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Colostrum: How mothers risk their children’s lives

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Breastfeeding benefits mothers

Breastfeeding benefits mothers

By Lydia Ngwakwe

A Consultant Paediatrician, Prof. Emmanuel Ekanem, on Saturday decried the practice of throwing away the colostrum after the delivery of newborns, saying it contains antibodies to protect newborns against disease.

Ekanem of the Department of Paediatrics, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Calabar, Cross Rivers, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that it was a wrong practice some mothers still indulged in.

According to Wikipaedia, Colostrum is the first form of milk produced by the mammary glands of mammals immediately following delivery of the newborn.

“Most species will generate colostrum just prior to giving birth. Colostrum contains antibodies to protect the newborn against disease,” it said.

Colostrum is also a yellowish liquid, especially rich in immune factors.

Ekanem said: “It is surprising that mothers still believe the milk they produce in the first four days of life is not good for their babies.

“It is a very rich milk which helps the child to grow; it has a natural method of also preventing children from diseases.

“Colostrum is exactly what babies need for the first few days to protect them against infection as well as help keep their bowels soft.

“It is very concentrated with very high levels of proteins.

“So, it is important that the baby takes that milk; any mother who throws the milk away should know that she will never have that quality again after the first four days.

“The child too may not have that quality again after the first four days; it changes, babies who take the milk will definitely do better even in school.

“So, that early milk is very important, mothers should stop throwing it away.

The paediatrician urged mothers to frequently and exclusively breastfeed their babies whenever they demanded for it.

He said that regular breastfeeding was beneficial for the mother as it would help increase the production of breast milk.

Ekanem said breastfeeding should not be at set intervals, but regularly throughout the day and as the baby demanded.

He cautioned mothers against early introduction of solid foods to their babies, saying exclusive breastfeeding should continue for four to six months.

Ekanem said: “The baby’s body is not developed enough to tolerate solid foods before the first four months of age; breast milk provides entirely all the baby needs until that age.’’

He warned mothers to stop applying family tradition on their children wellbeing.

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FCT doctors hail Minister for paying arrears, seek reviews

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The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter, have commended the Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello, for paying the backlog of doctors’ arrears.

Briefing newsmen in Abuja on Saturday, Dr Roland Aigbovo, President of the Chapter, said that the action of the minister was commendable as he had kept to his promise.

Aigboyo however used the opportunity to appeal to the Minister to also remember the stagnation of doctors who have long be due for promotion but were yet to be promoted.

He stressed that some doctors have been stagnated for over three years while others due for promotion have remained on the same level for two years.

He added that some of the promotions that had been done were done wrongly as some of the doctors were promoted to the same level that they were already on.

He explained that some doctors were wrongly placed and the wrong placement was corrected and they were skipped and placed on the next level, only to now also be promoted to the same level that they were skipped to.

“They were promoted to the same grade level they were skipped to.

“For example, a doctor on grade level 12 was skipped to grade level 13 by correction of the error and was then again promoted to grade level 13.

“The arrears paid was for skipping, which is the correction of the wrong placement,” he said.

On the issue of budgets for hospitals, the President of fthe association appealed to the minister to budget for each hospital according to their needs and to separate the budgets of each individual hospital.

“We also appeal to the minister to make provision of each hospital to have their budget and not a blanket budget because every hospital has different running cost,” he said.

He appealed for more training for residents, non-residents as well as for other departments in the hospitals.

“Presently, only four departments are involved in residency training which include family medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Surgery and ophthalmology.

“We want more depts to included like internal medicine, paediatric, radiology and psychiatry,” he said.

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Optometrists mourn former world council President Udom

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Eye screening

Eye screening

The Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) on Thursday mourned the death of former President of the World Council of Optometry (WCO), Dr Uduak Udom.

Udom reportedly died on Monday in Uyo at the age of 63 after a protracted illness.

The association, in a statement, in Abuja said that Udom was a notable and outstanding member of the global Optometry family.

It noted that Udom made significant contributions to the development of optometry in Nigeria and worldwide.

“Significantly, until her demise she was the immediate past President of the World Council of Optometry (WCO), former President, Women Optometrists in Nigeria (WON), among others,” the body said.

Udom graduated from University of Benin in 1978.

NOA said it had opened a condolence register at its secretariat in Abuja.

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Scientist claims local remedy for diabetes

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Scientist claims local remedy for diabetes

Scientist claims local remedy for diabetes

Prof. Chukwunonso Ejike, a researcher at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi,
says he has developed a local remedy for diabetes mellitus.

He made this known in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday on the sidelines of the ongoing
Technology and Innovation Expo 2019 holding in Enugu.

Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired,
resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.

Organised yearly by Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to encourage interaction among researchers, inventors, innovators
and investors, the Science and Technology Expo is to largely commercialise research results from the country’s tertiary institutions.

The theme for the 2019 expo is “Science, Technology and Innovation for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Growth.”

Ejike said that the remedy product known as the VOG Tea was one of six products exhibited by the university at the Expo,
invented in 2018 after four years of intensive research.

The don, who is the Dean, Basic Medical Sciences in the institution, said that the tea was produced from three
culinary vegetables, noting that the process of patenting the product had already begun and would soon be in the market.

He added that “I thank the university authority for supporting every effort so far made to develop and produce the tea.

“I want to appeal to investors to partner with us to get it to the market place at the minimum best price.”

The researcher said that Nigerian scholars had the capacity to compete with their peers in developed economies,
adding that to achieve this, however, they needed to be funded.

He added that he was motivated to go into the research due to increasing incidences of diabetes mellitus in the country,
especially in urban areas.

He said “our interest in developing this tea was to find out how to help our people manage diabetes mellitus.

“We thought of local remedies that could be cheap and identified these vegetables. We did clinical tests and collected
data on the vegetables and confirmed that making tea from the vegetables could be of great benefit to sufferers of diabetes mellitus.

“Constant consumption of the tea will ensure that the glucose concentration will not overshoot the normal level.”

The dean said that the product would also help people at risk of getting diabetes.

He said that the usage of the VOG Tea by those at risk would ensure that they never developped it.

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