Scientists said western diet, widely acclaimed to be unhealthy, could be linked to high prevalence of kidney stones. A study by the Mayo Clinic found kidney stones increased more than 300 per cent in women and 100 per cent in men within 30 years.
Although, the increase in kidney stones can in part be explained by improvements in medical imaging technology, medical experts linked it to the same dietary factors driving increases in colon cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Kidney stones (renal lithiasis, nephrolithiasis) are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys.
Kidney stones have many causes and can affect any part of the urinary tract — from kidneys to the bladder. Often, stones form when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallise and stick together.
Passing kidney stones are hard masses that form in the kidneys and take a painful route through the urinary tract when exiting the body. Passing out kidney stones can be quite painful, but the stones usually cause no permanent damage if they’re recognised in a timely fashion.
Depending on the situation, one may need nothing more than to take pain medication and drink lots of water to pass a kidney stone. In other instances — for example, if stones become lodged in the urinary tract, are associated with a urinary infection or cause complications — surgery may be needed.
The Mayo study examined first-time presenters of kidney stones from residents in Olmsted County, Minnesota in the United States (US), from 1984 to 2012, focusing specifically on differences between gender and age group. Previous studies of kidney stones were less accurate because they relied on diagnostic codes or survey questions to identify patients with stones.
Bed sharing raises risk of baby deaths
Scientists have raised the alarm over the number of babies dying of suffocation, occasioned by an increase in the number of parents sharing beds with their infants.
According to the findings of a report published in ‘Paediatrics,’ babies are safest sleeping on their backs in their own cribs without any pillows, toys, blankets or other loose bedding. From 1999 to 2015, the suffocation death rate for babies younger than one year climbed from 12.4 to 28.3 fatalities for every 1,000 United States (US) infants.
Similarly, the study shows that in 2015 alone, this translated into 1,100 infant deaths that were entirely preventable.
The majority of these suffocation fatalities occurred while babies were in bed. Although, there is lack of data to show the trend of these activities in Nigeria where bed sharing between mothers and newborn is very common among low income and the poor, it is believed that this practice might also be impacting negatively in the country.
However, going by the guidelines from the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), if babies do sleep in parents’ beds, parents should have a firm mattress, remove soft objects such as pillows, and move the bed away from the wall, as part of measures to ensure the safety of the babies.
Similarly, the AAP said parents should also be aware that bed sharing is most dangerous for newborns, less than four months old, premature babies and underweight infants, or if babies were exposed to tobacco during or after pregnancy.
Study co-author, David Schwebel, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said: “It may be that parents are not following `safe sleep’ recommendations to place infants in beds without stuffed animals, soft blankets, pillows, and other items that could cause suffocation.
Suffocation and strangulation deaths increased across the board for boys and girls, regardless of race, ethnicity or whether they lived in urban or rural communities, the study found. At least some of the increase in suffocation deaths might be due to a change in how these fatalities are categorised, researchers note.
Some fatalities that were attributed to sleep-related causes like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) at the start of the study might have been categorised as accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed by the end of the study period.-
National hospital receives 2nd cancer treatment machine
The National Hospital, has taken delivery of the second Radiotherapy machine for Cancer treatment, in Abuja on Monday. The Elekta machine for Linear Accelerator (LINAC) is made up of several components to be coupled and installed soon.
Speaking in a brief interview at the hospital, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), National Hospital, Dr. Jeff Momoh, said the Abuja Radiotherapy centre would be the only centre in West Africa running two Linear accelerators at the same time. This, the CMD explained, was to avoid running down the 1st machine which has currently treated over 200 patients.
Describing the arrival of the 2nd machine as a major breakthrough for the country, the CMD said its installation would further check medical tourism as patients who travelled abroad for cancer treatment would return home to receive treatment at the centre.
In his words, “A cancer patient has returned from India for treatment at the centre and we will soon see patients from other sub-regions receiving cancer treatment in the hospital because with the state of the art equipment available, it will be the best Cancer treatment centre in West Africa”
Commending the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, for seeing to the delivery of the machine, Dr. Momoh informed that the procurement of the second machine was made possible by the unflinching commitment of the minister who had earlier made a pledge to the hospital in that regards.
According to Momoh, similar machines would soon be installed in each of the six geopolitical zones in the country.
On the maintenance and optimum functionality of the Cancer machine, the CMD said the Hospital has fully trained the First set of Nigerians on the maintenance and supervision of the Linear Accelerator under the supervision of Engr. Ikede John, a Deputy Director in the National Hospital, Abuja, to ensure its proper use.
To ensure safe delivery of the machine was, the representative of its manufacturer, JNC International Ltd, Engr. Wale Akinola.
UNICEF says world is failing newborn babies
Global deaths of newborn babies remain alarmingly high, particularly among the world’s poorest countries, UNICEF said today in a new report on newborn mortality.
Every year, 2.6 million newborns around the world do not survive their first month of life. One million of them die the day they are born.
Globally, in low-income countries, the average newborn mortality rate is 27 deaths per 1,000 births, the report said. In high-income countries, that rate is three deaths per 1,000.
“While we have more than halved the number of deaths among children under the age of five in the last quarter century, we have not made similar progress in ending deaths among children less than one month old,” said Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF’s Executive Director.
“Given that the majority of these deaths are preventable, clearly, we are failing the world’s poorest babies.”
The report notes that eight of the 10 most dangerous places to be born are in sub-Saharan Africa, where pregnant women are much less likely to receive assistance during delivery due to poverty, conflict and weak institutions. With the newborn mortality rate of 29 deaths per 1,000 births, the global estimates rank Nigeria as the 11th highest on newborn deaths.
In the recent Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) conducted by the Government of Nigeria in 2016/17, the rate of newborn deaths per 1000 births is 37. This national average hides the differences between the 36 states and the slow progress in some of them.
“A fair chance in life begins with a strong, healthy start. Unfortunately, many children in Nigeria are still deprived of this,” said Mohamed M Fall, UNICEF Nigeria’s Representative. “MICS data tells us that the trend is improving but urgent action needs to be taken for Nigeria to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It cannot afford to fail its newborns today.”
More than 80 per cent of newborn deaths are due to prematurity, asphyxia, complications during birth or infections such as pneumonia and sepsis.
These deaths can be prevented with access to well-trained midwives during antenatal and postnatal visits as well as delivery at a health facility, along with proven solutions like clean water, disinfectants, breastfeeding within the first hour, skin-to-skin contact, proper cord care, and good nutrition.
However, a shortage of well-trained health workers and midwives means that thousands don’t receive the life-saving support they need to survive.
This month, UNICEF is launching Every Child ALIVE, a global campaign to demand and deliver solutions on behalf of the world’s newborns. Through the campaign, UNICEF is issuing an urgent appeal to governments, health care providers, donors, the private sector, families and businesses to keep every child alive by:
Recruiting, training, retaining and managing sufficient numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives with expertise in maternal and newborn care;
Guaranteeing clean, functional health facilities equipped with water, soap and electricity, within the reach of every mother and baby;
Making it a priority to provide every mother and baby with the life-saving drugs and equipment needed for a healthy start in life; and
Empowering adolescent girls, mothers and families to demand and receive quality care.
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