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Malnutrition: UNICEF urges health workers to promote, support breastfeeding

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Malnutrition: UNICEF urges health workers to promote, support breastfeeding

Malnutrition: UNICEF urges health workers to promote, support breastfeeding

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday urged health workers in Kaduna State to protect, promote and support breastfeeding as an effective strategy toward preventing malnutrition among children under five years.

Mrs Chinwe Ezeife, the Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, made the call at a one-day training of health workers in the state on Breastmilk Substitute (BMS) Code and its compliance.

The training was organised by the State Primary Health Care Board (SPHCB) in collaboration with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

The training was supported by A global nutrition initiative, Alive & Thrive (A&T) under its Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) programme in Nigeria.

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Ezeife said that the health workers can support, protect, and promote optimal breastfeeding practices by adherence to the Code on marketing of BMS products, particularly at health facilities.

She said that UNICEF was supporting the state government through the SPHB to implement the Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI), designed to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding among mothers.

She described the BMS Code and the BFI as two sides of a coin initiated to ensure optimal breastfeeding practices for the nutritious and healthy wellbeing of infants and children under five years.

According to her, breast milk is supreme to all BMS products no matter how they are being marketed and promoted, as such, health workers should support mothers to optimally breastfeed their infants.

“Health workers need to know the provisions of the BMS Code and understand their role in supporting mothers to practice breastfeeding effectively.

“The health workers need to inform, help, and show mothers how to practice optimal breastfeeding beginning with early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.

“This is because breastfeeding must be practiced in a certain way to get its full benefits and health workers have a critical role to play.

“This will keep pregnant and lactating mothers informed and equip them with sufficient knowledge on how to breastfeed effectively at the community and households’ levels.”

The nutrition specialist reiterated UNICEF commitment to partner with the state government and relevant stakeholders in promoting the wellbeing of women and children.

She commended the SPHCB, Alive & Thrive and NAFDAC for organising the straining, which she described as strategic in winning the war against malnutrition in Kaduna State.

On her part, Mrs Ramatu Haruna, State Nutrition Officer, SPHCB, also called on health workers to provide accurate information to caregivers to enable them practice optimal MIYCN.

Haruna also said that the health workers have a duty of helping mothers to practice early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding, and age-appropriate complementary feeding after six months.

“Health workers equally have a duty of protecting mothers from promoters of BMS which are superior to the nutritional content of breastmilk which provide all the nutrients and minerals a baby needs,” she said.

Malnutrition: UNICEF urges health workers to promote, support breastfeeding

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President Biden Tests Positive for COVID-19, Exhibits Mild Symptoms

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President Biden Tests Positive for COVID-19, Exhibits Mild Symptoms

President Biden Tests Positive for COVID-19, Exhibits Mild Symptoms

U.S. President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House announced on Thursday. According to Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre., Biden is fully vaccinated and boosted, and is currently experiencing mild symptoms.

The positive test result came after Biden attended an event in Nevada. Following this, he will return to his private residence in Delaware to self-isolate while continuing to perform all his presidential duties remotely.

Biden’s physician reported that the president displayed upper respiratory symptoms, including a runny nose and a cough, in the afternoon. Although the results of a PCR confirmation test are pending, Biden has already received his first dose of the COVID-19 drug Paxlovid.

This marks the second time Biden, 81, has tested positive for COVID-19; he experienced mild symptoms during his previous infection two years ago. Given his age, Biden is at a higher risk for severe illness from the virus.

This latest positive test comes amid increasing scrutiny of Biden’s mental acuity and physical health, raising concerns about his fitness to run for a second term in the upcoming November presidential elections.

President Biden Tests Positive for COVID-19, Exhibits Mild Symptoms

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Abuja residents take preventive measures against cholera

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Abuja residents take preventive measures against cholera

Abuja residents take preventive measures against cholera

By Anita Uzoagba/Olamide Kuye

Some residents of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) say they are taking measures to avoid contracting cholera which is spreading in different parts of the country.

The residents, who spoke in separate interviews with newsmen on Saturday, said that proper hygiene was now paramount in their everyday life.

Media reports indicate that deaths from cholera outbreak in Lagos State has risen to 24 with 35 confirmed cases.

There also 417 suspected cases in 20 Local Government Areas of the state.

Mr Kunle Ashimi, the Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Ogun State, acknowledged the impact of cholera in 30 states in the country, according to media reports.

The FCT residents told NAN that they were paying extra attention to the sources of food they consume and taking extra measures to keep their environment clean.

Miss Kanayo Gift said she improve on her cleanliness, adding that “I know that cholera is caused by poor sanitation practices, so I ensure that I keep my surroundings clean.

“I dispose my garbage properly, and most importantly, I always make sure I wash my hands regularly.

According to her, she applies hand sanitizer on her hands when she is not at home and unable to wash them.

“I also ensure that my toilet is clean and hygienic”, Gift said.

Mrs Gladys Ohiwere, Assistant Head Mistress, Leadway Schools, said that they had put up safety guidelines for students to protect them from contracting cholera and other communicable diseases.

“We made sure there is tap water flowing around the school environment with soap for washing their hands.

“We also provided sanitizers to use on their hands properly. Whenever a pupil is going to the toilet we ensure a teacher is there to assist them.

“This is to ensure that they use the toilet properly and also make sure that they wash their hands afterwards.

She also told NAN that they strive to ensure that the students did not eat their food with unwashed hands.

Similarly, Mrs Loveth Ezeurike, a teacher at Ariella Ville Academy, said that the school management made sure its environment is clean at all times.

“The classrooms are thoroughly cleaned each day. This includes the student desks and floors. Students are encouraged to always wash their hands after their break time and before entering their respective classrooms.

She added that hand sanitisers have also been provided for every classroom.

“We have also informed parents to ensure their children are in good health before sending them to school” she said.

Malam Bala Musa, a fruit vendor, said usually he washed his fruits once but with the outbreak, he washes them twice with clean water before selling.

“There are some people who are not taking the outbreak of this disease seriously. As for me I will continue to keep my environment clean and maintain hygiene at all times.

I want to keep my customers and myself healthy”, Musa told NAN.

Abuja residents take preventive measures against cholera

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Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

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Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to mandate public healthcare institutions to provide free medical treatment for pregnant women during and after delivery.

The call was sequel to the adoption of a motion by Rep. Mohammed Shehu (PDP-Bauchi) at plenary on Wednesday.

They also urged the ministry to implement routine checks to ensure continuity, compliance by medical personnel, and sustainability of childbirth processes.

Moving the motion, Shehu said that the government established public healthcare institutions to provide medical services to humanity.

He added that drugs were supplied to the institutions and equipped with modern medical facilities and charged with the responsibility of handling healthcare-related matters.

Shehu said though healthcare services were not restricted to pregnant women, efforts to encourage free treatment for expectant mothers have not been fully realised.

He said that giving the fertility statistics in the country, there was need for free medical treatment for pregnant women to boost the country’s fertility rate.

“Nigeria is grappling with high disease rates, resulting in an annual maternal mortality rate of expectant mothers and children due to pregnancy complications and the polio virus.

“Further aware that government requires public healthcare institutions to have medical professionals, give adequate attention to patients, including pregnant women, during childbirth to address complications and find permanent solutions.

“There is a need for the government to prioritise policy actions aimed at improving healthcare delivery systems, particularly for pregnant women, to alleviate their hardships and boost their confidence,” he said.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu mandated the Committee on Healthcare Services and Healthcare Institutions to liaise with the Minister of Health and Social Welfare to ensure compliance.

The committee is to report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

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