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• As Nigeria remains lone polio-endemic country in Africa

AS the world heads for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Polio-Free Torch represents the determination of the Nigerian Polio Eradication Initiative to make the year 2012 the last year that Nigeria witnesses a case of polio.

However, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has urged private Sector to support the Polio Free Torch Campaign launched at national level recently by the Federal Government with the support of the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC) and a number of Nigerian Olympians designed to mobilize wide support stakeholders at national and state levels for the last lap of the polio eradication efforts in Nigeria.

UNICEF representative, Dr. Suomi Sakai said: “Partnerships and collaborative relationships with the private sector are critical to deliver results for children and to realize their rights.

Sakai added that this will provide opportunity for Nigerian corporations to exercise their corporate social responsibility “by supporting polio eradication in Nigeria to ensure that not a single Nigerian child will be victimized by this crippling disease.”

UNICEF is soliciting  financial support  for  the  Immunization Plus Days planned for 2011-2012; media campaign, and provision of in-kind donations such as soap, biscuits, bed-nets, de-worming tablets, towels, etc.

The campaign kickoff will be followed by a series of state level launches in the Northern states through the Governors, Local Government Chairmen and key influencers, consider at very high risk from the Wild Polio Virus (WPV).

Nigeria continues to experience a surge of polio cases, following a dramatic 95 per cent reduction of cases in 2010. The nation currently has 26 WPVs compared to six cases for the same time period in 2010. Borno, Kano and Kebbi account for 65 per cent of all cases nationally.

Nonetheless, non-compliance still makes up a significant proportion of total missed children, and is on the rise in some high risk areas and the country remains the only polio-endemic country in Africa with the total number of cases for 2011 at 33 (25 WPV1, 9 WPV3).

IN a bid to raise awareness, restore hope and confidence on the plight of people with Down syndrome, the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria (DSFN), has embarked on its Awareness Week 2011, with the aim of raising fund for the development of its Educational Resource Centre.

The National President of the Foundation in Nigeria, Mrs. Rose Mordi, while speaking on the theme, “Down Syndrome: 10 years of Advocacy, Determination and Achievement, said, “what makes this year’s awareness week unique is the fact that within those years, the foundation, which was established 10 years ago, has functioned as an advocacy centre, apart from haven taken 19 babies to India for medical treatment, while five others are still awaits awaiting treatment.”

This apart, she said, “the centre has produced a gold medalist at the Olympic games. With  60 children at the centre in Lagos, it has established vocational training programmes, social integration  and early medical intervention. The DSFN now has additional c centres in Abuja and Calabar.”

Speaking at the occasion, Dr. A. Babatunde, President of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Lagos State, said government “should come out en masse to support persons living with disabilities as they are people like everyone.”

Chairman, Board of Trustees of the DSFN, Ambassador Segun Olusola, appealed to Nigerians to support people living with Down Syndrome, pointing out that “he will keep showing love, care and support for them.

“We are the only one in the Africa Refuges Foundation preaching for something that afflicts us. I can assure them that their health, education will be taken care of as long as we are still on our feet,” Olusola said.

Highlighting the activities slated for the awareness week, Mrs. Patricia Leon, a volunteer to the Foundation, said there would be 8km charity walk on October 15.

Similarly, an international seminar to discuss educational, medical and socio-economic issues affecting the Down Syndrome in Nigeria is scheduled for October 25 and 26 at Grange School, Ikeja.

A high profile Gala night tagged “Unplugged,” is also scheduled for  October 27,  at the Lagoon Restaurant, Victoria Island.

The gala night is to serve as a platform for kick-starting the fundraising drive for the construction of the Down Syndrome National Resource Centre.

The Down Syndrome Awareness Week is part of a global event supported by Down Syndrome Organizations, Worldwide.

MOST  people are fond of keeping drugs where they could easily be reached or seen without precautions. However, experts have warned that keeping drug in uninstructed places can decrease the potency of the drug.

Often, individuals keep their drugs  in the bags, pockets, shelf, wardrobe, cars, on the table and any other place for  easy access unmindful of the potential health hazard such action could trigger.

Makers of drug always  provide users with instructions  spelling out  the component, side effects, allergies, as well as dosage, when to be administer, the expiring date and  the temperature for storage. This caution is provided  because drugs are like two- edged swords: if used and stored as instructed, it will be effective, but if not, it could become harmful and poisonous.

According to Pharm. Olufunminiyi Isaac, Vice Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacist of Nigeria, Lagos State branch, Idea Zone, there are some drugs that can get spoilt when exposed to sunlight “and so this affects their effectiveness and become bad for human's consumption.

“When you put some drugs in your handbag or in the car, and the temperature is beyond what its expected, such drug can become dangerous to human's health.”

Dr. Chris Otigbuo, Consultant Physician/Haematologist, St. Claire Specialist Clinic, Lagos, cautioned that  “drugs of 30 degree temperature should not be in the bag because the temperature in the bag may be above the required level.

“Any drug that 4-8 degree is written on it should be in the fridge but when it's below four degree, it goes to the freezer.”

Some people are given drugs in sachets without knowing the instruction or the expiring date. It  is advised that patient “should not accept any drug or injection from any hospital or pharmacy the instruction isn't written on it, even if it's wrapped in an envelope, it is criminal, you have a right to know the name of the drug.

“The instructions on the drug tell you if you are to take the drug with food or not. Some drugs are to be taken before food, some after, some with food while some, it doesn't matter,” Otigbuo added.

Otigbuo sounded a note of warning that when given a drug from a pharmacy or a doctor, the drug in its pack, look round  the packet and you will be told how and when to use the drug. The degree must be checked.”

IN a bid to raise awareness, restore hope and confidence on the plight of people with Down syndrome, the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria (DSFN), has embarked on its Awareness Week 2011, with the aim of raising fund for the development of its Educational Resource Centre.

The National President of the Foundation in Nigeria, Mrs. Rose Mordi, while speaking on the theme, “Down Syndrome: 10 years of Advocacy, Determination and Achievement, said, “what makes this year’s awareness week unique is the fact that within those years, the foundation, which was established 10 years ago, has functioned as an advocacy centre, apart from haven taken 19 babies to India for medical treatment, while five others are still awaits awaiting treatment.”

This apart, she said, “the centre has produced a gold medalist at the Olympic games. With  60 children at the centre in Lagos, it has established vocational training programmes, social integration  and early medical intervention. The DSFN now has additional c centres in Abuja and Calabar.”

Speaking at the occasion, Dr. A. Babatunde, President of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Lagos State, said government “should come out en masse to support persons living with disabilities as they are people like everyone.”

Chairman, Board of Trustees of the DSFN, Ambassador Segun Olusola, appealed to Nigerians to support people living with Down Syndrome, pointing out that “he will keep showing love, care and support for them.

“We are the only one in the Africa Refuges Foundation preaching for something that afflicts us. I can assure them that their health, education will be taken care of as long as we are still on our feet,” Olusola said.

Highlighting the activities slated for the awareness week, Mrs. Patricia Leon, a volunteer to the Foundation, said there would be 8km charity walk on October 15.

Similarly, an international seminar to discuss educational, medical and socio-economic issues affecting the Down Syndrome in Nigeria is scheduled for October 25 and 26 at Grange School, Ikeja.

A high profile Gala night tagged “Unplugged,” is also scheduled for  October 27,  at the Lagoon Restaurant, Victoria Island.

The gala night is to serve as a platform for kick-starting the fundraising drive for the construction of the Down Syndrome National Resource Centre.

The Down Syndrome Awareness Week is part of a global event supported by Down Syndrome Organizations, Worldwide.

 

NEW figures for the first time in a decade, have shown that the global death toll of tuberculosis (TB) has declined majorly in  Tanzania, Brazil and China.

This assertion came from the World Health Organization (WHO) as new global tuberculosis control report show that the number of people dying and falling ill from the disease fell to its lowest level in a decade.

But WHOKenya, has cautioned that despite the current progress, underfunding still poses a threat to the progress especially efforts to combat drug-resistant TB as a new rapid test is revolutionising diagnosis but there is a concern that only a small percentage of the people diagnosed with multi-drug resistant TB are receiving treatment.

According to UN Secretary-General, Ban-Ki-Moon, the major fall is no cause for complacency as "too many millions still develop TB each year, and too many die. I urge serious and sustained support for TB prevention and care, especially for the world's poorest and most vulnerable people".

The TB report findings show that the number of people died from TB fell to 1.4 million in 2010 after reaching 1.8 million in 2003

The burden of TB in Kenya and Tanzania is estimated to have been declined for much of the last decade after a peak linked to the HIV epidemic. Brazil has reported a significant and sustained decline in its TB burden since 1990. In China between 1990 and 2010, death rate fell by almost 80 per cent, with deaths falling from 216 000 in 1990, to 55 000 in 2010. In the same period, TB prevalence halved, from 215 to 108 per 100 000 population.

But the organization warned that substantial challenges lie ahead, with a projected gap in funding of $1bn for TB implementation in 2012.

WHO Director General, D. Margaret Chan said "The challenge now is to increase the global effort - and to pay particular attention to the growing threat of multidrug-resistant TB.”

 

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