Vaccine Safety:World Immunization Week

Despite the fact that vaccines are among the most effective and cost-efficient health interventions, many children still die or have their development stunted due to rejection on the part of their parents.

This stems from the dual doubts of efficacy and safety. This piece explores both.

Read the rest of the article.

Achieving Health For All

It’s World Health Day!

The theme is about ensuring no one has to pay out of pocket at point of care or become impoverished by healthcare. This is in line with the Sustainable Goal #3 which aims to make quality healthcare available and accessible to everyone, anytime by 2030.

Currently, only about 1% of Nigerians are covered by health insurance – an alarming statistic in a country with an estimated population of 180million people. Meanwhile it has been shown to be more a matter of political will than the wealth of a country. For example, Cuba has achieved a healthcare system that is more efficient and equally accessible by its citizens than many of its richer counterparts.

This brilliant doctor-in-a-bit Opeyemi Awofeso captures it all in her Instagram post.

The sad reality is that previously unplanned cash payments for healthcare services sinks many poor households around the world deeper into the grips of poverty. Dr Chike Opara elucidates more in his article .

This is a call to action. We all can contribute to achieving this right for all. We shouldn’t wait until someone close to us is at the point of sickness and distress before it concerns us.

Let me leave you with these salient tweets by Dr Nnewuihe Obinna , the health policy enthusiast.

________

OumissaInspire

070418

Lagos

Nigeria

20 Facts to a Score

FACT 10

I usually walk very fast.

Markets in Lagos are well known for their hustle and bustle. Mother used to take me along whenever she wanted to shop. She walked very fast.  I used to struggle to keep up with her pace and most times ended up being dragged along. Once, my hand slipped from hers and I lost her for some minutes. I was momentarily confused as there were so many people rushing past. I frantically searched for her but I couldn’t find her. I thought I would never get home. I did not call out to her because the market noise was deafening. After three terrifying minutes, the sea of people washed me over to Mother. I saw her worry blend into relief. Angry, she said, “You naughty child! why can’t you hold on to me, ehn?”, while pulling me closer at the same time. Never again did I walk behind her. I had learnt my lesson.

*                     *                       *                       *

I became used to it. When walking in a group, I walk faster than the others can keep up with. It’s like I’m always in a rush. Most times, I want to get somewhere quickly and so I try to avoid wasting too much time trying to get there.

When I  read it in a science journal that walking fast was good for the health, I told all those who used to complain about my walking pace .

Walking briskly for  thirty minutes every day can do a lot for the health. Some of the benefits include :

1. It is an easy exercise.

2. It is a good way to reduce abdominal fat.

3. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes

4. It lowers blood pressure.

5. It keeps the body fit.

6. It increases longevity.

7. It is good for mental health.

8. Walking for a mile each day burns approximately 100 calories.

Many of us do not realize the value of walking to our health. It is recommended to drop a bus stop before your house so you can walk the remaining distance. Walk around the house. Don’t sit for hours in front of the TV. To make it fun, take walks in the morning. It would be more enjoyable with a friend or relative, enjoy the scenery and breath in some fresh air. Come on people, let’s walk our way to good health!

Sources: about.com, AARP.com

20 Facts to a Score

FACT 5

I eat potatoes.

My first try at solid food was mashed potatoes and eggs. Soon it became a favourite. As I grew older however, I ditched the Irish variety for  the sweet. I  later learnt  it is the main cash crop in my hometown where it is called ‘anamo’. I eat potatoes with almost anything and I really don’t mind if it is boiled, baked or fried into chips. I like it best with chicken and ketchup.

Potatoes are grown all over the world and constitute a staple in many countries. They are served in a wide variety of delicacies. One advantage is that they are  cheap and easy to come by. Sadly, many do not appreciate the health benefits inherent in potatoes. Others smother it in a lot of butter and cream.

Without all the fat and deep frying,  a baked potato is a low-calorie,  high fibre food that can provide significant protection against cardiovascular disease and cancer. It is a good source of antioxidants.

It is the best  most affordable source of potassium.It is also  rich in dietary fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, copper  and manganese. Other nutrients that can be derived from it include, iron,calcium, magnesium,sodium, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, beta carotene, Vitamin B6,E and K.  It is the new wonder food. To get much of its nutrients it is better to bake or boil with the skin.

After reading this I hope you  look at potatoes in a brighter light.

P.S  Medilag students, when ordering your nightly ‘skaries’ remember to ask for a generous helping of potato.

Sources: WHFoods,Wikipedia

 

 

20 Facts to a Score

FACT 4

I’m bespectacled.

It all started in primary school when I had to move my seat to the front because I couldn’t see the blackboard clearly. I snuggled up close to the TV at home else I wouldn’t enjoy whatever series was ongoing.

All through secondary school,I copied my notes from my friends as the eye problem got worse.You know how it is with Nigerian parents, thinking glasses are meant for old people.

Yet no one understood that I didn’t greet my neighbours when they were too far away for me to recognize them (they all thought I was rude) or when I couldn’t see what was written on a signboard.

My friends gave me nicknames like ‘sick-in-the-eyes’ and ‘blind’. Then I gained admission into the university and had to go through health registration.At the eye test centre, I could barely see beyond the second line.The ophthalmologist told me in a grave tone, “You need a pair of glasses”.

When I got home and informed my parents,there  was nothing else they could say. I got a pair of black-rimmed glasses with blue-tinted lenses that made everything seem like it was morning.

One would think I should have been happy but the glasses destroyed my look. I always seemed serious. Oh and of course I earned a new set of nicknames- ‘FourEyes’, ‘Ojugo’, ‘Geek’, and ‘Nerd’.

Now I wear them only when I have to. So I’ve got two looks – with and without my glasses. Most people don’t even know I can see without them.

I’ve learnt something though, ‘Having myopia doesn’t make me myopic’.