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RIVSACA Flays HIV/AIDS Victims’ Stigmatization

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Stigmatisation of People
Living With HIV (PL WHIV) resulting indiscrimination and subsequent deprivation has remained a key factor debilitating the fight against  the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Executive Director, Rivers State Agency for the Control of AIDS (RIVSACA), Dr. Chimezie Okeh, stated this recently at a special world AIDS DAY (WAD) commemoration service held at St. Mathias Anglican Cathederal Church, Okomoko, Etche Local Government Area.
According to him, people’s perception of  PLWHIV are that they are unclean, promiscuous, sinners, leppers, outcasts, etc. They, therefore, believe that any contact with them (PLWHIV) would result in contraction of the virus.
This, he explained, is the result of ignorance, which culminates in unnecessary discrimination of  PLWHIV, and often leads deprivation and, on extreme cases, ostracization.
While emphasising on the effect of stigma and discrimination against PLWHIV, Dr Okeh noted that the ultimate loser is the society at large.
He stated that it is in recognition of this fact that this year’s WAD has as its theme, “Close the Gap: No More Stigma and Discrimination”, and a sub-theme, “Take Charge: Know Your HIV Status”.
“Stigma and discrimination against PLWHIV in our society is still a major problem. …the effect is that those who have it, now hide it because you don’t want people to treat you as an outcast. “They deny that they have HIV/AIDS because of the stigma, and by denying it, most of them do not go for treatment. And because they refuse to own-up, the possilbity of spreading it becomes high. This is where the society is worst hit”.
In his speech, the Bishop of Etche Diocese, Rt Reverend Precious Nwala noted that several steps had been put in place by the church to check increase in brothels in the area as a means of checking the trend of  HIV/AIDS.
Bishop Nwala, who was represented by the Archdeacon, Etche Diocese, venerable Oky Orji, said the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) set up a committee each in the six clans of Etche to preach against HIV/AIDS to commercial sex workers in brothels in the area, as well as educate them on the implications of contracting HIV/AIDS.
In an interview, the Etche Chairman of the Local Action Committee on AIDS (LACA), Mr Rowland Nweke, acknowledged the efforts of the committees set up by CAN, noting that is has result in the closure of five brothels out of a total of 63 in Igbo Clan in less than one month.
In apprecaiton of the work done so far by the Etche Branch of CAN, the RIVSACA boss, donated an LCD flat screen television to the host church.

 

Soibi Max-Alalibo

Managing Director, Health Lius Limited, Amara Chikulendu (Right) presenting award to the best overall medical doctor, Dr Nkechi Shadrack (middle) and the best overall Dental Surgeons, Dr Addah Evi (left) at the 35th Induction at Newly Medical Doctor and Dental Surgeons, UNIPORT recently. Photo Chris Monyanaga

Managing Director, Health Lius Limited, Amara Chikulendu (Right) presenting award to the best overall medical doctor, Dr Nkechi Shadrack (middle) and the best overall Dental Surgeons, Dr Addah Evi (left) at the 35th Induction at Newly Medical Doctor and Dental Surgeons, UNIPORT recently. Photo Chris Monyanaga

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EDOSACA Boss Calls For Renewed Fight Against HIV/AIDS

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Executive Director of the Edo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (EDOSACA), Mrs Flora Edemode Oyakhilome, has called on stakeholders to show more commitment to the prevention of HIV/AIDS, if the 2030 target of eliminating the epidemic can be achieved.
This is in the light of seeming less attention given to the HIV/AIDS pandemic since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Making the call recently in Port Harcourt, while fielding questions from journalists shortly after the two-day South-South HIV media roundtable, the EDOSACA boss said the 38th International AIDS Candlelights Memorial was implemented in Edo State.
According to her, the commemoration should serve as a reminder for both those infected and affected, as well as the vulnerable in our society of those who have died as a result of the pandemic.
She stated that the theme for this year’s commemoration, “One Big Fight for Health and Rights of People Living with HIV”, is apt.
“With just  nine years to go in the UNAIDS ambitious targets of eliminating HIV/AIDS by the year 2030 through the 95:95:95 strategy aimed at achieving zero new infection by 2030, the well chosen theme for this year’s memorial, which is  ‘One Big Fight for Health and Rights of People Living with HIV’, is nothing but a renewed call for girding our loins and redoubling our efforts towards the achievement of this target, especially with globally increasing rates of societal and workplace stigma and discrimination, and domestic gender-based violence, as well other acts of rights denial against People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHIV).
“The right time is  now or never for all soldiers and gatekeepers in the global war against this most lingered pandemic to join efforts, time and resources towards greater outcomes and dividends from this year’s theme, which encapsulates in one dose the non-pharmaceutical panecea against HIV/AIDS”, she said.
Towards this renewed fight, the EDOSACA boss urged stakeholders to turn a new leaf.
“As the event is marked today, all should go into sober reflection over the plight of those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as the vulnerable one not yet infected and work towards the  mitigation of their sufferings and plan for greater improvement in their living standards through economic and academic empowerment, capacity  building, skills aqusition and skills improvement, nutritional support, access to quality health services, free prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services, free legal aids, etc., especially for Adolescents and Young People (AYP), widows and orphans,” he said.

By: Sogbeba Dokubo

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Seven Effective Home Remedies For Low Blood Pressure

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Many people do not know that low blood pressure is dangerous, perhaps more fatal than high blood pressure. An optimal blood pressure reading is less than 120mm Hg and above 80 mm Hg.  The first number indicates the systolic pressure or the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and fills with them with blood. The second number represents the diastolic pressure which is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. Low blood pressure or hypotension may cause inadequate blood flow to the heart, brain, and other vital organs. A sudden drop in blood pressure often occurs when someone suddenly rises from a lying down or sitting position. This is called postural hypo-tension and may cause light-headedness and dizziness. There are some home remedies for low blood pressure that you can employ in order to deal with the symptoms of erratic blood pressure. But if you’ve been feeling the following symptoms fatigue, light-headedness, dizziness, nausea, clammy skin, loss of consciousness, blurry vision. for a while, consult your doctor and get your blood pressure measured.
Once your doctor confirms that your blood pressure is low, follow his advice and take medication, if required. A healthy low blood pressure diet is important for low blood pressure treatment. Along with that, here’s a more homely help. Your diet plays a crucial role in maintaining your blood pressure.
1. Eat small portions frequently: Healthy snacking sessions in-between the major meals of the day to avoid long gaps. Eating small portions several times of the day helps in preventing the sudden drop in blood pressure that one may experience after meals. So, if you are eating three full meals a day, it would be better to rather have them distributed in to five small meals a day. This one’s a great home remedy for also people who have diabetes.
2. Have adequate salt: Excess salt is bad, but on the other hand it is required by your body in moderate quantities. According to the World Health Organisation, your daily diet must contain at least one teaspoon of added salt besides what you derive from native fruits and vegetables. In summers or if you exercise daily, keep some lime water with a pinch of salt handy. Salt works like an instant pick-me-up. Make sure you do not have too much salt too that may lead to problems like water retention along with high blood pressure.
3. Drink more fluids: Drink at least two to three litres of water every day. Besides this, include drinks like coconut water, in your low blood pressure diet. These will give you the necessary electrolytes required to maintain the fluids in your body. Dehydration is a common cause of low blood pressure. Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols and may help you lower your blood pressure. One of the best ways to fight dehydration is water; so, do not forget to load up enough water for the day.
4. Caffeine helps: Caffeinated beverages like tea or coffee may help boost your blood pressure temporarily.  When your blood pressure dips suddenly, a cup of coffee or tea can get your circulation going. It causes short, but dramatic increase in your blood pressure. Although nobody knows why this happens, but it is believed to help you improve your blood pressure.
5. Scent Leaves:  “A home remedy from our granny’s treasure trove. Chew, five to six tulsi leaves every morning,” suggests Dr Rupali. Tulsi leaves have high levels of potassium, magnesium and vitamin c which can help in regulating your blood pressure. It is also loaded with an antioxidant called Eugenol, which keeps the blood pressure under control and lowers cholesterol levels.
6. Almond Milk: Soak 5 to 6 almonds overnight, peel them in the morning, make a paste and boil them into a drink. Drink this every day to prevent your blood pressure from falling. There is no cholesterol or saturated fat in almond milk. In fact, it is rich in healthy fats like Omega-3 fatty acids; Include this milk in your low blood pressure diet; basically, you can add it to your cereals, smoothies, et al and enjoy the goodness of the almond milk.
Adapted from NDTV Food online

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‘Akwa Ibom, Five Other States Contribute 41% Of HIV/AIDS In Nigeria’

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A report has revealed that about 41 percent of persons from  Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Kaduna, Benue, Oyo and Kano States in Nigeria are now living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
This is even as Nigeria is reportedly the country with the second largest number of persons living with the infection totalling 1.9million, according to the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA).
In a statement made available to newsmen by the Hacey Health Initiative, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund Youth Participatory Platform (UNFPA YPP), it was gathered that over 100,000 youths were empowered in four states in the South-West region through the “Beyond Treatment for Us” (BT4U) Project.
The BT4U project aims to raise awareness, train, and grant young people access to available sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS services.
The statement further explained that globally, HIV/AIDS is a leading cause of mortality among young people, according to UNAIDS, adding that in 2020, 37.7million people were living with HIV, “and of these people, 36.0million are adults, while 1.7million were children between ages 0–14 years.”
The Coordinator at UNFPA/YPP, George Adjete, said, “Apart from reaching over 100,000 people through social media, the project provided Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and HIV/AIDS counselling services to 100 young people. In addition, BT4U trained over 300 adolescents on menstrual hygiene.
“The project also provided 63 young people with free HIV testing services.
“Fifty young people trained on evidence-based SRH policy advocacy, 100,591 young people reached with information and support via social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook).”
The project was initiated in July, 2021, in response to the new political declaration on AIDS 2021, and the emergence of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

By: Sogbeba Dokubo

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