A study has revealed that most men in Nigeria do not have knowledge of prostate cancer and have not been screened of the disease.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men but screening for the disease is not yet a common practice in the country.
The true burden of the disease is not known, but the study shows that one in four Nigerian men faces the risk of developing prostate cancer.
The study was carried out by Project PinkBlue in collaboration with ACT Foundation.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the Executive Director, Project Pink Blue, Runcie Chidebe, lamented that most men in Nigeria die from prostate cancer because of the low awareness about the disease.
He said this can be averted if the government makes prostate screening mandatory for every man above 40.
Mr Chidebe said the research was carried out in Lagos, Enugu and Abuja.
He said research tagged “Men on Blue” is a health intervention focused on closing the gaps of awareness, education, research and screenings for prostate cancer in rural communities in Nigeria.
The research had 3,000 men for the study.
“In Nigeria, there is no organised screening or a national screening programme. What is currently available is sporadic screenings, driven by non-profit and non-governmental organisations hosting medical missions in diverse communities,” Mr Chidebe said.
“Many people do not have knowledge about prostate cancer. Knowing family health history is extremely important in prostate cancer prevention and early detection of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer seems to runs in some families, which suggests that in some cases there may be an inherited or genetic factor,” he said
About 82.1 per cent of Nigerian men who participated in the study said they had never been screened for prostate cancer and most of them are 40 years and above.
Only 13.8 per cent reported having been screened for prostate cancer.
The low screening level of screening explains the late detection of prostate cancer in Nigeria and the increasing cancer death.
An urologist, Ajibola Hafees, said the burden of prostate cancer is high in Nigeria because many people present their ailment to the hospital late.
He said this can be averted if more people have the awareness of the disease and the screening test that can help with early detection.
Mr Hafees recommended a regular Prostate Specific Antigen test can for men.
He said the cost of screen is a bit high, but it is not as high as the cost of diagnosis and treatments.
“Having a PSA test cost about N6, 000 to N10, 000 or more, depending on where the test is being done. This is by far cheaper than the cost of treating prostate cancer.
“The cost of treating prostate cancer is low relatively or comparatively to breast cancer. About 1.3 million to 3.3 million treat prostate cancer yearly in Nigeria,” he said.
Giving a breakdown of the treatment cost, Mr Hafees said a diagnosis for prostate cancer could cost N147,000 to N152, 000, surgery could cost between N350, 000 and N950, 000; while 25 to 30 sessions of chemotherapy could cost N150, 000 to N360, 000.
“How many Nigerian men can pay out this kind of money from their pocket to get treated? Many of these indigent men would just decide to stay back home and die. With the poor health insurance, it has become more financially stressful to cope with the financial burden of cancer in Nigeria.”
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. The prostate is a walnut size gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It is located below the unitary bladder and in front of the rectum.
Prostate cancer has the potential to grow and spread quickly, but for most men it is a relatively slow growing disease. Prostate cancer is 100 per cent treatable if detected early, unfortunately, it has no symptom.
According to researches, a black man is 70 per cent more likely to develop prostate cancer than a while man and is nearly 2.3 times more likely to die from the disease.
As men increase in age, the risk of developing prostate cancer increases. It is also hereditary. If a relative has a history of prostate cancer then there is twice likelihood to develop the disease.
This is why it is advisable for men age 40 and above to begin early screening for the detection of the disease. Screening for the disease may include Prostate Specific Antigen, PSA and other tests.
FUTO VC lauds WHO as Evangeline tasks health stakeholders on 21st century challenges
Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri,(FUTO) Prof Francis Chukwuemeka Eze has commended the World Health Organization (WHO) for her commitment and contributions towards the promotion of health research and health well being of Nigerians.
Also, the Congress President, Prof. Oparaocha Evangeline called for reorientation for all stakeholders in the health sector to be able to tackle the 21st century health challenges.
These statements were made in separate remarks at this year’s international conference on Health Science and Technology held at the insitution in Owerri.
Prof Eze who was represented by the deputy vice Chancellor Research Development and Innovation, Prof Bede Anusionwu noted that the World Health Organization has left an indelible mark in the health institutions by co-sponsoring the Congress on public health.
In his words, “I want to sincerely commend the World Health Organization for their contributions in the health delivery system in Nigeria.
The theme of this year’s Congress, “Initiative Technology for Health Promotion and Management, Sustainable tool for the Reliable Health Care System” was attended by scholars who delivered papers.
But the Congress President, Prof Oparaocha Evangeline in her speech explained that the Congress afforded the opportunity for the participants to discuss and address the concern in public health and help to bring a better health care system in Nigeria.
She added, “The health of the people deserves to be accorded a primary position as it is a major player in the development of all nation”.
However, Evangeline also advocated for a reorientation of all stakeholders in the health management and delivery across the country to be able to reposition the sector for the 21st century health challenges.
Healthy food choices for kids this holiday
It is the holiday season, one of the most exciting, adventurous, memorable and fun time of the year for kids. But many parents get stressed planning what to feed their wards during the holiday.
Most parents who spoke with this newspaper complained their wards consumed too much sugar which could lead to health problems.
Others lamented that keeping the kids active proves to be challenging as most parents are busy with their schedules.
A 2016 survey by the World Health Organisation(WHO) research shows 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese.
A 2016 UNICEF report revealed that five in six children under two years old are not fed enough nutritious food for theirage, depriving them of the energy and nutrients they need at the most critical time in their physical and cognitive development.
“Infants and young children have the greatest nutrient needs than at any other time in life. But the bodies and brains of millions of young children do not reach their full potential because they are receiving too little food, too late,” said France Begin, Senior Nutrition Adviser at UNICEF. “Poor nutrition at such a young age causes irreversible mental and physical damage.”
UNICEF data show that poor nutritional practices– including the delayed introduction of solid foods, infrequent meals and lack of food variety – are widespread, depriving children of essential nutrients when their growing brains, bones and bodies need them the most.
Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start children on the path to health problems that were once considered adult problems — diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Therefore, it is essential for parents to monitor what their wards consume this holiday season.
The question from most parents will be “Can children eat healthily, yet enjoy their favourite summer foods?” Yes, they can have hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream treats, and desserts — if you handle it right.
Three rules for parents
Rule #1 – A dietician in St. Petersburg who is a member of American Dietetic Association (ADA). Sarah Krieger said children should be allowed to eat sweets. “It’s really important to treat sweets like any other food, to have a little bit every day. That’s how kids develop a healthy relationship with sweet foods.”
So, parents should not make Hollandia yoghourt, Ribena, biscuits a minute by minute snack.
Rule #2: A nutrition consultant in New York City, Elisa Zied said parents must ensure children burn off the calories.
Ms Zied, who is the author of the book Feed Your Family Right!, also teaches kids to share sweet and fatty foods — so everyone gets a taste, but no one overeats.
Rule #3: Similarly, the director of nutrition for the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Sheah Rarback, urged parents and guardian to be good role models. “Expose kids to healthy foods — or at least healthier versions of their favourites. If you eat them, your kids will eat them.”
Parents should be aware of eating a variety of foods keeps meals interesting for children. It is also the key to a healthy and balanced diet because each food has a unique mix of nutrients
To avoid obesity in children, It is therefore essential for parents and guardian to create “A Kid’s Healthy Eating Plate”. This is a blueprint to help make the best eating choices.
Bread, tea and egg, Rice Krispies and egg, pap (brown) and milk, cornflakes, oatmeal (with milk and fruits), pancakes and hot beverages, bread and peanut butter spread, pap and moin moin, boiled potatoes and egg sauce, vegetable omelette, yoghurt parfait, noodles (vegetables and egg)
Assorted fruits (make it as colourful as possible, colours attracts kids), vegetable puree, low-fat yoghurt
White rice (with chicken and stew), beans with flaked fish and diced plantain, pasta with minced meat, amala or semo with ewedu, ogbono, vegetable, egusi soup with protein, French fries with chicken and ketchup, jollof rice and chicken, fried rice, boiled yam and beans pottage, vegetable yam.
Fruit Salad: watermelon, pawpaw, pineapple, smoothies and steamed vegetables,
Boiled yam, moin-moin and eko, white rice and boiled veggies, spaghetti and vegetable corn beef stew, couscous and vegetable sauce, semi ripe plantain porridge with vegetable and fish.
Breastfeeding mothers can have sex, no link between sperm and breast milk — experts
Two medical experts, Mrs Subedetu Nafiu, a Family Planning Manager and Mr Olusola Malomo, a Nutritionist, on Friday said that breastfeeding mothers could still enjoy sex while breastfeeding saying, there is no relationship between sperm and breast milk.
The experts spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the just-concluded World Breastfeeding Week at the Ajeromi General Hospital in Ajegunle, Lagos.
The experts debunked the notion that sperm could contaminate breast milk, during sex with breastfeeding mothers.
Nafiu, who is also a child welfare manager, said that there was no relationship between sperm and breast milk and that people should stop spreading false information on whether the child would suck sperm from breast milk.
“This myth makes many women to stay away from performing their marital rights because they are breastfeeding and might cause more harm to marriages.
“There is no relationship between sperm and breast milk flow, a mother is free to meet her husband while she breastfeeds.
“Women should allow their husbands to sleep with them, it doesn’t make the child sick,’’ she said.
Nafiu advised women on exclusive breastfeeding, saying, it is a safe method of family planning that can help space their children.
“The kind of exclusive breastfeeding is the one that the mother did not mix any other thing with breast milk for six months, such woman’s body biologically plans itself towards conception,’’ she said.
To corroborate the information, Malomo also said that no child sucks sperm from mother’s breast and sex doesn’t disrupt any natural nutrient in the breast milk.
“The way the body was made, physiologically, sperm and breast milk cannot meet, let to say it can cause harm to the baby, so enjoy your sex life while you breastfeed,” he said.
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