Flooding, new cancer machine, other major health stories last week

These are some of the reports in the health sector published last week:

Flood Disaster: WHO steps up disease prevention efforts

In a bid to prevent disastrous epidemics, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is stepping up efforts to provide life-saving assistance, especially basic medical care, to flood victims in Nigeria.

At least 826,000 Nigerians were severely affected by heavy flooding after the banks of the country’s two main rivers – the Niger and the Benue – busted following heavy rain, which began falling in August.

The disaster has affected 12 out of 36 states according to the National Emergency Management Agency. The floods had claimed about 200 lives with 176,300 people displaced, more than 150,000 hectares of farmland inundated, 17,800 houses washed away, and 321 roads and bridges destroyed.

Floods and their consequences – including lack of drinkable water, shelter, and overflowing sanitation systems – can easily lead to the spread of communicable and water-borne diseases, such as cholera and malaria.

National Hospital’s Second Cancer Machine

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has said that the second cancer machine at the National Hospital, Abuja will commence operations January 2019.

The machine was donated by SNEPCO Nigeria limited as part of her corporate social responsibility to Nigerians.

The newly installed machine is expected to reduce the plight of cancer patients in Nigeria who have been travelling out of the country in search of radiotherapy treatment as the machine has the capacity to treat at least 100 patients a day.

SON Beams Searchlight On Table Water Producers

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has urged the Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP) to ensure strict compliance with the Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) to eradicate waterborne diseases.

Osita Aboloma, Director-General, SON, at a one-day sensitisation workshop for ATWAP in Minna, Niger State, said there is a need to ensure that all elements of quality assurance are strictly applied to produce and supply not only good quality but safe water to all Nigerians.

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He said incidences of waterborne diseases must be eradicated and emphasised that strict compliance is the bedrock for ensuring continual customer satisfaction and sustainability of economic growth.

Newborn Deaths In Bauchi

Oluseyi Olusunde, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Health Officer in Bauchi, said the rate of neonatal deaths in the state was alarming and called for urgent action.

He stated this at a stakeholders meeting for situation analysis on newborn deaths in the state.

“Out of every 1000 newborn, 161 are likely to die before their fifth birthday in Bauchi; this is far above SDG target. For our newborn presently, we have about 11455 deaths of newborns every year in Bauchi, therefore Bauchi is number five in Nigeria in terms of newborn deaths,” he said.

Incorrect Use Of Viagra Risky

The incorrect use Viagra may have a negative impact on vision, a new study as shown.

These drugs known as sildenafil citrate commonly sold under brand name Viagra has no doubt improved the lives of many of its users, but by inducing significant penile erection, too much of it can lead to permanent damage of the eyes.

For the first time ever, researchers investigated — in cellular detail — the damage that high levels of Viagra can do to the retina. Taking too much of it might threaten colour vision.

Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, NY, have recently published a case study in the journal’s Retinal Cases and Brief Reports. The concluded that using doses of Viagra could eventually lead to significant long term vision damage.

Diabetes Linked To Aarthritis, Osteoporosis

A study that draws on data from more than 100,000 people has found a link between diabetes and an increased risk of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Scientist from Nordsjaellands University Hospital in Hillerød, Denmark, set out to gain a better understanding of the potential interactions between diabetes, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

Results presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting, held in Berlin, Germany showed that people with diabetes were 33 per cent more likely to have osteoarthritis; they were also more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis (the risk increased by 70 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively).

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Ovarian Cancer: Low-dose Aspirin Can Lower Risk

A recent study has shown that taking low dose of aspirin can lower risk of ovarian cancer.

A paper on the study led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA — which is to appear in the JAMA Oncology journal, showed by an analysis of data from hundreds of thousands of women in the United States that regularly taking low-dose aspirin is linked to a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The team found a 23 per cent lower risk of ovarian cancer in women who reported that they had recently been frequently taking up to 100 milligrams of aspirin, compared with women who had taken none. However, the team discovered no links between “standard-dose” aspirin use (325 milligrams) and ovarian cancer risk.

Residents Attack Congo Health Workers

Angry residents left health workers dealing with an Ebola outbreak severely injured in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Four Red Cross workers were set upon by locals who threw rocks at their car in the city of Butembo as they were transporting dead bodies for burial.

Residents do not believe the Ebola virus, which has killed 100 people since the start of the outbreak two months ago, is real.

Touching dead bodies is common as part of traditional burial rights in DR Congo, but the bodies of Ebola victims are highly contagious and are buried safely to stop the spread of the virus.

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