Health

Japan scientists produce drugs in chicken eggs

Japanese scientists have genetically engineered hens whose eggs contain drugs that can fight serious diseases including cancer, in a bid to dramatically reduce the cost of treatment, a report said Monday. If the scientists are able to safely produce “interferon beta”, a type of protein used to treat illnesses including multiple sclerosis and hepatitis, by rearing the hens, the price of the drug – currently up to 100,000 yen (US$888) for a few microgrammes – could fall significantly, said the English edition of the Yomiuri Shimbun. Researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in the Kansai region kicked off the process by introducing genes that produce interferon beta into cells which are precursors of chicken sperm, the ...

Minister of Health extends NHIS secretary’s suspension indefinitely

Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has extended the suspension of Usman Yusuf, executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), indefinitely. In July, the Minister suspended Yusuf for three months over allegations of fraud. Adewole had set up a committee to probe the NHIS secretary, saying his response to the petitions written against him were “considered unsatisfactory”. In a recent correspondence, Adewole said the investigative committee found Yusuf culpable in the discharge of his responsibilities. “Please refer to my earlier letter ref C.405/1/132, dated 6th July 2017, suspending you from office for three months to allow for an interrupted administrative, investigative committee to look into the various allegations against you including that of monumental fraud, gros...

10 cases of Monkey Pox disease confirmed in Bayelsa

The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ebi Etebu, on Thursday, confirmed ten cases of a contagious viral disease called Monkey Pox. Monkeypox is a viral disease that produces pox lesions on the skin and is closely related to smallpox, but is not nearly as deadly as smallpox. According to investigations, the 10 persons, including a medical doctor confirmed to have been infected are being treated at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital. Dr Ebi said the state government was working to ensure the disease was contained. He said health workers in the ministry were looking for 49 other people believed to have come in close contact with the identified 10 carriers. He added that the focus of the enlightenment was enhanced personal hygiene and vigilance with wild animals, the primary...

JOHESU strike paralyses activities at Federal Hospitals

Patients are left to bear the burden of the health workers’ strike called by the Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, as services remain grounded in federal hospitals across the nation. More workers from Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centres joined the strike that is currently in compliance by over 40 chapters of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, NANNM. According to reports, the medical and surgical clinics in many of the institutions including the Accident and Emergency Wards, were deserted and inaccessible in some instances to in-patients and out-patients alike. Patients whose cases were not very serious were discharged, while others with more serious challenges were managed by medical doctors and their (patients’) relatives. In a related development, Nati...

Fat around the stomach is associated with a host of medical problems

Visceral fat is fat that collects around the abdomen, giving a “beach ball” look in some cases, and is associated with a host of medical problems, including heart disease, diabetes, heartburn and sleep difficulties. No one knows precisely when fat becomes dangerous, said Dr Noyan Gokce, a staff cardiologist at the Boston University School of Medicine. But fat seems to behave differently when pushed close to organs such as the kidney, liver and pancreas, he said. Most of the health problems we associate with fat are strongly linked with visceral fat, which in many people seems to accumulate with age, said Dr Michael Jensen, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Although everyone carries some visceral fat, gaining excessive amounts seems to happen only if there ...

Drug aimed at inflammation may lower risk of Heart Disease and Cancer

A drug that fights inflammation can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and possibly lung cancer, in people who have already had one heart attack and are at high risk for another, a new study shows. Dr. Ridker, the first author of the study and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, presented the study on Sunday in Barcelona at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology. The cardiovascular results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine, and the cancer results in The Lancet. The drug that was studied, canakinumab, is already marketed under the brand name Ilaris, but was approved to treat a type of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and other rare disorders, not heart disease. It costs about $200,000 a ...

NMA charges FG to Improve Health Sector

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has called for the refurbishing of the existing 20 teaching hospitals spread across the six geo-political zones of the country, thereby increasing the budgetary allocation for the health sector. The NMA president, Dr. Mike Ogirima, disclosed this at the National Executive Council Meeting of the Association held in Kaduna state. He stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s ailment could have been treated in Nigeria if the state of medical facilities in the country were in good condition. He urged the Federal Government to allocate adequate funding for the health sector as well as improving the welfare of doctors in public hospitals, warning that failure to urgently address those challenges could attract strike action by the nation’s Resident Doctors. Th...

Unknown illness Kills 62 In Kogi

An unknown illness has left many dead in Kogi State and health officials are yet to identify it. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, told newsmen that so far, 62 people have been killed by the illness which was initially thought to have been Lassa fever by many people. This is because it has some symptoms that are similar to Lassa fever such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. The worst hit community is Okoloke in Yagba West Local Government Area of the state. Other areas are Okunran and Isanlu-Esa – both villages in Yagba West LGA. With over 60 people dead and Lassa fever ruled out as a cause, the government has taken samples of the disease and is hoping to identify the illness as quickly as possible to prevent more deaths, according to the commissioner. Like 0

Choosing alternative cancer therapy doubles risk of death, study says

Patients who chose alternative therapies to treat a common, curable cancer instead of opting for the recommended medical treatment double their risk of death, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Conventional medical treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, while any other unproven cancer treatment administered by non-medical personnel would be considered an alternative therapy. Yale School of Medicine’s Dr. Skyler Johnson, lead author of the study, said that based on what he’s seen as a practicing doctor, patients are increasingly refusing or delaying conventional cancer treatment in favor of alternative therapies. As a result of that, their cancer is “advancing; either getting larger or spreading to lymph ...

FG To set up International Reference Centre for treatment of Lassa Fever

The Federal Government is to establish an International Reference Bio-resources Centre for treatment of Lassa fever in Abuja, so as to strengthen the relationship between the research institutes and organized private sector. The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed this while inaugurating the committee for the establishment of the centre in his office. The minister promised that the ministry would provide what was needed to strengthen the relationship between the research institutes and organized private sector to actualize the plan. He said: “Whatever that is needed to strengthen the relationship, we are going to do. We will look at what you have proposed today and see how it can be cooperated. There are so many areas we can strengthen relationship between rese...

Glass of wine or beer a day reduces risk of an early death, says new study

A glass of wine or pint of beer a day can help people to live longer, according to new research. The study suggests that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption; classed as less than 14 drinks a week for men, and seven for women, may have “protective” health effects and can reduce the risk of dying young. Experts said the findings show that for most older people, the overall benefits of light drinking “clearly outweigh” the possible cancer risk. Heavy drinking has been linked to a host of health issues – including heart disease, but alcohol in moderation is widely recommended. But, despite these recommendations, previous studies of the risk of dying among light-to-moderate drinkers were inconsistent in their findings. For the new study, researchers examined the ...

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