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Honey, A Better Cough Remedy Than Over-The-Counter Medicines

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Used for centuries, now, new research claims honey may be a better treatment for cough and colds than over-the-counter medicines.
A team of researchers at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom set out to see if honey was effective for the symptomatic relief of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), which has been used for years.
The researchers aimed to determine honey’s effectiveness for URTIs since the over-prescription of antibiotics aggravates the problem of antimicrobial resistance. Further, honey is a well-known home remedy for cough and colds and has an emerging evidence base for its use. The research is published in the current issue of the journal.
Antibiotic resistance
Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are the most common reason for an antibiotic prescription. Since most of URTIs are viral, an antibiotic prescription is ineffective and inappropriate. Antibiotic resistance is an emerging health threat today.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today. The incidence of the misuse of antibiotics is increasing, and a growing number of infections are becoming hard to treat, including tuberculosis, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, to name a few.
“Antibiotic overuse is a key driver of antimicrobial resistance, rated by the UK government as one of the top 10 risks facing Britain. Furthermore, drug-resistant infections are associated with worse patient outcomes than antibiotic susceptible infections, underlining the impact of antimicrobial resistance on individual patients,” the researchers noted in the paper.
\Honey is one of the most appreciated and valued natural products since ancient times, and it is not only used as a nutritional product, but also in traditional medicine. For years, it has been used in treating clinical conditions ranging from wound healing, eye diseases, and bronchial asthma, to throat infections, and fatigue, among others.
Honey has antimicrobial properties, which can kill pathogens that cause infection, including bacteria and viruses. Apart from this, honey has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.
Further, the healing property of honey is tied to its antibacterial property, its ability to maintain a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity, providing a protective barrier to prevent infection. Honey has antimicrobial property, which is due to the enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide. It also has a low pH level and high sugar content with high osmolarity that is enough to block the growth of pathogens.
The study findings
To arrive at the findings of the study, the research team analysed existing evidence to determine how the symptoms of URTIs responded to honey. The team performed a systematic review and meta-analysis by using Pubmed, Embase, Web of Science, Cab abstracts, AMED, and LILCAS, among other sources.
The team has identified more than 1,300 unique records and 14 studies. Nine of the studies involved children, and most of the studies compared its use with more conventional treatments like over-the-counter medicines.
The researchers found that compared with usual care, honey improved the symptoms of URTI, including cough, nasal congestion, sneezing, and sore throat.
“Honey was superior to usual care for the improvement of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections,” the team wrote in the paper.
“It provides a widely available and cheap alternative to antibiotics. Honey could help efforts to slow the spread of antimicrobial resistance, but further high quality, placebo-controlled trials are needed,” they added.
Honey might, therefore, provide an alternative in treating URTIs, the researchers said. However, they warned that not all honey is made the same way and that it is a complex substance.

By: Kevin Nengia

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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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