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Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Sunday, May 12, 2024

FAO focuses on technology importance for IDPH - NaijaAgroNet

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The 2024 International Day of Plant Health is attracting shining light on the importance of leveraging innovation to protect plants by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), reports NaijaAgroNet.
FAO focuses on technology importance for IDPH - NaijaAgroNet
FAO also said that focusing on technology importance at this time has become indispensable essential for sustaining life on earth.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

UNICEF warns ‘Poor diets damaging children’s health worldwide - NaijaAgroNet


High number of children are suffering the consequences of poor diets and a food system that is failing them, UNICEF warned today in a new report on children, food and nutrition, and as the United Nations and partners commemorate World Food Day, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The State of the World’s Children 2019: Children, food and nutrition finds that at least 1 in 3 children under five – or 200 million – is either undernourished or overweight. Almost 2 in 3 children between six months and two years of age are not fed food that supports their rapidly growing bodies and brains. This puts them at risk of poor brain development, weak learning, low immunity, increased infections and, in many cases, death.

The report provides the most comprehensive assessment yet of 21st century child malnutrition in all its forms. It describes a triple burden of malnutrition: Undernutrition, hidden hunger caused by a lack of essential nutrients, and overweight among children under the age of five, noting that around the world:

  • 149 million children are stunted, or too short for their age, including 13.1 million children in Nigeria
  • 50 million children are wasted, or too thin for their height, including 2.9 million children in Nigeria
The report warns that poor eating and feeding practices start from the earliest days of a child’s life. Though breastfeeding can save lives, for example, in Nigeria, only 27 per cent of children under six months of age are exclusively breastfed and an increasing number of children are fed infant formula. This means many Nigerian children are missing out on the life-saving benefits of breastmilk which is a baby’s first vaccine and offers the best possible nutrition at the start of life.

In Nigeria, malnutrition remains a major public health and development concern:49 percent of children under five years of age are not growing well (they are either stunted, wasted or overweight). This is the second highest proportion after the Democratic Republic of Congo in the West and Central Africa region. This is partly because 34 percent of children between six months and two years of age are fed food that is not rich and diversified enough to ensure optimal growth. 

As children begin transitioning to soft or solid foods around the six-month mark, too many are introduced to the wrong kind of diet, according to the report. As children grow older, their exposure to unhealthy food becomes alarming, driven largely by inappropriate marketing and advertising, the abundance of ultra-processed foods in cities but also in remote areas, and increasing access to fast food and highly sweetened beverages.

The report also notes that climate-related disasters cause severe food crises. Drought, for example, is responsible for 80 per cent of damage and losses in agriculture globally, dramatically altering what food is available to children and families, as well as the quality and price of that food; Nigeria is also affected by climate change.

To address the growing malnutrition crisis in all its forms, UNICEF is issuing an urgent appeal to government, the private sector, donors, parents, families and businesses to help children grow healthy by:

  1. Investing more resources in interventions aimed at preventing malnutrition among young children and supporting treatment when prevention fails.
  2. Supporting nursing mothers to adequately feed and care for their children.
  3. Empowering families, children and young people to demand nutritious food, including by improving nutrition education and using proven legislation – such as sugar taxes – to reduce demand for unhealthy foods.
  4. Driving food suppliers to do the right thing for children, by incentivizing the provision of healthy, convenient and affordable foods. 
  5. Building healthy food environments for children and adolescents by using proven approaches, such as accurate and easy-to-understand labelling and stronger controls on the marketing of unhealthy foods.
  6. Mobilizing supportive systems – health, water and sanitation, education and social protection – to scale up nutrition results for all children.
  1. Collecting, analyzing and using good-quality data and evidence to guide action and track progress.

 Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Expert says Nigeria invests too little on people’s health

Nigeria has been investing too little and inefficiently in the health of her people, so says the Director, Health, Nutrition, and Population Global Practice, World Bank Group, Dr. Olusoji Adeyi, NaijaAgroNet reports.

Adeyi in a keynote address entitled “Financing Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria” to the 2018 Nigeria Health Financing Forum in Abuja, said recently that Nigeria is underperforming in health financing when compared to other Lower-Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and countries in the Upper-Middle-Income (UMIC) Group.

As said by him, investing in health would lead to economic growth, reductions in mortality account for about 11 per cent of recent economic growth in low-income and middle-income countries as measured in their national income accounts.

This, he said, would see to a more complete picture of the value of health investments over a time period given by the growth in a country's ‘full income,’ which is the income growth measured in national income accounts plus the Value of Additional Life Years (VLYs) gained in that period.

Dr. Adeyi noted that between 2000 and 2011, about 24 per cent of the growth in full income in low-income and middle-income countries resulted from VLYs gained.

According to him, the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means that all people could use the essential health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.

This definition of UHC, he said, embodies three related objectives, including equity in access to health services; the quality of health services should be good; and People should be protected against financial-risk.

Further, he explained that equity in access implies that everyone who needs services should get them, not only those who can pay for them, while the quality of health services should be good enough to improve the health of those receiving services; whereas, people should be protected against financial-risk, to ensure that the cost of using services does not put people at risk of financial harm.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Friday, March 2, 2018

GE’s healthymagination, Miller Centre, graduate second cohort on maternal, child health

GE’s healthymagination Mother and Child Programme has graduated its second cohort of social entrepreneurs who completed training and mentorship that is designed to scale impact, thereby improving maternal and child health outcomes in Africa, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The graduation of the second cohort, NaijaAgroNet gathered, builds on the success of the 1st group of entrepreneurs, all of whom have reported a notable impact of the programme on their businesses.
One such entrepreneur, NaijaAgroNet reports, is Dr. Steve Adudans whose HewaTele has attracted over 2 Million USD in additional investment since completing the programme in March 2017.
“The skills and practical knowledge we received has enabled us to transform our business model for greater impact. Thanks to the programme, we managed to secure investment from global development partners for the expansion of 2 additional oxygen plants which will increase access to affordable, safe and quality life-saving medical oxygen in Kenya” Dr. Adudans said.

The Executive Director, New Growth Markets, Business Innovations at GE, Robert Wells said they are proud of the major strides that the first cohort of enterprises have made since they graduated, and are thrilled that a second stellar group of passionate entrepreneurs is now better equipped to expand their reach and save the lives of more mothers and children across the continent.

“GE is committed to continue partnering with Social Entrepreneurs to support sustainable healthcare development especially through capacity building and skills transfer” he said.

NaijaAgroNet notes that after a rigorous evaluation process, the social enterprises selected to feature in the second cohort of the healthymagination Mother and Child Programme attended a three-day, in-person workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa followed by a six-month online accelerator program that included weekly in-depth mentorship from Silicon Valley-based executives and local GE business leaders.
Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

RB Durex in partnership with PPFN on sexual health

In accordance with RB’s continuous commitment to being a socially responsible organization, RB Durex has signed an agreement with the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) to help improve the sexual health and wellbeing of Nigerians, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The scope of the partnership covers Sexual and Reproductive Health education and increasing consumer access to condoms by opening new channels and reaching consumers previously unreached.

According to a recent report by World Health Organization (WHO), ‘Every day, more than one million sexually transmitted infections are acquired worldwide, and each year an estimated 78 million people are infected, constituting a major health concern also in Nigeria.’ Sexual Health Education and Contraception are therefore twin preventive health strategies to curb this. Research and Real World data reveals that male latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, is an effective approach to achieve a reduction in the spread of sexually transmitted infections and prevent unintended pregnancy.

Rahul Murgai, the Managing Director of RB Nigeria and Dr Ibrahim M. Ibrahim, the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) were optimistic that the joint efforts of the two organizations will help drive the sexual and reproductive health agenda in Nigeria.

Speaking about the partnership with PPFN, Rahul Murgai said, “RB is excited to partner with PPFN to create scaled awareness and education in Nigeria on planned-parenthood, maternal health, safe contraception techniques and targeted reduction in HIV related deaths through the effective and consistent use of condoms. Through this collaboration, consumers will have the requisite education and empowerment to improve their Sexual Health with easy access to Durex- the World number 1 condom brand.” 

Over the years RB has been at the forefront for cause-related initiatives that further the progress of Nigeria on UN Sustainable Development Goals such as reduction in infant mortality from preventable diseases such as diarrhea and malaria, improved public health and sanitation from reduced open defecation problem and now partnering to reduce HIV related deaths. Its brands, which are popular household names such as Dettol, Mortein and Harpic, have active partnerships with Federal Ministry of Health (MoH), Save the Children (STC), Nigerian Medical association which work to educate new mothers, school children and reach LGAs like Shomolu in Lagos to promote good healthy habits like handwashing and to build a healthier nation.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) is a national non-governmental organization and a leading advocate and provider of sexual and reproductive health services. PPFN is a member of the global movement that strives for universal access to reproductive health services to all (including poor, marginalized, vulnerable and socially excluded people) without discrimination.  According to Dr Ibrahim “this partnership will contribute towards PPFN’s objective of expanding access to quality services particularly for young persons in Nigeria.”
The PPFN and Durex strategic partnership will go a long way in reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other STIs. It will also contribute to reducing the incidence of unwanted/unplanned pregnancy and unsafe abortion as well as significantly improving the overall level of health and well-being in Nigeria.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Experts pursue sound chemicals management to promote human, environmental health

Keeping with recent calls for commitments from all to contribute towards a pollution-free planet, experts and observers joined members of the Rotterdam (RC) and Stockholm (SC) Conventions' chemical review committees for back-to-back meetings in Rome, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The team, NaijaAgroNet gathered, reviewed a record number of chemicals for inclusion in annexes of the two Conventions, both of which aim to protect human health and the environment, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

According to NaijaAgroNet findings, recommendations cut across the Rotterdam Convention, and Stockholm Convention.

NaijaAgroNet reports that over 250 experts and observers in total, from all regions of the world, gathered at the headquarters of the FAO in Rome to conduct back-to-back meetings focused on the review of scientific information on toxic chemicals, with a view to recommending inclusion in the annexes of the two conventions, thus becoming regulated by international law.

The latest FAO data, NaijaAgroNet reports, showed that international pesticide sales are valued at up to USD 480 billion a year. UNEP estimates that as many as three percent of those working in agriculture worldwide suffer from acute pesticide poisoning, with adolescents facing a higher risk.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Monday, March 6, 2017

Bibeau supports sexual reproductive health, rights

The Canadian Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau, has announced funding of up to $20 million to organizations supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Minister revealed this while participating in the She Decides high-level international conference in Brussels, Belgium, saying that Canada’s investment will support five organizations that have a proven track record of delivering results in the area of the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls.

According to her, these organizations must provide critical sexual and reproductive health services and information that advances gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the developing world.

NaijaAgroNet also gathered that the funding is part of Canada’s comprehensive approach to closing existing gaps in reproductive rights and health care services for women.

Canada, NaijaAgroNet reports, remain committed to supporting access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services and information.

This includes strengthening national health systems, investing in contraceptives, family planning and comprehensive sexuality education, supporting women’s right to choose safe and legal abortions, and access to post-abortion care.

 “Sexual and reproductive health and rights are human rights. All women have the right to choose whether and when they want to have children, and how many. The empowerment of women and girls everywhere in the world begins with their right to be in control of their bodies,” Bibeau said.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that an estimated about 225 million of the world’s women and girls have an unmet need for modern contraception.

Whereas, NaijaAgroNet reports that maternal mortality is unacceptably high with the global record showed that about 830 women die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth every day. Just as every year, an estimated 22 million women and girls worldwide put their lives at risk by undergoing unsafe, clandestine abortions.

Nkem Nweke/GEE
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Pix: Claude Bibeau - Canadan minister

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Water, hygiene plus sanitation improve health & romance

Washing hands with simple “tippy taps,” made with easily-available supplies,
 and soap or ash reduces the spread of disease.
Nafisatu Yunusa is excited about change. The 23 year-old mother of three lives in Marafa, a village of just over 600 people in Bauchi State, northern Nigeria, where the dry winter season can be hard. Red dust clouds the sky, vegetation turns brown, and there's no rain for months. 

Like other rural communities in the region, for a long time, many people in the village of Marafa did not have access to running water or toilets. Without them, open defecation was the norm. Most households had lost at least one family member to preventable diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
Fields and villages were contaminated with feces, which was not only unsightly and malodorous, but was also extremely unsanitary. “Back then, our children were always suffering from diarrhea, typhoid fever, cholera," Nafisatu explains. "It was the biggest challenge we had, it was everywhere."

Information about stopping open defecation has helped to make the village a more attractive – and healthier place to live.
But the establishment of a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committee, or WASHCOM, in her village, has transformed Nafisatu's life. The WASHCOMS have been set up in communities in the area under UNICEF’s SHAWN (Sanitation Hygiene and Water in Nigeria) programme, which is funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Nafisatu works as a treasurer for the WASHCOM and is one of the nine Mafara WASHCOM members who have been trained to teach healthy sanitation practices to others in the community. “Now when a child goes to use the toilet he or she comes and washes hands – with soap, if it is available, or ash,” she says, “and that has contributed a lot to stopping the spread of diseases."  As a result, Marafa has become one of 351 communities that are now certified as “open defecation free” in the Local Government Area of Dass, in Bauchi state. Every household in the community has a latrine and nearby hand washing facilities.
And the SHAWN programme has rewarded the community with a borehole and hand pump, so that water is now easier to access, even in the dry season.

The United Kingdom’s DFID supported this UNICEF project.
The improved sanitation and easy access to water, says Nafisatu, has not only saved lives, but it also helped ease a common strain on marriages in Marafa. Among the good hygiene practices they have been trained to teach, WASHCOM hygiene promotion team members have shared their knowledge with women community members about menstrual hygiene management.

When water is easily available, good hygiene practices are also easier to implement.
Nafisatu recalls that women in the village used to stuff dirty menstrual padding under their beds, which often made the bedrooms smell unpleasant. Their husbands, recounts Nafisatu, would burn spirals of mosquito coils, hoping the acrid smoke would cover the smell. But sometimes, even that wasn’t enough, and Nafisatu said that several husbands even refused to sleep with their wives. 

Now that there is water in the village, and with women having learned about better menstrual hygiene practices, that problem has vanished. “The change has been so overwhelming,” says Nafisatu with a smile, “relationships are much improved!”
23 year-old Nafisatu Yunusa trains her community members 
on good hygiene and sanitation practices.
Photo credit for all pictures: UNICEF/Nigeria/2017/Stefan Heunis
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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Addis Ababa agog for inaugural agriculture, nutrition, health academy week

Ethiopia is now agog for the inaugural agriculture, nutrition, and health otherwise known as ANH Academy Week, as researchers and users of nutritional research from over 20 countries head to the capital, Addis Ababa, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Research and Knowledge Uptake Manager for the Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA) Mr. Joe Yates, confirmed this in a press statement available to NaijaAgroNet, saying that for the next five days, between June 20 and 24, the global community of interdisciplinary researchers and research-users working at intersection of agriculture-food systems, health and nutrition would convene in Ethiopia.

According to him, the academy week would avail participants to learn, share and strengthen collaborative partnerships with the goal of improving nutrition and health.

The ANH Academy Week is held in Addis Ababa to facilitate African participation with attendees from around the world and comes just a week after the release of the Global Nutrition Report 2016, which warns that ‘malnutrition and diet are by far the biggest risk factors for the global burden of disease.’

Yates disclosed that the ANH Academy grew from a commitment to build interdisciplinary capacity and foster a community of researchers working in agriculture and food systems, health and nutrition.
NaijaAgroNet recalls that the academy was founded jointly by the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH), the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), and the Innovative Metrics and Methods for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA) research initiative, to facilitate learning and sharing among researchers working at the intersection of agriculture, nutrition, and health.  

Remmy Nweke/ED,Ops

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Promoting iron beans for healthier diets, African musicians to rescue


Rwanda’s top musicians have joined forces with the HealthPlus and government to promote better nutrition and health through a new music video that was released Monday in Kigali, Rwanda, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The music video was subtitled in both English and Kiswahili for easy adoption by the populace, according to NaijaAgroNet findings, depicting iron beans as very nutritious food.

The release NaijaAgroNet gathered formed part of the roadshow to create awareness on the iron beans brand in an effort to cut hungry trend on the continent.

NaijaAgroNet  further gathered that the song, according to press statement by the Africa Press Organisaiton (APO), extoled the nutritional benefits of new high-iron beans that are now available in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda. 

NaijaAgroNet recalled that almost 40 per cent of children in Rwanda suffer from iron deficiency in their diets, which in severe cases, could lower their intelligence quotients (IQs) and learning capacity, resistance to disease, and energy levels.

Experts at the Rwandan Office of HarvestPlus led by Lister Katsvairo, explained to NaijaAgroNet that beans are a traditional staple food and eaten every day and these new iron beans contain 15 per cent more iron than ordinary beans, and could provide women and children with almost half their daily iron needs.

“They also yield twice the harvest of ordinary beans, increasing incomes for farmers,” Katsvairo said.
NaijaAgroNet notes that over 700,000 Rwandan farmers are now growing and eating these nutritious beans, first released by the Rwandan Government in 2011.

"We’ve had tremendous success so far in getting these beans out, but we wanted to reach a much wider audience across the country,” Katsvairo said.

Lead of HarvestPlus which prides itself as a global programme to improve nutrition emphasized that these iron beans are now making their way into urban markets, hence the campaign to increase consumer awareness.

“We worked with Rwanda’s top musicians, who cater to all musical tastes including Afro-pop, rap and R&B. Who better to spread this message of how beans can improve nutrition and health?" Katsvairo asserted.

The campaign, Katsvairo said has taken musicians King James, Miss Jojo, Riderman, Tom Close, and Urban Boyzon a series of roadshows across the country live performance for over 30,000 people, which equally included exhibitions and sales of iron bean seeds.

+Remmy Nweke (ITRealms) @HealthPlus @Rwanda +Naija AgroNet
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