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Bleeding After Intercourse May be Sign of Cervical Cancer— Prof. Adewole

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Prof. Isaac Adewole, a former minister of health, Nigeria, says many people are unaware that contact bleeding especially during bleeding or just after sexual intercourse can be early sign of cervical cancer.

Adewole,  Co-Founder, African Cancer Coalition, told in Lagos on Thursday in  a telephone interview that  cervical cancer was preventable and treatable , if presented and diagnosed early.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) cervical cancer is still the second  most common cancer among women in Nigeria and the fourth most common cancer among women globally.

It is the most common among women ages 15-44 years,  claiming 7,900 women’s lives each year from the 12,000 cases reported in Nigeria.

Adewole said: “The challenge in Nigeria, just like the challenge in Africa and many developing countries, is that a lot of people are largely unaware of the situation with cervical cancer.

“Therefore, when they present to the hospitals, they present largely in advanced stage, for quite a number of reasons

“One, they are not aware of the symptoms of early stages which include contact bleeding especially during bleeding or just after sexual intercourse.

“What most women with such incidents usually do is to stay away from their men believing that the bleeding was caused by the man.

“They probably thought it was due to trauma, and some form of injury. And interestingly, when they do that, they bleeding will stop but the disease will continue to progress.

“So, by the time they will have a resurgence of the disease in terms of symptoms, the disease will be far advanced.’’

Adewole, a Professor at University of Ibadan and Northwestern University, said: “So, you have these women moving from one care giver to the other and healing homes to another.

“By the time they finally present at the final destination, maybe a Teaching Hospital, or a  private facility manned by a Specialist, the disease would be advanced, and at that stage, it is beyond cure.’’

The former minister of health said about 80 per cent of cases of cervical cancer presented were  in advanced stages,  and that many healthcare practitioners also missed  some of these early signs/stages of cervical cancer.

Adewole told that the  trajectory of late presentations could be moved to either no presentation at all or early presentation.

He said that according to the WHO, symptoms of early-stage cervical cancer might include: “Irregular blood spotting or light bleeding between periods in women of reproductive age.

“Postmenopausal spotting or bleeding, bleeding after sexual intercourse; and increased vaginal discharge, sometimes foul smelling.’’

On the causes of cervical cancer, the WHO says, two Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) types (16 and 18) were responsible for nearly 50 per cent of high grade cervical pre-cancers

HPV is mainly transmitted through sexual contact and most people were infected with HPV shortly after the onset of sexual activity.

No fewer than 90 per cent of them cleared the infection eventually and Cervical cancer could be cured if diagnosed at an early stage and treated promptly.

Proffering some solutions, Adewole said a new research on the efficacy of a one-dose HPV vaccine regimen was among several of the factors that could prevent and bring the world closer to eliminating cervical cancer.

He urged increased sensitisation on the disease by governments and stakeholders.

He encouraged that HPV  vaccine  be given to young girls   from ages nine to  14  to prevent them from having the cancer.

He also advised women with symptoms to present early at health facilities for diagnosis.

NAN reports that Adewole is among the 12 leading health experts from around the world moving the powerful call to action in the fight against cervical cancer through The Global Declaration to Eliminate Cervical Cancer.

The declaration was formally launched at the World Health Assembly in Geneva on May 22, 2023,  with signatures from more than 1200 global health leaders and advocates representing over 100 countries.

Top among them included  former Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, CEO of Amref Health Africa, Githinji Gitahi; President of the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (FIGO) Jeanne Conry, and President-elect of the International Pediatric Association Naveen Thacker. (NAN)

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NCDC Unveils Integrated Disease Testing, Surveillance Laboratory in Lagos

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 The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has unveiled an Integrated Disease Testing and Surveillance Laboratory for Malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and other infectious diseases.

The NCDC’s Director-General, Dr Jide Idris, during the unveiling  at the NCDC Central Public Health Laboratory in Yaba, Lagos, said that the laboratory was aimed at strengthening the fight against diseases of public health importance in the country.

Idris said the integrated laboratory would be a game-changer in the fight against infectious diseases of public health importance to the country.

Idris said the establishment of the laboratory was made possible through partnership with the U.

S. Consulate Mission in Nigeria, the CDC Foundation, Public Health Initiative (APIN) and The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Nigeria.

Idris said: “Nigeria has one of the highest diversity and burden of public health diseases with global significance in sub-Saharan Africa and response to diagnosis-related challenges for infectious diseases.

“We have identified the need to develop capacity for advanced diagnostic services and laboratory-based surveillance capacity for NTDs, malaria, mycotic diseases,and similar diseases of public health importance

“The establishment of this integrated laboratory diagnosis facility will be a game-changer in the fight against infectious diseases by providing accurate,early,and comprehensive diagnosis,informative decision making for enhanced patient care.

“It will ensure proactive disease surveillance, outbreak management,optimise antimicrobial stewardship.

“It will also ensure reduced antimicrobial resistance, inform research and development for new diagnostic tests and treatments, improved patient safety and reduce healthcare costs, enhanced global health security through rapid detection and response”.

The D-G expressed gratitude to the U.S. CDC, CDC Foundation, , APIN and TECRO for their commitment and support to complement the effort of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration to enhance the country’s health sector.

Speaking also, the representative of the U.S. Consul General to Nigeria, Mr Will Stevens, said Nigeria had one of the highest burden of global malaria cases and deaths, noting that the establishment of the integrated laboratory was critical.

Stevens said there was need to provide Africa Solutions to Africa problem, noting that the country’s response and resilience in curbing the spread of Ebola and COVID-19 outbreak was impressive

“Nigeria is a regional leader and as leader, we need more African solutions to these African problems and African solutions to global problems.

“This laboratory will bring world-class healthcare, world-class research, world-class monitoring and detection systems to the people of Nigeria and allow Nigerians to continue to be a global leader,” he said.

Also, the Chief of Mission to the Taiwanese Government in Nigeria, Andy Liu, said it was a honour for Taiwan government to collaborate with the U.S and the CDC Foundation to support and strengthen Nigeria health system through the establishment of the laboratory and donation of world class equipment.

“This is significant and it is important for the international body to help build a world class laboratory with advanced equipment for Nigerians.

“We are looking forward to more collaboration to build more capacity in the health sector and strengthen our relationship with the country,” he said.

Prof. Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, in his remarks described the establishment of the integrated laboratory as a move in the right direction.

Abayomi emphasised on the importance of collaboration in strengthening and building capacity to address health challenges affecting the country.

Speaking also, the Senior Programme Officer of CDC Foundation, Cassandra Webster, said the partnership with the NCDC, CDC Nigeria, and other collaborators would help strengthen the public health infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to Webster, the gesture will boost Nigeria’s ability to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease threats in the country.

“I’m glad to be here for the launch of such an important partnership, the CDC Foundation is an independent, U.S.-based nonprofit body created by the U.S. Congress to help advance and extend the life-saving work of CDC and the public health through public-private partnership.

“This continued progress against malaria and neglected tropical diseases is critical to saving lives, and our efforts to strengthen this laboratory, using advanced technology.

“I thank TECRO for their critical and generous support for this important effort, and I also want to thank the CDC Nigeria and NCDC teams for their partnership,” she said.

Report says that advanced medical equipment were donated to the NCDC for the establishment of integrated laboratory (NAN)

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Stakeholders Express Worry over zero Dose Immunisation in 13 Bauchi LGs

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Stakeholders in Bauchi have expressed  significant concerns over  zero dose immunisation for children in 13 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and communities in the state.

They expressed worry at  a capacity building workshop for for the members of the Community of Practice (CoP) on immunisation budget tracking, accountability,and sustainability targeting zero dose children organised by  the Africa Health Budget Network in Bauchi.

Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, the Executive Chairman  of the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Board noted that inspite  of the availability of vaccines which are administered free of charge, 13 LGAs  have recorded zero dose.

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These LGAs, he said,  are Alkaleri ,Bauchi, Ganjuwa, Darazo, Gamawa, Itas Gadau, Katagum, Misau, Toro,  Ningi, Shira and Zaki.

”Even out of the remaining 7 LGAs, 2 are porous because they are bordering neighbouring Yobe and Jigawa,” he said.

The cxecutive chairman further noted that zero dose reduction strategies have been put in place to include periodic intensification of routine immunization, in between rounds of activities and market vaccination.

“We don’t know why parents and care-ivers refuse to vaccinate their children. And to address this, the Board takes the vaccination to hard-to-reach communities, at naming ceremonies and follow normads along their routes.”

Giving an overview of the immunisation financing landscape at the state level, Mohammed said that the state government remained the main source of funding for health.

He added that the government is being supported by the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, Bauchi State Health Trust Fund, Bauchi State Contributory Management Agency, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Aliko Dangote Foundation, MOU partners and the World Bank Projects.

He said:”in 2024, the State allocated N45.1 billion representing 15 per cent to the health sector out of the total state budget of N300.3 billion, while my Board got N11.6billion”.

He added that with the transition of the MOU arrangement from Routine immunization MOU to PHC, Bauchi is now responsible for 100% payment of immunisation activities.

” This money will be used for vaccine delivery, cold chain maintenance, Routine immunization intensification and demand generation among others,” he added.

On his part, the Africa Health Budget Network Chief Executive Officer and Coordinator, Dr Aminu Magashi said that the organisation is a sub-partner to the African Field Epidemiology Network on the Nigeria zero dose learning Hub.

He noted that GAVI established the learning Hub to address issues around immunization equity by identifying zero-dose and under-immunised children using the identity, reach, monitor, measure, and advocate framework.

AHBN has established a community of practice which focuses on budget tracking, accountability, and sustainability.

He stressed, “The capacity building is to help the CoP members influence the immunization financing landscape through evidence-based advocacy.”

The CoP members include health experts, relevant  government officials, Academia, Media, Civil Society Organisations, social Media handler’s among others (NAN)

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Lagos State Leads Nigeria’s Cholera Outbreak– NCDC

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Lagos State is at the centre of a significant cholera outbreak in Nigeria, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has said.

The latest data via the NCDC website stated that as of week 25, Lagos state, registered 104 new cases out of the country’s total of 113 reported cases for the week.

Report says that cholera is a severe diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium *Vibrio cholerae*.

The NCDC said that the outbreak resulted in seven deaths nationwide, with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 6.

1 per cent in the state.

It said that Ogun state reported seven cases, while Katsina had one case.

The NCDC said that in the last month, Lagos state alone reported 533 suspected cholera cases, contributing significantly to the country’s total of 576 cases.

The agency said other states with reported cases include Ogun (19), Rivers (9), Katsina (8), Oyo (2), Abia (2), Bayelsa (2), and Sokoto (1).

It stated that the month also saw 32 deaths across the country, with a CFR of 5.6 per cent, significantly higher than the national expected average of one per cent, underscoring the severity of the situation

The NCDC said that efforts to diagnose and control the outbreak included 217 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT), of which 17 were positive, and 232 stool culture tests, with 28 positive results.

It said that the National Multi-sectoral Cholera Technical Working Group (TWG) continue to oversee and coordinate response efforts across the affected states.

The agency said that as of June 23, 2024, Nigeria has reported a total of 1,579 suspected cholera cases and 54 deaths (CFR 3.4 per cent across 32 states.

It said that the age groups most affected were children under five years old, followed by those aged five -14 years, with an equal distribution between males and females.

“Lagos State leads with 537 cases, accounting for 34 per cent of the national total.

“In Bayelsa State, Southern Ijaw LGA reported 151 cases, making up 10 per cent of the country’s total.

“Other significantly affected states include Bayelsa (466), Abia (109), Zamfara (64), Bauchi (46), Katsina (45), Cross River (43), Ebonyi (38), Rivers (37), Delta (34), Imo (28), Ogun (21), Nasarawa (19), Ondo (17), Kano (13), Niger (11), and Osun (11),” he said.

Notably, the NCDC said that there has been a 37 per cent decrease in suspected cholera cases compared to the same period in 2023, with a 21 per cent reduction in cumulative deaths in 2024.(NAN)

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