The first Ebola Centre
for Pregnant Women has opened in Freetown, one of the three West African nations most affected by the disease.a report said recently.
The medical humanitarian organisation, Medecins San Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) opened the centre in the city,
The report said the centre is to address the high rate of deaths among expectant mothers and health workers who care for them.
The opening of the centre came in the wake of local media reports that over 300 babies were buried within the past eight days in Freetown alone.
The 80-bed facility, which would focus mainly on treating pregnant women suspected or confirmed to have Ebola, is located in the east of the capital.
It is expected to bring the much-needed relief to residents in that part of the city which, even in normal times, records some of the country’s highest prenatal and postnatal mortality rates.
The group said that the key reason for setting up the specialist unit is to minimise the risk that pregnant women could pose to the health workers who were treating them.
Dr Benjamin Black, an Obstetrician who is on sabbatical at MSF researching how best to treat Ebola-affected pregnant women, said very little was known about Ebola and pregnancy.
“The Ebola virus is attracted to certain types of cells within the body.
“The placenta happens to have a lot of those cells and invades those cells so it can multiply because of that you get a high amount of Ebola virus in the placenta and therefore crossing to the baby,’’Black said.
Experts say that the viral load of Ebola in the placenta and the foetus, as well as the surrounding fluids, is extremely high, even if the woman herself has recovered.
According to the latest update from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Sierra Leone has recorded over 3,000 deaths from the virus which has claimed a total of 8,414 lives mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
EDOSACA Boss Calls For Renewed Fight Against HIV/AIDS
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
Seven Effective Home Remedies For Low Blood Pressure
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
‘Akwa Ibom, Five Other States Contribute 41% Of HIV/AIDS In Nigeria’
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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