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Healthcare Expert Canvasses Suicide Prevention Awareness

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 A Healthcare Administrator, Nkem DenChukwu on Wednesday, called for suicide prevention and mental health awareness to curb the rising spate of suicides across the country.

DenChukwu, who is also an Author and Filmmaker made the call in an interview in Yenagoa saying suicide was preventable.

She advocated the establishment of more specialized mental health facilities as well as capacity building for existing mental health practitioners alongside the mental health awareness to promote access to mental health facilities.

She noted that rising cases of suicide was worrisome and required concerted efforts to encourage people to seek mental health services as soon as the early warning signals of depression were noticed.

DenChukwu explained that the cultural practices that prevented people from admitting that depression was a medical condition with remedies and not a taboo should be discarded

She said that rising cases of suicide pointed to the poor mental health attitude in the society leading to avoidable deaths if preventive measures were taken by seeking help.

According to her, at every point in time people were either contemplating suicide, attempting suicide or committing’ suicide due to several factors.

 “Suicide is an act of cowardice, an escape, a selfish act, a disease, lack of faith in self or in life, Some commit suicide after being raped, losing a loved one, feeling hopeless or weak, delusion.

“We can all help prevent suicide because the warning signs are always there, I mean the signs and warning signals are always very glaring. We have to be 110% attentive to the smallest signs, a little attention can save a life.

“Many that take to suicide do not want to die. They want what’s causing their pain or grief to stop or be relieved. They often, won’t ask for help and want to be left alone.

“Understanding how they are feeling is very important to know. Don’t tell them you understand because you don’t. You are not in their shoes to understand. Every shoe feels differently.

“Taking each day and each moment, one breath at a time matters, and can save a life. Encourage someone with suicide tendency to find a happy place they can always go to, and then, share with others.

 “We should always be there to listen and not to judge and encourage them to share their thoughts, no matter how bad they may seem. Remind them that strength and power they possess within to overcome,” she stressed.

Health

Lassa Fever Claims 10 Lives in Ebonyi

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The Ebonyi Ministry of Health disclosed that Lassa Fever killed 10 persons in the state from Jan. 4 to Feb. 16, 2024.

The Disease Surveillance Notification Officer of the ministry, Mr Sampson Orogwu, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Abakaliki.

Orogwu stated that 25 persons were infected, including two healthcare workers.

He added  that “16 out of the 25 infected persons are males, while nine are females.

“The dead include a pregnant woman and two children.

“The affected local government areas include: Onicha, Ikwo, Ezza North, Ebonyi, Izzi, Ohaukwu and Abakaliki with Hausa quarters and Nkaliki areas in Abakaliki recording the highest number of cases.

He, therefore,  urged residents to report suspected cases to the ministry as treatment is free.

The State Epidemiologist, Dr Ogbonna Nwambeke, also in the statement, said the state government had been collaborating with relevant partners to check spread of the disease

He said “we call for the provision of logistics to increase surveillance and community engagement against risk factors.

“People are also advised to stop bush burning, avoid eating rats and not to touch any surface touched by an infected person.

“We also advise people to maintain high level of personal and environmental hygiene such as covering their food and utensils properly.

Nwambeke appreciated the state government’s provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to health workers at the National Obstetrics Fistula Centre to secure their lives and to save others.

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.

Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats.

It’s common in West Africa. Most people get mild symptoms, like fever and headache. (NAN)

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Hospital Creates Toxicology Ward to Address Mental Health Issues in Kaduna

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The Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Barnawa Kaduna said it has created a toxicology ward to address mental health issues in the state..

Its Medical Director, Aishatu Yusha’u-Armiya’u disclosed this on Sunday in Kaduna.

She said the ward allowed the separation of psychiatric patients diagnosed with various forms of psychiatric conditions from those with substance use disorder.

The medical director said, ” This permits the design of a clear plan for the management and rehabilitation of people with substance use disorder.

NAN reports that a toxicology unit identifies, quantifies and determines the amount of) drugs, alcohols, and poison in biological samples such as blood, urine or tissue.

Yusha’u-Armiya’u added that drug information and pharmacovigilance units were also created in the Pharmacy Department.

” These units are responsible for the provision of drugs related information and creating awareness on the presence of dangerous and substandard pharmaceuticals to both staff and patients within the institution.

” The pharmacy department has been provided with a functional and equipped compounding unit which is responsible for the production of all the relevant consumables needed in the hospital.

“In my first year in the office, I ensured that all the consumables needed in the hospital were produced by the pharmacy department,” she said.  (NAN)

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International Condom Day: AHF distributes  condoms, to launch STIs clinic in Benue

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi

As part of activities marking the 2024  International Condom Day, AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Nigeria, on Tuesday,  distributed thousands of  condoms to both young and older people in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

Furthermore,  AHF has concluded arrangements to build STIs clinic in Benue State and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja to cater for the treatment of sexually transmitted infections in Nigeria.

Addressing journalists at the end of a road walk and distribution of condoms and flyers, the AHF  Advocacy and Marketing Manager in Benue State, Steve Aborishade explained that the International Condom Day is usually celebrated on February 13th as a global event, a day before Valentine’s Day in a bid to promote prevention of STDs, including HIV and unwanted pregnancies through free condom distribution, safer sex awareness events and HIV Testing Services.

He said AHF is aware of what happens among young people during Valentine’s day, hence  to share love, and in sharing love, there is a lot of sex.

Dr. Aborishade stated AHF always advice young people to abstain from sex  but a situation whereby they are not ready to abstain they should always use condom  and use it properly.

 He disclosed that there  rising cases of Sexually Transmitted Infections(STIs) and cases of HIV among the young generation, adding that it is important to give the right education and right information about safe sex.

“That is why the Internatioal condom day is to reach out to the people and to educate the young people to use condom when having sex. Again we also encourage young people to abstain from sex which is the best decision but majority of young people can’t and that’s why we are encouraging them to  use the condoms properly and frequently”.

“We  are partnering with, Apin, Bensaca, Network of youth organizations to create awareness . The theme of this year celebration i is “Just use it” . These condoms are being distributed today in 7 states. We are  also starting an STI clinic in June at AHF in Makurdi and Abuja and it is strictly for STI treatment.

 “Some people have STI and they dont know they have it but with the establishement of the clinic, people would have opportunity to be attended to”, he said.

In her remark, the state Commissioner for woman affairs and social development, Mrs. Ann Itodo commended AHF for creating awareness about safer sex and the need to control STIs  amongst youths in the State.

Mrs. Itodo who was represented by director of women in the ministry, Mrs. Magdalene Doo  said everyone must be involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other STis in the state .

She assured that the ministry is ready to collaborate with AHF to educate and enlighten the people of the State and call on the organization to join the ministry to celebrate this year’s Internatioal women’s day in order to create more awareness about STIs in the State. 

Also speaking, the AHF prevention coordinator Benue state, Mrs. Amina Iyaji, maintained that the rate of STIs has reduced drastically due to activities of the organization and assured that they would continue to create more awareness about safe sex.

On her part,  the head of link unit, Apin public health prevention initiatives, Mrs. Lucy Tembe, they would continue to partner with AHF to eradicate STIs in the State.

She maintained that Apin has be able to  render services to prevent diseases among youths in the State and called on other stakeholders to promote safe sex in the State.

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