This man’s medical emergency will have have you reaching for a Q-tip.
Doctors in China were shocked to discover that a man’s earache was caused by around a dozen cockroaches that had hatched in his hearing canal.
The 24-year-old man — identified only as Mr. Lv — was admitted in October to Sanhe Hospital in the Guangdong Province, where he complained of a “sharp pain” in his right ear, reports New York Post.
“He said his ear hurt a lot, like something was scratching or crawling inside,” Dr. Zhong Yijin, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the clinic, told AsiaWire. “It caused a lot of discomfort.”
Lv also told the docs his family had previously shone a light in his ear to reveal what looked like a large bug inside. The doctor soon confirmed the man’s suspicions after discovering a freshly born brood of German cockroaches — and their mother — in his auditory canal.
“I discovered more than 10 cockroach babies inside,” Dr. Yijiin said. “They were already running around.”
Sanhe Hospital’s deputy head of ENT, Dr. Jiang Tengxiang, told local media outlets Lv had a habit of leaving snacks near his bed while he slept, which likely prompted the insect interlopers to use his ear as an impromptu incubation chamber.
Doctors were able to extract both the babies and their mama — one by one — from Lv’s ear using tweezers.
BTW: This guy got off easy. Experts say the German (blattella germanica) cockroach’s egg case typically contains 30 to 40 eggs.
Lv only sustained minor injuries to his ear, and was discharged the same day with a prescription for antibiotic ointment, according to a statement released by the hospital.
Dr. Tengxiang also provided helpful — i.e. obvious — tips for preventing cockroaches from living rent-free in your head.
“Practice good hygiene, disinfect drains and sewers and use mosquito nets and screens on windows,” he said. “That’ll stop insects from flying or crawling into your noses and ears.”
Adequate immunisation could reduce 25% of children’s death –Anyene
Dr. Benjamin Anyene is a medical doctor and microbiologist with over 30 years of experience. He is also the Chairman, Health Sector Reform Coalition (HSRC) and the Legislative Network for Universal Health Coverage (UHC). He speaks on the implication of untimely budget release, prioritising the health of children, increasing investment on health, among other issues. REGINA OTOKPA reports
What is the implication of untimely release of budget on health?
It is a shame that both people in government and parliament do not understand that budgets are not just rituals; budgets are to deliver on targeted interventions that will solve problems. A budget that was supposed to be passed in December the year before this year was signed in June, rather than to be operational since January 1st, first of all it is already truncated and secondly when the budget is finally signed into law, the bureaucracy from the time it is signed to the time it is released to the institutions to use them is a huge black hole which is difficult to navigate because of what I must call bureaucratic madness.
We know how much is budgeted; we know how much we need to spend. Even if it is quarterly, you release it at the beginning and not at the end of the quarter so everybody should work in tandem to ensure that they are released as at when due not when an Individual thinks he has to release it.
It has been a perennial issue at levels of government and so the issue of transparency and accountability at that level is very critical. It is even worst at the state government level because it is the governor that decides who gets and who doesn’t get.
We cannot be hoping that Nigeria will be a first world nation without ensuring that we strengthen these institutions to be accountable, transparent and do what others do.
Tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/ AIDS, Immunisation funding in this country are paid for by partners so what do we pay for in this country because these are critical things.
In 2001 African heads of states met in Abuja under the chairmanship of President Olusegun Obasanjo and they all agreed that 15 per cent of the national budget should be committed to health.But that was not done we are not committed to it.
What could be responsible for the consistent decline in the 15 per cent commitment to health budget?
It is lack of seriousness, commitment and understanding of what government is all about. To be a government of healthy people you have to invest to make sure they are healthy. 70 per cent of our health problems are in the primary healthcare sector; it presupposes that 70 per cent of our investment should be there but 70 per cent of the federal is at the tertiary level, there is a mismatch.
How can 95 per cent immunisation be achieved in Nigeria?
We already know that we have this number of children, why is it difficult for Nigeria to make money available to make sure their vaccines are provided? We don’t have to beg government to do that.Why doesn’t government donate five days of oil production to that and that money will be enough to pay for all these, why can’t they make such investments.
Another aspect is Nigeria celebrates childbirth so much yet nobody takes responsibility for that. In the immunisation data you see ‘missed children’ how can they be missed, why can’t someone take responsibility to immunise those children. But again, even if someone takes the responsibility, the vaccines may not be there. Governmental, parental and community responsibility are all part of the problems associated with immunisation.
Private sectors may have the vaccines whereas government does not have it is sold then for as high as N10, 000 yet they are supposed to be free. Did the private sector import it themselves or is it the government that is importing. People have to take responsibility. If there is nothing government can do at least from birth lets protect this children and if we protect them we can reduce at least 25 per cent of deaths of children because things like tuberculosis, diarrhoea will not be there.
It costs N14,000 to immunise a child, do you think Nigeria can take up full responsibility of immunising 7.4 million children by 2021?
Why shouldn’t we. Are other countries not doing it? We can even do it next year if the vaccines are there and the equipment, storage spaces, people who vaccinate, the preservation facilities are functioning.
The vaccines we need next year have already been paid for and booked this June. It takes at least six months lead to get vaccines and nobody will manufacture vaccines for you except you pay down for it. We ought to be able to know how much we need, time the money, pay for it so that manufacturers can manufacture for you so that by December you are taking delivery and by January the vaccines are available.
Do you see the government taking up this responsibility?
It is what I call administrative laziness; somebody is not doing his work. It baffles and embarrasses people like me that these things that we should take as given are not given. Out of N144 billion if states are to pay 100 per cent each state will pay about N3 billion. How much are they spending in frivolities, security votes, trips governors make to Abuja every time with huge convoys and all. I have seen these things for the past 30 years and it is not changing but it should change because people out there are laughing at us because they know you have it.
European Union (EU) said it will stop giving money to Nigeria because they have money and we do have money. The thing is how do you manage that money to be able to pay for the needs of your people.
There is need to have the right people at the right time and at the right place; so that we can do the right things like eliminating corruption.
How has out-of-pocket-spending affected Nigerians?
More people are dying now from nutritional and health issues because prices of drugs have tripled yet our income has not tripled.
Where the system is properly organised, everybody will be on health insurance but here everybody is on his own. The insurance that is more than ten years old is just covering about 2.8 per cent of Nigerians. We invest in health we will contribute but we need to have a system where if I contribute that system should be able to use it efficiently to my health and that system is the social insurance scheme where everybody will be catered for. It is done in all Europe, Ghana has started it, Rwanda and other countries are doing it. So, why can’t we do it.
Nigeria is about the only country where you can buy any drugs at the counter, even in the Republic of Benin you cannot if it is not prescribed but here you can buy anything off the counter. It shouldn’t be that way. It is a systematic collapse and nobody is doing anything about it. Nobody wants the system to work because somehow some people are benefitting from it. There are vested interests everywhere in this country that things should not work and until we break ourselves from these vested interests, things will not work.
This omission and commission we make in the health sector kills people. If we go in terms of health statistics Nigeria seems to be worst. Even small countries are all better than us because we are not making the appropriate investments. If we aggregate the amount we spend on health in the public sector they may be huge but through which holes do they go and why should people be paying out-of-pocket to pay for their health.
Nigeria expends $1bn dollar on health tourism annually. How do we put an end to this?
It is true and I think that is an understatement of how much, I think it is about five times more. Nigeria flies all over the world and it is fixed to the quality of health care delivery and Ghana doesn’t have that. In fact they are setting up health tourism now where they expect Nigerians to come to. At the end of the day you want to live and if you can’t get what you want you go for alternatives in the private sector including herbalists, churches.
Why Nigeria’s high population must be curbed
The increasing Nigeria’s population, estimated at 200 million, is eating up its environment and everything that provides citizens food, energy, medicines and genetic resources. Given the threats these pose to the country, experts believe that scaling up contraceptive use could help to curb population growth. APPOLONIA ADEYEMI reports
At 11am, Elizabeth takes a cutlass from the store and heads out into the hills where she meets her friends from the neighbourhood. They descend onto the forest in their village of Burak in Shongom, Gombe State of Nigeria to cut down trees and collect firewood for preparing meals for their families. Here they meet tens of other women and children collecting firewood.
When Elizabeth’s mother was her age 20 years ago, the forest was sprouting down the hills and neighbouring their farm. They didn’t have to move long distances to collect firewood. Today, Elizabeth has to walk at least four kilometres to collect the firewood because the forest has been destroyed so much and the bare land turned into agricultural and settlement zones.
The demand for fuel wood in Shongom has grown because according to the state’s website, the population in Gombe State increased from 158,339 in 1990 to 2.8 million people by 2015, increasing demand for cooking energy.
Secondly, businessmen cut down trees and transport them to the cities where it is used as fuel wood, timber for making furniture and building houses for the ever increasing population that requires housing.
“In this area, the demand for fuel wood outstrips supply and hence, the risk of deforestation in this part of the country expands at the rate of one kilometre per year, which has brought about irreversible damage to the environment,” states Ibrahim Yahaya, a researcher at Gombe State University.
The increasing population of Nigeria, which stands at 200 million people today, is eating up its environment and biodiversity – everything that provides food, energy, medicines, genetic resources and a variety of materials fundamental for people’s physical well-being and for maintaining culture. While the Nigerian government continues to bank its hopes on oil revenues for supporting human and economic development, a large unchecked population will be detrimental to these hopes.
To stop this man-made environmental destruction and loss of resources, much depends on scaling up the use of contraceptives to meet the targeted contraceptive prevalence rate of 36 per cent and reduce the population growth. If not, it will be difficult, even with higher oil prices, to make major gains in living standards for the poorest of the poor, if other natural resources, which people depend on are depleted.
“There is a false belief that economic development is the panacea for sustaining an ever increasing population,” said Professor Dolapo Lufadeju, coordinator of Rotarian Action Group for Population and Development. “Persistently high fertility in developing countries like Nigeria, if not checked, will outpace available renewable and non-renewable resources, leaving people at risk of hunger and water scarcity.”
Dolapo is convinced that “Nigeria must invest in a robust family planning campaign and make contraceptives available to women who want to limit or stop having children in order to reverse this pressure on the environment.”
Robert Walker, the president of Population Institute said promotion of voluntary family planning services represents a valuable and cost-efficient opportunity for Nigeria. With a population of 200 million, which is projected to reach 411 million by 2050, if all family planning needs were met, population growth could be expected to decline considerably.
The extent of the problem
The geographical area of Nigeria is by nature limited to 923,768 sq.km, which represents a fixed factor. Yet the population is increasing to occupy and exploit this fixed factor. The growing population and its activities are slowly destroying the very environment that supports human life. A rapidly growing population not only increases pressure on marginal lands, over-exploitation of soils, overgrazing, over cutting of woods, soil erosion, silting, flooding; but also increases excessive use of pesticide fertilisers causing land degradation and water pollution. The resulting effects include deforestation, desertification, wild land fires, and loss of biodiversity, land and air pollution, climate change, sea level rise and ozone depletion.
According to Okafor Samuel Okechi, a researcher with the University of Nigeria, the country’s temperature mean increase from 1901-2005 was 1.1°C while the global temperature in the same time rose “only” 0.74°C. This was accounted for by the level of deforestation in the country, which had been attributed with the 87 per cent of the total carbon emission, of the country.
Compare this loss to the 550 million hectare Amazon Rain Forest. Also referred to as the ‘Lungs of the Earth’, it sucks up about 90 billion tons of carbon dioxide while releasing oxygen needed by humans. The current wild fires, which are set by humans either intentionally or accidentally, are just part of the deforestation eating up the Amazon. Farmers and cattle grazers are encroaching on it too. In just six months this year, the Amazon has lost 344,468 hectares of its forest cover to human activity according to ‘Washington Post’.
In 1990, Nigeria had a population of 95 million people. By 2000, the population had increased to 122 million people and today its stands at 200 million. Presently, Nigeria accounts for 2.35 per cent of the world population with every 43rd person calling himself a Nigerian anywhere in the world.
So in the last 28 years, the population of Nigeria has more than doubled, creating a huge demand for land for agriculture, fuel wood, water and housing – all of which are harnessed from the environment. This threatens the country’s rich diversity of forests and wildlife, including at least 899 species of birds, 274 mammals, 154 reptiles, 53 amphibians, and 4,715 species of higher plants.
The predominantly rural population in Nigeria depends mainly on fuel wood to meet basic energy needs for cooking and heating. According to statistics from Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Nigeria produces about one million tons of charcoal annually of which 80 per cent is consumed in the cities. Fuel wood and charcoal account for about 50 per cent of the national primary energy consumption.
In Africa, fuel wood accounts for over 80 per cent of primary energy needs. FAO further reveals that over 50 per cent of all wood produced in the world is used for energy. Importantly, 85 per cent of all wood fuel is collected by women and girls.
Nigeria also faces a multitude of climate-related threats. Drought in the north and flooding in the south could severely affect food production, while rising seas could displace millions of people living along the coast or in the Niger Delta. Climate change could also increase the number of refugees fleeing to Nigeria from the Sahel.
Family planning as a cost effective solution
Conservationists consider renewable energy, public transport and lower consumption as the environmental solution. Reforestation can help to curtail soil erosion, revitalise regional watersheds, restore critical bio-habitats for endangered species and help to alleviate water scarcity.
Yet, there is no doubt that better access to a wider availability of modern contraception provides an important part to a long time sustainable solution.
Over 150 reproductive health and environment organisations from 170 countries, including Nigeria, have come together to support a global campaign ‘Thriving Together’ that aims at increasing awareness of the link between environmental conservation and family planning. Organisation in Nigeria supporting this campaign include Rotarian Action Group for Population and Development (RFPD), Health Reform Foundation Nigeria and Society for the Improvement of Rural People (SIRP) Nigeria. Through engagement in maternal and child health and family planning, RFPD aims to foster improvements in human well-being and dignity, women’s empowerment and a sustainable balance between population and environment.
“Having been engaged in maternal and child health and family planning for a quarter century, RFPD is looking to now increase collaboration with agencies and organisations in environmental protection and climate activism. The potential synergies between these two fields are clearer than ever. We are delighted to see the amount of progress made in recent years regarding awareness about the relation between population and the environment,” said Professor Robert Zinser, RFPD Co-Founder.
In order to help improvee the situation, RFPD is supporting the government by training doctors, nurses, community health extension workers (CHEWS) in the provisions of professional family planning services. Rotarians will train staff in stock management and ensure that contraceptives are transported and stocked in 4,000 health care centres in all 36 states and the Federal Capital, Abuja.
“By easing access to contraceptives at the nearest health centre and staffing them with competent, well-trained personnel responsive to clients’ needs, we are not only helping women make choice of their family size, this is also a sustainable conservation practice,” RFPD-coordinator Dolapo added.
Robert Walker, the president of Population Institute said that even if population growth had no impact on the level of greenhouse gas emissions, the case for incorporating family planning into climate change discussions is still compelling. Preventing unintended pregnancies help women and families adapt to climate change. When families are struggling to survive in the face of drought, flooding or rising seas, smaller families are more likely to survive and, hopefully, thrive.
Population Scholars John Bongaarts and Brian C. O’Neill argued that helping women avoid unintended pregnancies will slow population growth, which in turn could reduce global carbon emissions by 40 per cent or more in the long term.
Experts advocate diagnosing malaria before treatment
The Provost of the College of Medicine University of Lagos, Prof. Afolabi Lesi has called for appropriate diagnosis of malaria before treatment in other to reduce prevalence of the disease in the country.
Lesi who made the call while declaring open the1st international
Malaria Miscroscopy Course in Lagos, said proper diagnosis of malaria would lead to effective treatment.
The event held recently at the Dr. D.K. Olukoya Central Research Laboratories at the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
The 12-day course, which brought together participants from Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was organised by the ANDI Centre of Excellence For Malaria Diagnosis domiciled at the College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL) in Idiaraba, Lagos.
He said, “Malaria diagnosis is one of the key pillars of malaria prevention and control.
“Without accurate diagnosis, we cannot make proper treatment because not every fever is malaria. We need to make right diagnosis to be able to treat malaria appropriately.”
While lamenting the high prevalence of malaria in the country, Lesi said, “Malaria is quite common. So, it is easy to think that once you have fever it is either malaria or typhoid. That has to change,” Lesi stressed.
According to him, going by the recommendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the standard now is to diagnose malaria before treatment, adding that is why the global community was recording reduced incidence of malaria.
Coordinator of the ANDI Centre of Excellence For Malaria Diagnosis, Wellington Oyibo, a professor of parasitology, said one of the problems of tackling malaria was that there were other causes of fever and “many times people take malaria to be the cause of fever.
Hence, he urged people that present with fever to demand malaria test at facilities before treatment, adding that malaria was always over diagnosed.
According to him, “If we have capacity built people will know how to properly do the laboratory investigation of malaria.
“We can quickly detect other fevers that are not malaria and manage them as such and once we confirm the ones that are malaria, we can apply the appropriate therapy to deal with it.”
Oyibo said the expectation of the workshop is that the participants should go back to their different centers and Improve malaria diagnosis within and outside Nigeria.
The director of UNILAG Consult, Dr. Ademola Oremosu said the training was focusing on the laboratory aspect of fighting malaria. “Hopefully with that we are able to help the teaming population of people right across Africa,” Dr. Ademola stated.
Psychiatrists advocate research in mental health therapy
Psychiatrists have highlighted the importance of the embracing research for the management of mental health disorder in Nigeria, while assuring that this modern approach would pave the way for better treatment outcome.
The Medical Director of the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba (FNPHY), Lagos, Dr. Oluwayemisi Ogun disclosed this during the Hospital’s research conference titled, “Emerging Trends and Innovations In The Management of Psychiatric Disorders: Challenges and Prospects In a Developing Country.”
Durint the conference which held in Lagos recently at the FNPHY facility, Ogun said the combination of clinical services, training and research was essential in the management of mental disorders.
She said it was through research they were able to discover the alarming rate of Nigerians with drug abuse-related mental disorders.
Noting that Nigerians were yet to recognise the hospital for these three responsibilities, he said there was a need to begin to prevent these problems through quality research so as to curtail the alarming rate of drug abuse.
She said it was through research they were able to discover the alarming rate of Nigerians with drug abuse-related mental disorders.
Noting that Nigerians are yet to recognise the hospital for these three responsibilities, she said there is a need to begin to prevent these problems through quality research.
On his part, the keynote speaker, Dr. Gbenga Okulate lamented the shortage of psychiatrists and mental health workers in Nigeria and said the doctor to patient ratio was too low.
Nigeria remains under-researched and a lot of mental health conditions were not recognised, inadequately researched or regarded as a priority, hence they were poorly funded.
“A lot of people are suffering from mental health issues. We have challenges of poor identification, late recognition and therefore, limited funding. The result of this is that a lot of people who have mental issues suffer on their own, people don’t understand they are not feeling well,” the expert said.
Okulate explained that the aim of the conference was to train people on conducting basic research and reporting products of their research so that the results can influence clinical practices and policies at all levels.
“We can train people to do research. The psychiatrist nurses, social workers could be trained as long as they can work in teams and it will be easier to do more with limited resources.”
He said, despite the recognition of mental disorders the hospital has recorded an increase in the presentation of mental health cases.
Man found with 700 tapeworms in his brain, chest and lungs after eating pork
A man complaining of continuous headaches and seizures has learned he has over 700 tapeworm inside his body.
Zhu Zhong-fa, 43, from Hangzhou in east China, was baffled after the symptoms lasted for over a month, reports mirror.co.uk.
He decided to seek help from doctors at the First Affiliated Hospital of College of Medicine, Zhejiang University.
Dr Wang Jian-rong from the department of infectious disease, performed a medical checkup on Zhu and diagnosed him with taenaisis.
He also found over 700 tapeworms across the patient’s body.
Tapeworms, known as taenia solium in medical terms, are usually acquired through the ingestion of tapeworm eggs in undercooked or infected pork.
Dr Wang told Pear , a video-sharing platform: “There are multiple presences of space-occupying lesions in the patient’s brain.
“It’s also in the lungs and fills up the muscles inside the chest cavity.”
He added the infections has already ’caused damage’ to the patient’s organs.
According to World Health Organisation , when tapeworm eggs enter the central nervous system, they can cause neurological symptoms to the patient, including epileptic seizures.
Luckily taenaisis can be treated with laxatives and medicines but the dosage and duration of the treatment may vary due to the severeness of the infection.
Zhu said he recalled he had hotpot about a month ago and might not have cooked the meat thoroughly.
Dr Wang explained: “We tend to have a lot of meat-based meals in our daily lives, like roast lamb and roast pork.
“If it’s undercooked, the tapeworm eggs will stay alive when ingested.
“And if you have had the uncooked meat, there’s a chance that the tapeworms can travel through the body and inflict different diseases.”
Occupational therapy is lucrative profession, FNPH boss
Medical Director, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Dr. Oluwayemi Ogun, has said that Occupational Therapy is still a lucrative profession in the world.
Speaking at the 13th and 14th convocation ceremony of the Federal School of Occupational Therapy, in Lagos, Saturday on the relevance of Occupational Therapists in healthcare, Mrs Ogun said they help to improve patients’ ability to perform tasks at work, home and leisure, among other things and facilitate their successful adaptations to disruptions in lifestyle, prevent losses of function and improve or maintain psychological status.
She noted that the school, since her inception in 2002 has continued to produce professionals in the field of occupational therapy who have excelled in their career.
Advising the graduates, Dr. Ogun said: “Each of you is here today through your hard work and determination to excel. By reason of study in this school, you have developed the needed skills, the capacity to think independently and to have empathy in the treatment of your patients.
“I want to encourage each of you not to rest on your oars academically. The future is very bright and the sky can be your starting point, not limit if you continue to press on. There are barriers to be broken, new grounds to conquer and glass ceilings to shatter, if you’re hungry enough for knowledge, all things are possible. Do your best in all things. Contribute your quota to the development of the nation,” she advised.
The Acting Principal of the institution, Mr Adeoso Akinwole, said: “We have produced best of hands that are manning various hospitals in both public and private practice.”
’28m Nigerians living with Hepatitis virus’
At least 28 million Nigerians are living with the Hepatitis B virus, with more than half of the number unaware of their medical condition.
A Professor of Gastroentorology/Hepatology at the Bayero University, Kano,
Adamu Alhaji Samaila, made the frightening revelation Friday, at an awareness lecture and screening excercise for Hepatitis B virus, which held at the headquarters of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in Abuja. It was organised by the medical branch of the Service.
The lecture was approved by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, as part of measures to ensure that Hepatitis and other similar diseases do not pose a challenge to the NAF’s operational readiness.
In his presentation, the guest lecturer said: “About 28 million Nigerians are suffering from Hepatitis B.
“Over 2 billion (global figure) individuals have evidence of previous and present infection. 240 million chronic carriers. 1 million deaths annually.”
Accordingly, Samaila called for screening and testing, saying doing so will facilitate early detection and treatment, where necessary.
In his opening remarks, the CAS maintained that, beyond the deployment of platforms for battles, there was the compelling need personnel to be mentally and physically fit.
Effective medicines could scale-up malaria defeat
Malaria is a risk for 97 per cent of Nigeria’s population. The remaining three per cent of the population live in the malaria-free highlands. There are estimated 100 million malaria cases with over 300,000 deaths per year in the country. APPOLONIA ADEYEMI reports on the impact of innovative antimalarials on the fight to eliminiate the disease
Leaders of malaria-endemic countries across Africa and the Asia-Pacific have pledged to accelerate malaria elimination through domestic funding and by creating an enabling policy environment for the introduction of new tools to boost innovation and access to medicines.
His Majesty King Mswati III, chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) said: “African leaders are racing to meet the target we set for malaria elimination by 2030. Increasing domestic resources for malaria so that we can scale-up and sustain universal coverage (UC) and ensure medicines can be accessed by those who need them most is our top priority. We also commit to continue to address drug and insecticide resistance through investment in constant innovation and ensuring new solutions are made available.
We commend all partners who have joined us on this critical journey, including MMV who is using data to identify gaps in innovation and developing new tools that will ensure we win this fight. I hope to be celebrating our countries eliminating malaria in the coming years. We will achieve a malaria-free Africa!”
Similarly, the Asia Pacific Malaria Alliance (APLMA), in line with its goal to achieve a malaria-free Asia-Pacific by 2030, is supporting efforts to expand health financing and introduce new malaria medicines. With the opportunity to eliminate malaria in Asia and the Pacific, leaders have called for a rapid and sustained scale-up of efforts throughout the region.
Dr. Benjamin Rolfe, CEO, Asia Pacific Leaders’ Malaria Alliance adds: “In Asia-Pacific, we are making great strides against malaria – China has achieved nearly three years with zero indigenous malaria cases, Malaysia has reported no indigenous human malaria cases in 2018, and India reported a 24 per cent fall in malaria cases between 2016 and 2017. Yet multi-drug resistance in the Mekong region to Plasmodium falciparum, a deadly parasite found across the continent, is posing a threat to global health security. Now, it is more important than ever to ensure that citizens have access to innovative, effective medicines and scale-up efforts to defeat malaria. As we celebrate the progress made by MMV over the past 20 years, we reaffirm our commitment to increasing access to treatments for the disease and tackling resistance through the development of transformative medicines for malaria.”
These commitments mark the 20th anniversary of the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV). Since its foundation in 1999, when there were virtually no malaria medicines in the global development pipeline, MMV has developed the largest portfolio of antimalarial drugs in the world and launched 11 new antimalarial medicines that are already accessible to patients. Today there are 27 antimalarial drugs in product development; MMV and partners are committed to harnessing the latest and most exciting technologies available to address drug resistance and block onward transmission. Through partnerships between researchers, pharmaceutical companies and malaria programmes delivering medicines on the ground, MMV has helped save an estimated 2.2 million lives in malaria-endemic countries since the launch of its first co-developed drug in 2009.
Despite global efforts saving over seven million lives from malaria since 2000, a child still dies of malaria every two minutes. MMV remains committed to address the ongoing burden of malaria by discovering, developing and delivering transformative new medicines. Recently, MMV has launched the Malaria Drug Development Catalyst, a new legal and scientific framework, enabling pharmaceutical companies to collaborate more effectively in the development of new drug combinations. MMV is also playing a key role in facilitating the first African antimalarial manufacturer to achieve WHO prequalification of their product to protect pregnant women as well as improving cost-effectiveness, availability and access to quality-standard drugs in the region.
The past two decades of collaboration between MMV and its partners have seen countless advances in the development of antimalarial medicines. Several additional pioneering approaches, in development by other stakeholders and/or MMV, to improve access to these medicines in malaria-endemic countries under discussion at the event include enhanced collection and sharing of epidemiological and operational data, innovative strategies such as the encouragement of a community-driven approach to mobilise access to antimalarial treatment in hard-to-reach rural areas, development of new diagnostic tools to maximise access of antimalarials to eligible patients, extending the age range for administering seasonal malaria chemoprevention to children above five years of age – pushing boundaries to increase impact.
Dr. David Reddy, CEO, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) adds: “Today is a chance for us to acknowledge the incredible work of researchers across the world who have been and who continue to be at the forefront of malaria research and innovation. Not only is this an opportunity to reflect on lessons learned over the past 20 years it’s an opportunity to look ahead and ensure we continue to focus on finding new and innovative solutions that will ultimately eradicate this preventable and treatable disease.
“This year, two reports from the Lancet Commission on Malaria Eradication and the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasised malaria eradication will not be possible without increased innovation for new, transformative tools. MMV and partners are committed to developing the antimalarials that will help the broader malaria community to meet the long-term goals of malaria elimination and eradication.”
Malaria elimination will contribute to the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), significantly improving health and economies. MMV works with partners to ensure its malaria interventions support the WHO Global Technical Strategy (GTS) and wider objectives, including reducing malaria case incidence and mortality rates by at least 90 per cent by 2030.
Why Nigerian doctors, nurses are bad tempered, by Prof. Ayobami
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi has explained why it appears that Nigerian doctors and nurses were wicked, unfriendly and inhuman while relating with patients in hospitals.
Professor Abayomi, who is a specialist in Internal Medicine, Oncology, Environmental Health and Biosecurity, said that unlike other developed countries, Nigerians and Nigerian government don’t prioritise the welfare of the health workers enough, saying that they were better appreciated, honoured and well-taken care abroad than in Nigeria.
He said: “You know doctors or any profession there is an established number of working hours and established number of contacts that any professional can have without exhausting the profession. It is not confined to health alone, it is a workforce regulation. You can’t force somebody to work beyond necessary. It is like a pilot; you can’t force him to fly for unusual hours. Once he does one flight, he gets up with his crew and a new crew comes in. Medicine and flight are very similar. The profession is crucial; once you make a mistake, people are dead!
“How can you allow a pilot to do just a flight and ask him to get up and go and relax with his crew in a five star hotel? But you make a doctor work for 34 hours, 48 hours and three days in terrible condition? No rest, working day and night looking after people with no resources. Why do you think they are leaving for developed countries? Why do you think they are bad tempered?
“Although it is not an excuse but when you have a doctor working for 48 hours, he hasn’t slept, he hasn’t eaten, if you see where he will sleep you will be shocked yourself. He has no food, nobody is looking after him and you expect him to meet you with a smile, and you bringing somebody that is close to death?
The renowned specialist insisted that just like a tired pilot can’t be forced to fly a plane, so are the doctors who are being forced to operate diligently in an unfriendly and difficult situation. “If I asked you to be writing articles for 48 hours continuously, you will be writing rubbish. Our spellings and syntax will be wrong. Why do you think you can’t read their handwriting?”
He added that unless something urgent is done to improve the welfare package of the Nigerian doctors, the issue of exodus of doctors may get worse, adding that most doctors in the country now prefer to practice in Lagos only to travel out after sometimes.
“We have got a big problem and we have to pay attention to the welfare of doctors and health care professionals. Doctors and nurses are not just ordinary professionals, I ‘m telling you this free of charge, because there is nobody that comes to tell them good news all throughout the day. They have to deal with the sick.
Consumption of traditional diet could reduce diabetes
World Diabetes Day, marked globally on November 14, was created in 1991 by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. As Nigeria commemorates the day today, Dr. Anthonia Ogbera, an Associate Professor of Medicine, Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist at the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM) discusses factors fuelling new cases of diabetes mellitus, the huge burden the disease impose on patients, preventive measures, among others. APPOLONIA ADEYEMI reports
How does diabetes present?
Adult type of diabetes may present in three ways. It may present with symptoms: the person is urinating frequently, the person is losing weight, and may have blurring of vision.
Also, an affected person may present with complication, which may be either acute or chronic.
Some of the chronic complications are blindness, foot ulcer, a wound that will not heal and erectile dysfunction, which is impotence in men, So, you have some people presenting for the first time with these complications. By the time they are presenting we are detecting that they have diabetes.
Some experts blame rising diabetes mellitus on the consumption of sugary drinks and confectionaries. Whats your take on this?
Indirectly because when I talked about poor eating habit – people taking calory-dense food, most of these pasteries are calory-dense, meaning that they are packed with calories.
Similarly the soft drinks have high calories like all these high energy drinks and they are not complex cabohydrates in that when you take those drinks your blood sugar shoots up instantly. It is not that if your blood sugar shoots up you will have diabetes, but over time that you do this and against the background of a person with the risk factors of developing diabetes, then we can say they are contributory. This is why we encourage healthy eating.
Those ones that do not have symptoms mind their own business until somebody says, “Let me screen.” They screen and find that the person has diabetes. You can imagine this group that doesn’t have symptoms. They will be there for a long time until one day that they will come up with a wound that will not heal or until somebody screens and finds that they have diabetes. That is why we say it is good for people to go for screening, especially if they are 40 years and above or if they have family history of diabetes. They could even go earlier for screening. This is because diabetes may go undetected until there are complications.
How exactly does this high calorie injure the body?
There is a certain amount of calorie the body requires daily. This depends on what your current body mass index (BMI) is and what your activities are. Are you a sedentary person or you are active. For somebody like a bricklayer he will require more calorie than the banker who says he is very busy but sits down and busies himself without burning any calorie. He may be doing a lot of physical activity but may not be doing any physical activity. These are the factors that determine how much calories one should take.
When you are taking too much calories that the body does not need it is going to be stored as fat. The person will be getting bigger and that is where obesity comes in. It is about what you take in versus what you burn and there is a way your insulin is going to respond to that. Your insulin may not be functioning normally.
Whats your description of healthy eating habit?
Its all about the traditional way we eat – the unprocessed food. Most of the food in fast food eateries, have high cholesterol, though there is good and bad cholesterol. So, apart from having high values of calories they also have high levels of the bad cholesterol.
Our traditional food includes ‘gari’ which has fiber and vegetables. A healthy diet should have a certain amount of carbohydrates; usually remember that ‘gari’ is carbohydrate nad soft drinks is also carbohydrate. Of course you are taking the same calory that you are taking from the ‘gari’ and the soft drink but if you place the ‘gari’ and the soft drink side by side, the ‘gari’ is healthier because it is a complex carbohydrate. When you eat it your blood glucose will not just shoot up. The body takes time in breaking it down unlike when you take a bottle of soft drink. They may have the same calories, but the bottle of soft drink is empty, considering that it is just sugar, unlike the ‘gari’ and soup. The ‘gari’ has some fibre and and if you are eating the ‘gari’ with bitter leaf soup there is still some vitamins you may get from that. Yams are similarly good. To eat healthy, focus more on consuming traditional foods.
Unhealthy diet will be soft drinks, carbonated drinks, ice creams and processed fast foods. The thing with these fast food is that they can be misleading. Somebody could go into the fast food joint and takes meatpie and in our thinking we are wired to think that is a snack and because it is not proper food the person will say he has not eaten proper food and that he will eat when he gets home.
Unfortunately that snack may have more calory than the proper food. So at the end of the day somebody may be consuming up to 2,000 or 3,000 calories from he fast food joint and the fellow has not eaten the his main meal. Hence, that’s the danger in these fast foods. If you take a breakdown of these calories in the snack, you will find that they are really high.
Why are we seeing an explosion of diabetes mellitus?
The explosion of diabetes is the adult type because of the risk factors associated with it. We have certain risk factors that are non-modifiable. There’s nothing you can do about that and these include age. As people get older their insulin may not be functioning properly. We are all getting older but that’s not to say that everybody at a particular age must get diabetes.
Similarly, having a family history of diabetes is another non-modifiable risk factor. You don’t chose your family. This puts such people at risk of diabetes. It is not everyone with family history of diabetes that end up having diabetes. The higher the risk, more likely affected persons may develop diabetes.
There are modifiable risk factors. These are the ones we can do something about and it is the ones that are partly responsible for the explosion. These include obesity. People are getting bigger because of sedentary habits including sitting down and watching several series of television (TV) broadcasts. Most children no longer play football on the fields; they do it with their smart phones. Even as they are watching TV they are taking the calory-dense sugary drink and unhealthy drinks.
Sedentary habit is another factor. When people are sedentary they are not physically active. You find out that the insulin too may not be functioning optically. Of course, other risk factors include being hypertensive, women who have had big babies in the past or a woman who had diabetes in pregnancy and after pregnancy the blood glucose became normal. Such a woman is at risk of developing diabetes.
Another reason why we see more diabetes is because we are now able to detect it better than before. Detection is easily accessible. It is offered freely. Most hospitals do opportunistic screening and because of this we are detecting those with diabetes more.
There is now more explosion of diseases like HIV and Tuberculosis, (TB). HIV has also been found to be associated with diabeters because some of the drugs they take make them prone to diabetes.
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