Indisputably, appropriate childhood growth and development is often to a very large extent facilitated by adequate and ideal nutrition as inadequate knowledge of what constitutes genuine nutrition on the part of parents could result into malnutrition and other diseases for infants.
This perharps explains the rationale behind the commitment of Nigeria’s advocate of ideal health for all, the National Agency for Food, Drug and Administration Control (NAFDAC) towards a befitting feeding partern for Nigerian babies by confronting infants developmental challenges through relentless emphasis on the imperativeness of an adequately sustained and standardized nutrition for Nigerian infants.
Armed with the belief that only healthy, quality and ideal nutrition for infants at birth could guarantee appreciable and dynamic developmental growth for them, it has consequently implored all nursing and intending mothers nationwide to urgently, embrace the internationally acceptable “six months mandatory exclusive and intensive breastfeeding for the newborn, with subsequent complimentary nutrition from both local foods and natural milk substitutes with continuous breast milk application for a period of two years or more.
Remarkably, the current mode of infants nutrition being canvassed by the Dr Paul Orhii led NAFDAC management team, is absolutely in line with globally recommended health practices as supported by numerous international health organisations among which are the World Health Organisation (WHO),United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF) as well as the World Alliance for Breast Feeding Action(WABA)which coordinates the annual World breastfeeding week, to mention just a few.
Undoubtedly, in spite of the various internationally acclaimed sophistications that seems to have characterised human mode of existence over the years, human female breast milk have remained the most unique, nutritious, dependable and highly inegligible commodity certified globally as suitable for feeding newly born babies in view of its very rich nutritional contents such as adequate protein, fats, carbohydrate, salt, minerals, vitamins, water, sugar, anti-bodies, ideal temperature, bacterial free status etc.
Unfortunately, the comprehensive adoption of this internationally adjudged highly nutritious and pro-infant development ingredients laden substance for infant nutrition by Nigerian nursing mothers appears to have suffered severe setback in recent times due to the emergence of numerous varieties of breast milk substitutes which ardorns the nation’s markets.
While some mothers hinge their preference for these artificial alternative nutrition on the need to adequately and urgently meet work demand at offices as co-bread winners for their families in line with modern economic demand, some consider it as a strain free and stress free alternative while simultaneously helping them to maintain and retain very enviable and attractive shapes for the admiration of both the general public, their spouses or husbands.
From whichever perspective these arguments are being critically examined, natural human female breast milk remains the most highly nutritious and therefore more advantageous than its numerous man made substitutes which abounds in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
Conscious of the numerous negative implications of current maternal practices whereby breast milk substitutes appears to have taken over the place of natural milk as ideal nutrition for babies, various countries of the World have painstakingly evolved various strategies and techniques meant to encourage nursing and expectant mothers to resort to the use of natural milk as a most ideal means of nutrient for their babies.
Interestingly, Nigeria, an internationally revered and acclaimed Giant of Africa, is however not left out in the current global health boosting practices as her unique and vibrant healthy Nigeria guaranteeing machinery tagged, the National Agency For Food, Drug and Administration sControl, acronym NAFDAC, has since swung into full action in this regard impressing on mothers nationwide, the need to ensure that their infants are fed exclusively, intensively and adequately with natural breast milk minimally for six months from date of birth before ideal breast milk substitutes and locally available foods could be adopted as complimentary nutrients while still continuing with breast feeding for over two years.
Being an agency of the Nigerian Government saddled with the scientific cum medical responsibility to guarantee a healthy population in accordance with its enabling Act tagged:decree number 15 of 1993,amended by decree 19 of 1999 and now known as Act Cap N1,Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 and mandated to regulate as well as control the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale and use of Foods, Drugs, Cosmetics, Medical Devices, Packaged Water, Chemicals and Detergents collectively regarded by the agency as “regulated products, ’NAFDAC has left no one in doubt particularly since the advent of the agency’s current management team as to its total determination to ensure and achieve a sustainable, durable, dependable health for both old and young Nigerians including infants.
This laurel winning agency, is absolutely mindful of the fact that Nigerian infants which will in turn metamorphose into ‘the youth ’often regarded as the nation’s leaders of tomorrow, absolutely deserves the best of both care and nutrition to be medically fit so as to ideally confront the perceived socio-economic and political challenges of the future.
It is also aware that the economic, political and social success of any nation ,is largely dependent on the availability of adequate and highly dependable human resource potentials and thus its current insistence on a very good, amiable, reliable and virile developmental background for the nation’s infants who incidentally are our tomorrow’s adults thereby alluding to the popular saying that ‘it is an egg that becomes a Hen’.
Expectedly, NAFDAC has severally, made series of very frantic and highly positive result oriented efforts aimed at enlightening and educating Nigerian mothers in this regard.
Among such infants life saving efforts include, placement of pro-exclusive natural breast milk/breast feeding messages on radio, television, daily newspapers, weekly tabloid and magazines, erection and display of bill boards at strategic locations nationwide, printing and free distribution of public enlightenment booklets (eg NAFDAC campaigns-which comprises varieties of educative messages in this regard) etc.
Interestingly, the benefits derivable from ideally complying with this regulatory agency’s directives on infants feeding pattern and techniques are indeed numerous and as such only few of such advantages are highlighted bellow.
Apart from fostering a very strong mother –baby relationship via the promotion of a psychological bond between babies and their mothers, utilising human female breast milk for feeding infants out rightly reduces the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, cervical or ovarian cancers.
It helps to prevent obesity, complications at child birth, maternal mortality as well as check social ills.
Breast feeding accords babies the opportunity and ability to grow faster, stronger, healthier, happier, garner the needed weight, reduces risk of infections, allergy potentials, convenience, enables mothers to speedily return to pre-pregnancy weight as well as encourages child spacing.
Conclusively therefore, the promotion, protection as well as outright support for exclusive, intensive and durable breast feeding as a more ideal nutrition for new born babies should be compulsorily embraced by all and sundry in the interest of our infants, nation and posterity more so that breast milk has been proven by experts as incontestably advantageous particularly due to its vantage status as the milk that nature has already provided for babies and has the ability to adjust itself during feeding so that infants first gets ‘foremilk’ which they gulp easily to quench their thirst and desire to suck the eventual richer ’hind milk’ which satisfies babies appetite. We must all heed the music of reasoning as being played by NAFDAC since to be forewarned they say is to be forearmed.
Ikhilae resides in Port Harcourt.
Ogun Seals College’s Nursing Department Over Illegal Operations
The Nursing Department of the Harvarde College of Science Business and Management Studies in Abeokuta has been shut.
The department was sealed yesterday for operating without accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN).
The enforcement team comprised officials of enforcement team of the Ogun Ministry of Health and members of the State Nursing and Midwifery Committee (SNMC).
Speaking during the enforcement exercise, the Permanent Secretary, Ogun Ministry of Health, Dr Kayode Oladehinde, said that the private institution had been offering a degree programme in Nursing Sciences.
He added that this had been going on for about six years without accreditation from the regulatory body.
Oladehinde, represented by the Acting Director of Nursing Services, Mrs Serifat Aminu, said that such unauthorised programme contributed to quackery in nursing and posed a threat to public health.
According to him, the nursing department of the institution will remain sealed until fully accredited.
He described a degree in Nursing obtained from Harvarde College and similar institutions without NMCN accreditation as worthless, stating that graduates would be unable to obtain a valid license to practice in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
“We have discovered that many institutions, including Harvarde College, offer nursing degrees to unsuspecting students.
“Our mission is to clamp down on such institutions because they end up producing quacks in the nursing profession.
“This is dangerous for society. Unfortunately, most students are unaware that their time is being wasted,” he said.
The permanent secretary advised parents and candidates desiring to pursue nursing or related programmes to conduct due diligence by checking the NMCN website for a list of accredited institutions, saying the regulatory body updated the list yearly.
He warned parents to be cautious of institutions making false claims, assuring that the Ogun government would continue to work diligently against quackery in both the education and practice of the nursing profession in the state.
Responding, a 300-level student, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed shock at the institution’s lack of accreditation, regretting the amount of money her parents had spent on the
WHO Proposes New Health Regulations On Equity
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations with discussions on equity.
WHO member states had commenced discussions on proposals to amend the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005), during which the importance of their work to future global security was highlighted.
The/ seventh meeting of the/ Working Group on Amendments to the IHR (WGIHR)/ was held February 5-9, 2024, and discussion will resume on March 8 next month.
“This Working Group will define the next 10 years of global surveillance and of collective security when it comes to health emergencies and particularly high-impact epidemics,” said Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme.
During the latest discussions, governments focused on refining amendments to articles and annexes that were at an advanced stage of negotiation. They also held substantive dialogue on the public health alert – public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) – pandemic continuum.
In the final public session, Co-Chair Dr. Ashley Bloomfield reiterated that the WGIHR is a Member State-driven process and the final package of amendments would be agreed by consensus.
Additional issues that are also being considered by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB), which deal with equity, collaboration, capacity building and financing, will be addressed by Member States on 8 March 2024, when the seventh meeting of the WGIHR will resume.
Proposed amendments to provisions related to governance, and foundational articles of the Regulations, will be addressed when the WGIHR meets for the eighth time in April 2024 to finalize the package of amendments for consideration by the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly in May 2024.
Natural Methods To Manage Hypertension
Every 17th day of May is observed as World Hypertension Day. In this article, I will x-ray some effective methods confirmed by health experts on how one can manage hypertension.
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to lower high blood pressure.
Regular exercise helps make your heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood, which lowers the pressure in your arteries.
In fact, getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, such as walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as running, can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
Additionally, some research suggests that doing more exercise than this reduces your blood pressure even further .Walking just 30 minutes a day can help lower your blood pressure. Getting more exercise helps reduce it even further.
Reduce your salt intake
Salt intake is high around the world. This is largely due to increased consumption of processed and prepared foods.
Many studies have linked high salt intake with high blood pressure and heart events, including stroke .
However, other research indicates that the relationship between sodium and high blood pressure is less clear .
One reason for this may be genetic differences in how people process sodium. About half of people with high blood pressure and a quarter of people with typical levels seem to have a sensitivity to salt .
If you already have high blood pressure, it is worth cutting back your sodium intake to see if it makes a difference. Swap out processed foods with fresh ingredients and try seasoning with herbs and spices rather than salt.
Most guidelines for lowering blood pressure recommend reducing sodium intake. However, that recommendation might make the most sense for people who are sensitive to the effects of salt.
Drink less alcohol
Drinking alcohol can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of several chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure (9).
While some research has suggested that low to moderate amounts of alcohol may protect the heart, those benefits may be offset by adverse effects.
In the United States, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as no more than one drink per day for females and two drinks per day for males. If you drink more than that, it might be best to consider reducing your intake .
Drinking alcohol in any quantity may raise your blood pressure. Therefore, it is best to moderate your intake.
Eat more potassium-rich foods
Potassium is an important mineral that helps your body get rid of sodium and eases pressure on your blood vessels.
Modern diets have increased most people’s sodium intake while decreasing potassium intake.
To get a better balance of potassium to sodium in your diet, focus on eating fewer processed foods and more fresh, whole foods.
Foods that are particularly high in potassium include:
Vegetables, especially leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
Fruit, including melons, bananas, avocados, oranges, and apricots
Dairy, such as milk and yogurt
Tuna and salmon
Nuts and seeds
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, which are rich in potassium, can help lower blood pressure.
Some studies have suggested that getting too little magnesium is linked with high blood pressure, but evidence from clinical studies has been less clear.
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