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UNILAG researchers alert to health, economic implications of allergens

UNILAG researchers alert to health, economic implications of allergens

NEWS
• Blame rise in conjunctivitis, allergic reactions on pollen grains As Harmattan hits most towns and villages in the country, a team of researchers at the University of Lagos (UniLag) has alerted to the health implications of allergens from pollen grains, which include Allergic Rhinitis (AR), conjunctivitis (Apollo/pink eye), sinusitis and asthma. Allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction. The team led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics and Research), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said that seasonal changes have been reported to introduce dust and other particles into the atmosphere, some of which are pollen grains posing allergic reactions in humans. The research work, which was sponsored by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) is tagged TETFund Allergy Pro
Research finds 1% Basic Health Fund can’t cover women, children

Research finds 1% Basic Health Fund can’t cover women, children

Latest Health News, NEWS
New research has concluded the Basic Health Care Provision Fund at its current level of financing will not assure universal health coverage for pregnant women and children. The fund, built into the National Health Act, stipulates at least 1% of consolidated revenue be set aside to pay for a package of basic health. But researchers at the Health Policy Research Group (HPRG) based in University of Nigeria examined the Fund’s feasibility using six scenarios providing basic minimum of care in test states of Imo, Kaduna and Niger, and concluded the Fund would need to be increased at least fourfold to make a difference. “What we discovered is that in reality, the money is actually too small,” said Dr Felix Obi, a researcher with HPRG. “If we focus only on 1%, we might not be a
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Provides High Protection, Trial Confirms

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Provides High Protection, Trial Confirms

NEWS
An experimental Ebola vaccine was highly protective against the deadly virus in a major trial in Guinea, according to results published today in The Lancet. The vaccine is the first to prevent infection from one of the most lethal known pathogens, and the findings add weight to early trial results published last year. The vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, was studied in a trial involving 11 841 people in Guinea during 2015. Among the 5837 people who received the vaccine, no Ebola cases were recorded 10 days or more after vaccination. In comparison, there were 23 cases 10 days or more after vaccination among those who did not receive the vaccine. The trial was led by WHO, together with Guinea’s Ministry of Health and other international partners. "While these compelling results come too la
No Evidence of Plastic Rice in Nigeria- Minister of Health

No Evidence of Plastic Rice in Nigeria- Minister of Health

NEWS
Following the uncovering and seizure of several bags of the much dreaded plastic rice by the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS), yesterday, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, Thursday, disclosed that Preliminary test results reveal there is no evidence backing claims that there were plastic rice in Lagos. Recall that the Customs Area Comptroller (CAC), Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’, Ikeja; Comptroller Haruna Mamudu said the unit seized no fewer than 102 bags of the plastic rice at a warehouse in Ikeja, Lagos. Mamudu said, bags of plastic which has been packaged for sale during the yuletide were to be evacuated before operatives of the swooped on the managers of the warehouse. According to Mamudu, the imported rice, which was branded as
Number of newborns dips below 1 million for first time

Number of newborns dips below 1 million for first time

NEWS
Japanese government on Thursday announced the number of babies born in Japan is estimated to have fallen below 1 million in 2016, for the first time since the government started to compile comparative figures in 1899. The numbers of newborns were estimated to total 981,000 for the year, compared to 1.3 million deaths, leading to a natural population drop of 315,000.   Japan’s birth rate is among the lowest in the world and the new low tally is bad news for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government, which has vowed to tackle the demographic crisis. Earlier this year, Abe’s government set a goal of raising the total fertility rate to 1.8 births per 1,000 women by 2025, from 1.43 in 2013. However, so far it has failed to say how. The population has been dro
LASSA FEVER: FMC Abeokuta Nurses Screened, Ward Shut Down

LASSA FEVER: FMC Abeokuta Nurses Screened, Ward Shut Down

NEWS
The management of the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta has shut down the Accident and Emergency unit following the outbreak of Lassa fever, also known as Lassa Haemorrhagic Fever, LHF, which killed two persons. The management also reportedly screened all the nurses working in the unit and fumigated the affected area. The Public Relations Officer of the FMC, Abeokuta, Segun Orisajo, disclosed this, yesterday, in Abeokuta. Activities at the hospital were put on hold when some medical personnel and patients deserted the hospital due to fear of Lassa fever which claimed two lives. The virus killed an Assistant Nursing Officer, Adesuyi Abolanle, and a corps member, Great Okusaga, who was serving at the facility. Adesuyi was said to have attended to the corps member who earlie...
Over 30,000 malnourished children treated in Katsina State

Over 30,000 malnourished children treated in Katsina State

NEWS
With over 30,000 children already treated for severe acute malnutrition in Katsina State, the state government has pledged to give more support to the intervention programme to rid the state of malnutrition problem. It announced it would add five more council areas to an existing 15 for an intervention programme helping children suffering malnutrition with assistance from the programme Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN). The deputy director of Budget and Planning, Muhammed Barahu, said Katsina voted N200 million for the nutrition intervention programme in 2016 as against N30 million  in the previous year, adding that the money had been secured, approved and released. He spoke at the government office after assessing work at a site for community-based
Bird Flu Outbreak in Kano, Minister Confirms

Bird Flu Outbreak in Kano, Minister Confirms

NEWS
The Federal Government yesterday confirmed the outbreak of a new strain of Bird Flu in Kano State. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Audu Ogbeh confirmed the outbreak at the ministry in Abuja. Ogbeh said the migration of birds from Europe is responsible for the outbreak, “as they stop to rest and feed at Adaeja basin before moving to South Africa”. Ogbeh said the virus has only affected Kano State and advised farmers to take preventive measures to avoid further spread to other states. On why there has not been a permanent cure for the virus, he said the constant change in the strain of the virus is responsible for this. “There is bird flu in Cameroon and in Europe now, they move from Europe to South Africa in the winter, they stop in the Adaeja river basin for days

Senate Set for Showdown with Presidency over National Health Act

NEWS
The Senate and the Ministry of Health may be heading for a showdown over the failure of the government to provide for the implementation of the National Health Act two years after it was enacted. Also, the Senate wants the ministry to make provisions for the treatment of over 1. 9 million acutely malnourished children across the country. The demands may serve as conditions for passing the 2017 Federal Ministry of Health budget. Without the right systems, processes and funds in place, the dream of a universal health coverage will be unattainable, the Lead Director at the Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekpere, told The Guardian yesterday. He said: “It is a verifiable fact that Nigeria is nowhere near the attainment of universal health coverage. More funding, innovation and ch
Nurse, Mortician Die of Lassa Fever in Ogun

Nurse, Mortician Die of Lassa Fever in Ogun

Latest Health News, NEWS
‎A mortician identified only as Okusaga, and a nurse, Omobolanle Adesuyi, have died of Lassa fever at Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State. The deceased persons are believed to have contracted the deadly virus from a Lebanese patient who later died. The hospital cancelled a planned Christmas carol scheduled for Tuesday in honour of the dead. The acting medical director of the hospital, Kehinde Hunyinbo said the deaths were being investigated. “It is true and we have commenced investigation into it, having contacted the Ministry of Health,” he said. The state commissioner for health, Babatunde Ipaye, called for calm, saying the government had always been proactive on issues relating to public health. He said the ministry in collaboration with federal authorities would q
Plastic Rice: Customs Impounds 102 Bags of 25kg Plastic Rice

Plastic Rice: Customs Impounds 102 Bags of 25kg Plastic Rice

NEWS
Operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service attached to the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja have impounded 102 bags of plastic rice meant for distribution within the metropolis. The bags of rice were recovered from a hidden store located in Ikeja area of Lagos. It was gathered that the recovery was made after the Comptroller of Customs, FOU Zone, Comptroller Haruna Mammudu received an intelligence information yesterday morning about a plot by some criminal elements to distribute the rice to some designated persons in Lagos. The Comptroller directed an intelligence team to investigate and the team recovered the items locked up in a store. “A suspect has since been arrested in connection with the plastic rice. He has made useful statement and he is helping the team
Unwanted pregnancy mainly caused by wrong use of contraceptives

Unwanted pregnancy mainly caused by wrong use of contraceptives

NEWS
The major cause of unwanted pregnancy is improper use of contraceptives, Nigeria’s health minister has said. Isaac Adewole, disclosed this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, recently in Abuja. Mr. Adewole,  a professor of  gynaecology, reacted to complaints over the high rate of unwanted pregnancies allegedly caused by contraceptives failure. He described contraceptives as methods, devices or drugs that could prevent conception. “Contraceptive-failure, if you use it well, rarely fails. Very rarely will an unwanted pregnancy come from contraceptive-failure; it comes from user-failure,” NAN quotes the don as saying. “There are different methods of using contraceptives: the use of hormone medications, intrauterine contraceptive devices, barrier contraception,
Nigeria’s pharmaceutical research institute laments inadequate funding

Nigeria’s pharmaceutical research institute laments inadequate funding

NEWS
The Director General of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, NIPRD, Karniyus Gamaniel, has called for improved capital funding of research institutions in Nigeria. Mr. Gamaniel, a professor of pharmacology, made the call at a press briefing in Abuja recently. He said the institution had never received more than 50 per cent of its appropriated budgets in the past six years. “We have never received more than 50 per cent of whatever is usually appropriated to the institution”, he said. “On aggregate, we were appropriated N1.587billion over six years, and what was released on aggregate is N744.856million. So the aggregate percentage released was 46.92 per cent”. The director-general had recently been accused of misappropriating $514,000.36 (N77.10m
Resident doctors threaten strike from January 2, 2017

Resident doctors threaten strike from January 2, 2017

NEWS
The National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, has given the Federal Government up to January 2 to implement the National Health Act and other demands or face withdrawal of service. Addressing journalists in Enugu after its emergency executive committee meeting in Abuja, its President, John Onyebueze, said the government should also implement the July 14 agreement reached by stakeholders at a meeting called by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Dogara. Mr. Onyebueze also called on NARD members to wear black ward coats or clinical gowns from January 2 to “mourn the death of the country’s health sector’’. He said that the association would not be intimidated by the government’s no-work, no-pay order, saying that the policy seemed to be targeted at the associ
UNESCO: 30% of Nigerians Lack Access to Quality Water

UNESCO: 30% of Nigerians Lack Access to Quality Water

NEWS
Launches capacity development exercise next year‎ on quality water The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has said that 30 per cent of Nigerians still lack access to quality water. It said though‎ this was not peculiar to Nigeria alone but all countries in the sub-Saharan Africa. UNESCO Regional Advisor, Mr. Simone‎ Grego disclosed this in Abuja at the regional expert meeting on water quality in agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in West Africa. Based on this, he said UNESCO would be ‎launching a capacity development exercise next year to address the issue of lack of quality water facing sub-Saharan Africa. According to him, “the target for the drinking water plan on MDGs, Nigeria scored well‎, I mean the target was met, o