Expert Urges Improved Funding For Stem Cell Tech
A haematologist, Prof Sulaiman Akanmu, on Tuesday urged the
Federal Government to support and fund the Haematopoietic Stem Cell
Transplantation Technology to facilitate cancer treatment.
Akanmu, who is the Head, Haematology and Blood Transfusion,
Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), gave the advice in an
interview with newsmen in Lagos.
He said that stem cell transplantation was a medical
intervention that involved taking or harvesting of tissue from one person of
the same species to another person.
According to him, the treatment being offered to cancer
patients are only aimed at palliating the cancer because the cure can kill the
“One important advantage of haematopoietic stem cell
transplantation is that it gives opportunity for cancer cure. When anybody is
diagnosed with cancer, we do not usually aim at cure.
“We only aim at palliating the cancer,if because we know, if
we aim at cure, we might cure the cancer, but we get the individual also killed
from the treatment that we are offering.
“ Because the cancer drugs, they kill the cancer cells but
at the same time, they kill what we refer to as haematopoietic stem cells in
the bone marrow that is supposed to be producing the blood cells.
“So, if you kill the cancer cells and you cannot produce the
blood cells, the individual dies.’’
Akanmu said that only few cancer patients in Nigeria could
afford to travel outside the country and pay between N14 million and N15
million for the stem cell transplant.
He said that larger percentage of Nigerians died because
they could not afford to raise such huge amount of money for the medical
According to him, there is a need to create awareness about
haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in Nigeria and for government to
support and fund the medical intervention.
Cell Transplantation now here in Nigeria. We needed support, the political
will, encourage our scientists to keep talking about it, to keep going out
there and perfecting the skills and then, equipping our teaching hospitals with
facilities to be able to easily carry out the procedure.
“And the advantage number one is that we are able to give to
Nigerians what they need. Number two it reduces economic drainage from our
country because the huge amount of money that those people who can afford it
move out of Nigeria to have the procedure done, now they can have it done in
Nigeria at a cheaper rate.
“And of course number three advantage is that those of us in
this area of medical practice will feel more competent, feel happy that in our
chosen career, we are achieving results, it boosts our morale.”
Dental Association, Oyo Govt. Task Nigerians On Preventing Oral Diseases
Nigerian Dental Association (NDA) has urged Nigerians to take care of their oral health so as to reduce the burden of oral diseases.
NDA Chairman, Oyo State chapter, Dr Fechi Nkwocha, stated this at an event organised at St. Michael’s Primary School, Yemetu, Ibadan on Monday to commemorate the 2023 World Oral Health Day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was organised in collaboration with Oyo State Ministry of Health.
NAN also reports that the theme of this year’s World Oral Health Day is “Be proud of your mouth for a lifetime of smile.”
According to Nkwocha, the theme focuses on the importance of oral health at all stages of life.
“The standard of the World Dental Federation (FDI) is that children should possess 20 baby teeth (milk teeth) to be considered healthy, while healthy adults should have a total of 32 permanent teeth and zero tooth decay.
“Seniors must have a total of 20 natural teeth at the end of their lives to be considered healthy.
“To achieve this feat of optimal oral health for all, all hands must be on deck.
“Individuals, parents, teachers, caregivers, health care providers, policy makers, government and non-governmental organisations must collaborate to produce a healthy and productive population,” she said.
Nkwocha said that the burden of oral diseases, such as gum disease (gingivitis, bleeding gums), dental caries (tooth decay) and periodontitis had been high in Nigeria, leading to loss of teeth.
According to her, this is due to poor awareness of good oral health practices and the wrong perception of oral disease as having no serious consequence on general health.
“We want to remind our citizens that oral diseases have been known to cause severe disability and death.
“Oral diseases have been implicated in heart diseases, poor insulin and glucose control in patients with diabetes, low birth weight in pregnant women, to mention but a few.
“Treatment of advanced dental diseases are costly and time-consuming but thankfully, many of these oral diseases are preventable and easily treated in early stages with good oral health practices,” she said.
The NDA chairman decried limited access to oral health care facilities and services to Nigerians.
“With an estimated population of about 218 million as at 2022, Nigeria has an estimated dentist-to-population ratio of 1:54000, but worse in rural areas.
“This is a far cry from the recommended ratio of one dentist to 5,000 people, hence another reason for the poor oral health profile,” she said.
In his address, Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Bode Ladipo, said that the celebration was an opportunity to create awareness on the importance of oral health.
Ladipo, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Olusoji Adeyanju, said that it was aimed at letting the public know that most oral health conditions were largely preventable and could be treated in their early stages without the associated morbidities.
“The WHO Global Oral Health Status Report (2022) estimated that oral diseases affect close to 3.5 billion people worldwide, with three out of four people affected in middle-income countries.
“This has made oral health a focus in the free health mission carried out across the 33 local government areas of the state on quarterly basis by the present administration’’.
“Free services are provided during this medical outreach and members of the community should take advantage of this quarterly activity,” he said.
Representative of the pupils of St. Michael’s Primary School and IMG Primary School, Taiwo Salami, appreciated kind gestures of the organisers of the free oral health programme.
Down SYNDROME -5000 Born Daily-UN
The United Nations has revealed that each year around five thousand children are born with Down Syndrome.
Every year World Down Syndrome Day is observed on March 21. The United Nation General Assembly declared March 21 World Down Syndrome Day in December 2011 and it began observing the day from 2012 onwards.
The 21st day of the third month has been selected as the designated date because the syndrome occurs due to the triplication of the 21st chromosome.
This year’s theme for World Down Syndrome Day 2023 is ‘With Us, Not For Us.’ The motive of this theme according to the UN is to ditch the old charity model and adopt a more human rights-based approach.
This theme it further explained encourages people to advocate for equality, as t seeks to view people with disabilities as having the right to be treated fairly, instead of viewing them as objects of charity, pity, and someone who needs to constantly rely on others for support.
Due to their condition, most of them may often face challenges in everyday life. This year’s theme urges people to change. Those with Down Syndrome must have the freedom to make their own choices and those supporting them must do things ‘with’ them, not ‘for’ them.
Down Syndrome is a genetic condition caused when anyone is born with an extra chromosome. People with Down Syndrome have some common features like small ears, a flat nose, eyes slanted up at the outer corner, protruding tongue, short neck, small hands and feet.
So far, Down Syndrome has no cure and is a lifelong condition. Nevertheless, there are treatments in place which, if received at the right time can help individuals live a meaningful life.
Those with Down Syndrome go through multiple emotional and physical challenges. Our society even today finds it difficult to accept them and even treat them differently. Every year, World Down Syndrome Day is observed on March 21 to raise awareness about the condition.
The life of those with Down Syndrome has not been easy. Besides hampered physical and mental development, the kind of ill-treatment and discrimination they are subjected to just worsens life for them. They are often face challenges while accessing basic rights like education, quality health services or the right to earn.
23 Rivers Indigenes Benefit From Free Eye Surgery
Over 23 persons have benefitted from a free eye Surgery organised by a non-governmental organisation, Steve Sandie foundation.
The beneficiaries were selected from the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State.
Sources however informed The Tide during the event that the surgery was bankrolled by a Rivers born philanthropist and politician who does not want his name mentioned.
Speaking at the programme, President, Steve Sandie Foundation, Mrs. Joyce Emmanuel said the programme was to help some indigent members of the society to solve their eyes problem.
She said beneficiaries were selected from the 23 local government areas of the state
Emmanuel said some of the critical cases will be referred while surgery will be performed on those that can be handled by the organisation at the centre.
She commended the donor for his concern on the plight of the less privileged.
According to her, the donor who does not want his name mentioned was so pathetic about giving sights to people.
Emmanuel said that the patients will be diagnosed and treated while serious cases will be referred for treatment at a higher health institutions
She said the organisation which was registered since 2008 has been involved in sensitising women on the values of caesarian operations.
Emmanuel said the group having discovered the need for caesarian section in some delivery cases has been talking to rural women on the need for them to go for it when necessary.
She however said most women who do not go for caesarian operations during delivery are doing so out of ignorance, as it is safe and cost effective.
Some of the beneficiaries of the free eye surgery including Obari Nwafor from Eleme thanked the group and the donor for the opportunity, stressing that the problem had taken him across to Calabar, Cross River State.
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