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Malnutrition kills 132 children in Kaduna state

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Starving African Children

Starving African Children


The Kaduna State Nutrition Officer, Hajiya Hauwa Usman, said on Thursday that no fewer than 132 children have died of severe acute malnutrition out of the 12,858 hospitalised between January and October 2018 in the state.

Usman, who made this known while giving an update on the nutrition situation in the state at a two-day meeting in Kaduna, also said that 10,604 out of the 12,858 have been cured.

The meeting was organised by Save the Children International (SCI) to support Kaduna State Chapter of the Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) to develop two-year Nutrition Advocacy Strategy.

She added that 187 others who have not recovered were undergoing treatment.

“Currently, 11.7 per cent of children under-five years are wasted – suffering from severe acute malnutrition, while 47 per cent are stunted (too short for their age),” she said.

She attributed the high incidence of malnutrition in the state to poor maternal, infant and young child feeding practices which has remained unsatisfactory.

“The Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey, 2017, releveled that the rate of timely breastfeeding initiation is 28.9 per cent, while only 19,7 per cent under-five children were exclusively breastfed.

“Similarly, only 10 children aged six to 23 months were adequately and appropriately fed,” she said.

Also speaking, Mr Silas Ideva, CS-SUNN Coordinator in the state, noted the high burden of malnutrition among children under-five years in the state.

According to him, despite many years of implementing nutrition activities by the state government and partners, results are not so encouraging.

“To address the issue of malnutrition, there is the need for nutrition budget line in all relevant ministry, departments and agencies.

“There is also the need to scale up high impact cost effective nutrition interventions at strategic locations and expedite action on finalising Kaduna State policy on Food and Nutrition.

“The state government also need to have a holistic budget for nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive interventions.”

Mr. Yusuf Auta, Deputy Director, Development Aid Coordination in the state Planning and Budget Commission said that N200 million, out of the N300 million allocated for nutrition intervention in the state’s 2018 budget has been cashed backed.

Auta added that the commission is awaiting cash backing of the remaining N100 million for the procurement of Ready to use Therapeutic Food.

He called on civil society organisations in the state to support the government in addressing scourge of malnutrition to give under-five children the chance to celebrate fifth year birthday and beyond.

Earlier, SCI Nutrition Advocacy Adviser, Malam Isa Ibrahim, explained that the objective of the meeting was to support CS-SUNN to develop nutrition advocacy strategy for better outcome.

Ibrahim added that the meeting was also organised to identify barriers and challenges of nutrition intervention in Kaduna state.

“We equally want to identify and review target stakeholders, including champions at State level for nutrition intervention and effective implementation of the strategy.

“What we want to at the end of the day is to develop advocacy messages for the implementation of the advocacy strategy,” he said.

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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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