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We can stamp FGM out by 2030 – Bolanle Ambode



 Wife of the governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has expressed optimism that Female Genital Mutilation could be stamped out of Africa by 2030, if all individual and institutional stakeholders worked together towards achieving that purpose.

She said this at Alausa, Ikeja, in comments to reporters, on the occasion of this year’s International Day of zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, FGM. February 6 every year, was set aside by the United Nations (UN), as the International Day of zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation across the world.

Mrs. Ambode noted that, although the practice was well entrenched in the continent, with some countries recording up to ninety per cent prevalence among girls and women, the situation was not hopeless if the current advocacy was sustained or increased.

According to her, ‘The pace of penetration of awareness seems slow because the practice is an ancient one, deeply rooted in our various cultures but that does not make our efforts fruitless. Though progress may be slow, we are going somewhere as rural women, mothers and young girls, are becoming aware of the severe health implications of the barbaric practice’.

‘Few years ago, many women, even some educated ones, saw it as a normal and socially acceptable practice but the story is fast changing, as awareness is getting mileage and rural women are now campaigning against it’, she declared.

The governor’s wife implored governments to fight the practice with direct legislations, in the manner they are doing with some wicked anti-female practices.

She reminded everyone that FGM constituted an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls, directly violating their rights to health, security and physical integrity, wondering why women should be subjected to such life-threatening dehumanization.

She contended that mothers, fathers and NGOs, must continue to voice their concern and governments must put in place the right statutes, for total eradication of the practice in our country and the continent by 2030

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Experts advocate increased antenatal attendance by pregnant women



Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on Friday called for increased attendance to Antenatal care by pregnant women to reduce the high rate of infant and maternal mortality in the country.

The experts made the call at a presentation of four books entitled ‘ ‘Step by Step Approach to Obstetrics and Gynaecological Ultrasonography,’  ‘Bullet Point Answers to Exam Questions in Obstetrics,’  ‘Bullet Point Answers to Exam Questions in Gynaecology’  and ‘What Mama Didn’t Tell You About Pregnancy- the Myth, the Truth and the Lie’.

The books were written by Dr. Gregory Ohihoin, a Chief Research Fellow and Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos.

Prof. Osato Giwa-Osagie, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the College of Medicine University of Lagos, described the high infant and maternal mortality rate in the country as unacceptable.

Giwa-Osagie said the book which talked about the step by step application of Ultrasonography would help doctors and women understand the peculiarity of  pregnancy and ensure safe delivery.

”This book will have a very wide application as it will help many educated pregnant women. It will save lives of babies and mothers, ” he said.

Also speaking, Prof. Babatunde Salako, Director-General, NIMR said that the books were a veritable source of information for doctors and residents in training as it would facilitate their knowledge ability to handle pregnancies.

”This means that we will produce more knowledgeable obstetricians and gynaecologists who will make correct diagnosis and take appropriate decisions on their patients to enhance delivery of the baby and safety for the mother.

”When our pregnant women attend antenatal these doctors will handle their cases properly and we can also say that this development will reduce the rate of maternal and infant deaths in the country, ” he said.

The Book Reviewer, Dr. Oliver Ezechi, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at NIMR said that the ‘Old Wife’s Tales’ (Myth) about pregnancy passed down from generation to generation were the greatest challenge in reducing infant and maternal mortality.

 Ezechi said that the book debunked the myth that affected pregnancy outcomes negatively.

”Pregnancy is not a disease, it is a normal physiological process and if women take it serious by registering for Antenatal early and take their doctor’s advice; close to 95 per cent of pregnancies will be successful without complications.

”With Antenatal attendance, doctors will identify problems early and prevent them – prevent infant and maternal deaths, ” Ezechi said.

Also reviewing the book ‘What Mama didn’t tell You about Pregnancy – the Myth, the Truth and the Lie’ , Mrs Rabi Adetoro said that the 100 pages book narrated a beautiful story of pregnancy from conception to delivery and post-delivery stages.

”The book explained the time to register for antenatal, diets during pregnancy, signs, and the role of fathers to secure the health of the mother and the baby, ” she said.

In his remarks, Ohihoin,  the author of the books, said that rate of Antenatal care attendance in Nigeria was 51 per cent, saying that such rate was too low and a major contributor to the high rate of infant and maternal mortality.

He said that the main aim of antenatal care was to ensure a healthy mother and infant at the end of the pregnancy to reduce maternal and child mortality rates.

”I wrote this books to emphasise that antenatal care should be seen as a major preventive health measure aimed at preventing the development of any pregnancy disorders or complications.

”Antenatal care should address the psychosocial and medical needs of the woman within the context of the health care delivery system and the culture in which she lives, ” he said.

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Flying Doctors seeks regional integration for West African health sector



…. says air ambulances can boost health sector

There will be many advantages to regional integration of medical services in the West African sub-region, Flying Doctors Nigeria has said.

Speaking in Banjul, The Gambia, during this year’s West African College of Surgeons (WACS) conference and scientific meeting, Flying Doctors Nigeria Founder, Dr. Ola Brown, stated that regional integration will help the region to develop “medical centres of excellence that can receive large volumes of specialist medical cases,”explaining that these centres will help medical personnel to “develop expertise in very specific areas of medicine.”

The West African College of Surgeons (WACS) annual meeting is one of the most prestigious medical conferences in Africa.

The conference was attended by surgeons from about 22 West African countries. This year’s WACS conference had “Global Surgery Implementation for West Africa” as its theme.

Speaking further on international collaboration in the region, Brown stated that air ambulance services should be key part of the region’s medical sector cooperation.

She explained that air ambulance services are capable of enhancing the region’s medical collaboration by “facilitating transportation of patients across large distances in very short time frames.”

West Africa has some of the poorest health outcomes in the world in form of high maternal mortality rates, high child mortality rates and high mortality rates from trauma and infectious diseases like malaria.

The healthcare expert stated that air ambulance services can help patients save lives by “circumventing the region’s infrastructural challenges, such as poorly maintained roads common in the region.”

Flying Doctors Nigeria is West Africa’s first and leading air ambulance service organisation based in Nigeria. Established about 10 years ago, the firm airlifts patients across the world in medically equipped aircrafts for specialist medical attention.

Brown explained that air ambulance services make it easier for medical experts to refer patients that cannot be handled in their home countries to other countries in the sub-region where such ailments can effectively be treated.

She further explained that air ambulance services also serve a high percentage of professionals, especially those in oil and gas industry who work in high-risk environments, making it compelling to have air ambulance services for rescue operations in hard-to-reach areas

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UNICEF: Nigeria ranked number one with highest unimmunised children



UNICEF has raised an alarm about the threat that measles pose in Nigeria after the country was ranked number one with the highest children unimmunised against measles coming after India.



In a presentation: “Overview of 2017/2018 measles follow-up SIA” at a media orientation for journalists in Lagos state, which held in Lagos on Monday, Dr. Charles Nwosisi, Health Specialist, UNICEF, said that Nigeria ranked number one for being the most unimmunised for measles vaccine first dose with 3.3 million children as compared to India with 2.9 children. Nwosisi said that Nigeria is also 192 out of 200 countries in global ranking for measles vaccination coverage.


According to him, measles vaccination coverage in 2016 was below the 95 per cent coverage target as Nigeria met 51 per cent coverage.


This is coming as the Lagos State Government on Monday similarly, disclosed that it planned to achieve 95 per cent target in the 2018 Mass Measles Campaign to protect enough children so as to reduce the burden of the disease.


The Lagos Measles Vaccination Campaign which started yesterday, March 15 is scheduled to end on March 29, 2018 in all health facilities in the state and designated posts in communities. Dr. Iyabo Aare, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board disclosed this during a Media Orientation Programme on Measles on Monday in Lagos.


Aare said that the measles campaign was targeted at immunising children from ages nine months to five years, as well as eligible children irrespective of previous vaccination history.


She said that during the previously measles campaign in 2015, the state met 86.2 per cent out of the 95 per cent coverage target. According to her, the state could not achieve optimal coverage due to some resistant groups including churches , mosques and estates where vaccinators were not allowed to vaccinate children within the area. ‘’This campaign is in collaboration with UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the National Primary Healthcare Board Development Agency and other partners.


‘’This campaign is very important for our children to protect them from this killer disease to secure them because they are our future,’’ she said.


Speaking further, Nwosisi said measles vaccination coverage in 2016 was below the 95 per cent coverage target as Nigeria met 51 per cent coverage.


‘’A coverage that is less than 95 per cent means the missed children, meaning that the children with the virus can still transmit the disease to others. ‘’This 2017/2018 campaign has been tagged : ‘’Catch-up’’ campaign ; it is to mopup or reach children that have been missed over the years so as to meet the 95 per cent target coverage, ‘’ he said.


Dr.Olubunmi Akinlade, Immunisation Programme Officer , Lagos State, described measles as a dangerous disease caused by a virus and one of the leading causes of death among young children.


Akinlade said that measles could cause blindness, death and reduce a child’s ability to fight other diseases resulting in frequent illness.


‘’When a child shows signs of measles such as high fever, redness of eyes, running nose and rash; take the child to the nearest health facility immediately,” she said. Mrs. Modupe Owojuyebi, Director, Health Education, Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, said it was important for children to receive measles immunisation during the campaign to be fully protected against measles.

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