Health

Akeem ReachnaijaMarch 15, 2019
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7min390

The Federal Government has announced a decline in number of new cases of Lassa fever in the country.

Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, who disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja, said that the country had witnessed a reduction in the number of people who have died from the disease compared to 2018 adding that the NCDC and partners had continued to sustain response activities in states across the country, despite progress made so far.

He said, “An outbreak of Lassa fever was declared in Nigeria on Jan. 21, 2019. Since then, 420 confirmed cases and 93 deaths have been reported in 21 states.

The national, multi-sectoral, is coordinating the national response multi-partner Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) led by the NCDC. In addition, the centre has supported Ebonyi, Edo, Ondo, Plateau and Kebbi States in activating sub-national level EOCs for coordination.’’

Ihekeazu noted that following the large Lassa fever outbreak in 2018; the NCDC together with partners instituted five key measures to ensure improved preparedness in 2019.

According to him, NCDC developed new case management guidelines, initiated a Lassa fever Research Consortium and hosted an International Conference on Lassa fever to share knowledge adding that the Centre also supported full availability of drugs, personal protective equipment, laboratory reagents and other supplies required for case management and diagnosis of Lassa fever.

He observed this year, there has been no single stock-out reported in any state.

“In January 2019, NCDC hosted the first Lassa fever International Conference. This brought together the largest gathering of researchers and professionals to discuss progress on Lassa fever.

“Importantly, Nigeria introduced her national Lassa fever research plan and has been recognised as one of the leading stakeholders in global Lassa fever research.

“Over the last six months, progress has been made in this area especially in discussions around Lassa fever vaccines. In the next one year, Nigeria is expected to be part of clinical trials towards the development of Lassa fever vaccines,’’ he said.

The CEO pointed out that the progress recorded in the response to the 2019 Lassa fever outbreak including an early decline in the number of new cases and reduced case fatality have been attributed to various factors.

“This includes the early deployment of One-Health national Rapid Response Teams (RRTs), improvement of functions in Lassa fever treatment centres, revision of case management guidelines, enforcement of environmental sanitation in some states.

“Introduction of the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) ring strategy, targeted intensified risk communications activities, high level advocacy visits, operational research into response activities, amongst others,’’ Ihekweazu said.

He, however, stressed the need for Nigerians to continue to practice preventive measures to avoid infection.

He noted that prevention of Lassa fever relied on promoting good community hygiene to discourage rodents from entering homes.

NCDC boss listed some of the measures as training of over 1,000 healthcare workers on Lassa fever management, diagnosis and surveillance, together with the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo State.

He said that prepositioning of treatment and diagnostic supplies to the 21 states that recorded cases in 2018, treatment centres and laboratories.

Ihekeazu added that publication of Lassa fever messages on three major newspapers; weekly radio shows on Radio Nigeria and intensive community engagement were part of the improved preparedness.

“Other measures to improve preparedness are high-level advocacy visits to state governments, encouraging them to do more to prevent and respond to cases of Lassa fever.

The NCDC boss noted that in 2018, genetic sequencing carried out showed that the virus circulating originated from the pool of lineages that have been in Nigeria since the first discovery.

He said that this year, early sequencing result showed similar findings.

“The preliminary results of 42 Lassa fever virus sequences indicate that rodent to human transmission, as observed in 2018, is still the dominant route of transmission.

“Therefore, there is a strong need to improve prevention measures especially around environmental sanitation.

“All food should be well prepared, and family members should always be careful to avoid contact with blood and body fluids while caring for sick persons.

“Healthcare workers are urged to maintain a high index of suspicion for Lassa fever when handling patients, irrespective of their health status.

“Lassa fever should be considered in patients with fever, headache, sore throat and malaise, in whom Malaria has been ruled out with a rapid diagnostic test (RDT), especially when patients are not getting better.

“Health workers should adhere to standard precautions including wearing protective apparels when handling suspected Lassa fever patients.

“The revised Lassa fever case management guidelines are available on the NCDC website, www.ncdc.gov.ng,’’ the NCDC boss added.

Other measures include storing grains and other foodstuff in rodent-proof containers, proper disposal of garbage far from the home, maintaining clean households and frequent hand hygiene.

Lassa fever is a viral infection caused by the Lassa fever virus, primarily transmitted to humans through direct contact, eating food or drinking water contaminated with urine, faeces, saliva or blood of infected rats.

However person-to-person transmission is through contact with blood, urine, saliva, and throat secretion or semen of an infected person.

The disease can be treated with early presentation at a healthcare facility greatly increasing the chances of survival.

Early signs of the disease include sudden fever, sore throat and general body weakness.


Akeem ReachnaijaDecember 18, 2018
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2min300
A 49-year-old Chinese man was working the night shift at a factory when, without warning, a machine malfunctioned, crushing him under a mechanical arm and impaling him on ten spikes; a certain death, or so his colleagues thought.
The porcelain factory worker, known by the surname Zhou, was rushed to hospital in Zhuzhou, southern Hunan Province, last Tuesday by his horrified and desperate colleagues who were powerless to remove the 10 steel spikes which measured 30cm (12 inches) long and 1.5cm (0.6 inches) thick. He was in extreme distress and unable to move his right hand.
One spike penetrated just 0.1mm from the man’s subclavian artery and its accompanying vein which, if severed, would almost certainly have killed him.

Of the ten spikes, six of them pierced his right shoulder and chest while the remaining four penetrated his right forearm and wrist. After an initial examination, he was transferred to the Xiangya Hospital of Central South University which specialises in complicated surgery.


Akeem ReachnaijaNovember 16, 2018
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2min310

A couple, Erin Smith, 38 and Alex Barker, 45, who cannot smile because of a rare condition have fallen in love.

The newly engaged couple is suffering from the rare condition called Moebius syndrome, which causes paralysis of the cranial nerves, meaning sufferers cannot make any facial expressions.

Ironically, the disease brought Mr Barker, from Coventry and Ms Smith, from North Carolina, together, reports Metro UK.

The couple found love after meeting on a social media site for people with Moebius syndrome, and after just four dates, they got engaged.

Ms Smith said, “At first, I would never have thought that I would ever fall in love with someone that was born with the same thing I was.

“But I mean it’s not just the Moebius, we have a lot of other things in common too. It is so nice to have someone that understands me for me. I love his British accent. It makes me melt. It does. It just gives me chills.”

The couple, whose speech is also affected, have to be creative when expressing their feelings due to the fact they’re unable to smile.

Mr Barker added: “I can tell when Erin is happy because she always puts her head on one side and goes “ooh,” and I think although we can’t show facial expression, we know each other’s mannerisms, so when we’re upset or when we’re frustrated or whatever, there is a lot of nonverbal communication that goes on.

“I think the eyes tell a lot too. Not just Alex, but my family and friends have always said that they can look in my eyes and I smile with my eyes, they know I am happy.”


Akeem ReachnaijaSeptember 21, 2018
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2min880
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel will tomorrow Friday, September 20, 2018 commission the revamped Ituk Mbang hospital at 12noon.

This is in pursuance of his avowed commitment to inject a new lease of life into the secondary Health system in Akwa Ibom State.

Recall that in just 3years on the saddle, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has turned around the fortunes of over 7 secondary healthcare facilities including Etinan and Ikono General Hospitals.


Akeem ReachnaijaSeptember 16, 2018
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3min620

Almost one million people suffer from heart attack year and only about 8% of those people actually survive it. The main reason the death toll is so high is mostly because of delay in response of medical services and ambulance which takes long time to respond due to traffic or bad road etc. In Africa the ambulance can even take more than 5 hours to arrive it’s destination or may not even arrive at all. Most time, they have to get the patients to the hospital themselves. All these problems are what made a young Dutch student to design this ambulance drone which is a robot that is capable of getting – e.g. a defibrillator – to a patient within a 12 square kilometre (4.6 square miles) radius within just one minute, increasing the chance of survival from 8% to 80% and save lives of thousands.

With this brilliant concept, everyone needing urgent medical attention (not only heart attack) will benefit from faster response times and will also increase chances of survival. As soon as the emergency line is called, the operator sends out the camera fitted flying robot (drone) which flies at lightening speed to the address of the victim.

Once it gets there, an operator like a paramedic, can watch, talk and instruct those helping the victim – or the victim themselves – by using an on-board phone and camera connected to a control room via a livestream webcam. The drone contains everything you need to take care of the emergency at the moment including an integrated defibrillator before you’re able to get to the doctor. It’s basically a flying hospital !

The name of the designer is Alec Momont, the name of his project is TU Delft (ambulance drone). According to him, his vision is to create a wide network of drones capable of saving lives and increasing survival chances from 8% to 80%. These drone which can travel with speed of up to 100KM/HR are not affected by traffic jam or bad road network. It can arrive it’s destination in just one minute. The drone has attracted the interest of emergency services in major cities like Amsterdam. Furthermore, high unemployment rates could be reduced by using skilled young gamers as drone operators.

WATCH VIDEO HERE


Akeem ReachnaijaAugust 21, 2018
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14min910

Professor Yetunde Mercy Olumide is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Lagos and a Consultant Physician Dermatologist and Venereologist. In this interview by TAYO GESINDE, she speaks on causes of skin diseases in children and how to prevent them.

What are the causes of skin diseases in babies and toddlers?

Skin diseases in babies and toddlers can be caused by several different factors: It can be due to some abnormal genes inherited from parents/ancestors, congenital abnormalities which develop for the first time in a fetus due to mutations in the baby’s gene not inherited from parents, birth marks which vary in size from just a spot or may be extensive on the skin, diseases directly passed on from mother to baby through the placenta. These are usually infections e.g. Syphilis, HIV/AIDs, Zika virus etc. Diseases caused by drugs which the mother consumed during pregnancy especially during the early developmental stages of the baby—the first four months, diseases due to environment pollutants with chemicals which the mother absorbed through the skin in pregnancy or in the diet from contaminated fish e.g mercury. Also, a few skin eruptions in the neonate that erupt within 1-2 days are not diseases as such, but are simply due to sudden change in the environment of the baby from the amniotic fluid to an unfamiliar outside environment. These types of eruptions are self-limiting; need no treatment as they simply fade away by 5-7 if not complicated by aggressive treatment. Some of these early eruptions are due to bacterial, yeast or viral infections which the baby acquired in the womb because of early rupture of the protective amniotic membrane and a prolonged labour. Some infections of babies are from bacteria harbored in the nose of health care providers who do not wear nasal masks. The truth is that babies lack immunity to infections as they have not developed the resistance that develop with age. Furthermore, the cultural practices of exposing babies to visitors who carry the babies expose these highly vulnerable babies to a broad spectrum of infections. Any baby/toddler exposed to environmental insect bites e.g mosquitoes and sand flies soon develop a rash. Diaper rash is due to the irritating effect of altered faces & urine when the diaper is not changed promptly, and of course, superimposed Candidal (yeast) infection.

Is it true that the use of body creams and oils causes skin rashes like infantile seborrhea dermatitis (ISD) (eela)?

“Eela” is a generic Yoruba word used for a broad spectrum of chronic childhood skin diseases associated with dry, scaly, white red patches such as infantile seborrheic dermatitis/eczema, atopic dermatitis/ eczema, pityriasis alba or even leprosy. None of these diseases is caused by the use of body creams. Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis (Cradle Cap) is a greasy, scaly, red/pale white rash that can occur on the scalp, behind the ears, the neck folds, in the armpits, and the diaper area. It is commom at about 6 weeks of age and can resolve spontaneously within a few months. It is not contagious and will not scar. It is not itchy and is generally believed not to bother an infant except there is a superimposed Candidal rash (yeast infection). While several theories have been proposed, the exact cause has not been completely identified. It is not due to poor hygiene.

Pityriasis alba causes mildly scaly pale white patches particularly on the face of older children. This is only of cosmetic significance and often clears on its own. Infantile atopic eczema/dermatitis is a more serious skin rash which erupts usually around age 3-6 months with a bumpy red scaly rash on the cheeks, which progressively involves other parts of the body. This is a very distressing rash for the child because it is very itchy and may disturb the sleep of a child. It often gets secondarily infected by bacteria and even herpes virus from cold sores (fever blisters) on the lips of adults. At times occult scabies (a very itchy parasitic infestation) may be superimposed on atopic eczema. Early leprosy may present simply as 1 or 2 white patches on an older child. The patch of leprosy is not itchy and is painless. Children often acquire leprosy from adults who may not even know that they have leprosy because they do not have the visible signs of late leprosy on the fingers.

How can one prevent skin disease in children?

Neonates and toddlers cannot take care of themselves. Hence skin disease can only be prevented in children if the mothers and other caregivers at home and Day-care centres are knowledgeable as regards basic care of the children which include appropriate nutrition because skin diseases are often not just skin deep. Furthermore, the skin often reflects serious diseases of the internal organs which demand urgent consultation of a pediatrician or skin specialist. Since some infective skin diseases are transmissible from mother/caregivers to child, basic personal skin hygiene and prompt treatment of skin diseases in the mother and other care givers at home and Day-care centres should receive adequate attention. Basic health talks should be given to mothers. This could be done in the clinic waiting rooms/halls for pregnant women in ante-natal clinics, paediatricout patient clinic, skin clinics and health centres, particular those situated near market places patronised by market women. Literate women should avail themselves of the tremendous self-learning resources on the internet which could be googled. As regards direct prevention of skin diseases in children, it is important to study some of the causes already highlighted above and prevent them through appropriate antenatal care of mothers and subsequent care of the babies and toddlers.

Nigeria is a hot and humid country conducive to sweat retention and skin infections. The child should be given a good bath at least once a day preferably at bedtime so that no sweat is left on the skin overnight. Over heating should be avoided. The child should be sparingly clothed with absorbent cotton fabrics. Tight abrasive clothing made from non absorbent fabrics e.g nylon, polyester, crimplene etc should not be used for neonates and toddlers. Abrasive sponge and irritant harsh medicated soaps should not be used on babies and toddlers’ skin. Simple emollients should be used in lubricating the skin after bath. Children should not be left to crawl on dirty grounds riddled with bacteria, fungi and parasites e.g in the market place.

Is it true that the mother’s diet in pregnancy and during lactation may be responsible for skin disease in babies?

It is true that the mother’s diet in pregnancy and lactation generally influences the health of a baby positively or negatively not only on the skin. Growing babies need micronutrients which can only be acquired from the mother particularly in a fully breast fed infant. A healthy well balanced diet of the mother during pregnancy and during breastfeeding often translates into a healthy skin of the baby. Regrettably certain allergies in children are currently being linked to the diet of the mother e.g pea-nut allergy which has gained an alarming attention in the USA. More serious is mercury toxicity in babies acquired from mothers who have consumed fish and other seafood which have accumulated this chemical from contaminated soil.

Many mothers are fond of mixing different creams together to treat skin disease, is this good practice?

It is a very dangerous practice to mix different creams together to treat skin disease. The skin is not just an impervious covering of the body. The skin is capable of absorbing chemicals applied to the skin and these chemicals are absorbed into the blood stream and transmitted to distant organs of the body. This percutaneous absorption is maximally enhanced in hot and humid environment as we have in Nigeria. Because the skin of babies and toddlers have not fully developed the partially protective layer of the skin—the outermost hard keratin layer—a baby’s skin is even more vulnerable to percutaneous absorption of chemicals. All chemicals applied to the skin and even air-borne chemicals have the potential of being absorbed through the skin in varying proportion. Researchers in Nigeria have analyzed many creams commonly used in Nigeria and found that many of them contain hazardous chemicals such as lead, mercury, nickel etc. as trace elements. Lead and mercury are some of the most toxic chemicals known to man. Some of these chemicals particularly mercury accumulate in the body. Mercury accumulates in the testicles and has been known to cause low sperm count and male infertility; mercury has also been found to accumulate in the ovaries and have been known to cause abnormal fetuses and infertility. Mercury is also toxic on the kidneys and nervous system. All these complications can manifest later in life when the babies become adults.

In conclusion, it is very, very dangerous to mix assorted creams and apply on a Baby’s skin. Danger to the baby should not be seen as just a skin rash; but the skin rash should be seen as an indicator of very serious and potentially fatal complications in internal organs. A skin with a rash further amplifies percutaneous absorption of toxic chemicals.

What is the best form of treatment for skin disease?

It is not possible to state the “best treatment” for skin disease because there are hundreds of skin diseases in children and no treatment is universally applicable. For example, there are hundreds of causes of fever e.g. malaria fever, typhoid fever, yellow fever, Ebola fever, Lasser fever, Meningitis and even some cancers of the blood. The “best treatment” is to treat the specific cause of the fever. Therefore, the “best treatment” for skin disease is to make accurate diagnosis of the cause of the skin disease and treat appropriately. Most of the common skin diseases can be treated by the child’s pediatrician who knows when to refer the child to the skin specialist (dermatologist)

Regrettably, in Nigeria there is a general misconception that there is a generic treatment for all these skin diseases and that there is no need to make an accurate diagnosis of each skin disease before treatment is instituted. This pitiable state of affairs has often led to a slap-dash treatment of skin diseases by quacks, herbalists, “old wives tales” prescribed by grandmothers, over-zealous friends and relatives and even some health care providers at the primary and secondary levels. These people just erroneously believe that calamine lotion, a jar of antifungal agent and steroid creams are panacea for all skin diseases whereas steroid creams simply act as fertilizer for skin infections.


Akeem ReachnaijaAugust 4, 2018
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4min1160
Women from across the globe are dying from complications of Brazilian butt lift operations, prompting an international task force of plastic surgeons to warn against the procedure.

Driven to fame by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, plastic surgeons performed 18,487 such ‘butt lifts’ in 2015.

But the procedures comes with serious risks.

For 30-year-old Lattia Baumeister, a butt lift was deadly.

She died on the operating table in Florida, leaving her six children in Illinois motherless.

She was one of least 33 people have died in the last five years in the US because fat transferred to their butts caused deadly embolisms, and a special task force is now warning surgeons that the way they learned to do the operation may be deadly.

Pictured

Lattia Baumeister (1st) died of a fat embolism after a Brazilian butt lift in June of last year.

Lidvian Zelaya (2nd), from New York, suffered the same fate after getting the lift in Florida.

In the last five years, plastic surgeons have seen a 150 percent increase in the Brazilian butt lift business.

Plastic surgery, as a field, is fairly low risk, with average mortality rates across all such procedures hovering around one in 55,000.

But some surgeries are far more dangerous than others.

Traditionally, plastic surgeons consider the tummy tuck one of the riskiest procedures they do, with about a four percent risk of major complications.

That procedure is complex and invasive, and patients are at risk for developing blood clots that travel up to the heart and can quickly turn deadly.

When plastic surgeons inject transferred fat into the muscles of the butt, there is a high risk that a glob of the fat will get into the inferior or superior gluteal veins and travel to the lungs.

For the procedure, a surgeon suctions excess fat from one part of a patient’s body and transfers it to the buttocks via injection.

‘It really requires relatively little technical finesse,’ says Dr Mark Mofid, a San Diego-based plastic surgeon.

HOW IT WORKS:

1. Liposuction to remove fat from abdomen/hips/thighs.

2. Fat is ‘processed’.

3. Fat is injected into buttocks.

HOW TO PREPARE:

*. Don’t smoke (increases infection risk and blood clot risk).

*. Don’t gain weight (when you lose it again, your butt will change).

RECOVERY:

1. Don’t work for 10 days.

2. Don’t sit for 6 weeks.

3. Sleep on stomach.

4. Final shape will take months or a year to form.

In 2017, Ranika Hall (Pictured)had a lift and died shortly after, at just 25 years old.

Heather Meadows (Pictured) died in the same building in Florida during the same operation


Akeem ReachnaijaJuly 24, 2018
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1min1450

The Consul General of Nigeria in South Africa, Godwin Adama, said there are about 5,000 Nigerian Medical practitioners working in various hospitals in South Africa.
The Vice Consul, Information and Culture, Mr David Abraham, said this in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja.

Abraham quoted the Consul General, Godwin Adama, as saying this when Nigerian Doctors’ Forum South Africa, led by its Secretary General, Dr Emeka Ugwu, visited the CG in Johannesburg.

“This shows that virtually every hospital in South Africa has a sizeable number of Nigerian doctors; and this includes teaching, public and private hospitals.

“What this means is that Nigerian doctors and other professionals are constantly adding value to the system and this cannot be over-emphasised.”

He said South Africa is replete with Nigerian professionals, who are contributing to the economic development in both public and private sectors of the the country.

“Unfortunately, this has been either not reported at all or grossly under-reported.

“It is in this light that Nigerian professionals in South Africa have determined that they will no longer sit by and allow their numerous contributions be undermined and eroded by negative publicity,” he said.


Akeem ReachnaijaJune 29, 2018
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3min1130
Two days ago, Autojosh did a report to draw attention to the very unsanitary condition of Ojuelegba.

The report was retransmitted on several other online platforms, notably Nairaland.

Ojuelegba is in Surulere, Lagos. It is one of the key transport nodes of Lagos state. It interconnects the city’s mainlands with Lagos Island and Victoria Island. It also serves as a connecting point for people who commute the three surrounding districts of Yaba, Mushin and Surulere.

In the report, photos of Ojuelegba in its filthiness were made available.

The report elicited not a few reactions.

Sadly, in some of the reactions, Autojosh was accused of being biased and that the reportage was politically motivated.

All that notwithstanding, it appears that the article got the attention of the authorities.

Just this morning, activities to restore Ojuelegba to a better sanitary state began.

Clearly, it shows that when we do not cry out, government intervention will never be achieved.

Indeed, the progress of Lagos should be our priority.

Itesiwaju ipinle Eko loje wa logun.