Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and other partners has inaugurated three key reproductive health policies to accelerate family planning uptake, as well as reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in Nigeria.
Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, who was represented by the Director of Family Health, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, unveiled the documents in Abuja on Tuesday.
The documents that were unveiled are: the National Guidelines on Safe Termination of Pregnancy for Legal indications and National Depot-MedroxyProgesterone Acetate-Sub Cutaneous (DMPA-SC) Accelerated Introduction and Scale-up Plan (2018-2022).
DMPA-SC is a modern family planning method that combines the contraceptive drug and needle into a single unit. It is administered sub-coetaneously (under the skin).
The other documents, also inaugurated by the minister, was the Global Family Planning Visibility and Analytical Network with the National Logistics Management Information System (NAVISION).
“The documents will support the government and its partners to speed their efforts on family planning.
“It will also catalyze efforts to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity thereby improving the health of women and girls in Nigeria,’’ Adewole said.
Also, the Acting Country Representative of UNFPA, Dr. Eugene Kongnyuy noted that the three documents was very important to UNFPA.
Kongnyuy, represented by Dr. Titi Duro-Aino, a Reproductive Health Analyst, UNFPA, said: “The documents that are very dear to UNFPA are the National Depot-MedroxyProgesterone Acetate Sub Cutaneous (DMPA-SC) Accelerated Introduction and Scale-up Plan (2018-2022).
“The DMPA-SC will allow women in rural and hard-to-reach areas access and use it to prevent unwanted pregnancies.’’
According to him, the Global Family Planning Visibility and Analytical Network allow visibility into the supply chain.
“It enables the stakeholders to track exactly where family planning commodities are to avoid overstocking and stock-out of these commodities.
“It also enables women who need the commodities to get it as at when due,’’ he said
Kongnyuy said the commodities were free at all public health facilities in the country.
He said the third document, the National Guidelines on Safe Termination of Pregnancy for Legal indications, would ensure that reproductive rights of women were upheld.
WHO recommends dolutegravir as preferred HIV treatment option in all populations
Based on new evidence assessing benefits and risks, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of the HIV drug dolutegravir (DTG) as the preferred first-line and second-line treatment for all populations, including pregnant women and those of childbearing potential.
Initial studies had highlighted a possible link between DTG and neural tube defects (birth defects of the brain and spinal cord that cause conditions such as spina bifida) in infants born to women using the drug at the time of conception. This potential safety concern was reported in May 2018 from a study in Botswana that found 4 cases of neural tube defects out of 426 women who became pregnant while taking DTG. Based on these preliminary findings, many countries advised pregnant women and women of childbearing potential to take efavirenz (EFV) instead.
New data from two large clinical trials comparing the efficacy and safety of DTG and EFV in Africa have now expanded the evidence base. The risks of neural tube defects are significantly lower than what the initial studies may have suggested.
The guidelines group also considered mathematical models of the benefits and harms associated with the two drugs; the values and preferences of people living with HIV, as well as factors related to implementation of HIV programmes in different countries, and cost.
DTG is a drug that is more effective, easier to take and has fewer side effects than alternative drugs that are currently used. DTG also has a high genetic barrier to developing drug resistance, which is important given the rising trend of resistance to EFV and nevirapine-based regimens. In 2019, 12 out of 18 countries surveyed by WHO reported pre-treatment drug resistance levels exceeding the recommended threshold of 10%.
All of above findings informed the decision to update the 2019 guidelines.
In 2019, 82 low- and middle-income countries reported to be transitioning to DTG-based HIV treatment regimens. The new updated recommendations aim to help more countries improve their HIV policies.
As for any medications, informed choice is important. Every treatment decision needs to be based on an informed discussion with the health provider weighing the benefits and potential risks.
WHO also stresses the importance of providing information and options to help women make an informed choice. To this end WHO has convened an advisory group of women living with HIV from diverse backgrounds to advise on policy issues related to their health, including sexual and reproductive health. WHO highlights the need to continually monitor the risk of neural tube defects associated with DTG.
Two-thirds of Global South hypertension sufferers missing treatment – study
Healthcare in low- and middle-income countries is poorly prepared for the increasing number of people with high blood pressure, with more than two-thirds of people affected going without treatment – a new study reveals.
Researchers studied health data for one million people in the Global South, discovering that less than half of those affected are diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension. Of these patients, only 30% are treated and only 10% have the disease under control.
The research team analysed the healthcare of hypertension in 44 countries. Using a cascade of care approach, which looked at the numbers of people with hypertension who had been screened, diagnosed, treated, and controlled, they determined how well the health systems of the various countries are treating people with hypertension.
University of Birmingham researchers worked with colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Göttingen and the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg, publishing their findings in The Lancet.
Justine Davies, Professor of Global Health at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, comments: “Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known from other studies to be prevalent in lower and middle income countries.
“Our research adds by showing that care in these countries is not able to match the number of people who need treatment. This is a particular problem as without treatment there is a considerable risk of complications – including stroke and death.
“It is not all bad news though. We found that some countries – like Costa Rica, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan and Peru – are doing much better than expected, and it is important to look in more depth at those countries and learn from their success.”
The group carried out its research using surveys including the World Health Organisation’s STEPS survey – which uses a uniform approach to obtain data on established risk factors.
“Our study shows not only that care for hypertension in these countries is severely inadequate, but also where exactly patients are being lost in the treatment system,” says Pascal Geldsetzer, postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and first author of the study.
Dr. Mary Mayige, Principle Research Scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research in Tanzania and co-author of the study, commented: “There is an urgent need to strengthen the healthcare system for chronic disease care in low income countries. This includes improving information systems and increased financing to ensure universal access across the continuum from preventive interventions to tertiary health care services.”
Researchers firstly determined how many people suffered from high blood pressure. Based on this, they determined how many of these patients were examined, diagnosed and treated each time. Finally, they analysed how many patients successfully controlled the disease with medication.
“High blood pressure can be treated relatively well and cheaply, but undiagnosed or untreated hypertension represents a considerable risk for the people affected,” says Sebastian Vollmer, Professor of Development Economics at the University of Göttingen.
“High blood pressure is one of the major widespread diseases in the Global South and increasingly common as populations in these countries age. This study provides important insights for policy-makers about where in the treatment chain for hypertension the greatest problems currently lie,” adds Till Bärnighausen, Professor of Global Health at Heidelberg University Hospital and the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg.
Environmental Sanitation Law: Oyo Govt. Seals 6 Shops, Canteen, Butcher’s Stand In Ibadan
At least six shops, including a food canteen and a butcher’s shop were sealed on Thursday along Old Ife road and Gbagi area in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital for flouting the State’s environmental Sanitation and Waste Management Law.
The act was in accordance with the recent agreement made by Stakeholders during an advocacy programme on environmental laws organised by Oyo State Government to leverage on environmental laws in its bid to ensure a healthy and safe environment.
Oyo State government held a stakeholders advocacy meeting on Tuesday 16th July at the House of Chiefs in Ibadan, where various groups and government representatives deliberated on ways forward to put a stop to indiscriminate waste disposal, where participants charged the Seyi Makinde-led administration to step up enforcement exercise among other solutions to the menace of filthy environment.
The Director of Environmental Health Officers for the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Sanitarian Olusoji Oyewole who led the enforcement team during the weekly environmental sanitation within Ibadan environs, said it was surprising that despite the campaign efforts of the present administration against the scourge of filth and maintenance of healthy and safe environment, some shop owners were still violating the environmental regulation.
He further warned traders, shop owners, motorists and the general public to desist from violating the sanitation laws which include dumping of refuse indiscriminately, construction of shanties on drainage, display of wares and food items at the road set back and under high – tension wires among others as mobile court would soon be established to prosecute residents that violate environmental sanitation law in the state
“It is disheartening that despite the efforts of the State government to bring to a halt, the culture of filth through indiscriminate refuse dumping, lackadaisical attitude to environmental exercise on Thursdays and other regulations, some are still found doing same.
“All these regulations are for our own good. We will spend less on maintenance of our health and you will see that the government’s strive to make the State an investor friendly will be successful.
“The mobile court that will see to immediate dispensation of justice to environmental
Mr. Oyewole therefore enjoined all and sundry to embrace cleaningness as environmental issue is a collective responsibility.
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