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Boy, 10, on the run after contracting COVID-19 in Oyo; cases in state now 52

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LAUTECH Osun

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has confirmed that one of the state’s fleeing COVID-19 positive patient is a 10-year-old boy.

Makinde noted that eyewitnesses claimed the boy boarded a bus-bound for Sokoto.

The governor disclosed this in a series of tweets on his verified Twitter handle early hours of Thursday.

He said the state COVID-19 Task Force has confirmed eight new COVID-19 positive cases in the state, bringing the number of positive cases in the state to 52.

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He added that two COVID-19 cases undergoing treatment in the state facility had been discharged after their confirmatory tests came back negative.

“The COVID-19 confirmation tests of eight new cases just came back positive from the laboratory, tonight. This increases the number of confirmed cases in Oyo State to 52,” he wrote.

“Two confirmed COVID-19 patients were discharged from the Infectious Disease Centre, Olodo after receiving their second negative test results. This brings the number of discharged cases in Oyo State to 13.

Meanwhile, the governor has disclosed that one of the two cases that absconded was a 10-year-old boy. According to him, the boy and one other escaped before being admitted to the isolation centre.

“We also have a further update on the two absconded cases reported earlier today. They absconded before being admitted to any of our isolation centres.

“After intensive contact tracing, one of them has been found and admitted to the Infectious Diseases Centre, Olodo, Ibadan.

“The other is a 10-year-old boy who, eyewitnesses claimed, boarded a north-bound vehicle. His details had been sent to the Sokoto State PHEOC. Contact tracing is still ongoing.”

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Minister tasks lawmakers on ending violence against women, girls

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The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, on Monday, urged lawmakers to enact laws and evolve policies that would ensure a safe society and end violence against women and girls.

Tallen made the call in the ministry’s official twitter handle, @FMWA-ng in Abuja.

She was reacting to the recent killings of Miss Uwaila Omozuwa and Miss Tina Ezekwe by yet-to-be-identified hoodlums and police respectively.

Omozuwa, a 100-level Microbiology student of the University of Benin was killed after her attackers had raped her inside a church in Benin, while Ezekwe was allegedly shot dead by a policeman in Lagos.

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The minister decried the increase in sexual violence in homes across the country, stressing the need to urgently address the issue and ensure dependable security in the country.

‪”I condemn these horrific acts and call on our lawmakers to take emergency actions on this dastardly oppression that is suddenly on the increase.

“The Ministry of Women Affairs is aware of how vulnerable Nigerian women are, and record of cases being reported indeed stirs rage.

“We are working passionately to address these issues of violence and abuse against women in Nigeria, and are doing this from all angles – policies, legislature, and regulations – to create a Nigerian society that is safe for every woman.

Our goal is to build systems that are efficient and reliable,’’ the minister said.

According to news reports recalls that the UNWomen recently disclosed a rise in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Lagos State with a 300 percent increase between March and April.

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The group also disclosed that in the FCT the increase was 520 percent during the period, amid COVID-19 lockdown and other social measures put in place.

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Inherited high cholesterol may be common in people with heart disease

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Heart

An inherited disorder that causes high cholesterol early in life appears to affect about 25 million people worldwide, but it is especially common among people with cardiovascular disease, new research suggests.

The findings, published Friday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, “make a strong case” for screening programs to identify familial hypercholesterolemia early, said the study’s senior author Dr. Antonio J. Vallejo-Vaz, a clinical research fellow at the Imperial College London.

The global analysis of dozens of studies that included millions from Europe, the United States and elsewhere revealed one in 311 people in the general population have FH.

“This paper really verifies the number of people who have FH,” said Mary Ann Champagne, a clinical nurse specialist and senior scholar at Stanford Healthcare in California, who was not involved in the study. “When I first started working in the field, it was estimated to be one in 500.”

That number spikes to about one in 17 among people with cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, the study found. That’s 18 times higher than in the general population. Yet it’s estimated less than 10% of people worldwide with FH have been diagnosed.

The condition affects “bad” LDL cholesterol, causing plaque to accumulate in the blood vessels, narrowing them over time. Research shows people with LDL levels of 100 mg/dL or lower tend to have lower rates of heart disease and stroke, supporting a “lower is better” philosophy, according to cholesterol guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association.

When FH is left untreated, adults may have LDL levels greater than 190 mg/dL and children above 160 mg/dL. This causes heart problems to develop much earlier. By age 10, children with FH often have aortic lesions and thicker carotid arteries than siblings who didn’t inherit the condition. And plaques can be detected in about a quarter of adolescents with FH.

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If left untreated, many people with FH begin to experience angina or have heart attacks in their 30s, and the condition significantly reduces life expectancy in most people. However, for reasons not well understood, some people with FH don’t experience heart problems until later in life, and some never develop heart disease.

Vallejo-Vaz is the coordinator for the European Atherosclerosis Society’s Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Studies Collaboration, a global registry to investigate FH. He calls the condition a “public health challenge” and said doctors should consider it as a potential cause for cardiovascular disease, particularly in younger people. Identifying such cases provides the opportunity to test family members and help prevent the consequences of FH through early detection and treatment, the researchers said.

“People with heart attacks may be more amenable to conversations about genetic testing,” Champagne said. “However, many people don’t like to think about having a genetic disorder either for themselves or because their children may be affected.”

In addition, an FH diagnosis raises many questions, Champagne said. “How am I going to pay for this? Is my health insurance going to cover a preexisting condition? How does it impact my life insurance? How will it affect my decision to have children?”

But knowing the diagnosis allows health care providers to treat FH with diet, exercise and medications, potentially reducing the risk for heart attacks and strokes. In addition to statins and other common cholesterol-lowering drugs, a class of drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors can lower LDL in people with FH. By blocking the PCSK9 protein, the medications free up more receptors on the liver to remove LDL from blood.

Champagne hopes the global study serves as an impetus for a closer look at what’s happening in the United States. “Identification and treatment in the U.S. is a huge problem,” she said. “But improving this could have far-reaching effects.”An inherited disorder that causes high cholesterol early in life appears to affect about 25 million people worldwide, but it is especially common among people with cardiovascular disease, new research suggests.

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The findings, published Friday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, “make a strong case” for screening programs to identify familial hypercholesterolemia early, said the study’s senior author Dr. Antonio J. Vallejo-Vaz, a clinical research fellow at the Imperial College London.

The global analysis of dozens of studies that included millions from Europe, the United States and elsewhere revealed one in 311 people in the general population have FH.

“This paper really verifies the number of people who have FH,” said Mary Ann Champagne, a clinical nurse specialist and senior scholar at Stanford Healthcare in California, who was not involved in the study. “When I first started working in the field, it was estimated to be one in 500.”

That number spikes to about one in 17 among people with cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, the study found. That’s 18 times higher than in the general population. Yet it’s estimated less than 10% of people worldwide with FH have been diagnosed.

The condition affects “bad” LDL cholesterol, causing plaque to accumulate in the blood vessels, narrowing them over time. Research shows people with LDL levels of 100 mg/dL or lower tend to have lower rates of heart disease and stroke, supporting a “lower is better” philosophy, according to cholesterol guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association.

When FH is left untreated, adults may have LDL levels greater than 190 mg/dL and children above 160 mg/dL. This causes heart problems to develop much earlier. By age 10, children with FH often have aortic lesions and thicker carotid arteries than siblings who didn’t inherit the condition. And plaques can be detected in about a quarter of adolescents with FH.

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If left untreated, many people with FH begin to experience angina or have heart attacks in their 30s, and the condition significantly reduces life expectancy in most people. However, for reasons not well understood, some people with FH don’t experience heart problems until later in life, and some never develop heart disease.

Vallejo-Vaz is the coordinator for the European Atherosclerosis Society’s Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Studies Collaboration, a global registry to investigate FH. He calls the condition a “public health challenge” and said doctors should consider it as a potential cause for cardiovascular disease, particularly in younger people. Identifying such cases provides the opportunity to test family members and help prevent the consequences of FH through early detection and treatment, the researchers said.

“People with heart attacks may be more amenable to conversations about genetic testing,” Champagne said. “However, many people don’t like to think about having a genetic disorder either for themselves or because their children may be affected.”

In addition, an FH diagnosis raises many questions, Champagne said. “How am I going to pay for this? Is my health insurance going to cover a preexisting condition? How does it impact my life insurance? How will it affect my decision to have children?”

But knowing the diagnosis allows health care providers to treat FH with diet, exercise and medications, potentially reducing the risk for heart attacks and strokes. In addition to statins and other common cholesterol-lowering drugs, a class of drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors can lower LDL in people with FH. By blocking the PCSK9 protein, the medications free up more receptors on the liver to remove LDL from blood.

Champagne hopes the global study serves as an impetus for a closer look at what’s happening in the United States. “Identification and treatment in the U.S. is a huge problem,” she said. “But improving this could have far-reaching effects.”

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Buratai lays foundation for construction of Nigeria army reference hospital in Maiduguri

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Monday laid the foundation for the construction of a 200-bed-capacity Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Maiduguri.

Buratai said while commissioning the project that the establishment of the hospital would be of immense benefit, not only to the military but also to the people of the Northeast.

He said that the Nigerian army was committed to ensuring the welfare of its personnel and their families, including families of deceased colleagues.

“We are gathered here today to give a boost to our effort by providing effective and efficient healthcare services to personnel, their families, as well as the public within the northeast,” he said.

He explained that the evacuation of personnel to military reference hospitals in Kaduna had often resulted in the loss of valuable time, especially in emergency cases, in addition to the stress the patients went through during movement to access medical care.

“It is on this premise that the Nigerian Army decided to construct the 200-bed capacity hospital to provide tertiary level care to our troops, as well as their families and the good people of the Northeast,” he said.

The COAS said that the hospital, when completed, would be adequately staffed and equipped to meet international standards.

“Let me use the medium to commend the officers and men of the Nigerian army for their gallantry in their various operations across the country.

“I must say that they have made remarkable progress in the fight against ‘Boko Haram,’ISWAP, and other criminal elements in the country.

“I urged our gallant troops to keep it up and remain professional in performing our constitutional responsibilities,” he said.

The COAS urged relevant stakeholders to support the initiative to enable speedy completion of the projects.

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Buratai commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support to the Nigerian Army and Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno for approving the land for the siting of the project.

In his remarks, Zulum said that the establishment of the hospital would boost the health care requirements and welfare of troops and their families.

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Represented by his Chief Of Staff, Alhaji Babagana Wakil, Zulum said the laudable project would not only meet the health needs of the troops but also that of members of the public.

“It will also serve as a morale booster, as well as strengthen the civil-military relationship and add value to the development of the northeast,” he said.

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