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Post COVID-19: Experts fear surge in mental health illness



Post COVID-19: Experts fear surge in mental health illness

Post COVID-19: Experts fear surge in mental health illness

Experts in mental health have called on stakeholders and governments to put in place measures to forestall the looming mental health problem that might arose after COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

They made the call in Ibadan on Saturday at the Advancing Community Access to Equitable COVID-19 Response programme.

It was organised by Asido Foundation, in partnership with Oxlade Consulting and supported by Open Society of West Africa (OSIWA).

The Founder of Asido Foundation, Dr Jibril Abdulmalik, said at the Stakeholders Engagement Feedback on Community Resilience, that it was very clear to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations that beyond COVID-19 as an infection and pandemic, there was a lot of mental health consequences.

Abdulmalik said the consequences were from anxiety to depression, increasing rate of drug use and increasing rate of suicide, among others.

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“COVID has caused a lot of mental health problems over time and it continues to cause it.

“So, we need to pay attention to mental health consequences of COVID. We need to prepare.

“COVID-19 has not gone as we are dealing with after shot; people lost their jobs they are not happy.

“They are battling with frustration and economic challenges and many are wallowing of the fringes of suicide thought and hopelessness,” he said.

AbdulMalik, a Consultant Psychiatrist, stressed the need for attention to mental health consequences in the society.

“We need to be aware of it and prepare as well as intervene and encourage people that there is hope; they shouldn’t give up, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“Our religious leaders, governments and the media need to keep encouraging people and keep supporting one another until we can finally say we have put this behind us,” he said.

Abdulmalik said that the programme was to identify positive psychosocial community resilience stories from across Nigeria.

“It is to see what are the lessons learnt from how people came together during COVID-19 pandemic to support one another and encourage one another for the future.

“Following the call for stories sent across Nigeria, we had over 100 stories and selected the top three stories from Calabar, Zaria and Ibadan, which was turned into a documentary,” the expert said.

Commenting, the Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Bode Ladipo, admitted that mental health was not given priority during the pandemic, saying that it was one of the lessons learnt going forward.

Ladipo, represented by Dr Femi Akinyode, the State Epidemiologist, said, “The pandemic made us realise that some specialists were in short supply such as social workers and mental health specialists.”

Ladipo stressed the need for emergency funds and improving communication with patients and their families as well as media advocacy during future pandemic.

Also, Dr Muideen Babatunde, the Executive Secretary, Oyo State Primary Health Board, said the state had set up desk for mental health in all the 33 local government areas of the state.

Babatunde, represented by Mrs Funmilayo Abodunrin, a mental health expert, said that the state government would continue to educate people on mental health.

In her remarks, Mrs Ronke Bello, the President, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, called for psychosocial support to reduce emotional impact.

On the lessons learnt from pandemic, Dr Ideyonbe Eseile, the President, Association of Resident Doctors, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, said that loss of jobs and inability to get jobs and lack of food for families which still persisted, were indications of a looming mental health problem.

Eseile decried the use of data from developed countries as a model for government intervention and policies which do not reflect the realities in the local context of Nigeria.

In her remarks, Ms Adedayo Ige, a Humanitarian and Programme Manager at Oxlade Consulting, said the programme was targeted at individuals and communities on how they built resilience during COVID-19.

Ige said, “We realised that in Nigeria, we do not have a lot of data, so instead of us relying on developed countries for data, this is one of the ways we can get data and prevent recurrence in the future.”

Post COVID-19: Experts fear surge in mental health illness

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




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



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



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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