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Meningitis kills 23 in one week, says NCDC

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Cerebrospinal Meningitis killed 23 persons in one week, between March 27 to April 2, 2023, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC).

According to the epidemiological report from the agency, the deaths were reported from two states, which are: Jigawa (6), Yobe (17).

The report further stated that between October 2022 to April 2, 2023, a total of 235 confirmed cases were reported, with 118 deaths from 22 states and 79 Local Government Areas (LGAs).

The NCDC report stated: “The national multi-sectoral Cerebrospinal Meningitis Technical Working Group (TWG) continues to monitor response across states.

“As of April 2,2023, a total of 1,479 suspected cases including 118 deaths (Case Fatality Ratio, CFR 9.3 per cent) were reported from 22 states in 2022/2023 Cerebrospinal Meningitis seasons.

“Age group 5-14 years was the most affected age group, males were 57 per cent, females were 43 per cent.

“93 per cent of all cumulative cases were from five (5) states: Jigawa (1064 cases), Yobe (234 cases), Zamfara (36 cases), Bauchi (23 cases) and Adamawa (21 cases).”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), meningitis is a serious infection of the meninges, the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It can affect anyone of any age, but mainly affects babies, preschool children and young people.

Symptoms may develop over several hours or over a few days. They may include: sudden high fever, stiff neck, severe headache, nausea or vomiting, confusion or trouble concentrating, seizures, sleepiness or trouble waking, sensitivity to light, no appetite or thirst, and skin rash in some cases, such as in meningococcal meningitis.

Furthermore, the bacteria that cause meningitis are transmitted from person-to-person through droplets of respiratory or throat secretions from carriers. Close and prolonged contact – such as kissing, sneezing, or coughing on someone, or living in close quarters with an infected person, facilitates the spread of the disease. The average incubation period is 4 days but can range between 2 and 10 days.

While vaccination remains the best strategy to prevent meningitis, Nigerians are enjoined to wash their hands often, especially before eating and after using the toilet, spending time in a crowded public place, or petting animals. Also, it is important to practice good hygiene.

Sharing of drinks, foods, straws, eating utensils, lip balms or toothbrushes with anyone else, is also prohibited.

 

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Tension in Lagos as cholera outbreak kill 5 die, 60 hospitalised

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Tension in Lagos as cholera outbreak kill 5 die, 60 hospitalised

Five persons have reportedly died and 60 others hospitalized from the outbreak of severe gastroenteritis in communities around Eti Osa, Lagos Island, Ikorodu and Kosofe local government areas of Lagos State.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this while reacting to the state surveillance reports, said the state government has issued a call for heightened vigilance and the adoption of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of a potential cholera outbreak in the state.

Abayomi further revealed that sadly, five deaths have been recorded mainly from patients presenting late with extreme dehydration.

“We have activated a statewide heightened surveillance and response. The Ministry of Health Directorate of Environmental Health and the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) have been alerted to investigate a possible water contamination source in the Lekki Victoria Island axis. We suspect a possible cholera outbreak; however, samples have been taken for confirmation. As of April 28, 2024, Nigeria reported 815 suspected cholera cases and 14 deaths across 25 states,” he said.

The Commissioner noted that following recent rains, Lagos State has seen a notable increase in cases of severe vomiting and watery stools, adding that urban slums and crowded areas with poor sanitation are particularly at risk.

Abayomi explained that cholera is a highly contagious disease that causes severe diarrhoea and can be life-threatening, adding that it poses a significant health burden in areas with poor water treatment and sanitation, and could impact Lagos State.

“Cholera spreads through direct transmission by eating or drinking contaminated food or water, and indirect transmission due to poor sanitation and lack of hand washing. Symptoms of cholera include severe watery diarrhoea, vomiting, rapid dehydration, muscle cramps, fever and sometimes collapse,” he said.

According to him, treatment options for cholera include rehydration using Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) for mild to moderate dehydration.

He added that Intravenous Fluids could be adopted for severely dehydrated patients given only in medical facilities and supervised by medical personnel.

“To prevent cholera, citizens are urged to ensure safe drinking water by boiling, chlorinating, or using bottled water, and avoiding ice products made from untreated water. Maintaining proper sanitation by using toilets, safely disposing of faeces, and avoiding open defecation is crucial.

“Practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands with soap and clean water regularly, especially before eating, preparing food, and after using the toilet, is essential and following food safety guidelines,” the Commissioner advised.

He enjoined citizens to rely on the Lagos State Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and accredited local health facilities for guidance, advice, and updates on prevention, treatment, and management.

The commissioner added that suspected cases can be reported via the following emergency hotlines: 08023169485, 08137412348, or by using helplines 767 or 112.

While emphasising the importance of maintaining high standards of hygiene and taking proactive measures to prevent cholera outbreaks, Professor Abayomi promised to keep the public informed and restated the commitment of the Government of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ensuring the health and well-being of its citizens.

“We urge everyone to adopt these preventive measures and report any suspected cases promptly to safeguard our communities,” he stated.

 

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Why Nigerian jollof rice is the best in Africa

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For decades, West Africans have debated about who makes the best jollof rice. Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, and The Gambia all

For decades, West Africans have debated about who makes the best jollof rice. Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, and The Gambia all claim to have the best jollof rice recipes.

So do Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Mali.

In 2023, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognised Senegal as the origin of this culinary delight.

It is believed to have originated from the Wolof people of Senegal.

According to the UN, the Senegalese version of jollof rice is an intangible treasure for the Senegalese people.

Despite this pronouncement, other countries in the West African region, particularly Nigeria and Ghana, continue to differ over who makes the best jollof rice dish.

What is jollof?

It is a one-pot dish made with rice, oil, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions and other spices.

These are just the basics, as there are many other ingredients used, depending on one’s native culture.

So, what’s the big deal about jollof rice? Well, it is more than just a meal for those who like it.

It represents solidarity, joy, and cultural heritage. It is usually served at weddings, birthday parties, and cultural festivals.

The meal is so significant that sharing it with people creates a sense of community, and enhances familial relationships.

The debate on the country with the best jollof dish always rages on social media and seems to remain unresolved. It most heated between Nigerians and Ghanaians.

”Ghana Jollof is undoubtedly the best Jollof in Africa. It is usually spiced with tomato sauce and local ‘Salmon’ fish,” Hafiz Tijani from Ghana says as he believes his country holds the top jollof title.

”The aroma alone before eating the food leaves one with an unforgettable imagination. Eating Jollof made in Ghana does not only kill hunger, it gives pleasure too,” Hafiz tells TRT Afrika.

Chef Racheal from Nigeria, however has a counter argument.

”The smokiness of Nigeria’s jollof is what makes our recipe unique. There is no other African country that prepares Jollof this way. Since our jollof recipe stands out from the crowd. This makes ours the best jollof dish on the continent.”

The meal is, however, believed to have originated among the Wolof people in Senegal and The Gambia.

They are the largest ethnic group in Senegal, and are concentrated in the country’s northern region near the Senegal River and the Gambia River.

During the early colonial period, the foreign rulers imported broken rice as part of their regular meals.

It is documented that the Senegalese preferred broken rice over whole grains. This led to the creation of Ceebu jën, a popular dish in the country.

The meal’s popularity later spread to other countries in the West African region.

Trade, migration, intermarriage, and cultural transfer are said to have played an important role in popularising the meal. And what is known today as jollof rice became a source of pride and cultural identity for the West African region.

Serving jollof rice to guests is viewed as a gesture of hospitality and generosity. Ghanaians cook their jollof rice using aromatic basmati rice, and often add protein such as chicken or beef to the meal.

Nigerians, on the other hand, prefer long-grain rice as the key ingredient also with palm oil, fish, chicken or beef. According to them, the crispier the rice, the better it tastes.

Cameroonians use beef while preparing their jollof meal, while the Senegalese add palm oil.

As most West Africans, Liberians also add pepper on their jollof food. The debate, which appears not to have a universally accepted agreement, continues to rage: who makes the best jollof?

By Susan Mwongeli & trtafrika.com

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Abortion rising among married women, Society for Family Health claims

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Doctors begins six-day warning strike in UK

Abortion among married women is currently on the rise in Nigeria, the Society for Family Health (SFH), has said.Health workers meet Tinubu, suspend 12-day strike

Although SFH did not cite any survey or study to back its conclusion,  it attributed the development to the rise in inflation and love for their families.

The nonprofit, non-political, non-governmental organisation which intervenes in various health fields, added that many married women undertake to abort pregnancies without the knowledge of their husbands.US women stocking up abortion pills to avoid scarcity

SFH’s Country Social and Behaviour Change Coordinator, Delivering Innovation in Self-Care (DISC), Michael Titus, made these known in Minna, Niger State yesterday. The event was a dissemination meeting of Niger State Family Planning/DMPA-SC performance of the Delivering Innovation in Self-Care (DISC).

Titus said that married women abort because they want to minimise the negative economic impact of having additional children on their families.

His words: “Abortion among married women is something that is on the rise. For married women, it is obvious because our men are shying away from the fact that family planning uptake is something that is important and beneficial to them and their families.

“Look at the situation in the country, we have so many issues like inflation which is causing the purchasing power of each family to reduce, especially now that the cost of buying pampers and paying school fees are on the rise.

“Women love their families, they love their husbands, they don’t want the situation whereby the purchasing power of the family declines.

‘’So, you find women who go behind to do the abortion. They don’t want a situation whereby they get pregnant again as another child added to the number they have would be seen as burdensome on the family and that is why abortion among married women is  found be rising.”

Titus said that some family planning methods, including Subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC) self-injectable contraception, are readily available for married women who desire to space their children.

According to him, 27,000 women in Niger  State embraced the self-injection method of birth control in the first quarter of this year while 194,700 women accepted the use of the Subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC) self-injectable contraception in the past 33 months.

Source: TheNation

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Nurse accuses Lagos hospital, R Jolad of negligence over wife, son’s death

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A registered nurse anaesthetist, Prince Ovwiomodiowho, has accused a private hospital in Lagos State, R Jolad Hospital, Agege, of alleged

A registered nurse anaesthetist, Prince Ovwiomodiowho, has accused a private hospital in Lagos State, R Jolad Hospital, Agege, of alleged negligence and failure to provide adequate care, which reportedly led to the death of his wife, Loveth and unborn son, already named Jason.

The distraught man told PUNCH Healthwise, that his late wife started ante-natal at the hospital in 2023 but reportedly bled to death on March 8, 2024, shortly after undergoing a caesarean section.

Ovwiomodiowho insisted that the lack of a competent surgical team and equipment were factors that contributed to the untimely death of his wife and baby.

He lamented that long hours of induction led to the rupture of his late wife’s uterus, causing heavy bleeding.

Recounting the traumatic events that unfolded during his wife’s stay at the private hospital, Ovwiomodiowho said, “I have been in despair, unimaginable trauma, prolonged pain and unending sorrow since March 8, 2024, following the gruesome murder of my precious wife Loveth and innocent son, Jason.

“My wife had no surgical and medical history; she was their patient from the start of the pregnancy. All her labs, vitals and scans were normal, and her packed cell volume before delivery was 39 per cent.

“The doctor in charge, Marcus, prescribed the induction from midnight and said there was no clear indication for a C/Section. I objected to the midnight induction but he insisted it was the hospital protocol.

“Marcus commenced induction with Misoprostol twice under the watch of his junior doctors and midwife. They claimed Misoprostol induction failed and my wife was not contracting and also claimed her cervix was ripped for another type of induction with oxytocin, which they commenced.

“After 10 hours of aggressive prolonged induction with cervical dilatation only reaching 6cm, her uterus was hyperstimulated until it busted (She had ruptured uterus) and started active silent bleeding.”

Ovwiomodiowho said the hospital claimed not to be aware that his wife was bleeding until she collapsed, started gasping for air, started foaming from the mouth and later, became unconscious.

He further said, “My wife was bleeding and the hospital claimed they were not aware until she collapsed and started gasping for air with extremely low blood pressure and severely compromised vital signs.

“She needed active resuscitation, immediate caesarian section and exploratory laparotomy but once again, the hospital had no surgeon, no anaesthetist, and no paediatrician (No surgical team) in place for the surgery.

“Major surgical and resuscitation equipment was not available. There was no reliable oxygen system, no laryngoscope and no fictional ventilator. She was left to breathe by herself via an endotracheal tube during surgery.”

“There was no electricity throughout the surgery. At some points, they were using phone torchlight for surgery. Due to the unimaginable and gross incompetence of the surgical team, haemostasis could not be secured; she was bleeding from multiple bleeders. My wife and son eventually bled to death, and the theatre floor was a river of blood despite various colloids that were infused. Imagine leaving with the horror of the scene.

“The death certificate of my wife says she suffered a ruptured uterus with massive uterine haemorrhage.”

He also claimed that efforts to get his late wife’s uterus, which was removed during the surgery were not successful.

“My wife’s uterus (womb) was removed during surgery and the hospital has refused to give me the specimen despite multiple requests. I don’t know if they are planning to sell it or if they are deliberately trying to make the autopsy inconclusive.

“The hospital has also refused to give me the placenta. It is only the corpse of my wife and son that was handed over.

“I have reported the incident to the Health Facilities Monitoring and Accreditation Agency, Commissioner of Health and Permanent Secretary in Lagos, and I am waiting for their responses,” he said.

While arguing that the death of his wife and son was avoidable and unnecessary, the aggrieved nurse said it was “a deliberate act of reckless manslaughter.”

He lamented, “How can an obstetrician and gynaecologist be in another facility and still hell-bent on inducing my wife under the watch of his staff from 12 am till 10 am until her uterus gave way? It ruptured without any O&G consultant available to review it.

“The consultant provoked massive torrential bleeding and both he and his team claimed they had no clue as to why my wife, who was their patient was bleeding and was racing into hypovolaemic shock.

“Even when she eventually suffered a total cardiovascular collapse in labour, became unconscious and needed intensive care, immediate Ex lap with an emergency caesarian section, she was denied early surgical intervention until she suffered hypoxic brain injury.

“It took over three hours for the intensivist to start attending to her and over two hours for the O&G consultant to commence surgery, the paediatrician never came.”

He added, “During this unbearable waiting time for the surgeon to show up, I was forced to commence active resuscitation on my wife because the team on the ground was in deep confusion and panic.

“Finally, they arranged a grossly incompetent surgical team that could not secure bleeding despite infusions of colloids and crystalloids, causing traumatic death of both mother and baby.”

The nurse also accused the hospital management of deepening his pain and loss by subjecting him to all manner of inhumane treatment and intimidation.

He lamented, “In my unwavering quest to seek justice just because the hospital has seen I don’t have money, I have been subjected to intimidation and frustrations.”

The grieving father said he is at a loss as to how to reply his four-year-old daughter, who has been asking for her mother.

“She has been asking for her mom and I still don’t know what to tell her,” he said with tears cascading down his face.

Hospital denies negligence, blames husband for wife’s death

When PUNCH Healthwise contacted the management of R Jolad Hospital, they denied alleged negligence and complicity in the death of the woman.

The hospital insisted that everything medically necessary was done to save Ovwiomodiowho’s wife and son.

Speaking in a virtual meeting attended by the hospital’s Medical Director Abiola Fashina; Chief Operating Officer, Mr Soji Osunsedo, and the Marketing and Brand communications manager, Ifeoluwapo Ilesanmi on April 26, 2024, the correspondent was told by the Managing Director, Dr Funsho Oladipo, that standard protocols and procedures required for care during labour were provided.

While admitting that the wife lost a lot of blood during delivery, he blamed Ovwiomodiowho’s religious belief against blood transmission for the unfortunate death, noting that blood was not given to the woman after the surgery.

He explained, “Between you and I, we know that in childbirth, one important thing that can happen and throw everybody into a panic state, but which can still be remedied, is blood loss. And when there’s blood loss, you have to replace it, especially if the loss is much. There’s nothing that replaces blood.

“But we had been given a strict instruction against blood transfusion because Prince and his family belong to the Jehovah’s Witness religious group and they don’t allow blood transmission.

“And this, you know and I know, everybody knows that if so much blood is lost and no replacement, there’s nothing one can do.

“So, the question of not having adequate manpower to take care of what the wife had is not true.

“The hospital is well equipped with personnel and other things; we have consultant gynaecologists and other professionals. It’s very unfortunate that this happened because we have always provided care to the best of our knowledge and best of practice.

“And such a scenario has never happened in the hospital for the period that we’ve been running it.

“The hospital is a source of joy to many homes, taking care of the needs of the people, the poor and the rich.”

When asked if the hospital used torchlight during surgery, Oladipo noted, “I have just told you the main reason why this loss occurred. I mean, it’s just like Panadol would take care of your headache and if you refuse to take Panadol, the headache will still be there. It’s just simple and very unfortunate.”

On the allegations that the hospital did not release the placenta and ruptured uterus, the hospital Managing Director explained, “If the corpse was alleged to have been kept by us, then we agreed that the uterus and the placenta were also with us.

“You see, it was so bad, we had to put the placenta, the uterus, we had to wrap everything neatly together because they did not want to take the corpse that night. They came so many hours after the incident to take the corpse. And everything was wrapped with the placenta, the resected uterus and the corpse, and we gave it to them.”

Source: ThePunch

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Human cases of Bird Flu ‘an enormous concern’, says WHO

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The World Health Organization voiced alarm Thursday at the growing spread of H5N1 bird flu to new species, including humans, who face

The World Health Organization voiced alarm Thursday at the growing spread of H5N1 bird flu to new species, including humans, who face an “extraordinarily high” mortality rate.

“This remains I think an enormous concern,” the UN health agency’s chief scientist Jeremy Farrar told reporters in Geneva.

The current bird flu outbreak began in 2020 and has led to the deaths of tens of millions of poultry, with wild birds also infected as well as land and marine mammals.

Cows and goats joined the list last month — a surprising development for experts because they were not thought susceptible to this type of influenza.

The A (H5N1) strain has become “a global zoonotic animal pandemic”, Farrar said.

“The great concern of course is that in… infecting ducks and chickens and then increasingly mammals, that virus now evolves and develops the ability to infect humans and then critically the ability to go from human to human.”

So far, there is no evidence that the influenza A(H5N1) virus is spreading between humans.

But in the hundreds of cases where humans have been infected through contact with animals, “the mortality rate is extraordinarily high”, Farrar said.

From the start of 2023 to April 1 this year, the WHO said it had recorded 463 deaths from 889 human cases across 23 countries, putting the case fatality rate at 52 percent.

In a worrying development, US authorities earlier this month said a person in Texas was recovering from bird flu after being exposed to dairy cattle.

It was only the second case of a human testing positive for bird flu in the country, and came after the virus sickened herds that were apparently exposed to wild birds in Texas, Kansas and other states.

It also appears to have been the first human infection with the influenza A(H5N1) virus strain through contact with an infected mammal, WHO said.

When “you come into the mammalian population, then you’re getting closer to humans,” Farrar said, warning that “this virus is just looking for new, novel hosts”.

“It’s a real concern.”

Farrar called for beefing up monitoring, insisting it was “very important understanding how many human infections are happening… because that’s where adaptation (of the virus) will happen”.

“It’s a tragic thing to say, but if I get infected with H5N1 and I die, that’s the end of it. If I go around the community and I spread it to somebody else then you start the cycle.”

He said efforts were under way towards the development of vaccines and therapeutics for H5N1, and stressed the need to ensure that regional and national health authorities around the world have the capacity to diagnose the virus.

This was being done so that “if H5N1 did come across to humans, with human-to-human transmission”, the world would be “in a position to immediately respond”, Farrar said, urging equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

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Nigeria takes lead in meningitis vaccine – WHO

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Nigeria takes lead in meningitis vaccine – WHO

Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, has launched a “revolutionary” vaccine against meningitis, which the World Health Organisation on Friday said was a world first.

“Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives,” said WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Nigeria’s rollout brings us one step closer to our goal to eliminate meningitis by 2030,” he said.

The Men5CV vaccine shields against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria (A, C, W, Y and X) in a single shot.

The WHO said it offers broader protection than the current vaccine used in much of Africa, which is only effective against the A strain.

Last year, the number of meningitis cases jumped 50 per cent in Africa.

Nigeria, with a population of 220 million, is one of the continent’s 26 meningitis-hyperendemic countries, an area known as the African Meningitis Belt.

WHO noted that 153 people died during an outbreak of meningitis in Nigeria between October 1 and March 11.

Gavi, the global Vaccine Alliance, funded the new campaign from March 25–28 to initially vaccinate more than one million people aged from one to 29 years.

“Northern Nigeria, particularly the states of Jigawa, Bauchi, and Yobe, were badly hit by the deadly outbreak of meningitis,” said Professor Muhammad Ali Pate of Nigeria’s Health Ministry.

“This vaccine provides health workers with a new tool to both stop this outbreak but also put the country on a path to elimination,” he said in the WHO statement.

Meningitis infection leads to inflammation of the membranes, or meninges, that protect the brain and spinal cord.

It has multiple causes, including viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic pathogens.

Symptoms often include headaches, fevers, and stiff necks. Bacterial meningitis is the most serious and may result in septicemia or blood poisoning that can seriously disable or kill within 24 hours.

 

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