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Nigeria sitting on gun powder – NAFDAC

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gun powder due to what it described as the high rate and prevalence of drug addicts across the country.

The agency said it was shocking that Nigeria was leading even beyond the international coverage of drug abuse globally.

The Director, Public Affairs, NAFDAC, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, said this on Saturday.

NAN reports that Jimoh said the agency has an average conservative estimate of about 15 million people who are on drugs and 3 million of them could be conveniently called drug addicts.

According to him, this development had forced the agency to conclude that the level of drug abuse has led to the high level of violence, kidnapping, terrorism, armed robbery and even dangerous driving by some Nigerian drivers.

He said most youths under the age bracket of 19 to 22 and even parents, both male and female, have seriously engaged in taking hard concoction.

Jimoh recalled that NAFDAC had recently destroyed billions of Naira worth of containers loaded with tramadol and other related hard drugs which if it had ordinarily gone into circulation would have destroyed several lives.

He also disclosed that NAFDAC had shifted away from being just a mere regulatory agency of public health institutions, but now a key driver in the present transformation agenda in changing the diversification of the economy.

He said that NAFDAC was controlling the chemicals imported by the petrochemical industries into the country.

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Health

FUTO VC lauds WHO as Evangeline tasks health stakeholders on 21st century challenges

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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.

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Health

Healthy food choices for kids this holiday

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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.

Breakfast suggestions

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)

Snacks

Assorted fruits (make it as colourful as possible, colours attracts kids), vegetable puree, low-fat yoghurt

Lunch suggestions

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.

Early dinner

Fruit Salad: watermelon, pawpaw, pineapple, smoothies and steamed vegetables,

Dinner suggestions

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.

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Breastfeeding mothers can have sex, no link between sperm and breast milk — experts

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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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