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Breastfeeding: UNICEF, WHO rally support for a healthier planet, officials say

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the  World Health Organisation (WHO) say that they are rallying supports for breastfeeding as the first pathway to preserving a  healthier planet.

The Nutritional Officer of  UNICEF in Ebonyi, Mr. Cyprain Ogbonna,  gave the encouragement to people on Saturday in Abakaliki during an event to mark the starting of the  2020 celebration of World Breastfeeding Week.

The theme of the World Breastfeeding Week 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”.

The event is marked every year between Aug. 1 and  Aug. 7 to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and infants.

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Ogbonna said that adequate breastfeeding had, over the years, prevented several childhood diseases and brought lifelong positive benefits associated with child spacing.

He said that other benefits include: risk reduction for some breast and ovarian cancers as well as hypertension.

He described breast milk as a nature-given-first food that needed to be preserved for its undebatable benefits to a mother and her baby.

He added that the milk was a critical part of a sustainable food system.

He said that it would be best to start breastfeeding within one hour of birth and exclusively done for the first six months of life, after which mothers should introduce appropriate complementary foods to her baby for two years and beyond.

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He stated that the misuse of breast milk substitutes should be condemned.

He advised that breastfeeding should be maintained, but hygienically done during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Ogbonna said: “Mothers are recommended to breastfeed their child or children within 30 minutes of birth.

“While mothers doing exclusive breastfeeds go for the first six months of life.

“Also mother or caregiver timely introduces complementary feeding based on local food products at six months while continuing breastfeeding up to two years and beyond,” he said.

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Also, the Nutrition Manager of UNICEF in Enugu, Hanifa Namusoke, said that she had championed the cause in Ebonyi to increase the valve and improve the well being of mother and child.

Namusoke said in line with the theme, WHO and UNICEF called on governments to protect and promote a critical component of breastfeeding support.

“Breast milk is complete for a healthier planet and that is why WHO and UNICEF recommend optimal infant and young child feeding practices with an emphasis on early initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth,” Namusoke said.

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Salary deduction: Bauchi health workers commence indefinite strike

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Bauchi State Health workers under the Joint Health Sector Union and Assembly of Health Care Professionals (JOHESU) have commenced an indefinite strike.

This is due to deductions made from their salaries.

The Secretary of the Bauchi chapter, Usman Danturaki in a statement to all branch Chairmen and Secretaries, Medical and Health Workers’ Union in the State, directed all health works to commence the industrial action from 12am on Thursday.

MORE READING!  Salary deduction: Bauchi health workers commence indefinite strike

According to Danturaki, the action is due to the unilateral deductions of the workers’ June salaries by the state government.

You are hereby directed to commence an indefinite strike action from 12.00 am of Thursday, 6th August 2020 until further directed,” he said.

Details later…

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COVID-19: Price of hydroxychloroquine skyrockets in Nigeria

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The price of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has skyrocketed in Nigeria, according to the government’s consumer protection body.

There’s been widespread interest in hydroxychloroquine as both a preventative measure and for treating patients with coronavirus but the World Health Organization (WHO) says the drug doesn’t reduce death rates in patients with coronavirus.

Despite the lack of evidence, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s audit of prices across the country has observed an astonishing rise in the drug’s price in the last four months.

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It found that – a packet of 60 tablets selling for N3,000 ($8; £6) four months ago – could be on sale in pharmacies for as much as N75,000 ($194;£ 147) now.

In a letter published on their Twitter account, the body described “excessive and unconscionable pricing”.

It added that “unreasonable, unjust and irrational prices or margins are a criminal offence” in Nigeria.

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Promotion by leading political figures such as US President Donald Trump has led to both hydroxychloroquine, and the related drug chloroquine, becoming the subject of widespread speculation online about their potential benefits and harmful effects.

This has led to high demand for the drugs and global supply shortages.

But despite some early studies raising hopes, one subsequent larger-scale trial has shown it’s not effective as a treatment and the WHO has halted its trials.

MORE READING!  Salary deduction: Bauchi health workers commence indefinite strike
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Positive cases drop by 2,000 in July – FG

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Osagie Ehanire,

Nigeria recorded less than 2,000 positive cases in July, the Federal Government has disclosed.

It further stated the number of testing carried out across the country increased by 40,000 in just one month.

A total of 287,532 COVID-19 tests have been carried out so far in Nigeria.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, made these known during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

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He also said the Federal Government plans to reduce the deaths from the pandemic to less than one per cent.

The Federal Government also plans to expand sample collection to rural areas by setting set up at least one COVID-19 sample collection site in every Local Government Area (LGA) with designated holding rooms at General hospitals for patients with significant clinical symptoms.

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Ehanire said this will ensure patients are not turned back at hospitals.

The Minister asked health workers not to fret on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);

“As we are reasonably well stocked with materials and commodities, which have been supplied to all sections of the country.”

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