Association decries neglect of mental health



The Association of Resident Doctors have decried the neglect of mental health in the country, saying such neglect is dangerous to the health sector.

Dr Roland Aigbovo, the President of the association, said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency against the backdrop of the World Mental Health Day celebration.

He noted that mental health was one aspect of medicine that had suffered neglect in Nigeria due to stigma.

He stated that to some extent the unavailability of drugs for patients of mental health also contributed to the menace in the country.

According to him, nobody wants to be tagged as being crazy but a whole lot of Nigerians are suffering from one mental illness or the other.

“With the recent surge in suicide in Nigeria, the medical community especially in our country should deem it very necessary to begin to enlighten the public on mental health and its related issues,” said ARD president.

He said that the association was collaborating with government to curtail the menace by taking cognisance of the increasing mental health issues and availing every opportunity to educate patients on mental health.

He said that the association dedicated its 2019 annual health week to enlighten the public on mental health thereby increasing awareness.

The medical practitioner said that the theme of its 2019 health week was “the neglect of mental health: a threat to our society”.

According to him, mental health involves psychological, emotional and social wellbeing, it entails how we act and respond to stress and pressures.

He stated that the menace of mental health could be reduced with increased awareness as well as seeking appropriate treatment when detected.

Aigbovo however advised Nigerians against some risky behaviour which posed high risk to mental disorders like drug abuse and misuse to reduced it. (NAN)


Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola


News analysis: Experts say Egypt’s COVID-19 coexistence plan to benefit economy, while urging caution




Egypt will lift a curfew and allow cafes and restaurants to operate with limited capacity from June 27, as it gradually reopens the economy after three months of suspension over COVID-19 concerns.




“These measures would completely stimulate the economy, ease the sufferings of the daily workers, and increase the levels of factories operation,” said Waleed Gaballah, professor of financial and economic jurisdictions at Cairo University.

Lifting the night curfew is very important to facilitate the movement of workers, many of whom are working in places far away from home, Gaballah, also a member of the Egyptian Association for Political Economy, told Xinhua.

Restaurants, cafes, cinemas, and sporting clubs will be allowed to reopen on July 27, with a capacity initially capped at 25 percent, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in a televised press briefing on Tuesday.

Mosques and churches will be allowed to reopen, but weekly mass prayers on Friday and Sunday will remain suspended. Beaches and parks will continue to be closed.

Public transport will be allowed to run from 4 a.m. local time (0200 GMT) until midnight, while shops and malls will be closed by 9 p.m. and restaurants by 10 p.m.

The economic expert said the “Egyptian economy has lost 125 billion Egyptian pounds (7.74 billion United States dollars) of the GNP (Gross National Product) since the virus appeared in February,” adding that the growth rate, expected to reach 5.8 percent in the current fiscal year ending in June, has declined to less than 4 percent.

He also pointed to the sharp slump of foreign investments, and the decrease of tourism revenues and expatriates’ remittances driven by the country’s lockdown.

The state budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021, which is difficult to be changed based on the constitution, puts the government before challenges because it allocated high expenditures for education, health, and increase of salaries, according to the expert.

The government will be forced to raise the rate of borrowing or take strict austerity measures if the revenues from tourism and taxes could not cover the gape of expenditures, he added.

Whether the Egyptian economy could restore its level before the spread of coronavirus, it also depends on the international partners, he said, adding that the Egyptian decision to resume air traffic and international tourism wouldn’t be effective without other countries’ approval.

He further added that the return of international trade will positively impact the Suez Canal revenues, and the opening of activities in the Gulf countries would attract the Egyptian workers and increase Egyptians’ transactions abroad.




Magdy al-Dahshan, former deputy manager of Al-Azhar Medicine University, agreed that the recent government decisions are “good for gradually restoring the ordinary life.”

“Reopening of cafes, restaurants and entertainment centers at 25 percent could contain further increase of the infections,” al-Dahshan told Xinhua.

The number of infections is high now, but the virus seems to be going to stay for the time being and no country could afford to endure more economic losses, he said.

Gamal Esmat, consular to the World Health Organization, warns that the lifting of restrictions would possibly further increase the COVID-19 cases.

He said he would prefer the government to open activities in provinces with fewer cases, adding that though the death rate in Egypt is “moderate,” the spread of the virus has lasted for five months which is a long time.

Egypt reported 61,130 cases of COVID-19 and 2,533 deaths in the lastest update of the health ministry on Thursday.

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Zango Kataf Killings : Association calls on FG, State, to deploy more security personnel



The Bandiraku Fulbe Youth Association of Nigeria, Kaduna Chapter, on Sunday called on Federal and Kaduna State Governments to deploy more security personnel to Zango Kataf and  surrounding communities to control attacks on communities.

The Association’s Chairman, Mr  Abbas  Julde, made this call in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna.

According to him, Zango Kataf and surrounding communities are still under attack and many families are still trapped in villages, while those taking refuge in various bushes across the local government needs to be rescued.

“We urge the governments and well-meaning Non-Government Organisation to immediately mobilise resources and come to the aid of the victims of the attack.

”We also call on wealthy individuals to provide humanitarian services to displaced individuals, families and those who sustained injuries during the attack.

”Our  members should remain calm and law abiding and  cooperate with the relevant authorities in order to arrest the situation,” he said.

NAN recalled that the crisis started as a dispute between Atyap and Hausa farmers close to Zango town over a farmland.

The attacks and killings have continued sincd June 11, and many Fulbe communities and families are being subjected to violent attacks, he said.

Julde said: “so  far, we have received several distress calls and reports from numerous Fulbe individuals, families and communities recounting their ordeals, losses and deaths in the hands of their attackers.”

While the Association acknowledged the Government and Security agencies  efforts to calm the situation and rescue several individuals and families from the jaws of their

attackers, more needed to be done urgently, he added.

“We call on the government to deploy more security personnel to reinforce and compliment the ones already on ground who are apparently overwhelmed due to the

magnitude of the crises on ground.

“And the geographical size of the area coupled with the difficulty involved in accessing certain areas where attacks are still ongoing,” he said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
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Lagos needs 260,000 units of blood annually– Health Commissioner



The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, says Lagos will need about 260,000 units of blood annually to meet the growing blood transfusion demand at its health facilities.

Abayomi made this known through a virtual meeting organised on Sunday by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) to commemorate the World Blood Donor Day.

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated annually on June 14 globally, to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood.

The theme for the Blood Donor Day 2020 is “Safe Blood Saves Lives”, with the slogan “Give Blood and Make The World A Healthier Place”.

Abayomi noted that the state was making efforts to meet and surpass its requirement through recruiting and retaining voluntary blood donors.

“To maintain an adequate blood supply, one to two per cent of the population needs to become regular blood donors.

“This is about 260,000 in a growing population of over 26 million in Lagos State.

“The regular supply of blood is essential as the life span of blood is very short. Each unit of blood donated remains viable for 35 days,” he said.

The commissioner said that the state was collaborating with the private sector, non-governmental organisations, religious bodies, and youth organisations to achieve its target requirements.

On the theme of the World Blood Donor Day, Abayomi said that encouraging and promoting voluntary blood donation in a safe and conducive environment was the goal of the state.

“This year’s theme has come in at a time the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the various phases of lockdown and travel restrictions have brought about some challenges to our blood donation drives.

“The need for blood transfusions and medications based on blood components has, however, continued in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The LSBTS voluntary blood donation centres were opened, all through, with an extension in our opening hours.

“Scientifically, there are no confirmed reports of Coronavirus being transmitted by blood transfusion anywhere in the world.

“Strict additional safety measures, including more handwashing sites, use of hand sanitisers, use of personal protective equipment, as well as maintaining social distancing are being practiced at the blood collection sites for donors and staffs,” Abayomi said.

He added that making the world a better place was not only about blood collection from donors, but the collection of convalescent plasma from recovered patients of COVID-19.

According to him, the plasma collection is in preparation for an interventional study in the treatment of patients with severe Coronavirus.

Abayomi noted that there was no substitute for blood, adding that the lives of hundreds of patients, including pregnant women, children with severe anaemia, accident victims, patients with cancer and haemoglobinothies were saved by blood transfusion.

He added that adequate and timely supply of safe blood was needed to continue helping those people who are in need of blood transfusion.

“We, therefore, cannot over emphasised the need to ensure availability of blood in our blood banks where patients who require blood transfusion can be readily supplied.

“I would like to say a big thank you to all voluntary blood donors who have made it a duty to give the gift of life– blood.

“I would also like to use this medium to encourage citizens who are healthy and fit, and aged from 18 to 65 to please give blood.

“People in good health who have never given blood, particularly young people, should begin to do so,” Abayomi said.

Also, Dr Bodunrin Oshikomaiya, Executive Secretary, LSBTS, said the campaign to increase voluntary blood donation drive had been intensified and sustained to meet with the blood transfusion needs in Lagos State.

She noted that LSBTS was working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to improve access to blood transfusions and promote blood safety.

Oshikomaiya said that the work with WHO was centred on centrally coordinated blood transfusion service, collection of blood exclusively from voluntary donors from low-risk populations.

Others are testing of all blood for compatibility and transfusion-transmissible infections, and reduction of unnecessary transfusions.

She added that health workers involved in blood transfusion had been trained on documentation, quality assessment and on the rational use of blood and blood products to reduce unnecessary transfusions.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
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Members of Chinese medical team visit Palestinian Health Ministry’s Central Health Laboratories




Members of a Chinese medical team meet with Palestinian medical experts in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 14, 2020. A Chinese medical team arrived in Palestine on June 10 to help Palestinians fight against COVID-19. The 10-member team, sent by China’s National Health Commission, consists of experts specialized in various medical fields including infectious diseases, virus examination and health management. The week-long visit until June 17 is aimed at enhancing bilateral relations in the health sector and the exchange of expertise in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Ayman Nobani/Xinhua)

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