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Don Advocates Free Malaria Treatment for Children in Anambra

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A public health expert and parasitologist, Prof. Dennis Aribodor, has urged Anambra State Government to declare treatment of malaria free for children in all its health facilities.

Aribodor, who is a lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, made the call on Tuesday in Awka to mark 2023 World Malaria Day with the theme: “Time to Deliver Zero Malaria: Invest, Innovate, Implement”.

Report says that World Malaria Day is commemorated every April 25 to raise awareness about the disease and promote efforts to combat it.

Aribodor, also the Founder of Malaria Eradication and Safe Health Initiative of Nigeria, said that free malaria treatment would ensure adequate attention and protection of children from the disease.

According to him, children are the most vulnerable to the infection.

He said that malaria was prevalent among children under five years as well as among pregnant women.

According to him, many families in Anambra had resorted to taking herbal concoctions to treat malaria because they could not afford the cost of its diagnosis and treatment in hospitals.

“Anti-malaria drug today costs between N2,000 and N2,500 for one dose. To buy one good mosquito net costs about N2,500 or N3,000. The question now is: how many people can afford it in Anambra State.

“Those in the villages do not have the money to treat their children. They resort to herbal concoctions which contribute to kidney problems amongst children because some of those herbal concoctions are not regulated.

“The more you give the children the concoction, the more the kidney suffers. There is an epidemic of kidney problems among children these days.

“We urge Gov. Chukwuma Soludo to help these poor families by declaring treatment of malaria free, especially for the most vulnerable groups, and ensure that primary healthcare centres are functioning optimally, ” he said.

He also urged the state government to ensure availability of malaria drugs in public hospitals. (NAN)

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Burna Boy Did not Pay all UPTH patients’ Bills, Says Spokesperson

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The University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) has faulted reports that musician, Burna Boy, covered all medical bills for patients during a recent visit to the hospital.

The hospital clarified that the music icon only settled the bills of selected patients at the facility, contrary to claims of covering all outstanding bills.

Mrs Elabha Meni, the institution’s spokesperson, made the clarification in a statement released in Port Harcourt on Friday.

“We commend Burna Boy’s kindness in financially assisting select patients in our hospital to offset their bills during his visit on June 11.

“However, contrary to reports stating that all patients bills in UPTH were paid during the visit, only selected patients received cash gifts or donations.

“The hospital did not receive direct payments from the musician and his team on behalf of patients to support this worthy course of reducing healthcare cost,” Meni clarified.

Meni lauded the musician’s charitable act in helping those in need in the society. (NAN)

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WHO Announces Global Resurgence of Cholera

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The UN World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a spike in cholera in several regions of the world, with almost 195,000 cases and over 1,900 deaths reported in 24 countries since the start of this year.

The agency’s Eastern Mediterranean Region reported the highest number of cases, followed by the African Region, the Region of the Americas, the Southeast Asia Region, and the European Region.

WHO, in a statement on Thursday, stated that there are no reported cases in the Western Region, according to its bulletin released on Wednesday.

The UN health agency said it exhausted its global stockpile of Oral Cholera Vaccines (OCV) by March but was able to exceed “the emergency target of five million doses in early June for the first time in 2024.

Yet, the supply of the vaccine does not equate to its demand.

WHO reported that since January last year, 16 countries requested 92 million doses of OCV – almost double the 49 million produced during that time.

WHO, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners are working together to use resources to find long-term solutions for cholera.

On the positive side of health news, WHO announced on Thursday that Chad successfully eradicated “sleeping sickness” as a public health problem.

The agency applauded the Government and people of Chad for eradicating the gambiense form of human African trypanosomiasis, (also known as sleeping sickness).

“I congratulate the government and the people of Chad for this achievement.

“It is great to see Chad join the growing group of countries that have eliminated at least one neglected tropical disease (NTD),” Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said.

In eliminating the disease, Chad joining some 50 others globally that have succeeded in this endeavour.

“The 100-country target is nearer and within reach,” Ghebreyesus, added, referring to the target set out in the road map for address neglected tropical diseases by 2030.

Sleeping sickness can cause flu-like symptoms initially but eventually causing behaviour change, confusion, sleep cycle disturbances or even coma, often leading to death.

Improved access to early diagnosis and treatment, as well as surveillance and response has proven that countries can control and eventually eliminate transmission. (NAN)

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No Confirmed Cholera case in Abia says Health Official

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Abia Government says that there was no confirmed case of cholera in the state, though it recorded 109 cases of stooling and vomiting in six of its 17 Local Government Areas.

Dr Orie Agomoh, Director, Public Health and Disease Control in the Ministry of Health confirmed this on Tuesday in Umuahia.

Agomoh said that the 109 cases of stooling and vomiting suspected to be cholera outbreaks were recorded between January and June.

She noted that two earlier samples collected and tested using Rapid Diagnostic Testing (RDT) showed positive results.

However, a repeated test of the samples sent to the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja, were confirmed negative for cholera.

She said that one case each was recorded in Ohafia and Osisioma local government areas, while Arochukwu, Umunneochi, Bende and Ikwuano recorded 42, 39, 17 and nine cases respectively.

“The State Ministry of Health emphasizes that Abia State has not recorded any confirmed positive case of cholera within the period under review.

“Nevertheless, because of ongoing outbreak reported in some states, the Ministry has instituted response measures towards prevention and identification of any suspected case and appropriate treatment.

“As part of the intervention, citizens are advised to continue to observe preventive measures to stay safe,” the director said.

The preventive measures, she listed, included ensuring access to safe drinking water, practicing sanitation including proper hand-washing and maintaining personal hygiene.

Others are handling food safely, washing fruits and vegetables properly before consumption and cooking food properly before eating same.

The ministry also warned residents to avoid roadside foods and drinking of untreated water.

The director urged citizens to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of cholera while promising further updates where necessary.

She supplied the phone and email contacts of Dr Orie Agomoh, Director Public Health and Disease Control and Mr Elezuo Elezuo, State Epidemiologist, for residents to reach out to the ministry.

The phone numbers and email addresses of the officials are as follows Dr Agomoh – 08168440992, email: drprincessorieagomoh@gmail.com and Mr. Elezuo Elezuo, 08030960031 email : eoelezuo@yahoo.com.(NAN)

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