Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cholera: 2 Hotels closed over disease outbreak in Nairobi

Scientists found that during the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year

Two cabinet ministers attending the expo were also taken to hospital, though it was not known if they suffered from cholera.

Two major hotels linked to a cholera outbreak in the Kenyan capital have been closed, Health Minister Cleopa Mailu said on Wednesday.

The outbreak has potentially infected 336 people, four of whom have died.

Confirmed cases include 33 visitors to a recent trade expo in Nairobi.

Two cabinet ministers attending the expo were also taken to hospital, though it was not known if they suffered from cholera.

Mailu announced the closure of the Jacaranda and San Valencia hotels, which had supplied food to venues where cholera was reported.

The ministry has cancelled medical certificates for food handlers and ordered the Nairobi county health authorities to undertake fresh medical examinations.

The government has also ordered the inspection of all hotels and food venues, and prohibited them from outsourcing food in the capital.

Others areas of Kenya have also been affected by the cholera outbreak.

The potentially deadly bacterial infection displays symptoms similar to food poisoning.

A person could become infected by consuming contaminated water or food.

Kenya has seen several cholera outbreaks in the past months.

In June, around 50 visitors to an international medical conference were taken ill, presumably with cholera. 


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pregnancy: Gynaecologist advises women with B-negative blood to take Rhogam after miscarriage

Gynaecologist advises women with B-negative blood to take Rhogam after miscarriage

The specialist said taking Rhogam, a special immune globulins, could help prevent rhesus incompatibility in mothers who are negative.

A gynaecologist/obstetrician, Dr Nathaniel Adewole, has urged women with B-negative blood, who have had miscarriage before to always take Rhogam, a drug, during subsequent pregnancies before delivery.

Adewole told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that taking Rhogam, a special immune globulins, could help prevent rhesus incompatibility in mothers who are negative “if the father of the baby has the B-positive blood or is not known’’.

“When a woman is rhesus negative, any time there is miscarriage or delivery, it is better to give what we call anti-D to avoid sensitisation – the common trade name is Rhogam – to avoid sensitisation.

“When it comes to miscarriages and abortion there is also an element of foetus maternal blood transfer so it is advisable that after any miscarriage or abortion Rhogam should also be given.

“ But what I will emphasis is that the quantity of the Rhogam given is affected by gestational age.

“ At a lower gestational age lower dose of Rhogam may be given but at full term a high dose should be given.

“ Because the risk of foetus maternal blood transfusion is higher with those with full term delivery," he said.

He, however, stated that not all mothers with the B-negative blood type and who are married to husbands with the rhesus-positive blood type are predisposed to sensitisation as some of them may not be affected naturally.

“But one cannot predict, so it is better to take action when a woman is with rhesus-negative blood, so that anytime there is miscarriage or delivery Rhogam should be given,’’ he said.

According to him, a person who is with rhesus-negative blood does not have the antigen that people that are rhesus-positive have.

He added: “ If the antigen from the baby crosses to the mother, the body system of the mother will release it as a foreign body.

“As a result the woman will develop antibody against the foetus and therefore kill it at one point of conception or the other.

“So, that antibody will be in the mother’s body waiting for the next pregnancy, if that antibody now crosses to the baby it will kill the baby.

“But if by the time the antigen is transferred to the mother and the Rhogam is given it will mop up the antigen so that  it will not be able to sensitise the mother.’’

Adewole, therefore, advised expectant mothers to attend ante-natal clinic always so that all necessary tests could be carried out to determine the mother’s blood group and ensure the ensure safety of the child.


Healthcare: Contact with mercury can be injurious to health, environment - Professor

Contact with mercury can be injurious to health, environment - Professor

Mercury, a liquid metallic element, forms naturally and is highly poisonous to human health and the environment.

Prof. Babajide Alo, former Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, has warned Nigerians against making contact with mercury as it can be injurious to health and the environment.

Alo gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.

He said, “Well, I know that a lot of Nigerians just as it is in many parts of the world do not know the effect of mercury.

“And our message to everyone is that mercury, wherever you find it, please don’t touch it.

“Mercury sometimes finds its way into hair creams and body creams.

“And therefore, if you take up any body cream and see mercury in the label, even if it is in the smallest quantity, please avoid using it.

“Keep away from it and don’t touch it, because you are touching a dangerous chemical."

NAN reports that mercury, a liquid metallic element, forms naturally and is highly poisonous to human health and the environment.

Recent activities have increased the level of mercury in the country which is poisonous to users.

Mercury poisoning can occur via inhalation of the vapour, which can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems as well as the lungs and kidneys.

People who use mercury could end up developing weakness in the muscles, skin rashes, kidney problems, memory loss, as well as hearing, speaking and sight problems.

Alo said that the Minamata Convention on Mercury was negotiated by the global community including Nigeria between 2010 and 2013 and was adopted and opened for signature on Oct. 10, 2013 at a diplomatic conference in Kumamoto, Japan.

He said the convention was an international treaty designed to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury compounds.

According to him, the convention is to promote the use of alternatives, best available techniques and environmental practices across a wide range of products, processes and industries where mercury is used, released or emitted.

He said the use of mercury had become a national and global concern.

“Nigeria is working towards the implementation of the convention by creating awareness to populace on the use of mercury.

“The sensitisation exercise is to educate the public on the dangers and negative effect on the use of mercury.’’

The former deputy vice chancellor said that mercury poisoning could be prevented by avoiding diets, body creams, medical and other devices containing the metallic element. 


In Anambra: Govt earmarks N200m for pilot health insurance scheme

Governor of Anambra state, Dr Willie Obiano.

The state Commissioner for Information said the pilot scheme would begin before the end of this fiscal year and would cover only civil servants.

Anambra State Government has earmarked N200 million for the commencement of the Anambra State Health Insurance pilot scheme.

Mr Tony Nnacheta, the state Commissioner for Information, Communication and Strategy, made this known during news on Monday in Awka.

Nnacheta said the pilot scheme would begin before the end of this fiscal year and would cover only civil servants.

The commissioner explained that the scheme, initiated by Gov, Willie Obiano’s administration, to improve the healthcare services of the people, was already backed by law.

When it becomes operational, Anambra Government will be the first state in the southern part of the country to commence a health insurance scheme for its workers, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Nnacheta explained that the governor would soon inaugurate the board, adding that the scheme would subsequently be extended to rural dwellers and private persons.

The commissioner said that the state government had completed 141 of the 181 community development projects spread across the state.

“The state government earmarked N3.6 billion in the 2017 budget for the execution of community development projects in 181 communities across Anambra.

“Under this initiative, each community received N20 million for the execution of any project of interest to the community and we are happy to say that 141 of these projects are today completed.’’

Nnacheta further told newsmen that the Obiano-led government had completed 150 kms of roads and built a 298-metre-long bridge at Iyiora which, he said, is the longest bridge ever built by a state government in the South-East.

He urged qualified Anambra people to ensure that they registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to enable them to vote in the November Governorship Election.