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HIV/AIDS: Expert Tasks Govt On PMTCT

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An expert in Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS, Dr. Abiola Davies, has called on government at all levels to give priority attention to PMTCT in order to achieve elimination of Mother-To-Child Transmission (MTCT) in the country.
Davies, who made the call recently in an exclusive interview with The Tide stated that since the commencement of PMTCT in 2002, Nigeria has only recorded 45 per cent coverage, against the 90 percent to 95 per cent coverage recorded by countries globally.
According to her, one of the major challenges is the fact that since the commencement of PMTCT in Nigeria, HIV/AIDS program which also includes PMTCT, has been donor-driven in terms of provision of consumables such as drugs and test kits.
“One of the major challenges we’ve had since the commencement (of PMTCT) is that most of the programming in Nigeria, HIV programming, including PMTCT, it’s mainly donor driven. That means we have a developing agents organisation that is putting funding towards programming.
“Definetely, Government provides healthcare workers to work in the facilities. But when you talk about test kits, drugs and the tests that need to be done, they are mainly done by development organisations”, she said.
In order to attain the required coverage, therefore, Dr. Davies said Government need to prioritize PMTCT specifically by owning the process, especially in terms of investing more money in it. “I will love to see that government puts more money, that it’s more driven by government in funding to walk the talk”, she stated, adding that “obviously, who pays the piper dictates the tune, and if development agencies have their own agenda they pursue sometimes, it may not always allign with the agenda of the Government”.
She also noted that beyond funding by donor agencies, the bulk of money currently put in is from the Federal Government.
“Another challenge we have is that although the government is not putting that much money, most of the money is put in at the federal level. Most of the States are not putting that much funding to HIV/AIDS, not to talk of PMTCT”, she said.
Consequently, she called for a declaration of national emergency on PMTCT.

By: Sogbeba Dokubo

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55 Million Battle Dementia as WHO PLANS To Check Disease

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The World Health Organisation(WHO) says currently, more than 55 million people have dementia worldwide with over 60%  living in low- and middle income countries.

It also revealed that every year, there are nearly 10 million new cases.

The revelation came as WHO Assembly endorsed a global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025.

The goal of the action plan is to improve the lives of people with dementia, their carers and families, while decreasing the impact of dementia on them as well as on communities and countries.

The action plan includes seven strategic action areas, including one on dementia risk reduction,as  there is no cure for dementia currently.

The body stressed that risk reduction for dementia remains critically important with potentially modifiable risk factors means that prevention of dementia is potentially possible by implementing a set of key interventions. This would, in turn, offer opportunities to influence future dementia incidence.

To this end, WHO released guidelines for risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia in 2019. The guidelines provide health care providers as well as governments, policy-makers and other stakeholders with evidence-based recommendations on health  behaviours and interventions to delay or prevent cognitive decline and dementia.

Since the initial release of the guidelines, the field has evolved significantly, with more evidence now being available. In line with WHO standard procedure, the Department of Mental Health, Brain Health and Substance Use has started the process of updating the guidelines for risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia with the advice of a Guideline Development Group (GDG).

Meanwhile, experts are proposing to join the GDG for updating the guidelines for risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia based on their technical expertise, diverse perspectives, demographic background, lived experience and geographic representation

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 NAFDAC Intensifies Action to Check Paraquat, Hazardous chemicals

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The National Food Food Drug Administration and Control(NAFDAC) has  reiterated its ban on Paraquat agrochemicals, pledging rigorous enforcement, and urges the public to report suspicious activities or products to its nearest office.

The agency during a raid at markets in Sokoto  stated that goods worth over N20 million, including Paraquat were seen around the old market, kara market and central market.

According to the agency, the operation conducted by its Investigation and Enforcement/Federal Task Force on fake drugs and unwholesome processed food led to the arrest of four suspects.

The agency said during the operation it screened 17 shops, seized cartons of “endocoton super containing banned Paraquat.”

“Paraquat is a highly toxic herbicide that poses significant health risks and environmental hazards,” it said.

NAFDAC’s raid resulted in the seizure of 2,096 cartons of SF MOE Soap, 223 cartons of SF Oxxo Purest Soap, and unregistered herbal preparations with pornographic pictorials, posing public health risks.

“The arrested individuals are under investigation, and the confiscated products will be processed according to regulations for substandard and falsified products,” the agency said.

NAFDAC had banned Paraquat agrochemicals, pledging rigorous enforcement, and urges the public to report suspicious activities or products to its nearest office.

 

 

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Who Warns On Lack Of Exercise

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned of the consequences of lack activity and exercise by adults.
In a recent data, WHO showed that nearly one third (31%) of adults worldwide, approximately 1.8 billion people, did not meet the recommended levels of physical activity in 2022.
It warned that inactivity puts adults at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, type 2 diabetes, dementia and cancers such as breast and colon.
” The finding is a worrying trend of physical inactivity among adults, which has increased by about 5 percentage points between 2010 and 2022,” the body said in a statement.
WHOs Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared that ,” the new findings highlight a lost opportunity to reduce cancer and heart disease, and improve mental health and well-being through increased physical activity,” as he insists that “We must renew our commitment to increasing levels of physical activity and prioritizing bold action, including strengthened policies and increased funding, to reverse this worrying trend.”
If the trend continues, levels of inactivity are projected to further rise to 35% by 2030, and the world is currently off track from meeting the global target to reduce physical inactivity by 2030.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults have 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or equivalent, per week.
The study was undertaken by researchers from WHO together with academic colleagues and published in The Lancet Global Health journal.
The highest rates of physical inactivity were observed in the high-income Asia Pacific region (48%) and South Asia (45%), with levels of inactivity in other regions ranging from 28 percent in high-income Western countries to 14 percent in Oceania.
Of concern is the disparity between gender and age. Physical inactivity is still more common among women globally compared with men, with inactivity rates of 34 percent compared to 29 percent. In some countries, this difference is as much as 20 percentage points. Additionally, people over 60 are less active than other adults, underscoring the importance of promoting physical activity for older adults.

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