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Expert Tasks FG On Health Emergency Preparedness

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A public health expert, Dr Gabriel Adakole, has said that as the country recovers from COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government should strengthen health emergency preparedness based on one-health approach.
Adakole told Tide’s source on Monday in Abuja, that the country could rebuild resilient health systems and equitable society that would ensure Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and social protection mechanisms for all.
Reports say that One-Health is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimise the health of people, animals, and ecosystems.
It recognises the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and interdependent.
The approach mobilises multiple sectors, discipline and communities at varying levels of society to work together to foster well-being and tackle threats to health and ecosystems, while addressing the collective need for healthy food, water, energy, and air.
The expert said the country has had some experiences in implementing One Health approach.
“The National Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee on Avian Influenza and the National Technical Committee on Avian Influenza set up in Nigeria in 2005, involved multidisciplinary staff from multiple ministries, (including agriculture and health), communicators and industry players.
“The One-Health approach gave rise to a successful multi-sectoral emergency action plan that led to the elimination of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 in the country in 2006,” he said.
According to him, in spite of all progress with One Health in the country, the 2020 review by the International Livestock Research Institute identified gaps in implementation.
This included lack of awareness among policymakers and the public of One Health issues such as hygiene, biosecurity and antimicrobial resistance.
“Other gaps included the inadequate contribution of financial, human and material resources by the governments and lack of One Health policies, guidelines and strategic plans in the country.
“The review also identified weak linkages and unhealthy rivalry between various sectors, poor data sharing and communication among relevant sectors and a paucity of data about zoonoses to guide One Health policymaking,” he said.
Adakole said that the one health approach was a key ingredient in the fight against present and future pandemics in the country.
“If we can be consistent with this approach, we will make a lot of progress,” he said.
He said there was need for connectivity among all stakeholders to bring about efficiency, cost-effectiveness and optimal result in public health.
“The areas of work in which a One-Health approach is particularly relevant include food safety, the control of zoonoses and combatting antibiotic resistance.
“One Health can be achieved through joint efforts in clinical care through the assessment, treatment and prevention of cross-species disease transmission.
“Until we stop to politicise the one health concept in Nigeria, our approach to emergency preparedness for emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases will continue to be distorted and it will yield little or no result,” he said.
Adakole called on stakeholders to propose a framework to guide the embedding of One-Health practices across the country.
“Raising awareness and increasing understanding of One Health at all levels of society is critical.
“Advocacy, communication and social-mobilisation strategies should be intensified to ensure buy-in by policy makers, the public and thus catalyse collaborative and proactive One Health action.
He explained that strong governance and leadership were required across all One Health sectors in the country, with inter-ministerial, multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration, as coordinating mechanisms to improve data sharing and limit territoriality.
Adakole said that economic interventions, political agreements and social-justice policies that targeted addressing socioeconomic inequities driving conflicts across the country would support SDG 10 – reduced inequalities.
“Only by fully implementing One Health approaches will the country, and indeed humanity, effectively and sustainably prevent and respond to epidemics and achieve global health and food security,” he said.

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Breast Feeding Week: RSUTH Targets Health Personnel

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As part of measures to heighten the importance of breast feeding, authorities in the State owned Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) is set to sensitise its personnel on the need to ensure that nursing mothers embrace exclusive breast feeding.
The programme forms part of the weeklong activity on breast feeding and is billed to hold tomorrow to school staffers on the health benefits and why they should support the campaign
Member of a committee set up on breast feeding, Nurse Agana Ebirien in a chat with The Tide said the hospital is breast feeding friendly and has over the years held campaigns within and outside the hospital to promote breast feeding.
She stressed the need for health workers to be ambassadors at the forefront for the quest to ensure breast feeding is highly embraced by mothers visiting the health facility.
Ebirien said this year’s theme: “Step Up Breast Feeding, Educate and Support” is aimed at raising awareness and underscoring the need for nursing mothers to exclusively breast feed their babies.
She said, “Most nursing mothers don’t want to breast feed their babies because of the myths surrounding breast feeding. Some of the myths include danger of colostrum and many others.”
Ebiriien explained that the colostrums which is the first drop of breast milk from a nursing is the richest and healthiest part of the breast milk, as it helps boost the baby’s immunity and prevents him from falling ill frequently.
The nursing expert therefore called on nursing mothers to ensure they breast feed their babies exclusively for at least six months, and then breast feed with complementary feeding upto two years.
A nurse and expert on women health, Nurse Agana Ebirien has listed the benefit of breast feeding with the call on nursing mothers to exclusively breast feed their babies for at least six months without water or glucose water.
Nurse Ebirien in an exclusive chat with The Tide said thre are huge benefits of exclusive breast feeding to help the mothers and baby health in the future
Some of the benefits she said include the boosting of the child’s immunity, and improving the child memory and intelligence.
She noted that mothers who breast feed their babies help curb obesity in their babies in the future, as she described breast milk as “ balanced diet in balanced proportion”.
For the mothers she noted that breast feeding help to heal the uterus , “ as the baby sucks the breast the uterus contract and that curbs bleeding in mothers.”
In addition, the nurse explained that mothers who breast feed their babies for a long time also reduce the occurrence of breast and ovarian cancers.
She added that breast feeding is calso economical as it saves the family from spending huge sums from buying milk and other condiments to feed the baby, and therefore called on fathers, and the menfolk in general to encourage their wives to breast feed their babies.

By: Kevin Nengia

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Tiger Nuts Can Heal Urinary Infections -Study

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The experts have evaluated the antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, C and E) and antibacterial potential of tiger nut extracts against germs that cause human urinary tract infection pathogens. These are Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumonia.
Many individuals, including diabetics, eat tiger nut mainly for its sweetness and for its high content of arginine, which is reported to stimulate the production of insulin. Now, in a new study, researchers have said it is a fruit that should be consumed more to prevent and treat urinary tract infections.
The susceptibility of these disease-causing germs towards the tiger nut extracts was compared with each other and with gentamicin, which was used as a positive control. All plant extracts showed antimicrobial activities against the selected microorganisms at various concentrations and the methanol extract was found to be most effective compared to ethyl acetate extract.
In addition, the antioxidant vitamin composition in the different extracts of tiger nut indicated that it contained an appreciable amount of these vitamins. However, the concentrations of these vitamins were considerably higher in the methanol extract, with Vitamin E exceeding the daily recommended intake by international standards in both extracts.
The study published in the Journal of Agroalimentary Processes and Technologies involved Imaobong E. Daniel and Etukudo Edigeal D. at the Department of Chemistry, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, and it was to authenticate the medicinal importance of tiger nut.
Urinary tract infections (UTI) affect any part of the urinary tract which could be the kidney, ureter, bladder and urethra. The causes of UTIs include sexual intercourse with infected persons, poor hygiene, holding urine longer than necessary, underlying kidney stones, diabetes and loss of oestrogen.
All over the world, millions of people are diagnosed with urinary tract infections (UTI) every year. It is estimated that about 35 percent of healthy individuals suffer from symptoms of UTI at some stage in their lives, with incidences occurring mostly in women than men.
Culled from Tribune online.

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Nursing Mothers Cautioned On Exclusive Breast Feeding

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As Rivers State joins the rest of the world to observe the 2022 World Breast Feeding Week, some nursing mothers in Rivers State have cautioned their colleagues not to use poverty and hardship as an excuse against the practice of exclusive breastfeeding of their babies.
It would be recalled that some nursing mothers have cited poverty as factor responsible to practice exclusive breastfeeding of their babies.
Speaking, a mother of three from Okrika, Mrs Patience Owiriwa, said mothers have no excuse not to practice exclusive breastfeeding.
“I advise that as a mother, if you don’t have anything to feed a child, go for breast milk, even if it is little fish you buy to cook.
“That money you use for milk, use it to buy ‘Sungu’ and any good cooking things.
“If you buy N500 fish, you can cook soup that will carry you. When you are eating well, your baby is eating well too”, she said.
Owiriwa said exclusive breast milk prevents children from reacting to unnecessary sicknesses.
“He will be very OK. With breast milk, every vitamin is inside that breast milk; so, even if you feed him with only breast milk, he is good to go”.
Another respondent, Mrs Nnenna Amadi from Ikwerre Local Government Area said, “when you breast feed a child well, you find out that the baby will be OK.
“Moreover, when you do exclusive breastfeeding, the child will not be sick, he will be healthy and plump.
“The breast milk will make the child very sharp”, she said.
This year’s World Breastfeeding Week is from August 1 to 7, 2022.
The theme for this year’s event is: ‘Step Up For Breastfeeding: Educate and Support’.
It would be recalled that the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) had recommended that children be initiated to breastfeeding the first hour of birth and exclusively breastfed the first six months of life.
However, some nursing mothers, who spoke on the celebration in an interview said, poverty was hampering their effort to exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months of birth.
Accordingly, Esther Alaka, a nursing mother said, “you must eat well before you can give your babies breast.

By: John Bibor & Oribim Ibama

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