Category Archives: Health

Monkeypox patient commits suicide as test confirms three positive cases

Monkey pox patient commits suicide

Posted By: Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa and Vincent Ikuomola

•Three cases confirmed
•Four Lagos cases negative

A victim of monkey pox receiving treatment at the Niger Delta University Hospital (UNDTH), Okolobiri, Bayelsa State, has committed suicide.

It was gathered that the victim, whose name was not disclosed, hung himself early yesterday.

The state government confirmed the development at a joint press conference by commissioners for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson and Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, with the Chief Medical Director, NDUTH, Prof. Dimie Ogoina and other senior health officials.

Etebu said that the deceased was among the 21 suspected cases of “monkey pox” being managed at the NDUTH.

He regretted that the patient took his own life despite speedily recovering from the disease.

Etebu said the patient’s medical history did not suggest any mental illness or depression.

He maintained that the patient did not die of monkey pox.

Etebu said the police and his family had been contacted and all due diligence was being followed for his funeral.

He sympathised with the family and said that a committee would evaluate his past and recent clinical and social history.

The examination will determine “if there were undisclosed mental illness or personal family problem that could have justified the suicide”.

Iworiso-Markson urged residents to continue to use preventive measures, such as avoiding bushmeats and other causes of the disease.

The Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr. Asinim Butswat, said the death had been reported.

He, however, said the police were not suspecting any foul play, noting that there were no visible marks of violence other than the rope the patient tied around his neck.

Three cases of monkey pox have been confirmed after laboratory analysis.

The cases are all in Bayelsa State where the outbreak was first reported in September.

Briefing reporters yesterday in Abuja on the outcome of the tests from the World Health Organisation (WHO) reference laboratory in Senegal, Health Minister Prof. Isaac Adewole said only three of the 21 were confirmed positive; 12 were negative.

Results of two others were being awaited.

On the suspected outbreak in Lagos, the minister said the four cases turned out negative.

The minister also noted that further investigations would be carried out on the cases that came out negative to confirm what the ailment is.

He said: “As at 13th of October 2017, there were 17 suspected cases reported from Yenagoa Local Government in Bayelsa State. We have received laboratory confirmation for monkey pox virus from three of these cases from the WHO Regional Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal. Samples from 12 other cases from Bayelsa were negative.

“With these results, three suspected monkey pox cases in Yenagoa have been confirmed with laboratory evidence. The most likely source of infection is a primary zoonotic transmission, from an animal, with secondary person-to-person transmission.

“Since our initial announcement, a total of 43 other suspected cases have been reported from eight other states (Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ekiti, Lagos, Enugu, Nasarawa, Rivers, and FCT).

“Of these, four cases from Lagos have also been tested and confirmed to be negative for the monkey pox virus.”

The minister also posited that other cases from other parts of the country might not be caused by monkey pox.

Adewole said: “We expect that many of these cases being reported from other states in Nigeria are not caused by the Monkey pox virus, but we will continue to investigate all those cases that fit the case definition.”

He added: “Further laboratory tests using whole genome sequencing are being carried out by the Africa Centre for Genomics and Infectious Diseases in Redeemers University, Ede, Osun State.”

Adewole also reassured Nigerians that there was no reason to panic as the West African strain of the monkey pox virus is milder, compared to that of East Africa.

This, he said, explained why there has not been any casualty.

The minister stressed: “Monkey pox is largely a self-limiting disease, from which all suspected patients that have been reported to date are doing well clinically. Even before this confirmation, all the necessary public health measures have been put in place and will continue to be implemented.”

On the symptoms, Adewole said: “The monkey pox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. Monkey pox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) and the incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkey pox is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days.

“Specifically, it begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion

Within one-three days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often begin on the face, then spread to other parts of the body.”

The minister urged Nigerians “to remain calm and supportive of public health authorities, avoid self-medication and report to the nearest health facility if feeling unwell or notice any of the above symptoms in anyone around you. It is important to note that there has been no confirmation of monkey pox in any other part of the country, and it is likely that many of the other cases being reported are not caused by the monkey pox virus. Nigerians should continue to be vigilant at all times.

“Health care workers are strongly advised to always practise universal precautions while handling patients and/or body fluids at all times. They are also urged to be alert, be familiar with the symptoms of monkey pox and maintain a high index of suspicion. All suspected cases should be immediately reported to the local government area or state Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers.”

Source: The Nation


Health benefits of hand washing

Health benefits of hand washing
By Paul Adunwoke

As Sunday marks global Hand Washing Day, the exercise has been described as an easy, effective, and affordable protection against infections. It is said to save lives, especially when it is performed with soap. People can protect themselves, their families, and communities through this method. And it requires just two items: soap and a small amount of water. But the benefits are huge.

When hands are washed with soap regularly, and at such crucial times as, after using the toilet or before contact with food, it can greatly reduce the risk of diarrhoea and pneumonia, which can cause serious illness and death. It can reduce the risk of diarrhoea by 30 to 50 per cent. Regular hand wash with soap also helps to prevent spread of such other infections as influenza and Ebola.

The first global Hand Washing Day was held in 2008, when over 120 million children around the world washed their hands with soap in more than 70 countries. Since then, community and national leaders have used the occasion to spread the word about hand-washing, building of sinks and tippy taps, as well as demonstrate the simplicity and value of clean hands.

The global Hand Washing Day is endorsed by a large number of governments, international institutions, and civil society organisations, non-Governmental organisations (NGOs), private companies and individuals.However, health experts have noted that the reason many don’t wash their hands properly and regularly is due to lack of awareness and consciousness of its immense benefits.

Former President, Association of Resident Doctors in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), and Chairman Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State chapter, Dr. Omojowolo Olubunmi, explained that regular and proper hand washing is perhaps the most important and effective public health means of preventing the spread of diseases.

He added that many communicable diseases, such as cholera and other diarrhoeal disease, typhoid fever and poliomyelitis, among others, are transmitted via the faeco-oral route. Regularly washing the hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs in most situations.

He said: “If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol can be used. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitisers are not as effective as proper hand washing.

“Generally, the act of hand washing is low among Nigerians, and even healthcare personnel. Only about 30 to 40 percent of Nigerians wash their hands regularly, though this may increase to about 60 percent shortly before eating.

“The situation, where hand washing is very essential include, but not limited to before, during and after preparing food, before eating food, before and after caring to someone who is sick, before and after treating a cut or wound, after using the toilet, after changing diapers or cleaning up a child, who has used the toilet, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, after touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste, after handling pet food or pet treats and after touching garbage.

“Proper hand washing, as recommended by the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, include the following steps: Wet your hands with running water and apply soap. Rub your hands together to make lather. Scrub well for at least 20 seconds. Pay special attention to your wrists, the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your fingernails. Rinse your hands well under running water. Use a clean towel to dry your hands, or air-dry your hands.”

Consultant Family Physician with Cedar Group Hospital, Festac Town Lagos, Dr. Chukwuma Ogunbor, said washing hands with soap is very important in preventing diarrhoea and other diseases, especially those with faeco-oral (from faeces to mouth) mode of transmission.

Ogunbor stated that when hands are properly washed with soap, under running water and by vigorously rubbing hands together, pathogens that cause diseases are mechanically removed and contaminating flora inhabiting the hands are chemically killed.

He said in the 2015 UNICEF report, about 750, 000 children in Nigeria die before their fifth birthday. The diseases implicated include those that can be prevented by hand washing. These include diarrhoea, which is the second most common cause of death in this age group. Other diseases that can be prevented by proper hand wash include common cold, conjunctivitis, typhoid fever, hepatitis A and pinworm infection. All these underscore the importance of hand washing in maintaining good hygiene, health and wellbeing.

Ogunbor said: “It is important to note that washing hands with soap is not the only means of preventing diarrhoea. Access to clean and potable water, good sanitation, adequate nutrition and vaccination with rotavirus vaccine are also proven ways of averting sickness and deaths due to diarrhoea. Thus, while the public play its role by ensuring good hygienic practices, government at all levels must continue to ensure adequate and clean public water supply, strengthen the immunisation programme, especially by keeping to national plan of introducing Rotavirus vaccine into the routine immunisation schedule in 2018.

Proper hand washing could reduce up to 30 percent episodes of diarrhoea and a little less proportion of respiratory tract infections. However, despite various awareness and sensitisation programmes, many Nigerians don’t wash their hands appropriately, and frequently. The reasons for this is complex and include lack of access to clean water and soap, cultural practices, religious beliefs, unawareness of its benefits and lackadaisical nature to issues of good hygiene. Most people only wash their hands before eating and in the customarily improper way of jointly dipping their hands in a bowl of water.

“This hand washing approach of joint dipping of hands in a bowl can transfer, rather than prevent diseases. The best way to wash your hand is by applying soap, vigorously rubbing both hands and washing the soap off under running water.

“It is sad to note that after Ebola virus disappeared from Nigeria, most of the water sinks and soap placed at public places, such as schools and offices, have also disappeared or left unattended. What is required is a positive attitudinal change towards good hygienic practices and realisation that just as in the days of Ebola virus disease, hand washing can still prevent many deadly diseases.”

With about 10 percent of deaths in under-five Nigerian children linked to diarrhoea, according to the same 2015 UNICEF report, about 75, 000 Nigerian children die annually due to diarrhoea, which translates to more than 200 children dying daily due to same disease. This is as tragic as one local airline, filled with children, crashing every day in Nigeria, without a survivor, when about 30 percent of these children can be saved by proper hand washing with soap.”

Source; Guardian Newspapers.

Why you should have Honey at home

Why you should have Honey at home

Posted By: Jennifer Joseph 
Honey has been known throughout history as “Liquid Gold,” a natural sweetener that is not just delicious but provides many therapeutic benefits. Although it is a versatile cooking ingredient, honey could also offer some health benefits.
If you’ve not been taking full advantage of the nutritional and medicinal properties of honey, you need to do so!.

You are, therefore, advised to get a bottle of honey stored up in your room somewhere, today because it has lots of amazing benefits you never knew!
Honey Reduces Cough!
Honey may prove to be a lifesaver during this cold season. According to a study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, researchers tested a single nighttime dose of buckwheat honey against a common cough suppressant and no treatment at all in more than 100 children with colds. Overall, parents found that the honey was better than the other two approaches for relieving cough symptoms and improving sleep.
No wonder the World Health Organization lists honey as a potential demulcent, a sugary liquid that coats the throat and soothes irritation. A 2007 study by Penn State College of Medicine suggested that it reduced nighttime coughing and improved sleep quality in children with upper respiratory infection better than the cough medicine dextromethorphan or no treatment.
      2. Honey heals wounds!
Shocking, isn’t it? Applying honey to the skin has been used to heal wounds and burns since ancient Egypt, and is still being used today.
In-depth research studies on honey and wound care were evaluated and the review found that it is most effective at healing partial thickness burns and wounds that have become infected after surgery.
It is also an effective treatment for diabetic foot ulcers, which are very serious complications and can lead to amputation.
One study reported a 43.3% success rate with honey as a wound treatment. In another study, topical honey healed a whopping 97% of patients being treated for their diabetic ulcers.
Similarly, researchers believe that its healing powers come from its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as its ability to nourish the surrounding tissue.
    3. Honey Boosts Memory!
We are what we eat and hence it is very important to consume foods that help make our mental health strong to sustain in old age. One of its numerous health benefits includes its ability in boosting memory and concentration.
Honey not only increases brain power and memory but also makes you a healthier person altogether. Consumption of honey prevents metabolic stress and helps calm and soothes the brain, which helps in augmenting memory in the long run. The natural antioxidants and therapeutic properties in honey help in boosting brains’ cholinergic system and circulation and receding cells that cause memory loss.
     4. Honey helps digestion!
Honey helps reduce constipation, bloating and gas, thanks to it being a mild laxative. Honey is also rich in probiotic or “friendly” bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, which aid in digestion, promote the health of the immune system, and reduce allergies.
Using it in place of table sugar has been found to reduce the toxic effects in the gut of mycotoxins produced by fungi.
5.   Honey Cures Acne!
Honey is a popular home remedy for acne. It’s often combined with other natural ingredients such as cinnamon,

nutmeg, lemon, and avocado to make acne face masks.
There are a lot of anecdotal reports from people who have successfully used honey in the treatment of acne, but actual scientific studies that examine its effectiveness when used on acne patients are currently lacking.
However, we do know that this natural ingredient has antibacterial activity, and studies have shown that it can kill a wide range of bacteria. This is currently thought to be a result of the hydrogen peroxide that is present in the honey and a protein called bee-defensin-1 which is added to the nectar when it’s in the bee’s stomach.
Studies have shown that it is capable of killing the acne-causing bacteria. Due to its high level of antibacterial activity, using honey for acne treatment has become popular in the natural skin care community.
Honey also has anti-inflammatory properties which could be useful in the treatment of an inflammatory condition like acne.
The health benefits of Honey are endless and amazing, new research and studies keep coming up with more benefits of Honey!
Do well to get yourself a bottle of honey today.

How monkey pox started in Bayelsa community – investigation

How monkey pox started in Bayelsa community – investigation

Posted By: Mike Odiegwu

Residents of Agbura community in Ogbia Local Government Area where the suspected Monkey Pox epidemic started were not bothered about the disease, investigations showed yesterday.

It was also gathered contrary to insinuations the index case of the epidemic came down with the disease after consuming monkey, the teenager only had constant contact with a monkey, which he played with it as a pet.

When our correspondent visited the community, which is not far from Otuoke, the community of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the locals were seen going about their normal activities.

A commercial motorcyclist claimed he had never heard about the epidemic and directed our correspondent to speak to another resident, who identified himself simply as Nathan.

But Nathan said there was nothing serious about the monkey pox in the riverine community, adding the family of the index case resides on Unity Street around the area.

“We only heard that one family from the eastern part of the country travelled home where they are they ate monkey so when they came back to our community, some of them came down with the sickness,” he said.

At unity Street, our correspondent observed people around the area were going about their activities without fear.

Contrary to reports, neighbours had not relocated from the street.

A neighbour, who spoke in confidence, said only an 11-year-old boy and his six years old younger brother came down with symptoms of the epidemic.

He stated the case of the younger brother was not as severe as his elder brother.

Apart from the two victims, nobody living with them had come down with the sickness, the neigbour hinted.

He said parents of the victims had not shown signs of the epidemic, adding their mother owned a restaurant somewhere in Yenagoa, the state capital.

On how the victims could have contracted the suspected virus, he said: “We don’t really know. But all I can tell you is that one of the neighbours with a shop had a monkey.

“The victims used to play with the monkey. The monkey was like their pet. The monkey used to lick their bodies and climbed on them. That was all we know before their sickness occurred”.

It was gathered the victims were later taken away by health experts to the University Teaching Hospital Okolobiri where they were treated and brought back home.

The victims were reportedly asked to remain indoors, pending total recuperation.

The source said: “When the health experts came they asked our neighbour to take the monkey away. We don’t know where the monkey was taken to.

“But the experts have been coming around to check the health statuses of some people around here.

“They said they would soon carry out a general medical examination of everybody. But we don’t think it is anything serious”.

Bayelsa State Government has established a 12-member rapid response team consisting of top medical professionals and public health experts to check possible spread of the monkey pox.

Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebimitula Etebu, who set up the committee, reassured the epidemic was under control adding that there was not need to panic.

Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said government had embarked on practical steps to ensure the disease was prevented from spreading.
Source: The Nation

Tips to avoid monkeypox infection

11 tips to avoid monkey pox infection

Tunde Ajaja
Early in the week, Monkey Pox, a rare viral zoonosis transmitted from animals to humans, was discovered in Bayelsa State in the South South region of Nigeria.
As of Friday evening, 10 persons had been infected while 49 had been placed under surveillance.
According to the Chief Medical Director of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Chris Bode, Monkey Pox is similar to small pox, but it’s milder than small pox. He said the infection crosses species when man comes in contact with the animals that are the usual reservoir of infection.
He said the index case must have come in contact with an infected monkey or if the monkey was consumed when it was not properly cooked. If the virus was still alive, given that not all the bacteria are destroyed by heat, then the transmission would take place through that mechanism.
Things to know about the viral infection
The primary source of contact is from a monkey, whether through eating inadequately cooked monkey meat or meat of an infected animal. 

The secondary channel of transmission is from human to human, especially through body fluid. Another channel of contact is contact with materials contaminated with the virus. 

The illness can be fatal in humans, between one per cent and 10 per cent, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups. There is no treatment or vaccine available, although prior smallpox vaccination was highly effective in prevention.

Its incubation period is from six to 16 days, but it can also range from five to 21 days.Its symptoms could last from 14 to 21 days.

The invasion period could last from zero to five days.The symptoms include fever, intense headache, back pain, abnormal physical weakness or lack of energy, muscular pains and lymphadenopathy.

Physical manifestation include skin eruption, with 95 per cent on the face and 75 per cent on palms of the hands and sole of feetRashes, characterised by flat, red spot on the skin, covered with small confluent bumps

If there is no symptom from either partners, there is no need to create tension at home
How to avoid being infected
These are some of the tips suggested by the LUTH CMD:
Avoid eating monkey meat for now. 

Cook all animal products thoroughly. 

Avoid body contact with an infected person. 

Say no to unnecessary touching like handshakes. 

Maintain very high index of suspicion. 

Health officers must use protective devices, such as hand gloves. 

Report to the hospital if you observe strange feeling. 

Wash your hands regularly. 

During slaughtering of animal, avoid contact with the animal’s fluid. 

Avoid food items like monkey meat, particularly if not properly cooked. 

Avoid roasting of monkey meat prior to consumption as most, not all, of the bacteria are destroyed by heat

Additional information: @drjaameh


Source: The Punch

​Healthy diet for nursing mothers

​Healthy diet for nursing mothers

By Zainab Dada

Regular meal is very important for nursing mothers when breast-feeding in order to gain essential nutrients and to increase breast milk levels. Eating well when breast feeding means getting a variety of nutritious food which will help your child’s growth and development.

To ensure that your baby is well kept, a nursing mother needs to keep a close eye on her diet. She must ensure that she eats food that are rich in protein, folic acid, carbohydrate, vitamins, and minerals but must reduce fat and oil. According to experts, below are the health benefits of these foods to your child.

Protein: is important for nursing mothers and their children because it supports growth, repairs tissues and also aid immune system functions. Two serving of food like egg, fish, and beans everyday will help your child a lot.

Calcium: Plenty of calcium rich foods are also effective and essential in a breast-feeding diet. Calcium helps build and protect the bone and teeth, it also plays role in blood clotting and helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Examples of food that contain calcium are yogurt and cheese.

Carbohydrate: Rich foods such as rice, bread, yam and so on are also good for the mothers especially, because they strengthen them, and also give them energy to stay strong for their off- string.

Vitamins: Vitamin A and C are also essential in a nursing mother because it will strengthen the baby’s vision and bone growth. Babies generally are dependent on their mothers’ dietary intake to get Vitamins A and C. Examples of these are; sweet potatoes, carrot, orange juice, mangoes, avocado and pumpkin.

Fat and oil: Doctors often discourage mothers from taking too much of fat and oil because it has been scientifically confirmed it that high fat content is not good for babies. Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fat and oil available for nursing mothers because of it high content of calories.

Effect of malnutrition on nursing mothers

Dr. Muyiwa Olugbesan of J.V.M hospital said “when nursing mothers don’t eat food that are rich in protein, carbohydrate and take too much of fat and oil, they will not be able to fight infections and are likely to succumb to diseases such as anemia, malaria and so on.

Effect of malnutrition on babies

Dr. Muyiwa Olugbesan said no disease has been associated with babies because nature has done it in such a way that breast milk itself is enough for a baby adding that the only thing negative effect is that the immune system of the child will be reduced and the child is bound to have diseases like diarrhea, malaria, kwashiorkor, marasmos and even xerophthalmia (process while by the child face start to turn dry then later get blind).

Source: Tribune

Causes of premature birth

Causes of premature birth

Chris Abumchi, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, says violence among couples can predispose pregnant women to preterm births.

Mr. Abumchi said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Abuja.

He said that other social vices such as smoking, alcohol consumption and drug abuse could also lead to preterm birth.

He said that Nigeria ranked the highest with the burden of premature babies in the world after India and China.

According to him, preterm birth was a global challenge and one in every 10 babies is born premature.

He said that with 800,000 babies born prematurely every year, Nigeria had the highest burden in the world after India and China.

He explained that premature babies were born alive before 37 weeks of pregnancy, and may experience more health challenges with need to stay longer in hospital than babies born later.

“The earlier in pregnancy a baby is born, the more likely he is to have health problems because premature babies have to spend time in a hospital’s neo-natal intensive care unit.

“But thanks to advances in medical care, even babies born very prematurely are more likely to survive today than ever before,’’ he said.

Mr. Abumchi said the normal gestation period for humans was between 38 to 42 weeks, adding that preterm babies were born before the developing organs mature enough to allow normal postnatal survival.

He said the causes of preterm birth include weakness of the neck of the womb whereby a pregnant woman’s cervix begins to dilate before the pregnancy reaches full term.

“Multiple pregnancies, statistically 54 per cent of twins are delivered preterm as opposed to 9.6 per cent of singleton births while triplets and other multiple births are more endangered.

“Infections and chronic conditions such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, genetic influences and previous preterm births can as well predispose women to it,’’ he said.

He identified warning signs of preterm labour as contractions whereby the belly tightened every 10 minutes or more, change in vaginal discharge such as fluid or bleeding and belly cramps, among others.

The consultant advised women to seek early pre-natal care immediately they realised they had conceived to receive information on how to eat right, gain the proper weight and screen for infections.

He said all pregnant women should avoid certain risk factors such as being overweight, smoking, illegal drugs during pregnancy.