Nutrition Wed, 26 Apr 2017 04:50:36 +0300 - Codewit World News en-gb (Codewit World News) Government rolls out birth registrations by mobile phone Tanzania has launched a nationwide drive to help parents register their children's births by mobile phone so the government can better plan health, education and other public services.

The country has one of the lowest rates of birth registration in eastern and southern Africa. Some 80 percent of Tanzanians - and more than nine in 10 under-fives - do not have birth certificates, according to the 2012 census.

Child's rights campaigners say ensuring every child's birth is registered is key to safeguarding basic rights and access to healthcare, education and justice. Birth registration also helps protect children from exploitation including child labour, child marriage, trafficking and early recruitment into armed forces.

Last month world leaders agreed to ensure universal birth registration under ambitious new global development goals (SDGs).

Most parents in rural areas of Tanzania do not register their children because of the steep cost, long distances to registry offices, cumbersome process and lack of awareness of the benefits.

Parents have to pay 3,500 Tanzanian shillings ($1.6) if they request a birth certificate within 90 days of a child's birth, or 4,000 shillings afterwards, as well as travel costs - a high price in a country where many rural people live on less than $1 a day.

The new system being rolled out across the country over the next five years allows a health worker to send the baby's name, sex, date of birth and family details by phone to a central data base and a birth certificate is issued free of charge in days.

The initiative - already operating in 10 of the country's 26 regions - is run by the government registration agency RITA, UNICEF and telecommunications company Tigo.

RITA's acting head Emmy Hudson said the project had accelerated birth registration after years of stagnation.

The government expects to register about a million children under the age of five before the end of this year, and 90 percent of all newborns within the next five years.

Anna Mbelwa, who gave birth to a baby boy at Mbalizi hospital in the southern Mbeya region this month, said the initiative made a big difference.

"I was very impressed because it usually takes a long time to get a birth certificate," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "It was very inconvenient before since parents had to travel a long distance to the district registrar only to be told their children's files were missing."

Globally, around 290 million children do not possess a birth certificate, according to UNICEF. Without one, they can face problems later in life if they want to enrol in university, find employment, buy property, access justice or get a passport.

"I will make sure that all my children have their birth certificate, it is very important for their future," Mbelwa added. "At the hospital every delivering mother was quite eager to get a birth certificate, they certainly know its importance."

]]> (Agency Reporter) Nutrition Tue, 13 Oct 2015 19:05:32 +0300
Akwanga LG Chairman denies rumours of cholera outbreak

Mr Abashiya Koto, Chairman of Akwanga Local Government of Nasarawa State has denied rumours of cholera outbreak in the area.

Koto told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Akwanga that insinuations of the presence of the scourge in the area were unfounded.

"No body lost his or her life as a result of cholera outbreak in Akwanga as alleged in some quarters, there is no cause for anybody to panic.

"Let me tell you, it is not true there is cholera outbreak in this area but it is true that three persons lost their lives last Sunday due to diarrhea and vomiting.

" But it is not cholera as alleged in some quarters.

"When the council heard that three persons lost their lives in Gudi Primary Health Care Clinic in this local government, I went there personally with health experts including officials of World Health Organisation (WHO).

"The health experts took samples and conducted tests and it was discovered that it is diarrhea and vomiting but not cholera as been speculated.

"I want to call on the people of this area and the state to remain calm and avoid being panicky as my administration is ready at all times to improve on their health and wellbeing, " he said.

Koto however urged the people to improve on their personal hygiene and environmental sanitation to guard against diseases.

He further urged them to avoid incessant dumping of refuse into drainage, gutters, markets areas and other unauthorised places in the interest of their health and that of the nation.

"People should always drink good water and keep their dustbins tightly covered at all times as debris from uncovered dustbins go straight into gutters which could lead to the spread of communicable diseases, " he said.

]]> (Agency Reporter) Nutrition Tue, 13 Oct 2015 09:45:26 +0300
'1.4 million people die of hepatitis every year' - WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that hepatitis B and C cause approximately 80% of all liver cancer deaths and kill close to 1.4 million people every year.

The global health body made this known in a statement released to mark the World Hepatitis Day.

The group also highlighted the urgent need for countries to enhance action to prevent viral hepatitis infection and to ensure that people who have been infected are diagnosed and offered treatment.

To this end, WHO recommends among other things that people should know their risks, demand safe injections, get vaccinated, get tested and seek treatment.

According to WHO, people should be aware of the risks of contracting hepatitis from unsafe blood, unsafe injections, and sharing drug-injection equipment, adding that some 11 million people who inject drugs have hepatitis B or C infection, while approximately 2 million people a year contract hepatitis from unsafe injections.

Also children born to mothers with hepatitis B or C and sex partners of people with hepatitis are also at risk of becoming infected.

They therefore emphasised the need for all health services to reduce risks by using only sterile equipment for injections and other medical procedures, to test all donated blood and blood components for hepatitis B and C (as well as HIV and syphilis) and to promote the use of the hepatitis B vaccine, including in children.

According to the WHO, since 1982, over one billion doses of hepatitis B vaccine have been used worldwide and millions of future deaths from liver cancer and cirrhosis have been prevented.

Earlier in the year, WHO issued new guidelines for treatment of hepatitis B infection, recommending using simple non-invasive tests to assess the stage of liver disease to help identify who needs treatment.

WHO will update recommendations on drug treatments periodically as new antiviral medicines become available and as new evidence emerges.

WHO’s flagship event takes place in Egypt this year, a country that has one of the world’s highest hepatitis burdens, with an estimated 10%of the 15 and ‎‎59 population ‎infected with hepatitis C.

Co-sponsored by WHO, the summit is co-organised by the Scottish Government and the World Hepatitis Alliance.

The summit aims to raise the global profile of viral hepatitis, to create a platform for exchange of country experiences and to focus on working with countries to develop national action plans.

]]> (Onnaedo Okafor) Nutrition Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:37:41 +0300
Many health workers come to work sick - Study finds

A new study has found that many doctors, nurses, midwives and physicians assistants come to work sick even though they know it puts patients at risk.

It further revealed that many said they don’t call in sick because they don’t want to let colleagues or patients down by taking a sick day, and they were concerned about finding staff to cover their absence.

Survey responses from 536 doctors and advanced practice clinicians at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, was analysed by Julia E. Szymczak and colleagues.

It was found that over 95% believed that working while sick puts patients at risk, but 83% still said they had come to work with symptoms like diarrhea, fever and respiratory complaints during the previous year.

About 9% had worked while sick at least five times over the previous year, and doctors were more likely than nurses or physicians assistants to work while sick.

Analyzing their comments, the researchers found that many report extreme difficulty finding coverage when they’re sick, and there is a strong cultural norm to come in to work unless extraordinarily ill.

The findings were reported in JAMA Pediatrics.

Study co-author Dr. Jeffrey R. Starke of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston said sick health care workers present a real risk for patients, especially ones who are immunocompromised, like cancer patients or transplant patients.

He added that most hospitals do not have a specific policy restricting ill healthcare workers, and developing and enforcing these policies may help address the issue.

Starke further pointed out that side from spreading illness in the hospital, sick doctors likely perform worse on the job than healthy ones.

]]> (Onnaedo Okafor) Nutrition Wed, 08 Jul 2015 12:45:04 +0300
'Don't buy breast milk online, it's unhealthy ' - Researchers UK researchers have warned that human breast milk being bought online by fetishists, bodybuilders and cancer patients is a danger to health.

The Queen Mary University of London team claimed the milk, which is sold through specialist websites and social media groups, was unpasteurised and could carry dangerous germs.

They said claims that the milk boosted the immune system were misleading and could be dangerous to cancer patients.

Popularly referred to as liquid gold, it is unclear how much of the product is being traded.

Dr Sarah Steele, from Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry speaking with BBC said the market had "shown consistent growth around the world".

According to the report,  93% of breast milk sold online contains detectable levels of bacteria, as non-sterile equipment is used to express or store the milk posing threats like hepatitis B and C, HIV and syphilis.

The trade reportedly started to help women who were not producing enough breast milk themselves.

However, it is also bought for its supposed health benefits such as building muscle, by fetishists and even some "foodies".

Dr Steele particularly expressed worry over the milk being sold to cancer patients owing to the fact that the immune system is not functioning the same as in a healthy adult, thus posing great risk.

]]> (Onnaedo Okafor) Nutrition Wed, 24 Jun 2015 04:29:19 +0300
UNICEF: 'At least 100 people use one toilet in Dolari camp' - Body decries health conditions in camp

UNICEF has reported that the nutrition and health status of women and children in the Dolari camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP) is very poor.

According to Ms Jean Gough, Country Representative of UNICEF who quoted a report compiled by the group, the Dolari camp had a population as high as 15,000 persons and suffered lack of health facilities, malnutrition and basic education.

It further said that 5% of children under-five suffer acute malnutrition and 15% from moderate malnutrition, stating that food assistance in the camp is unreliable and of poor nutritional quality.

UNICEF also conducted a joint WASH assessment to identify needs and gaps in the response to Dolari camp, and found that each person in the camp was only entitled to eight litres of water per day.

In addition, the fund further found out that each toilet in the camp was used by a minimum of 100 persons in a day.

The Country Representative said that 3,600 households in the camp were assessed and a total of 4,737 children, comprising 2,293 boys and 2,444 girls, were evaluated to need basic education.

According to the report, UNICEF had conducted several immediate interventions in the camp to ensure that the displaced persons were provided with a temporary succour saying,

“UNICEF with the State Ministry of Health has screened 2,826 children under five, 164 admitted into therapeutic feeding programme run out of camp clinic with 37 discharged as cured. There was provision of chlorine for the chlorination of water assessed by the estimated 15,000 persons in the camp. There is an ongoing construction of two solar powered water supply systems and latrines with shelter that would benefit the IDPs. UNICEF in partnership with other stakeholders had distributed dignity kits to about 1,800 households in the camp,’’

According to the report, UNICEF had reached 3,752 children with psycho-social support activities which were carried out by 60 trained community volunteers.

]]> (Onnaedo Okafor) Nutrition Mon, 22 Jun 2015 20:31:03 +0300
Ebola: 'Chances of disease killing a person is based on their genetic make-up' - New study says

New research has shown that the Ebola virus that killed over 11,000 people  did not mutate at a faster rate than in previous outbreaks.

This is contrary to research conducted early in the outbreak which suggested the virus was mutating at twice the rate previously seen.

Describing the find as reassuring,  researchers said the mutation rate was only slightly higher in this last outbreak.

Said Miles Carroll, head of research microbiology services at Public Health England (PHE) which is the laboratory leading the work:

"The results are good news for the scientists working to develop long-term solutions for Ebola, such as vaccines and treatments, as it means these should still work against the mutated strains of the virus,"

For their study, Carroll and researchers across Europe and in affected West African countries analyzed 179 patient samples obtained by the European Mobile Laboratory, which was deployed to the epicenter of the outbreak in Guinea, to find how the Ebola virus mutated and spread.

According to Reuters, their analysis confirmed Ebola was introduced into the Guinean population in December 2013 at a single source, supporting theories from epidemiologists.

Scientists believe it was first transmitted from a bat to a 2-year-old boy and the team also established how the virus spilled into Sierra Leone in April or early May 2014.

Based on their results, Carroll said his team now believes one of the key factors in whether Ebola kills someone is the host's genetic makeup, rather than changes in the virus itself.

The team said the next phase of study would be investigating the story which may lead to improved treatment options.

]]> (Onnaedo Okafor) Nutrition Thu, 18 Jun 2015 20:39:38 +0300
Health Ministry: Why Nigerians must donate blood voluntarily

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Linus Awute, on Saturday, June 13, said the estimated blood needs in Nigeria stands at between 1.4 to 1.7 million units per annum.

Awute said this during the commemoration of the 2015 World Blood Donor Day tagged: "Thank you for saving my life’’ in Abuja, scheduled to hold today June 14 globally.

"Unfortunately much less is collected, leading to avoidable deaths and morbidity particularly among our women folks, newborn children, victims of road traffic accidents and insurgencies.

"The situation can improve if only one per cent of our country’s adult population commit themselves to voluntary non-remunerated blood donation on a regular basis.

"This will go long way in getting rid of touts and blood racketeering,’’ he said.

He said that the use of blood and blood products has become an integral part of modern medical practice, adding that about 108 million units of blood are utilised per annum in the world.

Awute, however, urged Nigerians to take important decision of becoming voluntary non-remunerated blood donors.

"The use of blood is far too critical to be left in the hands of touts and racketeers, who commercialise this precious gift of life,’’ he said.

The permanent secretary said that statistics show that voluntary/non-remunerated blood donation accounts for only 10 per cent of the total blood collection.

He said there is need to urgently reverse the trend.

Awute called on health professionals, hospitals and other related institutions to join hands with the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS) as it pursues the noble cause using a coordinated approach.

"I make a special appeal to our tertiary and secondary hospitals to embrace the Hospital Linkage Programme (HLP) designed by the NBTS.

"The state governments need to take blood safety as an essential part of their health systems and to ensure the implementation of resolutions reached at the 55th and 56th National Council on Health (NCH) on blood safety,’’ he said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Rui Vaz, said that about 65 per cent of blood donation in world is used by children below five years of age.

"Some of the children that need the blood can be due to some communicable diseases like Malaria and other infectious diseases.

"In the African region, approximately four million of blood donors represent 50 per cent of what is needed for the region,’’ he said.

Vaz said that WHO will continue to provide support and not just formulate policies and guidelines but ensure more awareness campaign on the donation of safe blood.

Earlier, the Director of Hospital Services, Dr Patience Osinubi, said that the focus of the day was to thank blood donors who had saved lives through their blood donations.

"The campaign also aims to highlight stories from people whose lives have been saved through blood donation.

"It’s a way of motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood and for people who enjoy good health but have never given blood to begin doing so,’’ she said.
Mr Nathaniel John and his wife, Loveth, were given an award for the highest blood donor for this year.
The awardees, however, encouraged youths to donate blood as a way for them to know the state of their health.

]]> (Dimeji Akinloye) Nutrition Mon, 15 Jun 2015 06:26:16 +0300
Medical Research: 'Set up more clinical trials in Nigeria' - Health stakeholders urge

In a bid to advance healthcare in Nigeria and the West African region, scientists and medical experts have called for more clinical trials in the region.

The call was made at the Third Nigerian Annual Clinical Trial Summit in Lagos with the theme Advancing global clinical trials in West Africa Sub-region.

Speaking at the event, former  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman and professor of Pharmacognosy, Maurice Iwu, said clinical research and associated clinical trials (CTs) are important for advancing public health and development of evidence-based medicine.

He further said, while delivering his paper on Leveraging Bilateral and Multilateral Opportunities in Clinical Research, that  the era of electronic digitalisation, internet and cloud-computing applications demand a review of extant methodologies used in clinical trials to fully take advantage of global clinical resources and assets.

Iwu pointed out that the registration of clinical trials in the public would enhance transparency, adding that it would also "increase trust in research, improve participation and safeguard against public bias.”

Also speaking at the event was the chairman, Association for Good Clinical Practice in Nigeria (AGCPN), Prof Ifeoma Okoye, who said clinical trials are essential to move healthcare forward as it aims to promote indigenous drug development and health.

The professor of Radiology at the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Enugu, said the country is presently making inroad in clinical trials, especially as research are ongoing on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) drug.

The Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii also added that his agency has approved 50 clinical trials, guided by guidelines and regulations of the World Health Organisation (WHO), on drugs and herbal medicine, including that of EVD.

He said clinical trials should be seen as a social good, adding that the public needs to participate in research.

]]> (Onnaedo Okafor) Nutrition Tue, 09 Jun 2015 12:45:01 +0300
Ovarian Cancer Regular blood tests could help detect disease early, research suggests

Regular blood tests can detect 86% of ovarian cancers before the point at which women normally would be diagnosed, BBC reports.

This has been revealed by a trial that could lead to national screening.

According to the first results of the 14-year trial of more than 46,000 women conducted by a University College London team, it is suggested that tumours can be detected early.

Ovarian tumours are often deadly as they are caught too late owing to their symptoms, including abdominal pain, persistent bloating and difficulty eating, that are common in other conditions.

Ovarian tumours spew out high levels of a chemical called CA125, which is already used as a test if patients have symptoms.

According to BBC, the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening performed annual blood tests on post-menopausal women across 13 NHS Trusts, tracking changes in the levels of CA125 over time and if levels became elevated then the women were sent for further tests including an ultrasound scan.

The trial results, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, showed 86% of cancers were picked up.

Speaking on the discovery, Prof Usha Menon, from University College London said:

"It's good, but the truth lies in whether we've picked up the cancer early enough to save lives, we hope we have. There is no screening at the moment so we are awaiting the results before the NHS can decide. Many people would have to be screened so it really needs to translate to lives saved."

The mortality data is expected later in the year.

Meanwhile, researchers are hopeful that the prospect of blood tests detecting ovarian cancer early is a good one, as early detection could increase chances of survival.

]]> (Onnaedo Okafor) Nutrition Thu, 07 May 2015 12:36:17 +0300