The Rivers State Ministry of Health in collaboration with United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (A field Zone) flagged off the Child Health Week on Saturday May 22, 2010 at Bunu Nonwa in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The sensitisation exercise took off with a rally from Nonwa Market square involving other villages in the local government Kpite, Kira, Tua Tua, Koroma and others.
An intensive campaign was carried out on maternal, new born and child health eradication of polio in Nigeria, immunisation of women of child bearing age (15-49) years.
Basic message advised adn encouraged women to space for at least two years before getting another baby, and that every child needs immunisation to protect them against diseases that growth disability or death. For example, every child bearing woman needs to be protected against Tetanus.
The message further revealed that a child with diarrhea needs to drink plenty of breast milk, fruit juice or oral dehydration salt (ORS).
Delivering a speech on behalf of the Health Commissioner, the Director of Primary Healthcare, Dr. Akuro Okujagu intimated the crowd that safe motherhood day reflected the degree of respect and regard for women and children right in the society which he declared as an annual event celebrated world-wide every May 22.
He also said that more than 75 per cent population of the state live in the rural communities and one of the ways of reaching out to them is through sensitisation programme organised on safe motherhood celebration like this.
Emphatically, Dr. Okujagu contended that safe motherhood will be understood and embraced by the people. Packages of life saving health services like focused ANC clean and safe deliveries, new born care, post natal care, family planning, immunisation, vitamin A administration, de-worming exercise, breast feeding and complementary breast feeding, personal and environmental hygiene etc. all these are with the ultimate objective to achieve the vision of safe motherhood.
Finally, Dr. Akuro Okujagu said that no woman going through pregnancy and child birth should suffer any injury or loose her life or that of the baby. “That is why this year’s Motherhood Day Celebration started with a rally, it is indeed special.” More lives are touched in many ways leading to a happy and healthy living subsequently reducing marternal and under five mortality by 75% and 66% respectively by 2015. This is in line with the 4th/5th MGDs and everyone is encouraged to embrace the various activities.
In his contribution UNICEF polio representative, Mr. Stan Osum lamented the increasing rate of infant and maternal mortalities in recent years in Nigeria. He regretted that most children are now vulnerable to disease while one in every pregnant woman dies before child birth.
Osum stressed the need for constant vaccination of children against polio among other related diseases such as measles, tuberculosis, yellow fever and others. Mothers should be vaccinated against tetanus infection and other diseases.
Ministry representative, Mr. Stan Osum also urged communities to join hands with health workers and voluntary organisations such as UNICEF to ensure the success of immunisation in their areas.
In his speech, the chairman of Tai Local Government, Mr. Barry Mpigi thanked the state Government for choosing Tai Local Government for the flag off ceremony. Mpigi was represented by his Vice chairman Sylva Ngbu, who warned against premature sex.
The event attracted peoples from all walks of life. Tai Local Government featured traditional dances from the youths and other cultural display.
Monitoring the celebration of child health week safe motherhooh, maternal, new born, eradication of polio etc. UNICEF (A Field Zone), the Rivers State Co-ordinator with a team of journalists moved to seven local governments of Rivers State to see how they are fairing concerning the sensitisation programme of safe motherhood, child health week.
Local governments visited are Khana Local Government, Comprehensive Health Centre, Bori, where two hundred mothers were attended to and given mosquito nets as well as with Vitamin A. Awareness was much their challenge.
In Gokana Local Government, journalists went into their health centres women were also in attendance with their children. Attendance okay. They were also given deworming drugs, Vitamins A and mosquito nets before them moved to Okrika Local Government visited Ibaka Health Centre, where over one thousand children attended.
Administration of Vitamin A, DPT, OPB, BCG measles, yellow fever tablets also took place.
According to Mrs. Ibifuro Elfrida a technician, the team moved to neigbouring communities to create awareness. Generally, the people around these community are poor, but the response was fair.
The team moved to Oyigbo Local Government and visited Comprehensive Health Centre, Oyigbo, met Chief Nursing Officer, Mrs. Ake Alice Amachree, who disclosed that one hundred and one children came and drugs were administered to them. One hundred mothers also came and were attended to. Response was good.
Challenges facing the health centre include the fact that the Health Centre was yet to be equipped. No funding. Only UNICEF and other agencies are helping out. At Asalga Local Government, Buguma, Sister Daba Peter Kio, Deputy Director Community Health Officer in charge of Buguma Health Centre intimated the team no proper arrangement was made as a result the Child Health Day took off late and no drugs for the programme because of some problems in the local government. Mothers and children were however seen without administration of drugs some mothers left as a result of the fact that there were no drugs.
Finally, the team arrived at Abua Odual Local Government and went to Ayama Health Centre.
Sister Elizatbeth Adoki who received the team and remarked that the turnout was great and mothers with their children were given necessary drugs de-worming tablets, mosquito nets Vitamin A etc.
She revealed that this year’s health week the women responded very well. Mrs. Adoki disclosed that she left to Omakwa, Amake and Otari villages in the local government to intimate the women on the need of safe motherhood and to space children in other to avoid loosing their life and that of babies.
The exercise was a success.
Gender Violence Increases HIV/AIDS,RSG Warns
The Rivers State Government has warned that gender-based violence increases incidence of HIV/AIDs, unwanted pregnancies among other health ailments.
The state Commissioner for Health ,Dr. Adaeze Oreh made the disclosure during the kick-off of the 16-days statewide campaign against gender-based violence.
“She also listed other health problems associated with gender based-violence that include sexually transmitted diseases (STDS), rectal incontinence and addictive behaviours.
“The commissioner used the occasion to enlist the support of individuals, organisations, government around the world to eliminate gender -based violence.“
“Dr. Oreh in a broadcast last weekend to commence the campaign against gender-based violence stressed the need to check the menace which she believed affects families and the society.
“According to her, all forms of anti-social behaviours like rape, sexual and child slavery, forced prostitution, forced abortion and pregnancy perpetrated against the girl child and women should be eliminated.
Said she, the concern of the Rivers State Government is the health implications of gender-based violence which includes increased HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.
She reiterated that the citizens have key role to play to prevent gender- based violence and its consequences by reporting cases promptly to health facilities in the state.
By: Kevin Nengia
Getting Trimmed Naturally
There are a lot of misconceptions about weight gain. The first is that weight gain comes from extra calories we do consume that we do not expend. Experts say we eat too much and exercise little. So if one gets fatter, then, surely he or she must be eating too much.
The other misconception is that once we cut our food, then, we will naturally become trimmed. All these are hinged on the diet theory, which only works for some time.
Over the past 40 years, studies have shown that you can not get clinically significant effect from cutting down on your calories. Even though experts are saying that sloth is responsible for weight gains- they overlook one basic truth that dieting only works for a short period.
The new study that seems to break those myths about body fat is now revealing some stunning facts. The kind of food we eat makes us fat. Two scientists at University of Pennsylvania, Mitchell Lazar and Cardiologist Allan Sniderman at McGill University, all in the United States have shown that food that we eat often makes us pack in flesh. These include bread, plain baked potatoes, and plain pasta, rice, sweet corn. They confirmed that fatty foods are not the enemy but easily digested carbohydrates, while steak, burgers, cheese or sour cream help us lose weight and keep our heart healthy.
This sounds ironical, but it has been discovered that those who do diet and avoid those foods end up getting hungry. What happens is that when you conserve energy or burn less energy, you are bound to add more flesh. Many public health authorities want us to practise energy balance, which is a new way to say that you should not take more calories than one expends.
No matter how one counts what he or she eats, it is impossible to determine calories and know when we are over board. No matter how good you are at counting calories, you can’t do it. So its couple of sips of soft drinks and few bites of humburger that can make you add weight. That means it at the point when we eat extra than the body want that the body store excess as fat.
The myth of exercising to reduce weight is really making waves. Exercise is helpful but it is not the main ingredient for fat burning. The funny truth is that the two things we tell people to do in order to lose weight-eat less and exercise more- are the exact two things that make one more hungry. Thus, there is need for balance. If one must exercise, then it should be done moderately so as to allow the body to recover the strenght.
The reality is that insulin is the primary hormone that makes one to add weight, especially one eats food that spikes insulin like bread, biscuits, sweets, soft drinks. It is refined carbohydrates that raise insulin levels in the body. Explained in simple terms, your fat tissue is more like your wallet, and your meals are like going to the ATM. You know how you use the ATM: You put the cash in your wallet and gradually spend it, and when you get too low on cash, you go back to the ATM. It is the insulin that locks the money in your wallet, so you keep going to the ATM, and your fat cells are getting fatter and fatter. More often, you become hungry and you eat again because the insulin can not get at the fatty acids leading to weight gain.
Low carb diet is key if you are to get trimmed. In Africa where stables are more of carbohydrate it is best to choose those with fibre. It is difficult to follow the Atkins diet like eating skinless chicken and green salad, melted mozzarella cheese and all those western diet.
An example of a workable diet is to include eggs more often and cut down on processed foods, especially processed carbohydrate. Complex carbohydrate, and vegetables have more fibre and make you get filled quickly. Instead of Irish potato, go for sweet potatoes, oats that have more fibre. I advise people to eat garri than processed plantain and wheat meals. By the way, processed wheat can worsen the body ails.
By: Kelvin Nengia
Who Formulates New Drug Treatment For Children
The World Health Organisation(WHO) has disclosed plans for new child care formulations.
The new programme if approved will drive innovations for better paediatric medicines.
The world health apex body since 2015 has reported decline in infant and child mortality but observed that there is a lack of research into new life-saving tools targeted at children.
This it said is partly due to the complexity of conducting studies including the youngest age groups.
“Children cannot swallow tablets or capsules, often cannot bear the taste of liquid medicines and metabolise drugs differently as they develop and grow.”
New drugs formulations is aimed at making medicines palatable, scored, crushable, dispersible (i.e. disintegrates quickly in water), chewable, sprinkled on food orr mixed with breast milk.
Stressing the need to improve the lives of infants and children , WHO stated that most drugs are not quality assured, especiallyin low income countries.
Once this is acheived it noted that it will help drive Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG 3, for good health and wellbeing, and the related target to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.
Already, GAP-f network partners are working together to remove barriers to developing and delivering appropriate, quality, affordable and accessible medicines for children.
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