Category archives for: Health

Nigeria:Lasuth to Begin Full Cardiac Surgery – CMD

As part of efforts to stem overseas medical tourism by Nigerians, the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, says it will soon begin full cardiac surgery.

The Chief Medical Director, Adewole Oke, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that the teaching hospital was striving to be the hub of qualitative healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

Mr. Oke said the hospital was making effort to end the treatment of diseases that could be treated locally; hence, there it was ready to do its best.

“We have a government that is interested in the health sector; that is ready to move the sector forward. It has provided enough infrastructure and world class facilities.

“In other to complement the government’s efforts, we are also sharpening our skills to make sure that we provide world class services to make Lagos the hub of medical healthcare delivery.

“Not by the world of the mouth, LASUTH conducted five kidney transplants this week and two between yesterday and today without any expatriate. All the surgeons are LASUTH doctors.

“We have also done cardiac surgery (heart replacement) about six months ago with the aid of some foreign consultants, but soon we will stand on our own,” he said.

Mr. Oke said with the world class facilities available in the teaching hospital, it was set to stand without any assistance from overseas as regards surgery.

“As it stands today, we can boast of first class infrastructure, hence, we can also provide first class services in terms of healthcare for Lagosians and Nigeria as whole.

“We hope to build on our kidney transplant experience for the cardiac. We have had seamless cardiac surgery first, but we want to cross our Ts and dot our Is on it.

“By next year, we should be able to stand on our own and perform the surgery locally without external help which I believe will help our system to grow.

“The doctors available at the hospital are up to the task, they are well equipped and trained with first class knowledge,” he said.

NAN

Nigeria

Lagos Records 100% Increase in Domestic, Sexual Violence

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) yesterday revealed that 950 domestic and sexual… Read more »

Zimbabwe:Zim Makes Giant Strides in Cancer Data Collection

By Sifelani Tsiko, Senior Writer

Zimbabwe has made huge strides in improving the collection of information of all new cancer cases helping to increase surveillance and the implementation cancer programmes in the country. The Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry (ZNCR), in its latest 2015 report, indicated that it had stepped up the collection of up-to-date information on the burden of cancer in the country in line with the country’s national cancer prevention and control strategies.

“The ZNCR is pleased to publish the annual report for 2015 less than a year after the release of the 2014 report. This is consistent with its objective of providing reliable and up-to-date information on the incidence and pattern of cancer occurrence in Zimbabwe, especially for the country’s national cancer prevention and control plans. The movement towards achieving complete coverage for the country is ongoing, and was further accelerated in 2015 with registration of a record number of cancer cases,” said Prof Margaret Borok, medical director of the registry in the report.

The 2015 report indicates a rise in the current level of use of the ZNCR database as evidenced by increased requests for data.

“The data are extensively utilised by indigenous and international researchers, conference participants, lecturers, students, health educators and policy makers for management planning and cancer control programmes. In recent times, the ZNCR has become increasingly involved in national cancer prevention and control issues and activities,” Prof Borok wrote in the report.

Furthermore, data from the ZNCR has been accepted for publication in two prestigious international monographs on cancer incidence to be published by the World Health Organisation and the International Association of Cancer registries (IARC). Data on childhood cancer will also be published in the upcoming third edition of the “International Incidence of Childhood Cancer” (IICC-III) for the second consecutive period. The ZNCR will also contribute data to volume 11 of the “Cancer Incidence in five Continents” monographs (CI5-XI) for a record fifth successive time.

“These are no mean achievements which clearly testify to the high quality data generated by the registry,” the cancer registry said.

In addition to this, the ZNCR also published two papers in high impact peer reviewed cancer journals during the year under review. National coverage for cancer cases has improved significantly with the Bulawayo branch of the ZNCR providing data for the first time. This enhanced the quality of data captured by the registry and contributed to the national database. Cancer cases and deaths continue to rise in Zimbabwe with the latest report released by the ZNCR showing that 7 165 new cases were recorded in 2015 compared to 7 018 cases were recorded in 2014.

Of the recorded cases, 2 651 lives were lost to the chronic disease compared to 2 474 in 2014. A total of 111 children died from cancer in 2015 while in the previous year about 126 children succumbed to the disease. Cervical cancer remained the lead cancer followed by prostate, breast cancer, Kaposi sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, oesophagus and colo-rectal in that order.

“A total of 2 651 cancer deaths comprising 1 276 (48,1 percent) males and 1 375 (51,9 percent) females were recorded in Harare, Chitungwiza and Bulawayo in 2015,” according to the report which was released last week.

The leading causes of cancer deaths among children included leukaemia, lymphoma, tumours of the brain, renal tumours, nervous system, eye, soft tissue tumours and bone tumours. The other cancers constituted 16 percent of the deaths. Cancer cases have been rising steadily over the years in Zimbabwe. In 2013, about 6 548 cases were recorded resulting in the death of about 1 700 people.

Of the new 7 165 cancer cases recorded among Zimbabweans of all races in 2015, males comprised 3 041 (42,4 percent) and females were 4 124 (57,6 percent). According to the latest available figures, the most frequently occurring cancers among Zimbabweans of all races in 2015 were cervix uteri (19 percent), prostate (9 percent), breast (7 percent), Kaposi sarcoma (KS) (7 percent), non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) (6 percent), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) (6 percent), oesophagus (5 percent), colo-rectal (4 percent) and stomach (3 percent).

The other cancers accounted for 34 percent of the registered malignancies. The leading causes of cancer among Zimbabwean black men in 2015 were prostate cancer (22,5 percent), followed by KS (10,8 percent), NHL (7,9 percent), oesophagus (6,9 percent), liver (5,1 percent), stomach (3,9 percent), NMSC (3,6 percent), lung (3, 5 percent), colon (2,9 percent) and eye (2,6 percent). Cervix cancer was the commonest malignancy in Zimbabwean black women (34,8 percent). This was followed by breast (11,6 percent), NHL (4,7 percent), KS (4,6 percent), oesophagus (4,6 percent), stomach (3,3 percent), NMSC (2,8 percent) ovary (2,6 percent), eye (2,4 percent) and liver (2,1 percent).

In 2015, non-melanoma skin cancer was the most predominant cancer among Zimbabwean non-black men (46,5 percent) followed by prostate cancer (10,0 percent), colon (6,7 percent), melanoma skin cancer (MSC) (4,5 percent), lung (3,3 percent), rectum (3,3 percent), bladder (3 ,0 percent), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (2,6 percent), oesophagus (2,2 percent) and pancreas (1,5 percent). The leading cancers in non-black Zimbabwean women were NMSC (38,2 percent), breast (15,9 percent), colon (4,5 percent), lung (4,1 percent), melanoma skin cancer (MSC) (4,1 percent), ovary (3,6 percent), cervix uteri (3,6 percent), NHL (3,6 percent), vulva (2,7 percent) and rectum (2,3 percent). The mean ages of cancer patients diagnosed among Zimbabweans of all races in 2015 were 56,8 for males and 52,8 for females respectively, according to the 2015 report.

“As in other countries in the developing world, the majority of cancers in Zimbabwe are related to infections such as HPV (cervical cancer), HHV8 (Kaposi sarcoma) and EBV (non-Hodgkin lymphoma). All these viral infections are potentiated by the HIV virus. In addition Hepatitis B and C are associated with primary liver cancer and schistosomiasis with bladder cancer. As in other developing countries lifestyle changes, diet and other factors are also contributing to the increasing occurrence of cancer in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Eric Chokunonga, the registrar of the ZNCR.

Africa and most other developing countries continue to record high cancer deaths because the disease is often not detected and diagnosed early enough due to a lack of screening and access to treatment. Cervical cancer, for example, kills hundreds of thousands of women in Africa each year but can be largely avoided with a vaccine or successfully treated if it is detected early enough.

In Zimbabwe, cancer is now the second biggest killer disease after HIV and official health figures indicate that the disease is killing more 1 500 every year. Out of this figure, 80 percent of the victims visit health institutions late for treatment when the disease is already at an advanced stage. Oncologists in Zimbabwe attributed this to either poverty or lack of knowledge about the disease. According to new WHO figures (2015) released this year, some 8,8 million people died from cancer, of which approximately two thirds occurred in low — and middle-income countries.

In addition, each year, over 14 million people are diagnosed with cancer and the WHO says this figure is projected to rise to over 21 million by 2030 if nothing is done. Dr David Okello. WHO Representative in Zimbabwe says supportive care is essential for comprehensive cancer control as well as providing access to pain relief.

“The WHO recommends reducing the need for people with cancer to pay for care out of their own pockets, which remains a major barrier for many in seeking care in the first place, as part of the solution,” he said in a report.

Zimbabwe offers cancer health care services at two major referral hospitals — Parirenyatwa and Mpilo. These institutions still lack formal accommodation for patients seeking services. Health experts say limited availability of resources, including chemotherapy medicines, other essential cancer drugs and lack of skilled health experts have greatly compromised patient care in the country.

“Moreover, although most paediatric tumours are potentially curable, there are limitations in diagnosis and treatment, leading to poor outcomes. Be that as it may, the emphasis for the country should be to promote early diagnosis and there is need for resources to ensure effective and people-centred diagnosis,” noted Dr Okello.

Cancer experts say Africa needs to scale up strategies for tackling cancer by increasing the number of health care personnel, providing more equipment for cancer care and modernising cancer treatment and care to meet global standards.

Uganda:Woman Battles Skin Cancer for 15 Years

By Tausi Nakato

Kamuli — When you hear Ms Alaisa Naibira, who is living with albinism, speak on phone, she sounds like a person suffering from flu or sinuses.

But this is not the case. The 52-year-old widow and a mother of six has been battling skin cancer for 15 years.

When Daily Monitor recently visited her home in Bugondha Village, Mbulamuti Sub-county in Kamuli District, her mouth, nose, and left part of her face was been eaten up.

With a round cap on her head, a shawl hanging on her shoulders and a white piece of cloth covering part of the face, Ms Naibira speaks with pain.

Albinism is a range of disorders caused by a reduction or absence of the pigment melanin, often causing white skin, light hair, and vision problems.

The condition affects an estimated one in 17,000 people globally.

“It was in 2002 when I was about to reach home that is when a speeding vehicle knocked me and I developed minor injuries under my nose and in the back. I was admitted at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital for four days but despite getting treatment, the injuries spread to the lower part on the nose,” says Ms Naibira.

“In 2003, I returned to the hospital after feeling more pain and developing a lump under my upper lip. I was operated on and the lump removed,” she adds.

Ms Naibira recollects of how the pain persisted and that when she returned to the hospital, doctors warned her that she was likely to suffer from skin cancer.

In 2010, when she re-visited the same doctors after her situation worsened, they advised her to visit Nyenga Hospital, which also referred her to Mulago National Referral Hospital.

Diagnosis

Her trip to Mulago that year confirmed her fear; doctors diagnosed her with basal cell carcinoma, a cancer that grows on sections of a skin due to exposure to a lot of sunshine.

“The cancer had also started eating up my nose and the lower lip, prompting the doctors at Mulago to ask me to allow that my skin around the thighs be cut to cover up the affected part (wide excision) so that they can do skin drafting,” Ms Naibira recollects.

She continues: “I refused because they asked for Shs5m for the operation, which I didn’t have at that time. Secondly, I was tired of operations because that was to be the fourth one, and thirdly, I had feared that doctors could connive with traditional healers to sell off some of my body parts during the operation because they are reportedly marketable.”

Between 2011 and 2012, she says a group of people from America treated her twice at Danida Village, Walukuba Division in Jinja and that the wounds seemed to have improved.

“From 2014 to date, the cancer has continued eating up my face. Hospice Uganda is now giving me drugs every two weeks. They (drugs) don’t cure but prevent the wound from smelling. They also give me pain killers and drugs to help me sleep,” she adds.

Feeding

Ms Naibira says she only feeds on eggs and drinks.

“The situation is bad. The cancer raptured most of my face that I can’t eat properly. I can only eat eggs, porridge and milk yet they are very expensive and sometimes I can’t afford,” she adds.

Ms Naibira, who is being taken care of by her 24-year-old daughter, Hajira Nazerena, says she is financially incapacitated because she can’t dig as frequently as she used to.

She adds that she has sold almost everything that she owned to access treatment.

Naibira’s condition

Dr Dean Ahimbisibwe, a general practitioner, who retired from Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, explains that Ms Naibira’s condition (carcinoma) is likely to eat her whole face and head.

He adds that if it was Malignant Carcinoma, it would have already spread to other parts of the body because it spreads so fast and that if she had accepted the wide excision at Mulago, she would have been okay because hers is benign carcinoma.

“Naibira is in her late stage of skin cancer and even if they cut a piece of her flesh, it will not respond because cancer has already eaten the skin and muscles,” Dr Ahimbisibwe says.

He says many persons with albinism die of skin cancer because they lack the enzyme that produces melanin, a substance that gives skin, hair, and eyes their colour.

The chairperson of the Source of the Nile Union of Persons with Albinism, Mr Peter Ogik, says 80 per cent of people living with the condition die of skin cancer.

“The number of young ones dying are more than the aging ones because most of them die before 50 years of age and since December last year, eight have died of skin cancer in Busoga sub-region,” he says.

Mr Ogik adds that the association has a membership of 500 albinos, half of whom suffer from skin cancer.

He also says many albinos cannot afford sunscreen cream, which helps in preventing skin cancer.

Mr Ogik says they are currently focusing on early prevention.

Hoping for better

Meanwhile, Ms Naibira says she has hope of being declared cancer-free if someone gets her the right drugs that can dry her wounds.

“Allah is with me. I will survive. I don’t care whether my face remains as it is. The only worry is that it has refused to dry but I am not the only one with such a problem. Even those with cleft mouths exist. Currently, the pain is too much and is threatening my life. Sometime, I suffer from flu and cough and I struggle with such diseases in this condition,” she states.

Uganda:Why You Should Sit Less

By Gillian Nantume

If you spend the better part of your work day sitting in front of a computer or sitting at a desk shuffling papers, you are heading for trouble. It is not for nothing that wellness doctors advise 20 minutes of exercise every day. The advances in technology have made it such that we spend more time sitting down, whether it is at the office, at home, or while on travel.

Look at it this way, every morning, once you wake up, you sit on your bed for a few minutes, trying to orient yourself. Then, you sit down to apply your make-up and take breakfast. You spend at least one hour sitting in the car to work due to traffic jam. Then, you spend the entire day at your desk, before driving home, where you will sit to have supper and watch TV before sleeping.

Roughly we spend about seven to eight hours sitting a day, but this is not good for our health.

Back problems

Your sitting posture may be hurting your back, especially if you do not use an ergonomic chair. (It fits the user’s height and other body dimensions so as to support healthy body mechanics). It is difficult to maintain a straight-back sitting posture all day; at some point you will have to slouch.

Eric Katende, a physiotherapist with Friends Poly Clinic, says sitting for long hours without standing up to stretch or walk around for ten minutes has a bearing on the lower spine.

“When you sit, your legs do not carry any weight and neither does the upper part of your body.

This means that all the weight of the body is concentrated around the centre, pressuring the lumber region of the spinal code.”

The lumber region of the spinal code carries most of the body weight and is also flexible, permitting movement.

“If you sit for many hours the bones in the lumber vertebrae are being strained,” Katende says, continuing, “This makes them susceptible to wear and tear over time. Sitting for long periods overtime will cause the muscles holding those small bones to squeeze the bones, and this is when backache will set in.”

Wilbroad Makumbi, a physiotherapist with FUBA, says joints were made for motion so every time they are not being used, they become stiff and painful. “The muscles around them become weakened. Sitting for long hours stiffens the small joints in the vertebrae, flattens the lumbar curve, and causes the muscles to waste away.”

This exposes one to accelerated disc degeneration to the extent that when such a person engages in work that involves lifting or bending, they are at risk of acute low back strains or disc prolapses.

Neck pain

Nowadays, in an attempt to protect their backs, most people who spend the whole day sitting at work try to sit with their backs straight. According to Katende, this is wrong.

“Young people like to sit on the edge of their seats, and then make their backs straight. This posture will put a strain on the neck. The lower spinal code is supposed to be slightly carved when you are sitting down.”

Do not sit in the same position for more than 30 minutes. Change your position often as is practicable and take time to walk around at least every hour.

Ergonomic desk chairs usually have lumbar supports that can uphold your lower spinal code in the right position.

However, if you do not have access to such a chair, use a small pillow or rolled up towel to support your back when you sit. Make sure not to use a large pillow because it will place your spinal code in an awkward position.

“If you are hunched over your computer, chances are that your shoulders and neck will also suffer,” Katende advises.

Gaining weight

It goes without saying that exercises are core to maintaining a healthy weight. So, if you are sitting down the whole day, the weight is piling on, especially around your abdomen and behind.

Katende says: “Long hours without exercise will lead to flabby muscles. In their 30s, men put on weight around the abdomen while women put on weight around the hips. A lot of weight gain around the abdomen will strain the lower back.”

Damage to the internal organs

The more you move about, the more your muscles burn fat and blood flows more easily through the veins. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and cardiovascular disease.

“There is a possibility of a cumulative effect of sitting down for too long, over a number of years,” Katende says, adding, “It is possible that the nerves that connect the back to the abdomen could get damaged.”

Besides, sitting for too long slows blood circulation, leading to swollen ankles, varicose veins, or more seriously, blood clots.

Tips on getting by

If your job involves long sitting periods, you should:

– Find a reason to get up every hour and walk around.

– Drink a lot of water – at least, you will be walking to the toilet often.

– Make sure to exercise at least 150 minutes a week.

Nigeria:Childhood Cancer – Our Pains As Mothers

By Gabriel Olawale

… In 9 months, my son took 19 pints of blood –Riskat Oshagbemi

… I exhausted my savings, yet my daugther died — Buki Oluwaojebi

Cancer is a bully, worse than the playground bully. It does not only try to steal the children’s lunch money but also steals their future.

No parent wants to hear, “your child has cancer”. It is simply terrifying. When cancer affects affects a child, no member of the family is spared.

It used to be believed that cancer was a disease of the elderly. Sadly, every year, thousands of children in Nigeria are diagnosed with cancer. The truth is that many childhood cancers have an excellent prognosis when detected and diagnosed early, and properly treated.

But, unfortunately the Nigerian story remains one of late detection, delay in presentation, and poor survival rate.

Despite the burden of the disease, there is no supportive treatment plan for children with such terminal illness in Nigeria and worse still, the burden of treatment lies solely on the families of such patients.

Sharing their experiences with Good Health Weekly at the launch of “Childhood Cancer Handbook Series” written by The Dorcas Cancer Foundation, it was mixed feelings as mothers whose children lost the battle against cancer and those who managed to survive narrated their struggles, agonies and hopes.

One of such mothers, Mrs. Riskat Titilayo Oshagbemi was in tears when she recounted her experience at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, after her son, Joshua, aged 10 years following his diagnosis with cancer of the kidneys.

“Since his diagnosis in 2013, Joshua has had 11 cycles of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.

He has had fluid drained from his chest and more scans and tests than we can count but my son still keeps fighting.”

Oshagbemi said in 2015, they spent eight months and 10 days on admission in the hospital and between August 2016 till date, Joshua had collected 19 pints of blood.

“Aside from the stress of paying for the tests at one point and collecting the change the receipt at the other end, not to talk of moving from one ward to another and buying the drugs outside the hospital, I have sold all my belongings.

“The only things I did not sell were those things which people were not ready to buy from me. Caring for him made me lose my business. His elder sister has been out of school for a year and a half, and Joshua himself was eager to return to school after three years,” she stated.

Mrs. Obienu Chiamaka whose child, Emmanuel, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of four, recalled that when he began manifesting symptoms of kidney cancer, she didn’t take it serious because she never expected a little child wold have cancer.

“I don’t know that children do have cancer, I thought it was a disease of the adult. When he fell down in school, he developed fever and then his temperature would go up in the evening and by morning it would come down”, she said

Chiamaka said when he took him to a private hospital the doctor said it was infection and treated him but after some weeks the condition would resurface and would even become worse.

“He could not eat and was unable to do things that he used to do. He was just lying down and started losing weight while his stomach was getting bigger. In December 2016 Emmanuel was diagnosed with kidney cancer and since then the battle for survival began.

Thanks to Dorcas Cancer Foundation that assisted us financially, he is still alive. It is hell caring for a child with cancer.”

While Joshua and Emmanuel are still alive, Dorcas was not so fortunate. Her mother, Mrs. Eriola Adepitan recalled how her daughter (Dorcas) battled with the scourge for three years before she lost the battle.

“In 2012, she complained of pain in her leg after she returned from school and I didn’t take it serious but when her complaint was persistent, I took her to the hospital and after an x-ray, the doctor said she had bone cancer.

She was given series of treatments including surgery on the right leg but despite these efforts, she died.”

Also, Mrs Buki Oluwaojebi. mother of late Atinuke, recounted how she died.

She said three-year-old Atinuke died in pains.

“We spent so much money, sold all our properties and became almost impoverished. She was taken to India for bone marrow transplant but at the end she lost the battle. For over a year, it was like living in hell fighting cancer,” Buki lamented.

“It all started with fever, and my mind didn’t go to cancer because I could not imagine anything more than malaria for a three- year- old baby. For two months of our consistent visits to the hospital, there was no concrete diagnosis so they placed her on antibiotics for another three weeks before she was later diagnosed at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH and our nightmares began.”

Good Health Weekly also spoke to the Founder, The Dorcas Cancer Foundation, Dr. Adedayo Joseph who noted that Joshua and Emmanuel won the battle due to early medical intervention and support,.

On the other hand, he explained that Richard, Aliyat, Timothy among others would have been alive too, if they received early treatment and care and support.

Adebayo explained that the Foundation has produced three handbooks to create awareness about childhood cancer.

“These books will go a long way into letting them know that they are not alone, and the Dorcas Cancer Foundation is rooting for them, until every single Nigerian child is no longer at risk of dying from childhood cancer.”

In the view of a lecturer from the Department of Paediatrics at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Dr. Seye Akinsete, Nigeria still lags in cancer care, arguing that “we still have issues with manpower to provide care, the facilities in management are not available while there is need for robust health insurance”.

Akinsete regretted that children continue to be at the disadvantage edge when it comes to cancer care.

“The National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, includes breast cancer, prostate and cervical cancer but childhood cancer is not included. Between 30 to 40 percent of children with cancer has genetic predisposition and over time the environment works on it and it manifests.

“If your child is having recurrent fever or is consistently treated for malaria or has swellings around the neck, among others, you need to seek medical evaluation,” he explained.

Nigeria:80 Percent of Blindness Is Preventable – Entomologist

By Oluwaseyi Adeshina

As the world weekend marked 2017 World Sight Day, Entomologist has disclosed that 80 percent of blindness could be prevented.

A Consultant Entomologist at the MeCure Eye Centre, Mecure Health Care Limited, Oshodi, Lagos. Dr Kunle Alabi who made the disclosure during Me Cure’s free eye screening to celebrate this year’s World Sight Day noted that ignorance has led most people to total blindness while some are being ostracized for an ailment that could be treated.

‘We discover a lot of people are not aware that there is a proper and standard treatment for cataract. We see people being blind from cataract for several years and they are just kept in one room somewhere, ostracized from the community.

‘Sometimes when they now come to us we will wonder and they will be telling us they have been afflicted with it for five years and when they have the appropriate treatment they will start seeing then they will be excited.

That means they wasted four-five years of their life because that period that they were blind from cataract they were ostracized out of the society and some of them when they are treated it will be difficult for them to get reintegrated back into the society because they have be deprived of that opportunity and they’ve lost those period’ said Alabi.

Speaking, Group Head, Commercial and Strategy, Me Cure, Dr Adekunle Megbuwawon said to mark the World Sight Day, with the theme: “Make Vision Count”, Me Cure organised free eye screening for cataract, glaucoma, refractive error, diabetic retinopathy, allergy among others and over 100 individuals have been screened and a significant number of eye diseases have also been identified.

Megbuwawon who advised Nigerians to go for regular eye check, explained that the free eye screening was aimed at promoting good eye health as well as help in the reduction of the burden of avoidable blindness through the early detection of those common eye conditions that cause blindness.

He revealed that under the Me Cure preventive health care over 5000 people have registered for the raffle draw and 500 individual have won. They have been screened for nine lifestyle diseases at the comfort of their home.

Nigeria

Lagos Records 100% Increase in Domestic, Sexual Violence

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) yesterday revealed that 950 domestic and sexual… Read more »

Nigeria:Sanofi Moves to Rescue 5m Nigerians From Diabetes

By Chioma Obinna

… Holds National Summit Oct 18

Healthcare professionals, weekend in Lagos raised the alarm over increasing cases of diabetes saying not less than 5 million Nigerians are living with the disease.

To this end, a National Diabetes Summit to improve management of the chronic disease and patient outcome is being put together by Sanofi Aventis Nigeria Limited in Lagos.

At a press conference to herald the maiden edition of the Summit, the Medical Director, Sanofi -Nigeria & Ghana, Dr Philip Ikeme said 50 per cent of diabetes cases are undiagnosed while half of people who have diabetes do not know they have the disease.

Ikeme worried that diabetes has become a global public health concern called for special attention to the problem.

“According to WHO as at 2014, we have a burden of 387 million globally but in 2035, the number will increase to almost 600 million.”

He blamed reasons for the increase on crave for artificial foods instead of natural foods and other unhealthy lifestyles. “People no longer exercise that means there is increase in obesity and when obesity sets in, the ability to manage the blood sugar becomes more difficult. Things like this push us towards the diabetic end of the spectrum.”

He regretted that, three years ago, South Africa and Ethiopia have more diabetes than Nigeria but now; Nigeria has the highest incidence of diabetes in Sub Saharan Africa.

He warned that diabetes is a silent disease, hence, the need for regular screening for the disease.

Ikeme further explained that due to the nature of the disease, by the time patient gets to the hospital to complain about the symptoms of diabetes which he or she may have had unknowingly for minimum of 10 years or an average 15 to 20 years, the person must have had abnormalities in the blood sugar for a minimum of 5 to 10 years which is why at the time of presentation; majority of the patients have complications.

Complications of diabetes include diabetic foot, heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney disease among others.

Noting that diabetes is a major cause of amputation, he said 9 out 10 amputations are due to diabetes. “Diabetes is not a disease you can cure but can be treated and managed. If treated well, the patients will have a normal life like anybody else. It is also a disease where patients have more responsibility than the physician.”

The General Manager and Country Chair, Sanofi, Nigeria- Ghana, Pharm. Folake Odediran, said the Summit is in line with the company’s vision as a global healthcare organisation involved in prevention, treatment and support for patients in 100 countries of the world.

“The Summit is being organised for three reasons including providing education platform for diabetic management. Provide platform for experts to meet and rub minds, update themselves as well as strengthen management by engaging in robust discussion that can improve management and patients’ outcome.

Various experts including nurses, specialist doctors, family physicians, diabetologists etc are expected to be at the summit to learn latest trend in managing diabetes.

Nigeria:We Have More Mentally Ill Persons On the Streets – Psychiatrist

By Gabriel Olawale

The Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, The Retreat Mental Hospital, Dr. Olufemi Oluwatayo has called on Nigerians to take their mental health serious, noting that, the fact someone is walking around normally does not mean he or she is mentally stable.

Oluwatayo who spoke during an activity to mark the 2017 World Mental Health Day organised by the hospital in Lagos explained that people commonly seen on the street constitute a minor proportion of people with mental disorder.

“People you see on the street are the one at the very end of mental disorder and they are in minority of people with mental disorder. Majority of people with mental disorders walk around normally because there are varieties of mental disorders such as depression, eating disorder and obsession among others.

“Psychological stress such as divorce, inconsistence in salary can trigger mental health disorder because it’s a stressful situation. Another thing could be abuse of drugs or some physical health conditions.”

Oluwatayo who is also a Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Director, Milton Park Hospital, United Kingdom stressed the need for relaxation after stressful events “but regrettably that is one of the things Nigerians are not good at. Many people like to keep working but it’s not good for our health. We need to learn to relax and have some rest.”

“Also people need to sleep, a lot of Nigeria doesn’t sleep our body need six to eight hours every night and it has to be structured in such a way that it would be consistence. People need to take time out of work and rest.”

He urged Nigerians to stop stigmatization of people with such problems, saying, it can happen to anyone, “the way people can develop diabetics, cancer and hypertension among other illness that is exactly how people can develop mental illness. Recovery is a slow process but when patient gets better, they recovered completely.

He urged Nigerians to live a healthy life, adding that, it remained a major way of preventing mental disorder, “We need to realise that healthy body is a healthy mind. If you keep your body healthy, your mind will function better. Therefore, you need to comply with healthy lifestyle such as abstain from smoking, if you want to drink it must be in moderation, engage in exercise and eat balance diet.”

He reiterated The RETREAT commitment to adding value to patient wellbeing. In future, we plan to engage in training medical personnel and we want to advocate for people with mental health disorders. But at the moment we are focusing on out-patient, in-patient and screening.

“At RETREAT Hospital our services are affordable, even through it’s a little higher than government hospitals but we have facilities that will justify our charges.”

“For people who will not be able to afford our prices, we are setting up what we call ‘Samaritan Fund’, where people can get access to money to access care and the money is being managed by a credible organisation where individuals or cooperate organisations can pay to support people.

Nigeria:One-Hour Exercise Can Prevent 12% of Depression Cases – Study

By Olayemi John-Mensah

About 12 percent cases of depression could have been prevented if participants undertook just one hour of physical activity each week, a recent research has revealed.

The result of the study which was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry revealed that small amounts of exercise can protect against depression, with mental health benefits seen regardless of age or gender.

The study led by the Black Dog Institute revealed that regular exercise of any intensity can prevent future depression and just one hour can help.

Associate Professor Samuel Harvey from Black Dog Institute and the lead author of the research stated that they have known for some time that exercise has a role to play in treating symptoms of depression.

“But this is the first time we have been able to quantify the preventative potential of physical activity in terms of reducing future levels of depression,” he said.

The professor added that the findings were exciting because they showed that even relatively small amounts of exercise from one hour per week can deliver significant protection against depression.

The result highlights the great potential to integrate exercise into individual mental health plans and broader public health campaigns. “If we can find ways to increase the population’s level of physical activity even by a small amount, then this is likely to bring substantial physical and mental health benefits,” he said.

Findings from the research also showed that people who reported doing no exercise at all at baseline had a 44% increased chance of developing depression compared to those who were exercising one to two hours a week.

Nigeria

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Namibia:Nearly 1,000 Women Screened for Cancer Last Friday

By Nuusita Ashipala

Ongwediva — The Ongwediva private hospital, Medipark, screened 937 women for breast and cervical cancer on Friday, as part of its breast, cervical and prostate cancer awareness campaign at the hospital.

It is the sixth time the private hospital is running the awareness campaign, which has screened about 3,000 women to date.

Medipark managing director Tshali Iithete said the campaign aims to strengthen awareness on breast, cervical and prostate cancer and create a generation that is well equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to face challenges.

“This campaign has reached out to a number of women in various communities and we are not going to give up,” said Iithete, whose speech was read by a medical doctor at the hospital, Linda Nangombe.

Iithete said this year’s theme, ‘We can, I can’ emphasizes a collective effort needed to drive the message to every corner of the country to ensure all women have access to screening.

“We can also not underestimate the importance of an HPV vaccine to our young girls in an effort to combat cervical cancer and emphasize regular self-examination of breasts,” said Iithete.

Patron of the campaign, former first lady Penehupifo Pohamba, said health education on screening programmes for early cancer detection should be conducted in the local languages to make the campaign relevant and effective.

She said there was also a need for outreach efforts to assist the delivery of health education messages to women in rural areas with poor accessibility to health centres.

“Public health programmes in breast and cervical cancer control should be initiated in all the primary healthcare centres. The partnerships with public and private agencies and for profit and non-profit organizations at local, district and national levels are critical to these programmes’ success,” said Pohamba.

Pohamba said it is important to ensure women know the signs and symptoms of these cancers and encouraged them to seek medical help soonest.

“But we also have to emphasise the different preventative measures in which cancer awareness and health education play a big role,” said Pohamba.

The symptoms of breast cancer include a breast lump, nipple abnormalities, breast pain, skin abnormalities, an inflamed or infected breast and a lump or pain in the armpit.

The symptoms of cervical cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding such as between menstrual periods after sex or menopause, pain during sex and abnormal vaginal discharge.

Namibia

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