FG Denies Monkeypox Vaccination In South East |The Republican News


NCDC CEO, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu

By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi and Philip Nwosu

The Federal Government, through the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has said there is no ongoing vaccination against monkeypox in the South East or any other part of the country.

Dr Ihekweazu said this in Abuja, yesterday, at a Senate committee hearing on alleged monkeypox outbreak in parts of the country.

The NCDC boss explained that there is no relationship between his organisation and what is going on in the South East.

He cautioned Nigerians against participating in any immunisation against the disease.

Earlier in the week, some parents in Delta, Abia, Imo and Anambra, Yobe states, in a panic move, withdrew their children from schools, following unconfirmed reports that the army was administering immunisation vaccines suspected to be harmful.

The army has since denied the claims, saying the medical outreach is a social responsibility programme fashioned into the Operation Python Dance II, in the South East.

A statement by the Deputy Director Public Relations 82 Division, Col. Sagir Musa, on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, that the free medical outreach was not a vaccine intended to “infect monkeypox or any major contemporary or emerging diseases in Nigeria to the people of South East or any part of the country,” failed to douse the panic.

According to the statement, the free medical services in the region started on September 18, 2017, in Nkwaagu community in Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

That clarification, notwithstanding, parents and guardians still thronged schools to remove their wards and children.

Also, yesterday, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Turkur Buratai said the opening of medical facilities to the public is part of the army’s corporate social responsibility.

The army chief said this when he commissioned Phase One of the armed force’s Radio-Diagnosis Ward and School of Midwifery at the 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

said the Nigerian Army believes in providing a befitting facility for the treatment and management of wounded personnel and their families.

General Buratai said that these facilities and the medical services to be provided by the medical unit will further boost the morale and fighting efficiency of troops.



Monkeypox: Suspected cases rise to 33

From Fred Itua, Abuja

National Coordinator, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has confirmed 33 reported cases of Monkey Pox infection in seven states of the Federation.

The NCDC boss, who disclosed this to senators yesterday said 17 out of the number manifested in Bayelsa State alone.

Others states where the disease has manifested, according to Ihekweazu, are Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos, Ogun. He, however, pointed out that it was not certain whether, or not, all the victims reported to have been afflicted by monkeypox were actually infected by the virus or other diseases with similar symptoms.

The senators described as a national embarrassment and shame, the lack of public diagnostic centre for detection of the current outbreak in some states of the federation.

Members of the Senate committee on Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases stated this at an interactive session with officials of NCDC, who were invited by the committee to brief it on the current outbreak of monkeypox disease in some states of the federation and efforts by the government to contain it.

Members urged the NCDC to submit to the committee, in the 2018 budget proposal, the full cost for setting up diagnostic centres in the 36 states of the federation and Abuja.  They assured that the committee would give NCDC maximum support to get the required funds to establish such highly needed diagnostic centres across the country, to avoid the current national disgrace of going to other countries for diagnosis.

A member of the committee, Sam Anyanwu, urged the Federal Government to use all the funds it claimed to have recovered from looters to establish the diagnostic centres and, also, develop the health sector generally.

The national coordinator of NCDC shocked the lawmakers with the news that the country had no single government-owned diagnostic laboratory to test those suspected to be infected with the monkeypox virus.

He, however, told the lawmakers that it was only the Redeemer University in Nigeria that has the facilities to diagnose monkeypox, pointing out that the NCDC has sent the specimen to Dakar, Senegal, for diagnostic tests.

“There is no public laboratory centre in Nigeria at the moment that can carry out the diagnosis for monkeypox. We are walking very hard and have just opened the national reference laboratory in Gadua in Abuja. We don’t have the resources to develop laboratory services in the country.

“There is a critical challenge. All the work we do for surveillance can’t confirm diseases easily. So, that is one major strategic deficit we have. This is why we had to send samples to Dakar, where there is a World Health Organisation (WHO) laboratory to confirm the monkeypox. We sent two samples, one to Redeemers University laboratory and one to Dakar,” he said.

Briefing the committee, Ihekweazu revealed there was no known vaccination for the monkeypox menace and said the patients could only be managed in hospitals until they recover from the accompanying rashes of the contagious ailment.

On the speculation that NCDC was administering vaccination in partnership with the military, the national coordinator, said it was a rumour that had no truth in it and urged the public to disregard it.

Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has confirmed seven suspected cases of monkeypox in four hospitals in Abuja, with samples of six victims taken and sent to Senegal for test and confirmation.

It, however, denied rumours of an outbreak of the dreaded disease in Abuja, the nation’s capital. This was disclosed by the Secretary,  Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS) of FCTA, Amanda Pam, while briefing newsmen yesterday.

She said: “Three suspected cases were recorded in National Hospital, two in Gwarinpa Hospital, one each in the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada and Nyanya General Hospital.”

Pam said the recorded cases were that of chicken pox, which shares similar appearance with monkeypox. On Wednesday, there were rumours of two cases of monkeypox outbreak at Gwarinpa General Hospital, Abuja.

“We had some suspected cases, and samples were collected and sent to the lab; so, we are waiting for the results, but from all indications, it is not monkeypox.

“But, I like the suspicion, because it is better to suspect than ignore it, and it later turns out to be positive. The truth now is there is no confirmed case of monkeypox disease in FCT,” she said.

Explaining further, FCT’s Acting Director of Public Health, Humphrey Okoroukwu, disclosed that he had already visited the said hospitals on Wednesday and reaffirmed no case of the virus was found.

He said surveillance officers from the public health department of the FCTA were deployed to the 62 wards of the territory, as a precautionary measure against threatening health issues.

The Federal Government had, through Nigeria Centre for Disease Control ((NCDC)), on Monday, confirmed suspected outbreak of monkeypox in seven states in the country, which included Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Cross River states. (The Sun)

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Excessive Weight Can Cause Heart Attack – Medical Expert |The Republican News

                                                              Dr Philip Kolo

An Associate Professor of Medicine and Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Dr Philip Kolo, tells ARUKAINO UMUKORO about heart attack and how to prevent it

How would you define heart attack and how vulnerable are Nigerians to it?

A heart attack is a serious medical emergency in which the blood supply to the heart is suddenly blocked usually by a blood clot, leading to serious damage to the heart muscle. In medical parlance, a heart attack is called acute myocardial infarction, and it is a common cause of sudden and unexpected death in affected persons.

In terms of epidemiology, previously, heart attacks were very rare among Africans, especially those residing in Africa. But there has been a gradual increase in the incidence of heart attacks among Nigerians. This is believed to be due to the sophistication and improvement in nutrition, unhealthy diet and reduction of physical activities.

What age group and gender are prone to heart attacks?

The age group most affected is usually the middle- age and elderly population. It is more common among Caucasians than blacks or Africans. Also, men seem to be more affected than women, although one must plead caution here, because the presentation in women may not look typical as it occurs in men. So, it is possible that many of the cases are meek in women. But generally, the disease tends to affect men more than women. Other groups most affected include individuals that have hypertension, diabetes; those who live a sedentary lifestyle or don’t do a lot of physical activities and obese people. Cigarette smoking, like I mentioned earlier, is also a risk factor.

What kind of food rich in cholesterol should people not take too much?

One should start early to begin to watch one’s consumption of food rich in cholesterol, especially when one reaches the age of 30-35 going on 40, as some of the ability to metabolise this cholesterol may not be as effective as they were when one was younger. The conditions of many of the cardiovascular diseases that we see in adults usually start at a younger age. We should start watching our diet early.

Generally, red meat – beef, goat meat, and some bush meat — has a lot of cholesterol.  White meat (fibre) like meats from chicken and birds contain less cholesterol compared with red meat. Fish oil contains omega-3-fatty acids which are cardioprotective. Some also say that in place of red meat, they take intestines from cows (shaki), but these also have a lot of cholesterol, so they should be avoided altogether. If one looks at meat from animal organs, including liver, as long as they are from cows, they have a lot of cholesterol. So, we usually advise people to avoid eating too much of cow meat.

Also, one fries food substances to make them more appealing, but the danger of frying is that fried meat, eggs and related products tend to convert the cholesterol to more harmful fatty acids or trans fat (trans fatty acids). It is better we boil our food instead and eat them.

What are some of the symptoms of coronary artery disease?

The spectrum of manifestation is many. Those who have these narrow arteries usually have predictable chest pains. For example, if they walk like two or three poles, the chest pain begins, it subsides when they rest. This is called stable Angina Pectoris, a chest pain that one can predict. Some would describe the pain as a feeling of heaviness or constriction on the chest. Such pain may spread to the arms, the neck or part of the abdomen above the umbilicus. The second mode of manifestation is unstable angina, that is, chest pain one cannot predict or does not get better. Unlike stable angina, which gets better with rest or drugs, unstable angina does not usually get better with rest or drugs. But these are different from acute myocardial infarction – heart attack. There are special tests that can be done in the hospital to differentiate unstable angina from the two types of acute myocardial infarction, these are ECG (Electrocardiogram) and cardiac biomarkers (troponin). The ECG would determine the kind of treatment the individual would be given.

However, a good number of chest pains may not be related to the heart. But when you look at the signs, one would be able to differentiate it. Usually, the pain from the heart is specific, and the individual tends to hold the left side of the chest in such situation. This kind of pain is usually brought on by physical exertion.

What should be done immediately when one notices someone having a heart attack?

One of the major problems that we have with patients with a heart attack is a late presentation to the hospital. In Nigeria, because most people are not aware of heart attack when they experience the symptom, they tend to seek for treatment at nearby chemists or health workers living around them. In developed countries, there are specific code numbers one can call on during an emergency such as 911 0r 999.

The first thing to do is to take that person experiencing chest pain to the hospital immediately where help can be given. A tablet of aspirin can be given immediately because that can help in improving the disease condition. In some patients, once they experience such, they have a cardiac arrest instantly. In some public places, even in Nigeria, there are machines called defibrillator, which can restart the heart immediately. If this machine is not available, chest compression needs to be done on the person so that the heart can restart while they are on their way to the hospital. Once they get to the hospital, the doctors know how to manage the condition. First, they would do the resuscitation of the patient by ensuring that the airways are clear and the circulation is okay. Also, the ECG needs to be done urgently to know if it was a heart attack or not. Another test called cardiac enzymes is done. Oxygen is then given to the person, as well as drugs to relieve the pain. If available, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention is also another procedure done too to remove the clot from the arteries. If not available, medications called clot buster drugs are administered in the hospital through an IV to break up blood clots.

What are the risk factors for heart attack and how can they be prevented?

Diet and low levels physical activities are major risk factors. When individuals consume diets that are very rich in saturated fatty acids, especially animal fat, which is very common in our environment, increases their risks. Cigarette smoking, systemic hypertension and excessive alcohol consumption also increase the risk of a heart attack. A heart attack is also one of the manifestations of coronary artery disease. Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart, a muscular organ, which pumps blood to all parts of the body. In individuals who are not careful about their diet, especially diets that are rich in cholesterol, what usually happens is that there is a deposition of fat on the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. These deposited fats may eventually cause a narrowing of the arteries. So, during strenuous activity, the arteries in this individual cannot dilate so that more blood can get to the heart, and the person may experience pain.

Also, occasionally, the surface of the deposited fats can get injured and the collagens are exposed, leading to the formation of clots inside the coronary arteries. If this happens, the area that is supplied by those arteries would experience severe blood shortage, and it may lead to death. So the person may experience the sudden onset of pain as a result of sudden obstruction of the blood supply to that part of the heart, which cause severe oxygen lack. That is what then cause a heart attack.

To prevent heart attacks, one needs to watch one’s weight and diet early in life. Try to prevent having excessive weight gain from eating too much food with a lot of cholesterol and not partaking in exercises or outdoor activities. A 30-minute of regular exercise on three non-consecutive days per week would help a lot in this regard. People should also stop smoking cigarettes and avoid excessive intake of alcohol.

Are there enough specialists in hospitals in Nigeria to handle cases of a heart attack?

More importantly is the issue of awareness. Many Nigerians are not so aware of this condition, so they don’t come to the hospital on time. Treatment is best given within the first two hours of a heart attack to prevent death. We need to create awareness among the population on a heart attack. We have lots of facilities to manage heart attacks and improve on them. For example, very few medical centres have access to the percutaneous coronary intervention facility. In developed countries, that is the gold standard for treating patients with heart attack. There are trained personnel but without the PCI, they cannot treat patients with heart attacks when they come to the hospitals. I believe government needs to equip our hospitals, especially with what I would call cardiac catheterization laboratories so that these coronary interventions can be done as we are seeing more of such cases in Nigeria.  (Punch)

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Federal Government Denies Deliberate Injection Of Monkey Pox Virus In S’South |RN

The Federal Government has described as fake and sinister the report that the outbreak of Monkey Pox in some parts of the country resulted from the alleged free medical care by the government in the affected areas.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Nigerians should disregard the report which, apparently, is being spread by some unscrupulous persons to fit into a sinister agenda.
”The Federal Government has not conducted any free medical service or care in either Bayelsa or Rivers state, as alleged in the fake report being circulated. So that could not have been the cause of the outbreak of Monkey Pox in both states.
“Monkey Pox is a virus found only in monkeys and it is rare in human beings. It belongs to the same family as Chicken Pox and Smallpox.
”It is suspected that someone may have contacted it by eating monkey meat, thus triggering the current outbreak,” the Minister said.
He assured that no effort will be spared in curtailing the spread of the disease.

Segun Adeyemi
SA To Hon Minister of Information and Culture
8 Oct. 2017.

The Republican News

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People Who Skip Breakfast or Eat Poorly Risk Heart Attack |The Republican News


Family at breakfast table

People who skip breakfast or eat poorly to start the day are twice as likely to develop hardened arteries, which can lead to deadly heart disease, researchers said Monday.

The study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology uncovered signs of damage to the arteries long before symptoms or disease developed.

Researchers said their findings could offer an important tool in the fight against cardiovascular disease, the world’s top killer, which took 17.7 million lives in 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

“People who regularly skip breakfast likely have an overall unhealthy lifestyle,” said study author Valentin Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“This study provides evidence that this is one bad habit people can proactively change to reduce their risk for heart disease.”

The report was based on 4,000 middle-aged office workers in Spain. Participants were followed for six years.

About one in four ate a high-energy breakfast, which included 20 percent or more of the day’s calories.

Most people in the study — 70 percent — ate a low-energy breakfast that gave them five to 20 percent of their daily calorie intake.

Three percent said they skipped breakfast altogether or ate very little. This group “tended to have more generally unhealthy eating habits and a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors,” said the report.

People who skipped breakfast also “had the greatest waist circumference, body mass index, blood pressure, blood lipids and fasting glucose levels,” it said.

Researchers used ultrasound technology to scan participants for signs of fatty deposits in the arteries or early evidence of disease.

They found that people who ate less than five percent of their recommended daily calories at breakfast had, on average, double the amount of fatty buildup in the arteries as people who ate a high-energy breakfast.

This heightened risk of hardened arteries among people who skipped breakfast or ate little to start the day appeared independently of other factors, such as smoking, high cholesterol and physical inactivity.

Previous studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast is linked to good health, including a lower body weight, healthy diet, and lower risk of problems with cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes.

Skipping breakfast has also previously been shown to raise the risk of coronary artery disease.

According to Prakash Deedwania, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and author of an accompanying editorial in the journal, the study offers more evidence that skipping breakfast can be harmful to one’s health.

“Although breakfast skippers are generally attempting to lose weight, they often end up eating more and unhealthy foods later in the day. Skipping breakfast can cause hormonal imbalances and alter circadian rhythms,” said Deedwania.

“That breakfast is the most important meal of the day has been proven right in light of this evidence.”


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Dying Mum Left Baby Daughter Birthday, Christmas Gifts To Last 17 Years Before She Died Of Cancer |RN

Natalie Evans
Elisa Girotto left her baby daughter presents to last years after she died (Image: Facebook/elisa.girotto.98)© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Elisa Girotto left her baby daughter presents to last years after she died (Image: Facebook/elisa.girotto.98) Elisa Girotto was only able to share one magical Christmas and one precious birthday with her daughter Anna.

The 40-year-old was cruelly robbed seeing her little girl grow up after she lost her breast cancer battle last week.

But before she died, the bank manager made sure baby Anna will have gifts and things to remember her by as she gets older.

Elisa, from Spresiano, northeast Italy, bought Christmas and birthday presents to last her daughter for the next 17 years.

Elisa and Alessio on their wedding day (Image: Facebook @elisa.girotto.98)© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Elisa and Alessio on their wedding day (Image: Facebook @elisa.girotto.98)

The brave mum was diagnosed with breast cancer on the day their daughter was born – August 21 last year.

Elisa married husband Alessio Vincenzotto that month after she was told she did not have long to live.

Mr Vincenzotto told La Repubblica: “Our life started to run on two tracks: joy for the birth of a daughter and a battle against a terrible disease.”

The grieving husband told how Elisa chose books, toys and dolls for Anna’s early years.

For her 13th, her first jewel and a “secret diary” to open on her 14th birthday.

For her special 18th birthday, her mum chose a globe for Anna with pins marking the destinations she recommended visiting.

Credits: Facebook/esserefelicieunaltracosaoriginal© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Facebook/esserefelicieunaltracosaoriginal

Elisa also recorded messages for each gift and filled two exercise books with pages of motherly guidance for her daughter.

Mr Vincenzotto added: “Elisa ordered them all over the internet. We had to do everything before she left us.”

Elisa didn’t leave her husband out, leaving letters hidden all over their home.

In the last, she asked him to take Anna with him, whatever he was doing, in the hope “she may she follow your example because I trust you.”  (The Mirror)

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If You Have Headache After Sex, Here Is Why |The Republican News


Sex is interesting because of its many health benefits.

However, as with every good thing, there are also some downsides to having sex!

Physicians say that at least one out of 100 people who have sex experience sex headaches. And people who are most affected are men!

Medically known as coital cephalalgia, sex headaches are head pain that occurs before, during, or after orgasm.

Neurologist/certified headache specialist, Dr José Biller, says there are two kinds of sex headaches: a dull ache in the head and neck that intensifies as sexual excitement increases; and the second is a sudden, severe, throbbing headache that occurs just before or at the moment of orgasm.

He adds that the condition can also manifest as a headache that occurs after sex, and it can range from mild to extremely painful.

A headache gets worse when the individual stands, and lessens when the person lies down on his/her back, Biller says.

And though experts at the online portal, Mayo Clinic assure that the headaches are usually not dangerous, they quickly warn that sex headaches associated with loss of consciousness, vomiting, stiff neck, other neurological symptoms and severe pain lasting more than 24 hours are more likely to be due to an underlying cause.


“In a small percentage of cases, these headaches can be due to a serious underlying condition, such as a haemorrhage, brain aneurysm, stroke, cervical artery dissection or subdural hematoma,” Biller says.

Sex specialist, Dr Carolyn Dean, notes that men are three to four times more likely to experience this painful phenomenon, possibly because men may exert themselves more during sex.

Risk factors/prevention

Low blood sugar may also help lay the foundation for a sex headache. So can a magnesium deficiency, which is linked to headaches in general. Having a history of migraines is also a risk factor for sex headaches.

As a prevention, eat magnesium-rich foods like almonds and cashews, dark leafy greens, avocado, and whole grains.

“Aim for low blood pressure, and drink less alcohol,” says Dr Ehsan Ali.

The bottom line: If you experience sex headaches, see the doctor, even if you think it’s not serious. The reason is, it’s good to make sure that there’s not a serious underlying cause.

“There are treatments a person can take as needed before engaging in sexual activity or daily,” says Ali.

“I know people might get embarrassed by it, but they shouldn’t hesitate to see a doctor — we hear anything and everything,” Ali says.    (Punch)

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Hops In IPA Beers Linked To Gynecomastia or ‘Man Boobs’ |RN

Rachel Hosie
                        © Provided by Independent Print Limited

We’re all familiar with the idea of “beer bellies,” but your love of a cold one with the lads could be affecting your body in another way.

India pale ales (IPAs), it turns out, can contribute to a man developing “man boobs” – or gynecomastia, as they’re officially known.

Half of the men get moobs and they’re down to hormones as much as diet and lifestyle, and this is where IPAs come in.

The hoppy ales contain phytoestrogens, which are compounds that naturally occur in plants.

These phytoestrogens help you get to sleep at night and can be of aid to women going through menopause.

However, they also contribute to man boobs and what’s known as “brewer’s droop.” This refers to the erectile dysfunction many men experience after drinking too much.

In his 1998 book, Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner notes that hops found in IPAs can lead to man boobs.

And they contribute to brewer’s droop too: “[From] long-term exposure to the estrogenic properties of hops, [they] eventually have difficulty sustaining an erection,” Buhner says.

But with hoppy beers very much in vogue, we could be seeing a growing number of men with moobs.

There are things you can do to combat this though.

The more fat you have, the more oestrogen you produce, but exercise boosts testosterone.

Reducing your intake of alcohol, sugar and refined carbs can help too.

There are certain foods you can eat which can make a difference, namely leafy greens like spinach, cabbage, kale, broccoli and brussels sprouts.

Green smoothie with the lads?

(The Independent)

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