may affect blood circulation to the retina. Eye patients are advised to eat garlic most often in their food, teas and other condiments. Those with ulcer are advised to use garlic cautiously.
Bitter Cola is another herb that has been tested and confirmed by natural health researchers, that helps to enhance eye health. Studies have shown that it’s effective for cataracts and glaucoma. The effect is such that it decreases the pressure in the eyes of glaucoma sufferers. One can chew it or extract the liquid as eye drop.
Turmeric is known for its medicinal and anti-inflammatory benefits as well as its positive effects on the eyes. Curcumin, an active compound in turmeric, is known to be effective against inflammation of dry eyes. This well-known spice is also said to reduce the oxidation of the eye lens, which is considered to be a major cause of some eye disorders.
The caution however is that these herbs should not replace the expertise of an optometrist. Rather they are meant to be the sole backer of your eye health, incorporating them into your regular diet is certainly recommended to keep them healthy. Along with this, don’t forget to consult your optometrist on a regular basis.

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Managing Cold Naturally

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We are at the peak of the rainy season again with its accompanying ailments such as cold, catarrh, cough and fever.
As usual, many people will be battling with how to curb the challenge now worsened with the spread of Covid 19. In short, most of the symptoms of coronavirus like sneezing and coughing can be confusing and instil fear into some people this period.
The challenge is compounded by lifestyle especially for those who are used to sleeping in air-conditioned rooms and fans. These can compound our cold symptoms.
Other sources of cold in most homes and offices include tiles and poor aeration. The tiles are usually cold and exposure to them can increase cold in the body. Therefore one is advised to put on foot wears or socks since our foot contact cold.
Poorly aerated homes can cause ailment. The body needs fresh air to function properly.  As the body becomes oxygenated it is able to withstand diseases. Poorly aerated homes can lead to fungus related like catarrh, headaches and fever.
There are also some home remedies that would help you tackle common cold and cough this season. Besides treating common cold and cough effectively, these home remedies are also free from any side-effects. Below are some time tested remedies that will help you treat common cold and cough this season.
Ginger tea:
Ginger tea not only tastes good but also helps in treating common cold and cough. The tea helps in drying running and dripping nose, thus expelling phlegm from the respiratory tract. Among various health benefits of ginger, it is known to soothe common cold and speeds up the recovery process.
Mixture of lemon, cinnamon and honey:
Another effective home remedy for common cold and cough is a mixture of lemon, cinnamon and honey. This syrup effectively cures cold and cough.
How to make the syrup: In half spoon of honey, add a few drop of lemon and a pinch of cinnamon. Have this syrup twice a day to cure common cold and cough.
Drink luke-warm water often:
Drink luke-warm water frequently as it helps in fighting against common cold, cough and sore throat. Warm water reduces inflammation in the throat and helps in replenishing the fluids and infection out of the body.
Milk and turmeric:
An essential ingredient found in almost all Indian kitchens, turmeric has a strong antioxidant which helps in treating many health problems. Turmeric mixed in warm milk is a popular and effective way to fight against cold and cough. Drinking a glass of warm turmeric milk before sleeping helps in faster recovery from cold and cough.
Gargle with salt-water:
This is an age-old therapy that effectively treats cough and cold. Adding turmeric in this salt-water is also beneficial. Honey and brandy.
Brandy is known to keep your chest warm as it increases body’s temperature and mixing honey in brandy helps in fighting a cough. Just a teaspoon of brandy mixed with few drops of honey improves cough and common cold. spiced tea. cloves, ginger and black pepper: While peparing your tea and this spiced tea is great for your health. These three ingredients play an important role in fighting a common cold and cough.
Honey, lime juice and warm water:
This is a perfect dose to improve digestion and for the circulation system. Adding honey to luke-lime water is the best solution in controlling common cold and cough.
Flaxseeds for cold and cough:
Flaxseeds are another effective remedy to cure common cold and cough. You can boil flaxseeds until it thickens and strain it. Add a few drops of lime juice and honey to it and consume the mixture for cold and cough relief. Ginger and salt cut ginger into small pieces and add salt to it. Chew these ginger pieces to fight cold, cough and a sore throat.
Sauté garlic:
Sauté a few garlic cloves in milk and consume this when warm. This can be a bitter concoction but has a great soothing impact for common cold and cough. Jaggery solution boil water with black pepper, cumin and jaggery to it. Consume this solution when warm and it will give you relief from chest congestion.
Carrot juice:
This uncommon home remedy is great to fight common cold and cough. It may sound strange but this interesting drink helps in relieving common cold and cough.

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