Healthy Reasons to Join the ‘Beard Gang’ By Damilola Ojenike

Today, growing a beard is common among the average Nigerian youth, middle aged and even aged men. It has become a trend among young men, not minding its origin or when it started; many people are now seen sporting different styles of beards.

A beard is a collection of facial hair that grows on the chin and cheeks of humans and some animals. In humans, only adolescent or adult males are able to grow beards. However, it is not unusual to see females spiting facial hairs.

Just like every fashion, growing beards is not without its ups and downs depending on genes; a beard can usually takes 2 to 8 months to grow, depending on the desire. There are different types of beards – like the chin strap, full beard, extreme beard, goatee and hipster.

As a dominant fashion, it‘s like a hurricane when it’s on, no one does stop it. Religious trend too make people grow beards. Remember Leviticus 21:5 (kjv) which reads ‘they shall not make any holdness on their heads, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh.

Also in Islam, growing a beard is encouraged. Beards are natural to humanity, let no one cut them off when they grow.

New research made from a random sample of ladies favour a bearded guy. At least 85 per cent of ladies love a bearded guy with also neatness attached to it. About 10 per cent are of the notion that it must be moderate, not the fully overgrown beard and that they must be neatly kept. The remaining 5 per cent does not like it, due to the understanding that it itches them whenever they want to kiss their partner. Overall, it shows that women find bearded men more attractive.

Though beards could be itchy and very hard to maintain, the merits outweigh the demerits. Having a beard is not only stylish, it has health benefits. Here are some reasons why as a guy you should keep beards:

Beards protect your face from the sun: The more your face is exposed to the sun, the more likely you become susceptible to sunburn, wrinkle and skin cancer, especially in hot weather.

Beards help fight cold: Beard can actually raise the temperature of the skin providing warmth and helping the body fight viruses.

Beards keep guys warm: Surprisingly, facial hair can act as a natural form of protection against cold. Beards keep the face warm and stance uncomfortable dryness.

Facial hair slows the aging process: Beards can make a young man look older. Ironically, it gives the skin a younger look. This is because facial hair prevents water from running off the skin, keeping it moisturised and maintaining a protective barrier on the surface.

Beards prevent Asthma attacks: Those with serious asthma problem know that pollen and dust can be silent killers. But beards that go north of the mouth and into the nasal area can actually prevent allergens from entering the nose and lungs according to Dr Felix Chua, a respiratory physician at Harley street, a London based health clinic.

Meanwhile, with beard transplants and beard creams rising, the ‘beards gang movement’ still soaring, phrases like “go beard or go home” are going viral, hence the beard fashion may not be leaving the fashion scene soon. Jesus Christ had a beard, even Santa Claus has beards. The executive governor of the State of Osun grows a beard, just like the nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has beards.

Join the ‘beard gang’ today.

Monkeypox Disease: What to Know By Lolade Nwanze

Are there rodents in your vicinity? Do you live in Nigeria or anywhere in West or Central Africa? Then you should care about monkeypox.

Yes, it was first identified in laboratory monkeys, hence the name, but it’s actively transmitted to humans by rodents or primates and by a secondary human-to-human transmission.

So how do you get it?
1. It’s infectious meaning it can come to you. The monkeypox virus is transmitted via contact with an infected animal’s blood, flesh, bite, or an infected human.
2. It’s a virus. Viral infections are generally harder to treat than bacteria’s and the monkeypox virus is a rare type.
3. It can cause fatal illnesses and quick deaths, especially in younger age groups.
4. It has NO treatment or vaccine but outbreaks can be controlled.
5. The incubation period is 5 -21 days. Symptoms typically last 14 – 21 days with severe cases occurring among children with longer virus exposure.
6. Monkeypox virus can only be diagnosed definitively in the laboratory by a number of different tests.

It manifests as various stages of rash and an intense weakness among other things. Rashes, ranging from a few to several thousands, begins on the face, then palms and feet soles. The lesions (or rashes) later become fluid-filled blisters and lastly crusts which can affect the oral membranes, genitalia, eyelids and eyeballs.

What do you do?
1. Cook animal flesh or blood properly before consuming. Monkeypox virus remain active in infected primates or rodent even after their death.
2. Stay away from body fluids, lesions, respiratory tract secretions, or objects recently contaminated by monkeypox patients. Transmission occurs via droplets respiratory particles.
3. Don’t pick up stray animals especially if you live in the tropics.
4. Immediately quarantine infected animals or humans. Close physical contact is a significant risk factor and protective equipment must be worn while providing care for patients.
5. Regular handwashing is encouraged.
6. If you have been in the proximity of an infected person, go for definitive testing in the laboratory.7. Spread the awareness by forwarding this article.

1000 Year-Old Chinese Bowl Sells For $37.7m

Another record auction has been recorded, this time not for diamond, but for an antique Chinese bowl.

The 1,000-year-old bowl from China’s Song Dynasty sold at auction in Hongkong for $37.7 million on Tuesday, breaking the record for Chinese porcelain, auction house Sotheby’s said

The sale broke the record for Chinese ceramics, auction house Sotheby’s said.

The small piece — which dates from 960-1127 — stole the previous record of $36.05 million set in 2014 for a Ming Dynasty wine cup which was snapped up by a Shanghai tycoon famous for making eye-watering bids.

The person behind Tuesday’s winning offer wished to remain anonymous, Sotheby’s said, with the auction house declining to say whether the buyer hailed from the Chinese mainland or not.

“It’s a totally new benchmark for Chinese ceramics and we’ve made history with this piece today,” Nicolas Chow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, told reporters.

Bidding started at around US$10.2 million with the suspense-filled auction lasting some 20 minutes as a handful of phone bidders and one person in the room itself competed with each other.

The winning offer eventually came from one of the phone bidders and was received by a round of applause.

The bowl — originally designed to wash brushes — is an example of extremely rare Chinese porcelain from the imperial court of the Northern Song Dynasty and one of only four such pieces in private hands, according to Sotheby’s.

Measuring 13cm in diameter, the dish features a luminous blue glaze.
– ‘Chicken cup’ –

The price tag exceeds the earlier record made by a tiny white piece known as the “Chicken Cup”, decorated with a color painting of a rooster and a hen tending to their chicks, and created during the reign of the Chenghua Emperor between 1465 and 1487.

That cup sold in 2014 to taxi-driver-turned-financier Liu Yiqian, one of China’s wealthiest people and among a new class of Chinese super-rich scouring the globe for artwork and antiquities.

Osun: Significant Impacts Of Tax Payment On Paramedics By Wasiu Babalola

As people normally say, “Health is wealth”. The conceptual interpretation of this is that health is core to human survival to the extent that the totality of human existence is being governed by our health status. This means, a complete human being (of physically and mentally balanced) is as a result of the accessibility to good health.

Hearing the good healthcare delivery, what one’s mind would picture is the state of the healthcare structures, medical equipment, personnels as well as availability of drugs in the various hospitals alone, but beyond this, the accessibility to emergency care for patients in need as a result of accidents or any other vital reasons prior to their arrival at a hospital is also core to a good and efficient healthcare delivery.

In the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola administration has made a laudable and unprecedented achievement in the paramedical department of healthcare delivery by leaving no stone unturned, as adequate attention is also being given to mobile healthcare delivery system in the state.

Despite the meager revenue accruable from tax in Osun, the value for tax money is still felt in this direction, meaning that it is appropriate to say that it is not about numerical value of money we have that matters but how judicious we are in utilising such funds.

Although nobody prays to be a victim of circumstance, our daily activities propelled by day-to-day technological discoveries expose us to conscious and unconscious risks. This is why it is always wise to have plan for unforeseen contingencies. Going by this direction, Aregbesola administration is scored high. It is only those that have fallen victim of one mishap or the other on the road that can give testimony and commend as deserved on how helpful the mobile healthcare delivery system popularly known as O’ Ambulance had been.

For instance, the statistical analysis released from the State of Osun Ambulance Services (O’ Ambulance) reveals thus: “The Osun State Ambulance Services (O’Ambulance) rescued more than 2,000 people in 2016 through its prompt rescue operations during emergencies across the state.

In an end-of-the-year review of its activities submitted to the Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, the Director General of O’Ambulance, Mr. Akinloye, said the state ambulance service responded to more than 1,116 road traffic accident emergencies across the state last year.

Besides, O’Ambulance also responded to 178 cases of collapse, 348 hospital referral and 132 labour emergency cases all of which lives involved were saved, according to Mr. Akinloye.

The D.G stated that of 1,829 casualties involved in all the emergency cases, the agency was able to save 1,774 lives and recorded only 55 deaths arising from the cases.

He also revealed that of the 1,774 casualties saved, 1,116 were males while 658 were females. He added that of the 55 deaths recorded, 27 were males and 28 females

Added to this in the year 2017, over 600 people in the first quarter of this year have been rescued.

From the foregoing, it is very evident that the value of taxpayers’ money is felt in this direction as a result of the proactive measures taken by the incumbent administration to create a unit from the health sector saddled with the responsibility of attending to patients on emergency. If there is no such intervention, there would have been a lot of sad stories to tell.

This implies that the citizenry is always at the receiving end of tax benefits that is, the more they comply with tax payment, the more is the benefit and vice versa.

Therefore, the contribution of every stakeholder matters a lot, as we can together build a better future for our dear state. Pay your tax, it is your civic responsibility.

•Babalola is the Information Officer, OIRS.

Kwara Yellow Fever Patients Medically Stable-Official

The two patients diagnosed with yellow fever in Oro-Ago in Ifelodun Local government area of Kwara state are now medically stable.

Dr Khadeejah Kamaldeen of the Kwara State Epidemiology Unit made the confirmation in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin.

Kamaldeen said that the patients are responding to treatment and are expected to make full recovery.

The Epidemiologist said earlier confirmation of the yellow fever cases were diagnosed in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

She said that samples were additionally sent to Dakar, Senegal for further confirmation that proved positive.

Kamaldeen explained that yellow fever is a vaccine preventable disease and urged residents to go for vaccination against it.

She appealed to mothers across the state to pay special attention to vaccination of their children.

According to her, the state government needed more support from partners in terms of vaccination logistics for yellow fever to allow for wider coverage of the state.

Kamaldeen said the symptoms for yellow fever are fever, headache, vomiting and fatigue, while in extreme cases there are emission of blood from victim’s mouth and nose like Lassa fever.

She added that yellow fever is not contagious but advised anyone with such symptoms to report to the state Ministry of Health.

The epidemiologist also advised people to use long lasting insecticidal nets and mosquito repellents to prevent yellow Fever.


Cure for Cancer: Understanding Herbal Claims Versus Chemotherapy By Franka Osakwe

  • Herbal Therapy Needs Further Examination, Clinical Trials-Durosinmi-Etti
  • Chemotherapy Cannot Differentiate Cancer Cells From Normal Ones-Salako
  • Breast Cancer, Most Common In Nigeria

When Roger McCreath, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, his world nearly grinded to a stop, but he gave no room for that to come to pass. Instead, he battled the scourge using a cocktail of herbal and conventional treatments.

Roger, now a holistic health coach, and owner of Roger McCreath Health, in the United States, who told The Guardian how he overcame cancer, said natural herbs and therapies can be used as supportive treatment options during cancer treatment.

“Having lived through my own cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment, I can attest to a combined treatment regiment-conventional and holistic. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and treated with radiation therapy, and I also utilised holistic herbs to support my treatment regimen.

“I used traditional herbs from the Maroons of Jamaica, such as chaney root, black nerve wys, sarasparilla, cayenne, myrrh, ginger, herbal bitters and turmeric,” he said.

McCreath continued: “In addition to the above, I practiced daily meditation to improve mindfulness and facilitate healing,” he said.

Although there has not been significant clinical trials to demonstrate the efficacy of herbal treatment, the cancer survivour advised the use of a combination of conventional and holistic treatment for best result.

“There are many herbs that can be used to support a cancer treatment regimen. As holistic healers, we look at the whole person; the body, soul, mind…when we see a problem in the body, there is always going to be a problem in the mind, and it’s just our subconscious expressing itself…so, I believe that chemotherapy can cure to an extent, but true healing comes in treating the source,” McCreath said.

He added: “When we talk about chemotherapy and radiation, the danger is the killing of good cells, because science has not perfected the treatment.”

Even though experts have warned that there is need to be cautious when using some herbs along with some chemotherapy drugs to avoid interactions, through clinical trials, some natural herbs have been found to have cancer killing properties, which is why the idea of complete healing, using these herbs, would sound like melody to cancer patients desperately searching for a cure.

Nowadays, the Internet is awash with claims of cure for cancer using natural herbs and other unconventional therapies. Interestingly, some of these claims condemn outright, chemotherapy and radiotherapy describing them as western scams and very harmful to the body.

But how true are claims that cancer sufferers can depend exclusively on herbs for cure, without recourse to chemotherapy and other conventional healing methods?

A consultant in Clinical and Radiation Oncology, Professor Francis Durosinmi-Etti, said chemotherapy is not a scam, but not all types of cancers respond to chemotherapy alone.

Durosinmi-Etti, who is also Chairman, Cancer Aid Foundation (CAF) Nigeria, said some other additional types of treatment have to be given alongside chemotherapy, such as radiotherapy, surgery, hormone therapy, in order to eliminate the cancer cells completely.

The medical practitioner, who is also President, Cancer Education and Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CEAFON), added that some herbal therapies may complement conventional treatment.

He, however, warned that some herbs have been known to interact with some drugs, hence the need to always consult a physician when taking any herbal treatment.

Explaining the use of herbs in cancer cure, Durosinmi-Etti said, “Some of the chemotherapy drugs we currently use for treating cancer are derived from plants; flowers or even the bark of some trees. However, herbal therapy as we know it in Nigeria needs to be further examined and clinical trials carried out. I have no doubt that we will be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of some of these herbs, though I have no personal experience of using our local herbs in treating cancer. We need to carry out proper studies to evaluate some of these herbs. Who knows whether the common green grass we trample upon everyday may provide the cure for cancer. We need to carry out studies and I am personally interested in collaborating with others, especially our local herbalists in this field of research.”

For cancer patients tinkering with the idea of abandoning chemotherapy and the conventional treatment completely for herbal cure, Dr. Durosinmi-Etti, sounds a note of warning against taking such a dangerous route.

“I will not advise anyone to depend on herbal drugs as cure for cancer alone, because there’s no proven evidence yet regarding these herbs. This has often prevented patients from reporting early at the hospital. By the time they come around, it is already too late to manage. Nowadays, we have targeted therapies, which will find and block the pathways of the tumour, which is why patients need to present early for treatment,” he noted.
Clinical studies done on some common herbs and spices such as ginger, aloe vera, milk thistle, cloves and tumeric found them to contain substances that can help wrestle cancer.

One study done on licorice root (glycyrrhiza glbra), found that the root actually stopped the proliferation of breast cancer cells in humans. It was also said to provide protection from DNA damage often caused by carcinogens. Licorice root is said to contain polyphenols that encourage apoptosis (automatic death) in cancer cells. However, Licorice root has been linked to some side effects such as high blood pressure, and muscle weakness.

In hospitals today, chemotherapies are mainly used to attack cancer, alongside other treatments forms, such as radiotherapies and surgeries. Chemotherapy, which is the use of chemicals to destroy cancer cells has been found to have some side effects, which includes destroying some good cells in the body.

In spite of these limitations, a Consultant Radiation and Clinical Oncologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr. Omolola Salako, said chemotherapy is an effective and available treatment option in many cases of cancer such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, but the downside of chemotherapy is that it cannot differentiate cancer cells from normal cells.

“Chemotherapy targets fast dividing cells, which is peculiar to both cancer cells and some normal cells, like the skin and blood cells. The effects of chemotherapy on the normal cells leads to side effects, such as hair loss, low blood levels, etc. However, if administered by a cancer specialist, these side effects can be controlled effectively. Many patients achieve control of their disease, and a few achieve complete cure because of chemotherapy,” she said.

According to her, chemotherapy is often administered through many routes – by mouth, intravenously, etc, and is not a scam.

Asked if the herbal therapy can work against cancer, she said: “Chemotherapy drugs are made from natural plants. Natural herbs have shown promise in providing relief for symptoms, managing side effects, and helping with supportive care, but herbs as the sole option in cancer management has not been authenticated by scientific research; hence, it is not practiced in cancer treatment centres. A lot of research, investment, and collaborations are required to explore and establish the benefits of herbal/traditional medicine in cancer management.”

She explained that cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence, but becomes one when access to treatment (radiotherapy, chemotherapy etc) is constrained by its availability and affordability, which is a common scenario.

“Thousands of homes today have someone living with cancer. Every year, more than 0.1 million people develop cancer, and over 70, 000 people die of cancer. The cancer burden is huge as it leads to disability, protracted time off work, loss of income, devastating effects and sometimes disintegration of families or premature deaths. The lost years of life, and productivity, caused by cancer is a drain on the economy. The total economic impact of premature deaths and disability from cancer in Nigeria has not been calculated, but we can estimate it to be in hundreds of millions of naira.

Salako, who is also the Executive Director, Sebeccly Cancer Care disclosed that, “The most common cancer in Nigeria is breast cancer. More than 50 per cent of all cancers in women is from the breast. The second most common is cervical cancer. The third, fourth, and fifth most common are liver, prostate, and colon cancers. Liver and colon cancers can affect both men and women, while prostate cancer only occurs in men,” she noted.

The cancer expert regretted that over 70 per cent of cancer patients do not go to the hospital on time, a development she said seriously limits their chances of getting a cure, even with the best cancer specialists, facilities or chemotherapy agents.

But one of the reasons why cancer patients run away from hospitals and conventional treatments is the high cost of treatment.

In confirming this, Dr. Durosinmi-etti said, “one drug for breast cancer could cost an estimated N1m. By the time you pay for 12 months, you must have spent about N12m. And this is apart from the money you will pay for the laboratory diagnosis and the radiotherapy.”

Although the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has started taking up some of the costs, he said just very little have benefitted from the NHIS. “And even when there’s money, the machines are not working. The Federal Government needs to do more to see that the prices of these drugs are further reduced. Cancer is a major health issue in Nigeria. It is reaching epidemic proportions,” he said.

For solution to the increasing cancer cases in the country, Dr. Salako, said the implementation of a national awareness and screening for cancer, as prevention and early detection programme will prevent at least 30,000 cancers yearly in the country.

Also, there is need to optimise and equip cancer treatment centres to deliver quality and prompt care, and the implementation of a cancer care fund, either through the health insurance, or another financial mechanism, which will discount cost of care for patients, she added.

“In celebration of the Breast Cancer Awareness month, Sebeccly Cancer Care is launching her #TimeToScreen unit. This is a comprehensive cervical cancer screening and treatment centre. Screening services are free for all women, courtesy of the ACT Foundation and Access Bank. In addition, we are distributing a captivating movie called Purple Hearts, which tells the story of a couple, who after many years of waiting to conceive finally got pregnant. Their happy story was, however, complicated by a breast cancer diagnosis. It is a heart-warming and fun movie, which was made in partnership with Blue Light Productions.

According to the experts, changes in our lifestyles will help prevent many forms of cancer.

“By avoiding cigarette smoking, we can prevent 33 per cent of cancers related to tobacco smoking, avoiding or reducing alcohol consumption will avert three to five per cent of cancers. Avoiding harmful sun rays will prevent over 80 per cent of skin cancers in our albinos, who must be taught early in life that exposure to the sun is their greatest enemy. Lack of exercise, obesity are known and avoidable risk factors; avoiding multiple sex partners and having protected sex when inevitable will prevent cancer of the cervix due to Humanpapilloma Virus, while regular medical checks like self breast examination and other age-related breast examinations will help prevent breast cancer. Regular check and screening of the prostate gland by men will help reassure them, or if necessary, ensure early and curative treatment,” Dr. Durosinmi-Etti added.

Council Boss Harps On Support To Eliminate Malaria

The Executive Secretary, Atakunmosa West Local Government, Hon. Omole Adegbamigbe has urged the people of local government and its sister council, Atakumosa Central Local Council Development Area (LCDA) to support the Government of the State of Osun towards eliminating malaria in the society.

He made the call during the flag off of distribution of insecticide net, last week Thursday.

Omole, who appreciated the Governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for taking the healthcare of the people with seriousness said, the distribution of the long-lasting insecticide net was part of the government efforts to guaranteeing healthy living among the people.

He said, “the mosquito net was prepared with environmental-friendly formulated chemicals capable of knocking down mosquitoes and other insects that transmit disease when it comes to contact with it”.

He continued and advised people of Osun to take the issue of their health serious by complying with all the government health programs and make use of the advantage to its maximum.

“I wish that all of us should take the issue of our health serious by complying and key into government’s programs and make use of the advantage.

Malaria is a long age disease in our environment and is endemic in Nigeria, it transmits its parasite by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.

Charging the people to subscribe to the issue of healthy environment, he said, “this insect breeds where there is over grown weeds, accumulation of stagnant water and refuse and in order to eliminate malaria, we should all join hands together to maintain total environmental sanitation of our environment at all time”.

Omole explained that the sponsor and organizer of the program in conjunction with the state government had made campaign efforts, targeting every household in all the nooks and crannies of the two councils

He added that the partners had engaged various categories of workers for different assignments to ensure that the net gets to appropriate quarters without sentiments, irrespective of religious, ethnic, political affiliation and social background.

Eid-El-Kabir: Health Professional Warns Against Over Eating And Drinking

By Francis Ezediuno 

As Muslims celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir festival, Nigerians have been advised to desist from over consumption of food and drinks as this might have health repercussions later on.

This advice was given by Mrs. Esther Oke, a Chief Nursing Officer in a chat with OSUN DEFENDER in Osogbo.

The experienced nurse revealed that the reason for the advice was that research had discovered that over-eating puts much stress on the digestive system and in the long run leads to constipation and other digestive diseases like gastroenteritis, reflux and acidity.

According to her, “it is clear that during festive seasons like this, people tend to eat and drink a lot.

“Some even jokingly say that they would use Andrews Liver Salt to clear their bowels in order to eat and drink more.

“This belief is erroneous and at the end they end up causing unnecessary health problems for themselves.

“As rational beings, we should allow wisdom dictate our actions. What will we gain from eating and drinking to excess in just one or two days and at the end of it spend months and lots of money to treat the consequence of such action.

“There is no point in binge drinking and gluttonous eating. All these things have consequences and some are dire and will leave with us atimes for the rest of our lives. By this, I mean diseases that may arise as a result of the gluttonous eating and binge drinking could last for a lifetime”.

“Some of these diseases coming from the effect of heating and drinking too much are expensive to treat and they also require specialist attention and not a general one”, she said.

Malaria: Osun To Distribute 2.99 Million Mosquito Nets

The people of the State of Osun would benefit from the 2017 replacement exercise of the long lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) to encourage owners to adequately utilise them as part of the efforts to totally eradicating malaria from the society.

The state is amongst the six states that would benefit from the replacement exercise Re-distribution programme of Global Fund in partnership with the FG have staged the programme would begin by September, 2017.

The Director of Public Health in the Osun State Ministry of Health, Dr. Gbenga Adepoju disclosed this during a media orientation programme organised for journalists to help spread awareness and importance of the malaria treated nets in Osogbo recently.

Dr. Adepoju who described malaria as a scourge stated that the project would benefit the state since the effectiveness of the mosquito nets wore off after three years.

He noted that since the exercise was last held in 2013, the state was due for another round of long lasting insecticidal nets distribution as replacements.

In order for the exercise to be successful, Dr. Adepoju also revealed that series of meetings have been held since March.

He said, “The team will be in the state till September and the exercise like the previous ones will be carried out on a house to house basis”.

The Public Health Director explained that the target for the year 2017 replacement of long lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) was about 3 million nets with a ratio of 1 mosquito net to two persons unlike the last exercise which was held in 2013 where 1.6 million LLIN were distributed.

“Global Fund with the Federal Government in partnership with Society for Family Health and Catholic Relief Services will distribute these nets, and N2 billion has been made available as funds”.

Meanwhile, the Malaria Control Programme Officer in the State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Morenike Adeyanju has revealed that as part of the exercise, the prevention of the misuse of the nets was the aim.

“We discovered from our last evaluation that the nets we distributed to people were used as fishing nets, window nets and also for other uses.

“This is not supposed to be so. The nets were provided and distributed to people freely but it did not come cheap.

“The LLIN is meant for people to sleep inside and not for any other purpose.

“The present government wants to promote healthy living among the people and that is why it is actively involved”, she added.

In the same vein, the representative of the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Mrs. Adaolisa Ezechukwu added that the benefits of the LLIN included protection from mosquito bites, sound and undisturbed sleep, saving of money and life as a result of sleeping under the net.

Ezechukwu also corrected the misconceptions about the use of the nets and stated that after reception, the nets should be spread in a shade for 24 hours prior to use, while body contact should be avoided as much as possible.

The incorrect use of the nets according to her may lead to rashes and itchy skin, redness of the skin, redness of the eye which would wear away with time.

She explained that for proper care of the nets, it should be washed with mild soap in cold water and air under a shade to dry.

“The nets should be washed not more than 5 times in a year or 15 washes within 3 years since the insecticides on the net will wear away after 3 years”, she said.

She corroborated the earlier statement made by Dr. Adepoju but added that in the event that the nets were not adequate to meet the needs of some households members, there may be need to buy extra nets.

“LLINs are available in hospitals, pharmacies, chemists and markets”.

She also added that pregnant women attending antenatal care and children underage 5 completing immunisation may receive free nets from the government health facilities.

Health Matters With Francis Ezediuno: Expert Harps On Importance Of Water Consumption

It has been revealed that the inadequate water consumption or poor water drinking habit could make the body to end up with excess body fat, poor muscle tone, digestive complications, muscle soreness and water-retention problems.

Discussing at a recent programme organised by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, House of Glory Area, Osogbo, Mr. Peter Akinyele, a Physiologist stated that next to air, water is the element most necessary for survival, saying, according to investigation, a normal adult needs 60 to 70 per cent water, as the human body can go without food for almost two months, but without water only a few days.

He explained that without water, humans would have been poisoned to death by the wastes that are produced.

“When the kidneys remove uric acid and urea, these must be dissolved in water.  If there is not enough water, wastes are not removed and may build up as kidney stones.

“Water also is vital for chemical reactions in digestion and metabolism.  It carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells through the blood and helps to cool the body through perspiration.  Water also lubricates our joints.

“We even need water to breathe. Our lungs must be moist to take in oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide.  It is possible to lose a pint of liquid each day just exhaling”.

He also added that without the body getting sufficient water, every aspect of the human physiology can be impaired.

“By not drinking enough water, many people incur excess body fat, poor muscle tone and size, decreased digestive efficiency and organ function, increased toxicity in the body, joint and muscle soreness and water retention.”

Describing proper water intake as a key to weight loss, he disclosed that if people who are trying to lose weight don’t drink enough water, the body can’t metabolise the fat adequately, thus leading to fluid retention within the body which also keeps weight up.

“The minimum for a healthy person is eight to ten eight-ounce glasses a day. You need more if you exercise a lot or live in a hot climate.  Overweight people should drink in an extra glass, for every 25 pounds, they exceed their ideal weight and they should consult their physician for the necessary check up”.

He stressed that water intake should be spread throughout the day and evening, adding that by consuming eight to ten glasses of water throughout the day, a person could be on the way to a healthier, leaner body.

Camphor, Methylated Powder Cause Jaundice In Newborns – Expert

A neonatologist, Prof. Angela Okolo, has warned parents of newborn babies against the use of camphor, menthol, methylated dusting powder and other such substances, saying this could result in jaundice.

Okolo, who works at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, gave the advice in Ibadan.

She said that jaundice remains one of the leading killers of newborns in the country.“Neonatal jaundice is a leading cause of hospitalization in the first week of life in Nigeria.It is also a major contributor to neonatal mortality and long-term morbidity, if not detected early and properly managed.

The cause of jaundice is excess bilirubin; a waste product produced when red blood cells are broken down.

Many factors like breast milk, sickle cell anaemia, low birth weight and prematurity have implicated the development of jaundice. However, we are seeing cases of jaundice caused by other things like unhygienic practices of the mothers and health workers, infections, the use of things like camphor, Robb, mentholatum and dusting powder on the babies. These things predispose babies to jaundice by breaking down the red blood cells of the baby.

The more the red blood cells are broken down, the higher the bilirubin comes up, and this may result in brain damage if not detected early,” she said.

According to her, the lack of practical skills among health workers contributes to morbidity and mortality among newborns.

She said many mothers don’t get quality health care “a majority have their babies in community health centers, where many health workers lack newborn care skills.

A lot of these health workers ignore simple preventive measures like hand-washing.

We need the support of the media to help us raise awareness on jaundice, prevention and early signs.

We need to bring to the attention of the public that jaundice is a major infant killer,” she said.

Okolo said the health workers and mothers could monitor the babies for earliest sign of jaundice by gently pressing the baby’s chest, or a slight pinch of the nose.“Often times, we want to look at the eyeballs of the baby to detect jaundice; by the time we are noticing it in the eyes that jaundice has gone far. Whereas simple ways of detecting jaundice involves a slight pinch of the nose, a gentle press of the forehead. If there is a yellow tinge to the skin, as the pressure is released, take the baby to the hospital for proper management and treatment.

Don’t try to treat jaundice at home.Administration of pawpaw juice, early morning light and glucose water are of no value in the treatment and management of jaundice.

Late presentation to the hospital could result in brain damage,” she said.

Okolo said that other signs of jaundice include pale stool, dark urine, vomiting and high-pitched cry.