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Why Ebola survivors not completely free – Cambridge Prof.



Ebola survivors may not be completely free says Cambridge Don

Ebola survivors may not be completely free says Cambridge Don

Some Ebola survivors may still experience the virus in the deeper compartments of their bodies where the immune system may not be able to clear.

Prof. Jonathan Heeney of Cambridge University, United Kingdom, said this at the 10th Convocation Lecture of the Redeemer’s University in Ede, Osun, on Wednesday.

Heeney, a professor of Veterinary Pathology, spoke on the theme: “Dare To Change: Turning The Tide against Nigeria’s Health Threats.”

Heeney said that the inner compartments of the body where the virus might be noticed include the eyes, the brain, the testes and the joints.

The don said that the virus genomes could be discovered in the semen of 30 per cent of male Ebola survivors six months or longer after they must have recovered from the disease.

He added that it had been documented that suspects could have contracted it from sexual transmission from male survivors or from female to male transmission.

“Breast milk transmission has also been observed, indicating that mother-to-child transmission may also occur from Ebola female survivors.

“Importantly, while an Ebola survivor is healthy, the risk that they may secrete the virus is low and the risk of transmitting the virus casually is negligible, “Heeney said.

The don, however, said that one of the greatest challenges is how to develop a vaccine that would not only protect people against Ebola, but also against its other filovirus family members.

Heeney, however, said that one of the reasons why it was difficult to curb Ebola outbreak in West Africa was because of societal practices.

He said, “Important amongst these factors are tribal cultures, no prior knowledge or experience with Ebola, mistrust of the government, conspiracy theories, among others.’’

According to Heeney, other scientific collaborators and he have started developing a vaccine.

He said that that the vaccine had the potential to protect people from three different kinds of hemorrhagic fever viruses and could be used across Africa.

Heeney said that public health campaigns in the most affected communities should include strategies for keeping rodents out of homes and food supplies and improving personal hygiene.

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FCT Dept. engages area councils, states on primary healthcare



Health workers

Health workers

By Jessica Dogo

The Save One Million Lives Programme for Results (SOMLforR) will engage FCT area councils and states in providing healthcare services to Nigerians in 2019.

SOMLforR is a subsidiary of the FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS).

The Programme Manager, SOMLforR, Mr Samson Eriba, stated this on Friday at the end of a five days training on capacity building for ISS in Mararaba, Nasarawa State.

He said SOMLforR would give quality services at its primary healthcare facilities through an Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS) by using area councils and the states.

Eriba said that SOMLforR resolved at the meeting to engage area councils and states’ supportive supervisions to enhance the activities of the primary healthcare.

He explained that the state level ISS would be quarterly and the area councils’ bi-Monthly.

“We have come up with key resolutions on how to improve quality of services at our primary health facilities through integrated supportive supervision.

“We reviewed and updated the checklist to accommodate more programme indicators; we resolved to have area councils and state level supportive supervisions.

“State level ISS will be quarterly while Area Council teams will be bi-monthly. These are to be imputed into the 2019 work plan and commence implementation,’’ he said.

He, however, stated that the unit was faced with challenges such as lack of vehicles for movement and access during operations.

According to him, other challenges includes difficult terrains that make communities hard to reach and inadequate human resources to provide services.

“We are forced to engage community volunteers and mentor mothers to promote Ante Natal Care and Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (ANC/PMTCT) Services,’’ Eriba said.

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6-week-old baby miraculously survives Ebola in Congo



Six Week Old Baby Survive Ebola

Six Week Old Baby Survive Ebola

A six-week-old child simply called baby Benedicte has survived deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo.

The six-week-old infant has been dubbed “a miracle’’ by Congo’s Ministry of Health for surviving Ebola which she caught as a newborn.

“The little girl is called Benedicte and she was born on Oct. 31, so she’s about one and a half months old,’’ Jessica Ilunga, a spokesperson for the ministry told dpa on Friday.

Sadly, Benedicte’s mother died during childbirth while also infected with Ebola which has so far killed more than 300 people in eastern Congo.

Benedicte received 24-hour care throughout her hospitalisation and is the youngest person to recover from the virus in this outbreak, the ministry said.

She is now home with her father and aunt.

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Association advocates introduction of health tax to fund healthcare



The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Federal Health Institutions Sector, has suggested the introduction of health tax to cushion the current funding gap in the health sector.

Mr Wale Olatunde, the National Chairman of the association, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the on-going annual national conference of the association in Abuja.

The theme of the conference is: “Clinical Utilisation and Application of Nursing Models/Theories for Effective Nursing Practice”.

Olatunde who likened the health tax to Value Added Tax (VAT) and Education Tax emphasised that through such measures, all factories within the country would be made to pay one per cent of their annual profits.

This will aid in funding the sector to enhance the system.

The chairman said that globally, governments alone do not fund the health system.

According to him, ensuring robust funding of the sector will require the commitment of certain percentage of philanthropists and factories’ annual profits.

He said that lack of adequate funding is a major contributor to the poor health indices in the country.

Olatunde explained that every occupation and even industry has its own health challenges on the populace, citing examples of cement and motorcycle riding occupation.

“By providing motorcycles to the masses, politicians should make provisions for orthopaadic hospital.

“This is because riding motorcycles, popularly known as `okada’, can expose them to a lot of accidents which will require emergency care.’’

Olatunde said: “Also, cement factory can predispose the citizens to upper respiratory tract infections among others.

“However, donating just a percentage of annual profit declaration to health care will not be out of place.’’

According to him, such tax will be used to fund and improve healthcare system to ensure availability, affordability and accessibility by all.

“We are suggesting at least one per cent of annual profits of factories.

“If we do and manage it effectively in the next four years, most of our health systems would have been transformed in terms of making them functional,’’ he said.

Olatunde further appealed to philanthropists to dedicate one or two per cent of their wealth to healthier care in order to cater for the health needs of the poor.

According to him, some people must be prepared to help others and there is need to understand that in assisting others, we are assisting ourselves.

He emphasised that by investing in the health of the poor, one is indirectly investing in one’s health.

According to him, the reality now is that government cannot fund the healthcare; all over the world philanthropists come up with policies to finance their health.h

“We must understand that if an epidemic broke out, it does not know the rich from the poor person like Ebola and Lassa Fever, it does not respect your social status or class.

“We are appealing to individuals to take a percentage or two from their wealth and commit it to an aspect of healthcare delivery.

“Like the HIV, Roll Back Malaria and others which some group tookt upon themselves to bear the financial burden,” he said.

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