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Natural Health-Avoid Red Wine Teeth This Holiday

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Christmas and New Year holidays are a period of spend ing time with family, and sipping red wine at parties—and this can lead to teeth staining. Red wine is a known culprit for teeth discoloration, but don’t be afraid just yet: there are simple ways to avoid a purplish smile. Here, we lay out the background and facts on red wine stains as well as tips for reducing discoloration, so you can smile confidently at that long-awaited holiday party, pose in pictures with your pearly whites, and still enjoy that glass of good wine.
So, does red wine stain your teeth? Even other colored alcoholic drink does as well. If the answer is yes then you shouldn’t worry if you’re maintaining excellent oral health care habits and consuming red wine in moderation. When looking into why red wine stains, it’s worth looking at what kind of stain it causes. According to the American Dental Association, red wine stains are considered extrinsic stains, which means the stain results from colored compounds contacting your enamel (intrinsic stains, conversely, are stains that occur inside the tooth). In other words, like tea or coffee, red wine stains because of the intense colored pigments interacting with the outside of your teeth.
To break down the science, when you drink red wine, your teeth are encountering three threats, according to an interview with the head dentist of Rutgers Health University Dental Associates. First, there are anthocyanins, which are the pigments in grapes that give red wine its purplish color. Then there are tannins (which come from the skins, seeds, and stems) that can bind the colored pigment to your teeth. The third threat is the acidity found in wine, making your enamel more porous, thus causing the wine stain to stick. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain healthy enamel care and prevent plaque buildup so that the wine pigment has a more challenging time sticking to your teeth.
Still, there’s no need to panic over switching to white wine for your holiday gathering. It’s still a great choice and also has known health benefits. According to the American Heart Association, red wine is linked to benefits like lessening heart disease symptoms. That being said, it’s always best to consume alcohol in moderation.
Here are a few methods to keep in mind at that holiday party or any time you decide to sip a glass of red.
1. Brush and floss beforehand: Stains cling to the film of plaque on your teeth, so a thorough brushing and flossing before heading into your holiday event is a good personal rule to follow. By adequately removing new plaque biofilm and food residue from your teeth before an indulgent meal, you can minimize your chances of staining. Cleaning your teeth on this type of schedule also cuts down your tooth decay and gum disease risk.
2. Rinse your mouth afterward with water: To help prevent red wine from lingering on your teeth, take a swig of water, which is generally a good habit while consuming alcohol to keep you hydrated. You may think it makes sense to brush the wine off your teeth, but as Rutgers Health University Dental Associates recommends, you should avoid brushing your teeth right away if you’ve eaten an acidic food or drink. The acid weakens tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can remove it. If you do want to brush, wait at least 30 minutes.
3. Eat as you drink: Consider munching on cheese and vegetables as you drink; these foods can act as a barrier to the acid in red wine. That’s because foods that stimulate saliva can help reduce the effects of acid and restore minerals to areas of teeth, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. Go with particularly fibrous foods low in sugar, such as broccoli, celery, or hard cheeses, all of which can stimulate saliva flow and naturally scrub away drink stains.
4. Use whitening toothpaste – Whitening toothpaste works to remove surface stains on your teeth that naturally occur over time and prevent new stains from forming. It’s a good idea to switch to whitening toothpaste if you’re concerned about keeping your smile bright at any time of year.

By Kevin Nengia

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WHO Raises Alarm Over Viral Hepatitis Epidemics, STIs

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says viral hepatitis epidemics and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are causes of  2.5 million deaths each annually.
According to a new WHO report titled,” Implementing the Global Health Sector Strategies on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections, 2022–2030,” STIs are increasing in many regions.
In 2022, WHO had targetted of reducing the annual number of adult syphilis infections by ten-fold by 2030, from 7.1 million to 0.71 million, but new syphilis cases among adults aged 15-49 years increased by over 1 million in 2022 reaching 8 million. The highest increases occurred in the Region for the Americas and the African region.
Combined with insufficient decline seen in the reduction of new HIV and viral hepatitis infections, the report expressed doubt  to the attainment of the related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
“The rising incidence of syphilis raises major concerns”, said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Fortunately, there has been important progress on a number of other fronts including in accelerating access to critical health commodities including diagnostics and treatment.
The WHO DG said tools required to curb these epidemics as public health threats by 2030 are available, but that there’s need to ensure that, in the context of an increasingly complex world, countries do all they can to achieve the ambitious targets they set themselves”.
Increasing incidence of sexually transmitted infections four curable STIs – syphilis (Treponema pallidum), gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae), chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis), and trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis) – account for over 1 million infections daily.
The report notes a surge in adult and maternal syphilis (1.1 million) and associated congenital syphilis (523 cases per 100 000 live births per year) during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, there were 230 000 syphilis-related deaths.
New data also show an increase in multi-resistant gonorrhoea. As at 2023, out of 87 countries where enhanced gonorrhoea antimicrobial resistance surveillance was conducted, 9 countries reported elevated levels (from 5percent to 40percent) resistance to ceftriaxone, the last line treatment for gonorrhoea. WHO is monitoring the situation and has updated its recommended treatment to reduce the spread of this multi-resistant gonorrhoea strain.
In 2022, around 1.2 million new hepatitis B cases and nearly 1 million new hepatitis C cases were recorded. The estimated number of deaths from viral hepatitis rose from 1.1 million in 2019 to 1.3 million in 2022 despite effective prevention, diagnosis, and treatment tools.
New HIV infections only reduced from 1.5 million in 2020 to 1.3 million in 2022. Five key population groups men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender individuals, and individuals in prisons and other closed settings still experience significantly higher HIV prevalence rates than the general population.

By: Kevin Nengi

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WHO Targets One Billion For Better Health

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is tar-geting 1 billion more people to enjoy better health and wellbeing 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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‘Current Health Insurance Coverage Not Big To Cover Formal Sector’

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The current insurance coverage in Nigeria has been described as not sufficient to cover the formal sector.
A body known as Health Watch Nigeria in its quarterly report indicated that significant non-compliance, especially within the private formal sector is being witnessed.
It proferred that, “ enforce the provision of health insurance, the government could link employee health insurance benefits to public procurement by the private sector.
Additionally, the authorities could explore multi-sectoral partnership by establishing a joint enforcement committee with the Pension Commission (PENCOM), which also seeks to enforce the Pension Act. This joint enforcement would reduce the cost of enforcement and ensure the NHIA can leverage PENCOM’s experience in enforcing social protection.
Among other things it recommended the  enforcement of the Minimum Package of Health Services insisting that ,” all health insurance schemes aim to achieve financial protection, and designating what should be covered to guarantee this financial protection is a fundamental duty of the regulator as prescribed by the Act.
It, however, frowned that different social health insurers sell varying products that differ in coverage and cost from the basic minimum package of healthcare services prescribed by the NHIA through the BHCPF guideline.

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