Researchers say malaria can be eradicated by 2050

Researchers say malaria can be eradicated by 2050

A team of researchers, in a new report, have said that the world could be free of malaria by 2050.

The researchers added that wiping out the disease-causing parasite would probably require extra annual funding of about $2bn.

They noted that the British Broadcasting Corporation’s claim that the world had already made huge progress against malaria since 2000 was largely due to widespread access to ways of preventing mosquito bites, such as treated bed nets and better drugs for treating infected people.

One of the study authors, Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, said, “Despite unprecedented progress, malaria continues to strip communities around the world of promise and economic potential. This is particularly true in Africa, where just five countries account for nearly half of the global burden.”

The report, published in The Lancet, was commissioned by the World Health Organisation three years ago to assess its feasibility and how much it would cost.

Another study author, Sir Richard Feachem, said, “For too long, the eradication of malaria has been a distant dream, but now we have evidence that malaria can and should be eradicated by 2050. This report shows that eradication is possible within a generation.”

Feachem, however, warned that it would take bold action to achieve this goal.

“Eradication of malaria by 2050 will require current technologies to be used more effectively and the development of new ways of tackling the disease. This could include the game-changing potential of gene-drive technologies,” the report says.

The Chairman of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, King Mswati III of Eswatini, said, “Malaria eradication within a generation is ambitious, achievable and necessary.

“The struggle has been constant to keep up with the malaria mosquito and the parasite, both of which are evolving to evade the effect of malaria interventions. We must make sure that innovation is prioritised,” he said.

The report estimates that about $4.3bn is spent on the treatment and prevention of malaria every year at the moment. It will need $2bn a year to rid the world of malaria by 2050.

The authors also noted the cost of business as usual, in terms of loss of lives and the constant struggle against the malaria parasite and mosquitoes getting more resistant to drugs and insecticides.

Prevent diabetes foot ulcers

Prevent diabetes foot ulcers

The rains are here. Remember to take care of your feet, especially if you’re living with diabetes. Make time to examine your feet and foot wear. Avoid wading in water.

It’s important to prevent foot ulcers and amputations if you’re living with diabetes as it can be dangerous to your feet—even a small cut can produce serious consequences.

Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet.

To avoid serious foot problems that could result in losing a toe, foot or leg, inspect your feet daily. Check for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling or nail problems.

Bathe feet in lukewarm, never hot, water. Be gentle when bathing your feet. Wash them using a soft washcloth or sponge. Dry by blotting or patting and carefully dry between the toes.

Use a moisturiser daily to keep dry skin from itching or cracking.

Cut nails carefully. Cut them straight across and file the edges. Don’t cut nails too short, as this could lead to ingrown toenails.

Shake out your shoes and feel the inside before wearing. Keep your feet warm and dry. Don’t let your feet get wet in rain. Consider using an antiperspirant on the soles of your feet. Never walk barefoot. Always wear shoes or slippers. Take care of your diabetes. Get periodic foot exams. Seeing your foot and ankle surgeon on a regular basis can help prevent the foot complications of diabetes.

Expert Reveals Dangers of Using Generators

Expert Reveals Dangers of Using Generators

An expert on hearing loss, Dr Bolajoko Olusanya, on Friday identified generators, some prescription drugs, and exposure to loud noise as major causes of hearing loss in the country.

Olusanya, a Medical Director at a Lagos clinic, Phonics Hearing Centre, made remarks in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos.

“In Nigeria, we use generators a lot, because of frequent power outages.

“The public should be sensitised to recognise that apart from getting power supply from generators, staying too long near them can cause hearing loss and once you have hearing loss, it is for life.

“Also, people who are exposed to loud noise, including pepper grinding machines, those in the aviation industry, as well as factory workers, are at risk of hearing loss.

“People should be made aware that if you are working where there is noise, do not stay for too long and if you have to stay, use ear plugs to protect your hearing.

“Another risk factor apart from generators is the frequent use of drugs, like some antibiotics are susceptible to hearing loss,’’ he said.

The expert noted that there were no studies till date to show how prevalent hearing loss was among the populace.

He said, “however, in 2000, the National Ear Care Centre carried out a survey on the incidence of hearing loss that showed about 14 per cent of school children had hearing loss.’’

Olusanya said that no other survey had been carried out since then.

According to him, there are no public health strategies in the country to address risk factors and as a result, the number of people with hearing loss will keep increasing.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) says that the number of people with hearing loss is on the increase.

“The organisation says it has increased from 360 million to 466 million and it is projected by that by 2050, about almost a million people will have hearing loss.
“So, what we need to do as a country is to find out the risk factors of hearing loss in our environment and government should take steps to address them.

“It is a wake-up call that the National Ear Care Centre should be equipped and properly resourced to create adequate awareness on the issue,’’ he said.

Olusanya said that in 2005, his clinic carried out a research to find out the major cause of hearing loss in children.

According to him, the findings showed that jaundice was the major cause of hearing loss in children in the Nigerian environment.

Other causes, he said, include infections, some premature babies, and congenital conditions such as cerebral palsy.

“We are working on sensitising mothers that once a baby is born and it is discovered that the baby’s eyes are turning yellow, they should visit the hospital immediately.

“The mothers should recognise the risk factors and take necessary steps to get care for their babies,’’ Olusanya said.

Nigeria is said to record more than 100, 000 cases per year. Treatment may help, but the condition is not curable.

The condition is usually self-diagnosable but laboratory tests or imaging is often required and chronic cases can last for years or be lifelong.

Deafness is usually the result of inner ear or nerve damage. It may be caused by a congenital defect, injury, disease, certain medication, exposure to loud noise or age-related wear and tear.

The chief symptom is an inability to hear sound. For some, hearing may be possible with surgery or a hearing device. Lip-reading skills, written or printed text and sign language may help with communication.

Asthma: Facts You Should Know

Asthma: Facts You Should Know

Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lung airways that causes coughing, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath. According to the World Health Organization, WHO, there are more than 235 million people with asthma in the world. The Asthma Society of Canada explains that the disease is related to two factors: inflammation of the airways and bronchoconstriction (the twitching and tightening of the muscles surrounding the airways). When these muscles tighten, it leads to difficulty breathing and bouts of coughing.

Several factors increase the risk of developing asthma. One of the most common is allergies. Up to 80 percent of children with persistent asthma have allergies, coming into contact with one of these allergens can trigger asthma symptoms.

Below are some facts about asthma you should know;

  • People who experience frequent respiratory infections during childhood are more likely to develop asthma.
  • Although asthma is not entirely hereditary, if at least one of your parents takes medication to treat asthma or allergies, you are more likely to have asthma.
  • You are more likely to have asthma if you live in a city where the air is polluted or if you live near a factory that releases pollutants into the air.
  • Being an adult doesn’t mean you’ll never have asthma. People who are exposed over the years to certain substances in their workplace are more at risk of developing asthma.
  • A cough, especially a dry cough, is one of the most frequent symptoms of asthma. Sometimes it occurs only at night or during physical activity.
  • Asthma medications are not addictive; the corticosteroids used to reduce inflammation are not the same as damaging anabolic steroids.
  • A person who wheezes makes a whistling noise while inhaling and exhaling. This noise is caused by the narrowing of the respiratory tract. While this sound is often caused by bronchitis, chronic wheezing is associated with asthma and requires medical attention.
  • Some people with asthma feel tightness in the chest. This symptom can be a sign of stress and anxiety, but can also indicate asthma, especially if it occurs after physical exertion or at night. It’s always wise to see your doctor if you feel tightness in your chest for the first time.
  • If you run up a flight of stairs and you never exercise, it’s normal to be out of breath. On the other hand, if you constantly feel like you’re out of breath, this could be a sign of asthma, especially if you also have a cough. Some people with asthma experience such extreme shortness of breath that it wakes them up at night.
  • Exercising can trigger asthma attacks in people who have not yet been diagnosed with asthma. However, people with asthma should not avoid exercising.
  • If you have asthma, or you think you might have it, watch out for certain symptoms that will require a visit to the emergency room. For instance, if you have difficulty breathing and you notice that your lips or the tips of your fingers have turned blue
  • Apart from medications, there are several complementary treatments for asthma. One of the most common is yoga.
Nigeria at risk of Ebola outbreak – WHO

Nigeria at risk of Ebola outbreak – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified Nigeria and other countries on the continent at “moderate risk of spread” of Ebola virus disease after an outbreak was confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The confirmation came after 16 out of 19 people died from a viral haemorrhagic fever in Bikoro area of the DRC.

Two of five samples tested were positive to Ebola.

The confirmation has put Nigeria on high alert, and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has issued an advisory to help the public prevent an outbreak of Ebola in the country.

“Wash your hands frequently using soap and water – use hand sanitizers, when soap and water is not readily available,” the centre said in the latest advisory.

“Avoid direct handling of dead wild animals.

“Avoid physical contact with anyone who has possible symptoms of an infection with an unknown diagnosis.

“Make sure fruit and vegetables are properly washed and peeled before you eat them.”

In addition, it advised health workers to ensure “universal care precautions at all times.

“This includes the use of personal protective equipment when handling patients always. In addition, patients who are suspected to have Ebola should be immediately isolated from other patients,” it added.

Ebola is a zoonotic disease, affecting both animals and humans. Any of five known species of Ebola can cause an infection, but four of them can cause the disease in humans.

Codeine: NAFDAC Reopens Emzor, Others

Codeine: NAFDAC Reopens Emzor, Others

The National Agency for Food, and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has lifted the shutdown order on three pharmaceutical companies closed for mismangement in the production of codeine cough syrups.

The affected firms are: Emzor Pharmaceuticals Ind. Ltd Lagos; Peace Standard Pharmaceutical Limited and Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited in Ilorin, Kwara State.
THEWILL recalls that the firm were shutdown on May 7 following a report by the BBC which exposed codeine abuse in the country.
NAFDAC’s Director-General Prof. MojisolaAdeyeye, in a statement, gave the directive following meetings with the companies and its directorates of Investigation and Enforcement (I&E), Drug Evaluation Research (DER) and Narcotics and Controlled Substances (NCS).
She also stated the affected companies have been charged administrative fees “commensurate with the respective violations” also ordered immediate stoppage of codeine syrups until further notice while investigations continue.
“Therefore, the hold placed on the active pharmaceutical ingredient and the already made codeine syrups stands. NAFDAC will monitor the compliance.
“All codeine products are to be recalled and the process verified through audit trail verified by NAFDAC
“Embargo has been placed on new applications for permit or renewals for the importation of codeine as an active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations- NAFDAC will not issue any permit until further notice,” the statement read
NAFDAC said it would hold a stakeholders meeting on the codeine crisis in a few days to develop a road map for the supply chain distribution and the future of codeine syrup manufacturing.
The agency also noted that the stakeholders meeting was in line with the Minister of Health pronouncements in his press release on the codeine crisis.
NAFDAC also directed Emzor pharmaceutical Ind. Ltd to arrest the sales representative indicted in the BBC documentary or declare him wanted for investigation.