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Expert Seeks Improved Awareness On Lupus Disease

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A Consultant Rheumatologist, Dr. Hakeem Olaosebikan, has called for improved awareness to reduce the burden of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) disease.
Olaosebikan, who works at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, made the call in an interview with The Tide.
He made the call in commemoration of the World Lupus Day celebrated annually on May 10, with this year’s theme as “Lupus: A Challenge to Resilience.”
Systemic lupus erythematosus or lupus disease is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body system attacks its own tissues and organs.
According to Olaosebikan, lupus can affect people of all nationalities, races, ethnicities, genders and ages.
He said that women of childbearing age were also affected more often than men.
The rheumatologist said that diagnosing lupus was often difficult as its symptoms mimic those of other common ailments.
He noted that the symptoms vary among individuals and could range between mild to severe.
Olaosebikan said that common symptoms included joint pain and swelling, fever, chest pain, hair loss, mouth ulcers, rashes, among others.
According to him, although the cause of the disease is still unclear, it can be due to changes in hormones, genetics, environmental issues, smoking, and vitamin D deficiency.
He said that presently there was no cure for the disease, adding that it was treated with Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, immunosuppressants and hydroxychloroquine, among others.
Olaosebikan said that understanding lupus would assist control its impact and ensure that people with lupus are diagnosed and treated effectively.
He called for improved patient healthcare services and increased research into the causes and cure for lupus to enhance treatment of the disease.

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WHO Targets One Billion For Better Health

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is targeting 1 billion more people to enjoy better health and well-being will  by 2025.
The plan it said is  driven primarily by improvements in air quality and access to water, sanitation and hygiene measures.
Meanwhile, the body has listed it achievements in a  Report of  2023, the most comprehensive to date.
The report showcases achievements of key public health milestones by the world health apex agency even amid greater global humanitarian health needs driven by conflict, climate change and disease outbreaks.
The report is expected to be released ahead of the 2024 Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly, which runs from 27 May, 1st June, 2024.
WHO revised Programme Budget for 2022–2023 was US$ 6726.1 million, incorporating lessons learned from the pandemic response and addressing emerging health priorities.
With 96percent of WHO country offices providing 174 country reports on achievements, the report shows some progress towards 46 targets and highlights some challenges.
“The world is off track to reach most of the triple billion targets and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “However, with concrete and concerted action to accelerate progress, we could still achieve a substantial subset of them. Our goal is to invest even more resources where they matter most at the country level while ensuring sustainable and flexible financing to support our mission.”
The report shows advancement in several key areas, including healthier populations, Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and health emergencies protection.
Related to healthier populations, the current trajectory indicates the target of 1 billion more people enjoying better health and well-being will likely be met by 2025, driven primarily by improvements in air quality and access to water, sanitation and hygiene measures.
In terms of UHC, 30percent of countries are moving ahead in coverage of essential health services and providing financial protection. This is largely due to increased HIV service coverage.
Regarding emergencies protection, though the coverage of vaccinations for high-priority pathogens shows improvement relative to the COVID-19 pandemic-related disruptions in 2020–2021, it has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.
The Pandemic Fund’s first disbursements totaled US$ 338 million in 2023, supporting 37 countries to fund the initial response to acute events and scale up life-saving health operations in protracted crises. WHO continues to work with countries and partners to enhance genomic sequencing capabilities and strengthen laboratory and surveillance systems worldwide with capacity increased by 62percent for SARS-CoV-2 between February 2021 and December 2023.
It said one of the achievements is the world’s first malaria vaccine, RTS,S/AS01 administered to more than two million children in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi during the biennium, reducing mortality by 13% among children eligible for vaccination. WHO’s prequalification of a second vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, is expected to further boost malaria control efforts.
The first-ever all-oral treatment regimens for multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis were made available in 2022, allowing the highest number of people with tuberculosis to get treatment since monitoring began almost 30 years ago.

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Getting Trimmed Naturally

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There are a lot of misconceptions about weight gain.
The first is that weight gain comes from extra calories we do consume that we do not expend. Experts say we eat too much and exercise little. So if one get fatter, then, surely he or she must be eating too much.
The other misconception is that once we cut our food, then, we will naturally become trimmed. All these are hinged on the diet theory, which only works for some time.
Over the past 40 years, studies have shown that you can not get clinically significant effect from cutting down on your calories. Even though experts are saying that sloth is responsible for weight gain- they overlook one basic truth that dieting only works for a short period.
The new study that seems to break those myths about body fat is now revealing some stunning facts. The kind of food we eat makes us fat. Two scientists at University of Pennsylvania, Mitchell Lazar and Cardiologist Allan Sniderman at McGill University, all in the United States have shown that food that we eat often makes us pack in flesh. These include bread, plain baked potatoes, and plain pasta, rice, sweet corn. They confirmed that fatty foods are not the enemy but easily digested carbohydrates, while steak, burgers, cheese or sour cream help us lose weight and keep our heart healthy.
This sounds ironical, but it has been discovered that those who do diet and avoid those foods end up getting hungry. What happens is that when you conserve energy or burn less energy, you are bound to add more flesh. Many public health authorities want us to practise energy balance, which is a new way to say that you should not take more calories than one expends.
No matter how one counts what he or she eats, it is impossible to determine calories and know when we are over board. No matter how good you are at counting calories, you can’t do it. So its couple of sips of soft drinks and few bites of humburger that can make you add weight. That means it at the point when we eat extra than the body want that the body store excess as fat.
The myth of exercising to reduce weight is really making waves. Exercise is helpful but it is not the main ingredient for fat burning. The funny truth is that the two things we tell people to do in order to lose weight-eat less and exercise more- are the exact two things that make one more hungry. Thus, there is need for balance. If one must exercise, then it should be done moderately so as to allow the body to recover the strenght.
The reality is that insulin is the primary hormone that makes one to add weight, especially one eats food that spikes insulin like bread, biscuits, sweets, soft drinks. It is refined carbohydrates that raise insulin levels in the body. Explained in simple terms, your fat tissue is more like your wallet, and your meals are like going to the ATM. You know how you use the ATM: You put the cash in your wallet and gradually spend it, and when you get too low on cash, you go back to the ATM. It is the insulin that locks the money in your wallet, so you keep going to the ATM, and your fat cells are getting fatter and fatter. More often, you become hungry and you eat again because the insulin can not get at the fatty acids leading to weight gain.
Low carb diet is key if you are to get trimmed. In Africa where stables are more of carbohydrate it is best to choose those with fibre. It is difficult to follow the Atkins diet like eating skinless chicken and green salad, melted mozzarella cheese and all those western diet.
An example of a workable diet is to include eggs more often and cut down on processed foods, especially processed carbohydrate. Complex carbohydrate, and vegetables have more fibre and make you get filled quickly. Instead of Irish potato, go for sweet potatoes, oats that have more fibre. I advise people to eat garri than processed plantain and wheat meals. By the way, processed wheat can worsen the body ails.

By: Kelvin Nengia

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Eye Expert Cautions On Rays From Electronics

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An optometrist, Dr. Matthew Daniels says many Nigerians are suffering from refractive eye problem which can be corrected.
Besides, he disclosed that most of the eye problems common these days come from rays from long use of electronic devices.
The one time Chairman of Business Development Committee of the Nigeria Optometery Association(NOA) explained that rays emitted from electronic devices such as phones, television, computers have effects on the eyes.
He urged for caution and toning down of light from phones and computers so as to reduce eye irritation and other eye maladies that may affect sight.
In a chat with The Tide, Dr. Daniels said the refractive eye error maybe long sight or short sight which can be corrected.
However, he decried that most Nigerians do not take the health of their sight seriously and as such, suffer from eye defects which could have been treated without much expenses.
Commenting on the planned program me by the Federal Government to provide eye glasses to Nigerians, Dr Daniels observed that it may be difficult to provide free eye glasses to five million Nigerians.
For him, what the people need is more eye clinics and hospitals at the grassroots, as he lamented that most eye sight challenges are common in the rural areas.

By: Kevin Nengia

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