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FCTA Resident doctors threaten indefinite strike

By News Desk,

The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Administration Chapter, says it will commence an indefinite strike on Aug. 25.

The union made this known in a statement jointly signed by its President, Michael Olarewaju and Secretary Roland Aigbovo, on Wednesday in Abuja.

It said that the impending strike follows failure of FCT Administration to repay obnoxious tax deduction from July salaries of staff among other demands.

The association had earlier condemned the tax deduction of N78, 000 from each of its members’ July salaries.

It said that the current deduction was against the initial N36,000 deductions imposed on the doctors.

The union noted that it had on Aug. 1, 2018 issued a-21day ultimatum effective from Aug. 3 to FCT administration, calling on the Minister, Muhammad Bello to address the issue.

They listed other demands to include payment of first 28 days allowance of members effective from 2011, as calculated without further delay.

Other demands, according to them, included appropriate placement and payment of arrears to members who were successful in the 2016 promotion exercise.

“We totally reject the obnoxious and double taxation imposed on our members by FCTA management, which negates all scientific reasoning and Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The appropriate tax should be done using the Joint Tax Board/Personal Income Tax Act template (PITA) and all excess deduction paid back.

“We will be compelled to proceed on an indefinite strike for failure of the FCT administration to meet our demands on or before the expiration of the ultimatum which is Aug. 24,” they said.

Olarewaju said: “the obnoxious tax didn’t follow the PITA template or other conventional means of taxation based on our investigations at the Health and Human Resources Service Secretariat, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and FCT Inland Revenue Services (FCTIRS).

“We have earlier written the FCT Minister on the myriad of problems faced daily by our members regarding conditions of work and services delivery in FCTA.

“This is largely due to poor remuneration in comparison with our contemporaries in other health institutions and Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) both in the territory and other parts of the federation.

“It is pertinent to say that a motivated workforce gives rise to an on improved work done and with regard to job satisfaction our members are in pathetic state.

Nigerian Usmani made to walk again after 10 years by Indian doctors

By News Desk,

A Nigerian, Abdullah Usmani, who had not walked for the last 10 years due to a severe knee problem complicated by an incurable genetic blood disorder, has been given a new lease of life by doctors at Aakash Healthcare in Delhi.

The doctors successfully performed on the 41 year-old Nigerian, a knee replacement surgery — a rare for a patient battling multiple haemolytic and genetic complications, newkerala.com reported today.

After a full-fledged post-recovery rehabilitation programme for a fluidic knee-movement and wound recovery, Usmani finally took the walk of freedom from pain, suffering and mental trauma that often accompany such illnesses.

According to a hospital statement, Usmani had spent a major part of his life bedridden due to sickle cell anaemia, a genetic blood disorder that causes knee arthritis and deformed bone development.

Also suffering from other growth disorder complications, including multiple joint complications, hand-foot syndrome, Usmani’s congenital problem led him to undergo a spleen removal surgery in 2002, which led to worsening of his knee arthritis.

A team of doctors at the hospital then gave him a high-end oxinium implant that helped him walk again after 10 years, the statement said.

“After studying his case in detail, we concluded that Usmani’s knee consisted of a severely inflamed tissue and required an intraoperative culture extraction. Following this, a total-knee replacement was undertaken using the implant.”

Breast sucking cannot prevent lumps, cancer – Experts

By Health Desk,

Some medical practitioners on Tuesday in Lagos said the belief that sucking or fondling of a woman’s breasts could prevent lumps was not scientifically proven.

A Consultant Oncologist, Dr Atara Nketim, a Medical Researcher, Dr Bamidele Iwalokun and a Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Adaugo Onyedinma, spoke in Lagos.

The experts spoke against the backdrop of claims in some quarters that sucking or fondling a woman’s breasts by her husband has some health benefits including prevention of breast cancer and other related diseases.

However, a researcher in U.S, Gautham Venugopalan, said in an online publication, that a little squeeze might be all that “it takes to prevent malignant breast cells triggering cancer”.

According to him, laboratory experiments showed that applying physical pressure to the cells guided them back to a normal growth pattern.

“Scientists believe the research provides clues that could lead to new treatments.

“Squashing breast cells encouraged them to grow in a regular way. However, scientists don’t believe compressing breast tissue would have a beneficial effect.

“People have known for centuries that physical force can influence our bodies,’ Venugopalan, a leading member of the research team at the University of California in Berkeley, US, said.

The World Breastfeeding Week is an annual celebration which is being held every year from Aug. 1 to Aug. 7 in more than 120 countries.

Iwalokun, a molecular biologist at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, said there was no scientific back up to the assertion.

He said that fondling of woman’s breasts could not prevent lumps and breast cancer.

Iwalokun said, “There is no research backing to prove that fondling of breasts prevents breasts from growing lumps or developing breast cancer.’’

Also, Nketim, a Consultant Oncologist with the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, said there was no scientific evidence that sucking, squeezing or fondling breasts could prevent lumps or cancer.

Nketim said that husbands might, however, be able to detect if there were lumps in their wives’ breasts at an early stage through fondling of breasts.

“I have seen five patients in my experience where the husbands are actually the ones who discovered lumps in their wives’ breasts and not the wives themselves.

“So, it is in this aspect that I will support husbands fondling the breasts to help their wives detect early any lump that can develop.

“But, I do not have any scientific evidence to say that fondling can actually prevent it,’’ he said.

Another expert, Onyedinma, who works at a Lagos-based hospital, Samaria Hospital, said: “There is no scientifically proven that breast sucking, fondling and squeezing on women’s health.

“Breast sucking, squeezing and fondling is usually done during sexual intercourse and may provide some sexual excitement for the couple.”

She said that activities of husbands fondling their wives’ breasts only gave the couple excitement.

The expert said, however, that breastfeeding a baby was beneficial to both the woman and her baby.

According to her, breastfeeding is the process whereby a baby sucks the mother’s breasts in order to get breast milk.

“There are benefits of breastfeeding, mainly, because of the low levels of the hormone estrogen and higher levels of prolactin and oxytocin present in breastfeeding mothers.

“Also, exclusive breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancers, promotes weight loss and proper contraction of the womb after delivery.

“It helps with family planning and child spacing and boosts the mother’s emotional health by promoting mother and child bonding,” the paediatrician said.

However, speaking about their experiences, some men and women said that they derived pleasure in the breasts being fondled by their husbands, while some said they did not.

A trader, Patricia Bassey, said that she enjoys being fondled by her husband, because it made her happy.

Bassey said: “Breasts were created by God for couples to enjoy the benefits.

“I enjoy being a woman for that reason and my husband likes it; it makes our relationship enjoyable. “

A housewife, Veronica Odey, who lives in Ikotun-Egbe, a suburb of Lagos said that fondling of her breasts was not pleasurable, especially when she was still breastfeeding.

“Before I had my first baby, I did not like being fondled; I still did not like it after I had my baby.

“But, I have been advised by my doctor to allow my husband to fondle it, because it has some benefits.

“My doctor told me that fondling can help detect any lump that may develop.

“I have also read articles put up by medical experts on the subject; so, I am beginning to know the benefit of that aspect,“ Odey said.

In her remarks, a business woman, Joyce Adelakun, a resident of Surulere, Lagos, said that she was aware of the benefits of fondling and squeezing the breasts, because she had a lump removed.

Adelakun said: “A lump developed after weaning my second child and it was my husband who discovered it, because he fondles it a lot.

“Apart from the pleasure it gives, it is very important for women to be conscious of the fact that lumps can develop in their breasts and allow their husbands to play with them.

A primary school teacher in Ago area of Lagos, Onyi Obioma, said he loved to fondle his wife`s breasts, because of the special sensation it gave them.

“Once I just take my wife`s bra off, the first thing I do is to slowly kiss her nipples and the areas around the breast.

“I watch her reactions before getting into the real business,” Obioma said.

Commenting, Rotimi Akintade, a businessman in Ajah, said that he loves big breast because it was naturally appealing to him and adds to women’s beauty.

Akintade said that men naturally, were born to like breast, because when we see them, we appreciate and arouse us.

“God created breasts in a special way because we do not know exactly what they look like, but gather enough data which makes us to be imbalance.

“I personally think sizes of breasts is overrated. I rate breasts, not on size, but on firmness, that is what makes me fall in love with my wife’s breasts.

“In spite the fact that she has given birth to three children, I still fondle her breasts almost every night and her breasts are still firm and round in shape,” he said.

Speaking, Mr Adebayo Onipede, a lawyer, said that people has the misguided idea that breasts were just for babies.

Onipede said that breasts were meant for both men and babies which was the reason why most men see their babies as competitors when their wives were breastfeeding.

“Most men want their babies to be breast fed within their six months and a year, while men nurture on the breasts for the rest of their lives.

“Men are stimulated by what they see. Men get turned on by the sight or imagination of a woman’s body and that starts with the breasts.

“Breasts always catch the attention of every male, especially the big or firm ones. Men love how the breasts feel in their hands and women like when their breasts get fondled of.

“I really love big breasts because they are comforting, which makes me to love resting my heads on them and sight of them can make my bad mood to disappear,” he said.

In her comments, Juliana Gold, a beauty expert in Ajah, Lagos, said most women loves when their partners fondle their breasts sexually and in the right way.

Gold said that fondling of breasts add excitements to sexual intercourse and also strengthen her desire to bond with her partner.

“Some men do not know how to fondle their partners’ breasts, they squeeze and damage their woman’s breast and nipple.

“Majority of men loves breasts and most women use it as a weapon to distract men.

“We discovered that some women do not wear bra, regardless of whether their breasts are large or small to cause confusion for men,” she said.

WHO raises alarm over resurgence in DRC

By News Desk,

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has raised alarm that cases from the resurgent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are expected to rise in the coming days.

WHO’s Deputy Director General of Emergency Preparedness and Response, Dr Peter Salama, said in Geneva that there had been around 20 deaths as a result of the Ebola virus.

Salama also said protecting vulnerable people in eastern DRC from the latest Ebola Virus outbreak was going to be “very, very complex”, given the huge logistical challenges and ongoing conflict there.

The WHO emergency preparedness and response chief said: “We know for example that there have been around 20 deaths. We can’t at this stage confirm whether they are all confirmed or probable Ebola cases.

“We expect however that the overall case count will rise in coming days to weeks, based on the trajectory of epidemics at this stage in their development.”

Salama said that WHO was unaware of the public health emergency in North Kivu province when the UN agency a week ago declared the last Ebola episode over.

The outbreak on the western side of the country in June, infected dozens, and led to 33 deaths, but in spite of several cases appearing in a major city on the Congo River, it was fully contained after a massive international and national response.

The top WHO official said that there was “no evidence” to suggest a link between the two outbreaks, although it appeared “very likely” that they shared the same deadly Zaire strain.

“The death toll from the current Kivu episode is likely to rise,” the WHO official said, adding that the alert was raised on July 25 after a woman and many members of her immediate family died after exhibiting symptoms consistent with Ebola.

“That event appears to have been a woman who was admitted to hospital around Beni, and on discharge had recovered from the original complaint.

“After leaving however, she came down with a fever and other symptoms that were clinically consistent with Ebola, and later on, seven of her direct relatives also contracted the disease,” he added.

Salama explained how longstanding conflict in Eastern DRC – involving more than 100 armed groups in the Kivu area and elsewhere – created an additional level of difficulty in trying to contain the deadly disease.

In the first week of February 2018 alone around Beni, attacks displaced more than 2,200, in addition to 1,500 displaced at the end of January.

In the Djugu Territory to the south of North Kivu, inter-ethnic violence led nearly 30,000 to flee their homes to the provincial capital Bunia, at the beginning of 2018.

“It’s going to be a very, very complex operation,” he said, noting that the vast country is home to the UN’s largest peacekeeping operation, the UN Stabilisation Mission in the DRC.

One million of the province’s eight million inhabitants are displaced and getting access to some of those in danger of coming into contact with Ebola, will require an armed escort in some cases, the WHO official explained.

There is also the additional threat that those fleeing violence may also head into nearby Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi, taking the infection with them, Salama said, noting that additional surveillance measures are being implemented at crossing points.

“On the scale of difficulty, trying to extinguish a deadly outbreak pathogen in a war zone is at the top of the scale,” he added.

In the most recent Ebola outbreak, a key part of the emergency response involved tracing anyone who had come into contact with suspected carriers of the disease, he said.

WHO staff could travel hundreds of miles on a motorbike to do this vital work, but this is likely to be much more difficult in view of the high level of insecurity in the Kivus.

One immediate priority is to confirm whether the latest outbreak involves the Zaire strain, since this can be treated with the same vaccine that was employed in Equateur province.

“It’s good news and it’s very bad news. The bad news is that this strain of Ebola carries with it the highest case-fatality-rate of any of the strains of Ebola, anywhere above 50 per cent and higher, according to previous outbreaks.

“So, it’s the most-deadly variant of the Ebola virus strains that we have, that’s the bad news. The good news is that we do have – although it’s still an investigational product – a safe and effective vaccine, that we were able to deploy last time around,” Salama said.

NHIS delists 4 healthcare facilities in Bauchi

By News Desk,

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has delisted four Healthcare Facilities (HCF) in Bauchi State over non-adherence to rules and regulations guiding the scheme.

Sani Affa, the NHIS Coordinator in the state said in a statement on Thursday in Bauchi, that the four healthcare facilities were delisted for poor performance.

The coordinator noted that the facilities were approved to provide primary and secondary healthcare services to NHIS clients but they worked in conflict with the rules guiding NHIS.

“The facilities are: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Health Centre, Peoples Clinic Ltd, Alwadata Consultants Hospital and Under-5 Health Centre all in Bauchi,”the coordinator stated. ‎

She explained that the action followed the recent assessment of NHIS programmes in healthcare facilities in the country, and warned against the violation of the scheme’s operational guidelines by existing HCF.

Affa stressed that the NHIS would not compromise standard in the ongoing efforts to sanitise the scheme.

The NHIS coordinator however, said the scheme had issued accreditation to additional 53 Healthcare Facilities (HCF) in the state.

Affa explained that the number of HCF in the state had increased from 49 to 53, adding that the scheme would scale up qualitative and affordable healthcare coverage, enforce standard, compliance and discipline.

She said that the newly accredited healthcare facilities are; 261 Nigeria Air Force Reference Hospital, Nagari Medical Clinic Laboratory and Maternity and As-Salam Hospital all in Bauchi, and Katagum Medical Centre, Azare.

“The scheme accredited four existing healthcare facilities for the provision of additional secondary services in key areas of healthcare needs to complement the range of services being offered,” Affa added.

The facilities includes: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, the Bauchi State Specialist Hospital, Reeme Medicare Nigeria Limited all in Bauchi and the Federal Medical Centre, Azare.

NAFDAC destroys N650mn fake products in Kaduna

By News Desk,

The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has destroyed drugs and products worth N650 million in Kaduna.

The Director-General of the agency, Prof. Christiana Adeyeye, said at the destruction site in Buruku, Kaduna State, that the products were substandard, falsely labelled medicines, unwholesome food products and cosmetics.

Other products destroyed were those with counterfeited NAFDAC number.

Represented by the North West Zonal Coordinator of the agency, Gimba Dauda, she said the exercise was part of efforts to stop spurious NAFDAC regulated products from circulation in Nigeria.

“The products being destroyed today are made of substandard and falsely labelled medicines, unwholesome food products, cosmetics and other counterfeited products.

“Drug counterfeiting is an act of economic sabotage and also terrorism against public health,” the director-general said.

Commending the Federal Government for banning the use of codeine syrup, Adeyeye said: “The decision is to ensure the reduction in the abuse of the substance.

“We have continued to aggressively pursue the goal that only genuine medicines and wholesome foods of the right qualities are imported, exported, manufactured and distributed.

“We commend President Muhammadu Buhari for re-instating NAFDAC personnel to our ports of entry and borders.”

She noted that the relentless effort of the federal government was helping in the increase seizures of counterfeited and substandard NAFDAC regulated products smuggled through the land borders.

She said that NAFDAC has deepened its collaboration with agencies of government and stakeholders to end the spread of fake and counterfeited drugs in Nigeria.

Part of the drugs, food, cosmetics and chemical destroyed included antibiotics, antimalarial, anti-hypertensive, anti-cancer, herbal remedies and controlled substances.

Others were Mom’s tomato paste, non-alcoholic beverages, maize flour, Eva complexion soap, hair cream and fake insecticides.

UNICEF warns of HIV crisis in teen girls, with 20 cases every hour

By News Desk,

Teenagers, and particularly girls, are bearing the brunt of the global AIDS epidemic with around 30 adolescents becoming infected with HIV every hour, according to a report by the United Nations children’s fund UNICEF.

Of those 30 new infections each hour among 15 to 19 year-olds in 2017, around 20 – or two-thirds – were in girls, UNICEF said, representing a “crisis of health as well as a crisis of agency”.

While there has been substantial progress in the fight against AIDS in the last two decades, the failure to prevent so many new infections among children and teenagers is slowing this down, the report said.

It said the epidemic’s spread among adolescent girls is being fueled by early sex, including with older men, forced sex, powerlessness in negotiating around sex, poverty and lack of access to confidential counseling and testing services.

“In most countries, women and girls lack access to information, to services, or even just the power to say no to unsafe sex,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s executive director. “HIV thrives among the most vulnerable and marginalized, leaving teenage girls at the center of the crisis.”

UNICEF’s report, presented on Wednesday at an AIDS conference in Amsterdam, said that 130,000 children aged 19 and under died from AIDS last year, while 430,000 – almost 50 an hour – were newly infected.

Adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 account for almost two thirds of the 3 million under-19 year-olds living with HIV. And while AIDS-related deaths among all other age groups have been falling since 2010, those among older adolescents aged 15 to 19 have seen no reduction.

Angelique Kidjo, a UNICEF goodwill ambassador who contributed to the report, said economic empowerment and education were crucial.

“We need to make girls and women secure enough economically that they don’t have to turn to sex work,” she said. “We need to make sure they have the right information about how HIV is transmitted and how to protect themselves.”

UNAIDS says the fight against the AIDS epidemic – in which 37 million people worldwide are infected with the incurable HIV virus – is at a “precarious point”, with deaths falling, treatment rates rising, but rates of new HIV infections stubbornly high.

Malaria not caused by spiritual attack – Expert

By Health Desk,

Dr Tochukwu Egwuonwu, a General medical practitioner with Samaria Hospital, Ago-Lagos, on Tuesday advised people to stop the belief that “when a child comes down with frequent malaria, it is a spiritual attack.”

She said that malaria was a protozoan infection caused by an organism called Plasmodium.

According to her, the specie that affects people the most, especially in Africa, is the Plasmodium falciparum he described as the culprit for severe malaria.

“Having malaria is scientific; you can explain it. It is only left for us to reduce the attack.

“First, if your child has a fever, always go to the hospital or at least, visit the laboratory and be sure it is malaria that is wrong with the child.

“This is because sometimes, it might just be something else.Ensure your children sleep inside an insecticide treated net.

“Also, try and get a net to cover your doors and windows of your house so as to control the amount of mosquitoes entering in and also fumigate regularly.

“Stop the culture of hoarding things that are not useful in your house.

“Do not store them, example keeping a spare tire at home, when rain falls, it collects water and then the water becomes a feasting place for mosquitoes to thrive.

“Ensure your drainage function properly.

“When you do all of these, you will find out that your child will no longer have frequent malaria,’’ Egwuonwu said.

The medial doctor also said that reoccurrence of malaria was due to wrong diagnose.

Egwuonwu, who said most anti-malarial treatments were usually for three days noted, however, that the challenge had always been that some patients “are very interested in taking their medication from the beginning to the end.“

She said once medications were not taken completely to the end, there was the tendency that such patients would again come down with the disease in a very short time.

The doctor warned people to stop assuming that every time they came down with fever it meant they had malaria infection.

Egwuonwu said some symptoms could just be typical of stress that the treatment would only require the patients to have judicious rest.

She noted that the environment could also cause frequent fever due to improper disposal of waste, inimical to public health.

The medical expert advised people not to store water in dark containers, saying that dark containers encouraged mosquitoes to breed, adding that most times, the containers were left uncovered.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says malaria remains a major health challenge in Nigeria and other African countries as it kills a child every minute.

Prince Harry joins Elton John to launch HIV campaign targeting men

By News Desk,

Britain’s Prince Harry joined pop star Elton John on Tuesday to launch a campaign to raise HIV awareness among men, warning that “dangerous complacency” about the virus threatened the quest to wipe it out.

The billion-dollar project “MenStar” will target men living with or at risk of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, which has been ravaged by AIDS since the 1980s.

“The MenStar coalition is bravely tackling the root cause of this problem — the lack of awareness of HIV prevention amongst hard-to-reach young men,” Harry said at the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam.

Speaking at the launch, which also featured South African actress Charlize Theron and Ndaba Mandela, the grandson of late President Nelson Mandela, Elton John said: “If we want to end AIDS once and for all, we must make men part of the solution.”

Around 36.7 million people around the world have HIV, according to 2016 figures cited by the United Nations’ HIV/AIDS body UNAIDS. Fewer than half of men living with HIV receive treatment compared with 60 percent of women, it said.

“It is time there was a global coalition to teach men to protect themselves. And in doing so, it will teach them to better protect not only their wives and girlfriends, their sisters and daughters, but also, critically, their brothers and their sons,” the British singer said.

UNAIDS said this month that the fight against HIV/AIDS was “slipping off track” and while deaths were falling and treatment rates rising, rates of new HIV infections threatened to derail efforts to defeat the disease.

Prince Harry said the campaign launch came at “a time when new energetic and innovative solutions are needed more than ever before”.

“MenStar” is supported by the U.S. government’s PEPSTAR program and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Experts at the conference hope for the elimination of AIDS worldwide by 2030, but the United Nations warned last Wednesday of a funding gap of £4.6 billion that threatens efforts.

Scientists confirm diabetes link with cancer

By Health Desk,

A major new study has confirmed the link between diabetes and cancer. The new research also warns that the risk of cancer is sex-specific in people with diabetes.

The study suggests that a diagnosis of diabetes places a person at an increased risk of various types of cancer.

Now, a review analyzing the data collected by 47 studies from across the globe — including the United States, United Kingdom, China, Australia, and Japan, to name but a few — confirms, beyond doubt, that diabetes heightens the risk for cancer.

The study authors note that women with diabetes are especially affected. They appear to be more exposed than men to the development of malign tumors.

The findings of this global review — which assessed the health-related data of almost 20 million people — are discussed in a paper now published in the journal Diabetologia.

The review was conducted by researchers led by Dr. Toshiaki Ohkuma, from the George Institute for Global Health at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

His colleagues hailed from the University of Oxford in the U.K., and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Ohkuma and his colleagues discovered not only that diabetes — both type 1 and type 2 — put people at risk of developing specific types of cancer, but also that this risk is much higher for women than it is for men.

Women with diabetes are 27 percent likelier to develop cancer, compared with healthy women. By contrast, men with diabetes are 19 percent more likely to develop cancer than healthy men.

And, women with diabetes are 6 percent likelier than men with the same diagnosis to develop a type of cancer.

Specifically, in contrast to men with a diagnosis of diabetes, women with this condition have an 11 percent higher risk of developing kidney cancer, a 13 percent higher risk for oral cancer, and a 14 percent higher chance of developing stomach cancer, as well as a 15 percent higher chance of being diagnosed with leukemia.

One exception was liver cancer, for which men with diabetes have a 12 percent higher risk than women with the same metabolic condition.

“We have also demonstrated for the first time,” he adds, “that women with diabetes are more likely to develop any form of cancer, and have a significantly higher chance of developing kidney, oral, and stomach cancers and leukemia.”