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Public Health Prof Wants Pregnant Women To Access ANC

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An expert in Public Health, Prof. Charles Tobin-West, has called on the Rivers State Government to explore ways of making it imperative for pregnant women to access Anti-Natal Care (ANC) during pregnancy.
This, he said, should be geared towards ensuring that the gap witnessed in HIV-positive mothers and ANC is bridged.
Making the call in an exclusive interview recently, Prof Tobin-West, who is a Professor in Public Health in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, stated that one key way to achieve this is for the government to ensure that women are recruited into attending ANC, which is provided in all Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities across the state.
“The importance of attending ANC during pregnancy can never be overemphasised. It is one of the veritable ways of ensuring that women are properly looked after during pregnancy to ensure that delivery outcomes are better”, he said.
Dr Tobin-West noted that knowing that available data shows that the state is lagging behind in the number of pregnant women accessing ANC, it behooves the State Primary Health Care Board to come up with ways of instituting ANC for pregnant women.
According to him, this can be done through the Local Government Areas (LGAs), Medical Officer of Health, and the Health Care Centres across the state.
He stated that women should be re-oriented from communities in the LGAs and made to understand the benefits of ANC care for their children before delivery.
He also used the opportunity to explain that when pregnant women dutifully access ANC, it is easier to carry out Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) on HIV/AIDS, and tracking of such women and their infants.
Tobin-West continued that women that are tracked should be enrolled into treatment, and be given treatment such that “even when the woman is getting lost, you can call the treatment supporter.
“One of the two key functions of the treatment supporter is to ensure that the women takes part in treatment and in facility attendance for both counseling and adherence”, he stated.

 

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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