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Health: Foundation, UBTH Partner To Reduce New Born Babies Death

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The Heineken Africa Foundation, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Benin Teaching (UBTH) to reduce new born babies mortality rate in Nigeria.

Speaking on behalf of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mrs. Shade Morgan, Corporate Affairs Manager said over N42m will be committed in equipping the facilities at the UBTH in order to reduce the current 25 percent mortality rate(1in 4) to 10 percent (1in 10) in the hospital.

“Here at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, the foundation will equip the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit with advanced neonatal care facilities and consumables worth €103.937,94 that is, over N42M to assist with reducing the neonatal mortality rate from the current 25 percent (1in 4) to 10 percent (1in 10).

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“We hope that with this intervention, we would be contributing to reversing the negative index of neonatal deaths in Edo State in particular and Nigeria in general”, Berrut said.

He said since the inception of the foundation in 2007, the foundation has committed up to €9.9 million in 111 different projects focused on health and water across the African continent.

He said some of the funds have supported projects in Kaduna such as the donations of the general female orthopedic ward, a CT Scan and Ultra Sound Scanning Machine, all at the St. Gerard’s hospital in 2010, 2013 and 2015, respectively.

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He expressed optimism that the project will be executed according to the terms and conditions of their agreement.

On his part, Chief Medical Director,  UBTH, Dr. Darlington Obaseki said the project became necessary to reduce death rates among newborn babies to a very drastic level in the hospital as it witnessed about 2000 births in every year.

He said the hospital (UBTH) was among the nine institutions that applied for the assistance but only UBTH scaled through and got the approval from the foundation.

“In UBTH, we have about 2000 live births in every year and out of it above 5 percent of them need a special care that is special intensive care to look after them and another 25 percent of this 5 percent requires intensive care.

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“So sadly in UBTH though we have a Special Care Unit, there is no Neonatal Intensive Care Unit”, the CMD said.

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Health

Cough: What You Need To Know

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By Silver Yeibake

The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that helps to clear the airways of mucus, irritants, or foreign particles. When our airway is irritated, it sends a signal to the brain, which then triggers the muscles in our chest and abdomen to quickly expel air, clearing or removing the irritant. This reflex acts as a crucial defense mechanism for the respiratory system. “Cough is not a disease process.”

Kindly note the beautifully coordinated steps involved in the action we know as cough:

1. Irritatant detection: The first step in the cough reflex is the detection of an irritant in the airways, such as dust, smoke, or mucus by special protein complexes called irritants receptors (for convenience) which convert the sensation into an electrical impulse.

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2. Signal Transmission: The receptors in the airway send the signals along nerves to the brain, specifically to a part called *”the cough center”* located in the medulla oblongata, a part of the brainstem.

3. Signal Processing: The brain processes these signals and responds by sending nerve impulses back to the muscles involved in the coughing process.

4. Muscle Contraction: The diaphragm, abdominal muscles, and muscles in the chest wall contract, increasing the pressure in the chest and forcing air out of the lungs at a high speed, making the sound that is characteristic of cough.

5. Expelling Irritant: The forceful release of air clears the airway, expelling/removing the irritant and helping to protect the respiratory system.

The above steps are designed to occur repeatedly until the irritant is removed from the airways or respiratory system or drugs are given to suppress this important protective function.

Although taking cough medication for relief as first aid is usual, it is best to identify and address the cause as soon as possible. Seek medical attention if 2 to 3 days of therapy do not give improvement or the symptom worsened rapidly.

Dr. Yeibake, Weriwoyingipre Silver, a
Senior Registrar, Faculty Of Pediatrics, West Africa College of Physician (WACP), writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

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Health

Urinary Retention: What You Need To Know

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By Yeibake Silver

Urinary retention is defined by an inability to empty the bladder completely. It can be caused by a number of circumstances, including a urinary tract obstruction, nerve issues, drugs, and certain medical diseases.

There are two types of urine retention: acute and chronic. Acute urine retention happens unexpectedly and is frequently painful, necessitating quick medical intervention. Chronic urine retention, on the other hand, occurs gradually and may not be as painful.

Urinary retention symptoms include a frequent urge to urinate, difficulties commencing urination, a weak urine stream, dribbling after urination, and the sensation that the bladder is not completely emptied. In more severe situations, urine retention can result in consequences such as urinary tract infections, kidney damage, or bladder damage.

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Treatment for urine retention may include addressing the underlying cause, such as eliminating a urinary tract obstruction or modifying medications. Catheterization may be required to empty the bladder in severe situations. In some cases, surgery may be required to address the condition causing urine retention.

It is important that individuals having symptoms of urinary retention seek medical attention and therapy to avoid problems and enhance their quality of life.

Dr. Yeibake, Weriwoyingipre Silver, a
Senior Registrar, Faculty Of Pediatrics, West Africa College of Physician (WACP), writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

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HEALTH CORNER: What You Need To Know About Peptic Ulcer Disease

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Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) is a condition that affects the stomach and first part of the small intestine. It is characterized by open sores(wounds), known as “ulcers,” that form in the lining of these organs.

Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) affects four million people worldwide annually and has an estimated lifetime occurrence of 5−10% in the general population. Its frequency is reducing among young males and increasing in older females.

The most common cause of PUD is a bacterial infection called  “Helicobacter pylori”  (H. pylori), but it can also be caused by long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aspirin, Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Puroxicam, or excessive acid production in the stomach in some disease conditions.

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The risk factors include alcohol abuse, smoking, prolonged use or use of high doses of NSAIDs, misuse of steroids such as Prednisolone and Dexamethasone, and exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation.

“Stress, carbonated soft drinks, and spicy foods do not cause ulcers but can make them worse.”

Symptoms of PUD can vary from person to person, but they commonly include:

1. Burning or gnawing abdominal pain, usually in the upper middle part of the abdomen.
2. Feeling full and bloated after eating.
3. Nausea or vomiting.
4. Loss of appetite.
5. Weight loss.
6. Dark or black stools (indicating gastrointestinal bleeding).

If a person has symptoms suggestive of PUD, it is important to seek medical attention for an accurate diagnosis.

A healthcare provider will take relevant history, perform a physical examination, and may recommend tests such as an upper endoscopy, a breath test for H. pylori, or blood tests.

Treatment for PUD typically involves a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. Medications may include proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and antihistamines to reduce stomach acid production, antacids to neutralize already produced acid, and antibiotics to eliminate H. pylori.

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Lifestyle changes may include avoiding NSAIDs, alcohol, and smoking, as well as managing stress levels and eating a healthy diet.

In severe cases of PUD, complications like bleeding, perforation (a hole in the stomach or intestine wall), or obstruction may occur. These require immediate medical attention and may lead to hospitalization or surgery.

“Please do understand that PUD, just like Malaria, is curable with appropriate and adequate treatment, and not a life-long diagnosis. However, it can recur as many times as possible as long as the patient keeps exposing himself/herself to the causative agents or keeps indulging in behaviours that can trigger and/or worsen its symptoms.”

It is worth noting that while PUD can cause discomfort and complications, with proper treatment and management, most people can find relief from their symptoms and prevent recurrence.

It is important to follow the healthcare provider’s advice and attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor the condition.

Dr. Yeibake, Weriwoyingipre Silver is a Senior Registrar, Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

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